Book excerpts from a variety of educational nonfiction sources focusing mainly on current events and history of the activities of the US Government and the Multi-national Corporations that influence it

“The people who own the country ought to govern it.” John Jay

Jeremy Brecher, Jill Cutler and Brendon Smith “In the Name of Democracy”

Fox Butterfield “All God's Children” 1995

James Carroll “House of War” 2006

Noam Chomsky Deterring Democracy”

Noam Chomsky “Failed States”

Noam Chomsky “Imperial Ambitions”

Noam Chomsky “World Orders Old and New”

Richard Clarke “Against All Enemies”

Barbara Coloroso “Kids Are Worth It” 1995

Robert Dallek “Nixon and Kissinger”

Douglass "JFK and the Unspeakable”

Daniel Ellsberg "Secrets: a Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers”

Richard Gabriel “Operation Peace for Galilee”

James Garbarino “See Jane Hit” 2007

Herman and Chomsky "Manufacturing Consent”

Seymour Hersh “Chain of Command”

Peter Irons “The People’s History of the Supreme Court” 1999

Peter Irons “War Powers”

Peter Irons “God on Trial”

Johnson “Blowback”

Johnson “Sorrows of Empire”

Johnson “Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic”

Catalogue of books available online

Page two: quotes for authors K-Z

God, by his spirit, has revealed many things to His people, but, in almost all cases, He has straightway shut up the vision of the mind. He will let his servants gaze upon eternal things for a moment, but straightaway the vision is closed, and they are left as they were, that they may learn to act by faith, or as the Apostle has it, not walking by sight, but by faith. (p.264)

With that God whom we serve, who holds all things in His hands, that we know anything of; He is the first and the last, the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, who at one survey looks upon all the workmanship of His hands; who has the words of eternal life, and holds the hearts of children of men in His hand, and turns them whithersoever He will, even as the rivers of waters are turned; who commands the earth to perform its revolutions or stand still, at His pleasure; who has given the sun, the planets, the earths, and far distant systems their orbits, their times, and their seasons; whose commands they all obey. With Him abide the true riches.

I will now notice the character who exhibited the power of true riches on the earth, though he himself was in a state of abject poverty, to all human appearances, for he was made poor that we might be made rich and he descended below all things that he might ascend above all things. When the only begotten Son of God was upon the earth, he understood the nature of these elements, how they were brought together to make this world and all things that are thereon, for he helped to make them. He had the power of organizing, what we would call, in a miraculous manner. That which to him is no miracle, is called miraculous by the inhabitants of the earth. (Leonard Arrington “Brigham Young: American Moses” 1985 p.204)

(Brigham Young “Journal of Discourses” v.1 p.270)

In reality there is no such thing as a mystery but to the ignorant. We may also say, there is no such thing in reality, as a miracle, except to those who do not understand the “Alpha and the Omega” of every phenomenon that is made manifest. To a person who thoroughly understands the reasons of all things, and can trace from their effects to their true causes, mystery does not exist. Yet the physical and mental existence of man is a great mystery to him. (Leonard Arrington “Brigham Young: American Moses” 1985 p.204)

(Brigham Young “Journal of Discourses” v.2 p.91)

Our religion embraces chemistry; it embraces all the knowledge of the geologist, and then it goes a little further than their systems of argument, for the Lord Almighty, its author, is the greatest chemist there is. (Brigham Young “Journal of Discourses” v.15 p.127)

Mormonism embraces all truth that is revealed and that is unrevealed, whether religious, political, scientific, or philosophical. Brigham Young Journal of Discourses (Brigham Young “Journal of Discourses” v.1 p.270)

What kind of governor was Brigham in these first months of his territorial governorship? To the federal officers, he was a law unto himself in consequence of his power as church president and the almost complete allegiance of his followers. “In a word,” they said, “he ruled as he pleased, without rival or opposition, for no man dared question his authority.” (Leonard Arrington “Brigham Young: American Moses” 1985 p.229)

Brigham showed an easy flexibility in handling political matters. A good example is his impulsive decision in the middle of a church meeting in 1853 to deal with the political business of reelecting John Bernhisel as delegate to Congress.

It came into my mind when brother Bernhisel was speaking, and the same thing strikes me now, that is, inasmuch as he has done first-rate, as our delegate in Washington, to move that we send him again next season, though it is the Sabbath Day. I understand these things, and say as other people say, “We are Mormons.” We do things that are necessary to be done; when the time comes for us to do them. If we wish to make political speeches, and it is necessary, for the best interest of the cause and kingdom of God, to make them on the Sabbath, we do it. Now, suffer not your prejudices to hurt you, do not suffer this to try you, nor be tempted in consequence of it, nor think we are wandering out of the way, for it is all embraced in our religion, from first to last.

Brother Kimball has seconded the motion, that Doctor Bernhisel be sent back to Washington, as our delegate. All who are in favor of it, raise your right hands. [More than two thousand hands were at once seen above the heads of the congregation.]

This has turned into a caucus meeting. It is all right. I would call for an opposite vote if I thought any person would vote. I will try it, however. [Not a single hand was raised in opposition.] (Leonard Arrington “Brigham Young: American Moses” 1985 p.231)

The transformation of an Jacque Vallee “Dimensions: A Casebook of Alien Contact” scribd

The Physics of High Strangeness Jacques Vallee Eric Davis - Scribd

Jacques Vallee Revelations - Scribd

Jacques Vallee - Messengers of Deception - Scribd

Jacques Vallee. UFOs and Abductions - Scribd

Jacques Vallee selected papers

Joaquim Fernandes, Fina D'Armada Heavenly Lights: The Apparitions of Fatima and the UFO Phenomenon forward at ATS

"The future of religion: secularization, revival, and cult formation" By Rodney Stark, William Sims keyword: UFOs

"Aliens adored: Raël's UFO religion" By Susan J. Palmer keyword Rodney Stark

Aliens Adored - Susan J. Palmer - Scribd

Cults by James R Lewis - Scribd

By his own account, Powell believed strongly in the adage that “you don’t know what you can get away with until you try.”-at the very least an odd rule of conduct for a senior military professional. (Andrew Bacevich “The New American Militarism: How Americans are seduced by war” 2005 p.49)

When Reagan succeeded in ousting Jimmy Carter from office, neoconservatives were quick to claim a share of the credit. A quarter of a century later, the Reagan era remains for neoconservatives a golden moment, at least according to the mythic version of Reagan’s foreign policy.

In fact, however, that is not the way that neoconservatives saw it at the time. For Podhoretz and Commentary, the Reagan era proved to be a massive disappointment, a continuation of the timorous Carter years. As a consequence, the crisis of the preceding decade continued unabated. (Andrew Bacevich “The New American Militarism: How Americans are seduced by war” 2005 p.49)

In a nutshell, they concluded that nothing works like force…..

The operative principle was not to husband power but to put it work-to take a proactive approach. "Military strength alone will not avail," cautioned Kagan, "if we do not use it actively to maintain a world order which both supports and rests upon American hegemony. "61 For neoconservatives like Kagan, the purpose of the Defense Department was no longer to defend the United States or to deter would-be aggressors but to transform the international order by transforming its constituent parts. Norman Podhoretz had opposed U.S. intervention in Vietnam "as a piece of arrogant stupidity" and had criticized in particular the liberal architects of the war for being "only too willing to tell other countries exactly how to organize their political and economic institutions. "61 For the younger generation of neoconservatives, instructing others as to how to organize their countries-employing coercion if need be-was not evidence of arrogant stupidity; it was America's job.

By implication, neoconservatives were no longer inclined to employ force only after having exhausted all other alternatives. In the 1970s and 1980s, the proximate threat posed by the Soviet Union had obliged the United States to exercise a certain self-restraint. Now, with the absence of any counterweight to American power, the need for self-restraint fell away. Indeed, far from being a scourge for humankind, war itself-even, or perhaps especially, preventive war-became in neoconservative eyes an efficacious means to serve idealistic ends. The problem with Bill Clinton in the 1990S was not that he was reluctant to use force but that he was insufficiently bloody-minded. "In Haiti, in Somalia, and elsewhere" where the United States intervened, lamented Robert Kagan, "Clinton and his advisers had the stomach only to be halfway imperialists. When the heat was on, they tended to look for the exits."" Such halfheartedness suggested a defective appreciation of what power could accomplish. Neoconservatives knew better. "Military conquest," enthused Muravchik, "has often proved to be an effective means of implanting democracy." Michael Ledeen went even further, declaring that "the best democracy program ever invented is the U.S. Army. "66 "Peace in this world," Ledeen added, "only follows victory in war." (Andrew Bacevich “The New American Militarism: How Americans are seduced by war” 2005 p.84-5)

Andrew Bacevich “The New American Militarism: How Americans are seduced by war” also cited in the third world traveler

How to achieve this aim? For his part, Carter vowed to put an immediate cap on oil imports. He promised massive new investments to develop alternative sources of energy. He called upon the Congress to pass legislation limiting the use of oil by the nation's utilities and increasing spending on public transportation. But he placed the larger burden squarely in the lap of the American people. The hollowing out of American democracy required a genuinely democratic response. "There is simply no way to avoid sacrifice," he insisted, calling upon citizens as "an act of patriotism" to lower thermostats, observe the speed limit, use carpools, and "park your car one extra day per week."

Carter plainly viewed the imperative of restoring energy independence as an analogue for war. But despite his allusions to metaphorical battles and battle standards, nowhere in his speech did he identify a role for the U.S. military.' For Carter, the "crisis" facing the nation could not have a military solution. That crisis was at root internal rather than external. Resolving it required spiritual and cultural renewal at home rather than deploying U.S. power to create a world order accommodating the nation's dependence upon and growing preoccupation with material resources from abroad. (Andrew Bacevich “The New American Militarism: How Americans are seduced by war” 2005 p.101-2)

(Andrew Bacevich “The New American Militarism: How Americans are seduced by war” also cited in the Third World Traveler

In 1980, Ronald Reagan, although twice married, an indifferent parent, I and an irregular churchgoer, presented himself to evangelicals as one who understood their message and embraced their cause. In private conversation with Falwell, Reagan let it be known that he too believed that "we are approaching Armageddon... maybe not in my lifetime or yours, but in the near future. Campaigning against the incumbent Carter in August 1980, Reagan told the Religious Roundtable's National Affairs Briefing, "I know that you can't endorse me. But... I want you to know that I endorse you." The stratagem worked, to great effect. While Norman Podhoretz and his doughty band of literary intellectuals fancied that they had elected Reagan president in 1980, Jerry Falwell and his far larger evangelical following could make a much stronger claim for actually doing so.

What did Christians get in return for that support? In many respects, as was the case with Reagan’s neoconservative followers, the answer is not much. When it came to rhetoric, evangelicals could always count on Reagan to say the right thing and to say it with evident sincerity. When it came to translating words into action, however, they soon discovered that they could count on very little. (Andrew Bacevich “The New American Militarism: How Americans are seduced by war” 2005 p.136)

It was an Iraqi missile attack on the USS stark on May 17, 1987, that brought things to a head. Iraq claimed that the incident, which killed thirty-seven sailors, had been an accident and offered compensation. However, the Reagan administration used the Stark episode to blame Iran for the escalating violence. (Andrew Bacevich “The New American Militarism: How Americans are seduced by war” 2005 p.187-8)

(Andrew Bacevich “Washington Rules” 2010 p.1-18)

When it came to choosing subordinates, Dulles prized zeal rather than balance. Those he placed in top jobs possessed impressive talents and flawed personalities: Frank Wisner, his deputy director for covert operations and then station chief in London, succumbed to madness and committed suicide; James Jesus Angleton, the alcoholic chief of CIA counterintelligence, famously descended into paranoia; William K. Harvey, station chief in Berlin, toted pearl-handled pistols, consumed a daily pitcher of martinis with lunch, bragged incessantly of his sexual expoits; and Tracy Barnes, a compulsive adventurer, combined extra-ordinary bravery with a complete absence of common sense. Dulles himself was an inveterate womanizer and indifferent father.

Whatever their personal flaws, Dulles’s men shared their chief’s profound sense of duty. Without hesitation or question, they would literally do anything the Agency asked of them. By their own lights they were honorable men, unswervingly committed to a righteous anticommunist crusade. William Colby, one of Dulles’s eventual successors, likened the ethos of the early CIA to “an order of Knights Templar,” out “to save Western freedom from Communist darkness.” (Andrew Bacevich “Washington Rules” 2010 p.39)

No more dangerous threat existed, however, than the possibility that outsiders-not Russians, but Americans- might gain access to the secret world over which the CIA exercised something like a near monopoly. Perpetuating the Agency’s (and the director’s) hold on power demanded the preservation of that monopoly. The prying eyes that caused Dulles most concern belonged not to the president, Congress, or the press-all of whom, if for different reasons, tended to defer to the CIA-but to the American people.

Dulles was determined to refute the proposition that allowing powerful agencies to operate without effective oversight might be at odds with democratic practice. “It is not our intelligence organization which threatens our liberties,” he wrote. “The danger is rather that we will not be adequetly informed of the perils which face us.” Therefore, “the last thing we can afford to do today is to put our intelligence in chains.” Keeping the CIA unchained implied allowing the Agency to decide how much information to dole out and what information to conceal. (Andrew Bacevich “Washington Rules” 2010 p.42-3)

…. worst should occur— to obliterate a city at one blow.”

For this mission everything human and therefore fallible must be dispensed with, must be trained out of them. Systematically the Strategic Air Command seeks to perfect its men, in the hope of honing out human error, doubt, and frailty.

This fact did not deter LeMay. He is a thoroughgoing professional soldier. To him warfare reduces itself to a simple alternative: kill or be killed. He would not hesitate for a moment - indeed he would not consider any moral problems to be involved at all - in unleashing the terrible power that now lies in his hands....LeMay is a tough man: the kind of man the Russians respect.

In May 1956, appearing before a Senate subcommittee, Lemay testified that the Soviet aircraft production was outpacing that of the United States……….The only problem with this flap: Both qualitatively and quantitatively, Soviet air capabilities lagged well behind those of the United States-which Lemay almost certainly knew. (Andrew Bacevich “Washington Rules” 2010 p.49-50)

(Andrew Bacevich “Washington Rules” 2010 excerpts from a new Anti-Federalist

(Andrew Bacevich “Washington Rules” 2010 p.)

(Andrew Bacevich “Washington Rules” 2010 p.)

(Andrew Bacevich “Washington Rules” 2010 p.)

Lemay refused to tolerate freethinking, sloppiness, or lapses in judgment. Dulles valued daring. Lemay demanded conformity-strict adherence to procedures that SAC spelled out in great detail.

….To ensure the survival of freedom, democracy, and liberal values, the Central Intelligence Agency engaged in activities that in our own day would satisfy the definition of state-sponsored terrorism, with Allen Dulles giving every indication that even the dirtiest tricks were acceptable as long as they were perpetrated by the honorable men of the CIA. (Andrew Bacevich “Washington Rules” 2010 p.54-5)

Ted Shackley, a longtime Dulles protégé, made the point explicitly, describing clandestine warfare as “the stitch in time that eliminates bloodier and more costly alternatives.” (Andrew Bacevich “Washington Rules” 2010 p.56-7)

In the action-oriented era, the tempo of CIA activity actually quickened. (Andrew Bacevich “Washington Rules” 2010 p.82)

Fulbright’s purpose in writing the book was to expose as defective Washington’s existing approach to exercising global leadership and to offer an alternative. (Andrew Bacevich “Washington Rules” 2010 p.111)

When he looked at the present, he saw more lies, all of them intended to produce citizens “about as thoughtful as the inhabitants of a second-hand wax museum.” (Andrew Bacevich “Washington Rules” 2010 p.116-7)

“We’re in a generational war.” He himself expected that conflict to last another fifty or a hundred years. (Andrew Bacevich “Washington Rules” 2010 p.183)

Andrew Bacevich “Washington Rules” 2010 Dan Carlin review

Back in 1965 McNamara had believed that Vietnam’s “greatest contribution” was that it was teaching the United States “to go to war without arousing the public ire.” (Andrew Bacevich “Washington Rules” 2010 p.209)

Dwight D. Eisenhower for one would have been appalled. Early in his first term as president, Ike contemplated the awful predicament wrought by the Cold War during its first decade. “What can the world, or any nation in it, hope for,” he asked, “if no turning is found on this dread road?” The president proceeded to answer his own question. The worst to be feared would be a ruinous nuclear war.

The best would be this: a life of perpetual fear and tension; a burden of arms draining the wealth and the labor of all peoples; a wasting of strength that defies the American system or the Soviet system or any system to achieve true abundance and happiness for the peoples of this earth.

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.

The president illustrated his point with specifics:

The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities. It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some fifty miles of concrete pavement.

We pay for a single fighter plane with a half million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people.

This is, I repeat, the best way of life to be found on the road the world has been taking.

This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron. (Andrew Bacevich “Washington Rules” 2010 p.225-6) link to speech at Social Justice Speeches

(Andrew Bacevich “Washington Rules” 2010 p.) review at Daily KO

Andrew Bacevich “Washington Rules” 2010 review from the peoples

The United Nations was created in a mood of popular outrage after the horrors of World War II. Its central purpose was to serve as instrument for maintaining peace in order “to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind.”15 Leading jurists consider the U.N. Charter as the highest embodiment of international law—codifying and superceding existing laws and customs. (Jeremy Brecher, Jill cutler and Brendan Smith “In the Name of Democracy” 2005 p.24) Jeremy Brecher, Jill cutler and Brendan Smith “In the Name of Democracy” for complete article from original source see Center for Economic and Social Rights

As a matter of historical record, the Security Council did consider military intervention in Rwanda but was blocked repeatedly by its permanent members, including the U.S., the U.K., and France. (Jeremy Brecher, Jill cutler and Brendan Smith “In the Name of Democracy” 2005 p.29 for complete text see previous source from Center for Economic and Social Rights)

Jeremy Brecher, Jill cutler and Brendan Smith “In the Name of Democracy” entire article from original source BBC

Q: so you don’t think there was a legal authority for the war? A: I have stated clearly that it was not in conformity with the Security council- with the UN Charter. (Jeremy Brecher, Jill cutler and Brendan Smith “In the Name of Democracy” 2005 p.33) Jeremy Brecher, Jill cutler and Brendan Smith “In the Name of Democracy” entire article from original source BBC

Iraq: Civilians Under Fire

Amnesty International (AI) is deeply concerned about the mounting toll of civilian casualties in Iraq and the reported use of cluster bombs by U.S. forces in heavily populated areas.

The scenes at al-Hilla hospital on 1 April showed that something terrible had happened. (Jeremy Brecher, Jill cutler and Brendan Smith “In the Name of Democracy” 2005 p.39) Jeremy Brecher, Jill cutler and Brendan Smith “In the Name of Democracy” Entire article from original source Amnesty International

U.S. Violations of Occupation Law in Iraq Although Russian, German and French companies built much of Iraq’s infrastructure; the U.S. refuses to import spare parts from these countries, instead contracting with American companies to rebuild entire facilities. (Jeremy Brecher, Jill cutler and Brendan Smith “In the Name of Democracy” 2005 p.63)

One official was quoted as saying, “We don’t kick the [expletive] out of them. We send them to other countries so they can kick the [expletive] out of them.” An official who had supervised the capture and transfer of accused terrorists said "If you don't violate someone's human rights some of the time, you probably aren't doing your job?...I don’t think we want to be promoting a view of zero tolerance on this.” (Jeremy Brecher, Jill cutler and Brendan Smith “In the Name of Democracy” 2005 p.84-97) also quoted in “Blackwater” by Jeremy Skahill Partial Original source is the Washington post

Also quoted in declare (Jeremy Brecher, Jill cutler and Brendan Smith “In the Name of Democracy” 2005 p.84-97 complete article from original source Human Rights Watch)

(Jeremy Brecher, Jill cutler and Brendan Smith “In the Name of Democracy” 2005 p.127 )

(Jeremy Brecher, Jill cutler and Brendan Smith “In the Name of Democracy” 2005 p.128-30 )

Former Assistant attorney General Jay S. Bybee, as the head of the Office of Legal Counsel-an office once known as the conscience of the U>S Department of Justice-issued a formal legal opinion in 2002 interpreting the Convention Against Torture and a related law enacted by Congress prohibiting torture. (Jeremy Brecher, Jill cutler and Brendan Smith “In the Name of Democracy” 2005 p.128 )

The Gonzales Indictment (Jeremy Brecher, Jill cutler and Brendan Smith “In the Name of Democracy” 2005 p.133-5)

Mark Danner (Author): When you have these military reports that are commissioned by the government, they can only look down the chains of command. (Jeremy Brecher, Jill cutler and Brendan Smith “In the Name of Democracy” 2005 p.1)

The great struggles of the twentieth century between liberty and totalitarianism ended with a decisive victory for the forces of freedom- and a single sustainable model for national success: freedom, democracy, and free enterprise. (Jeremy Brecher, Jill cutler and Brendan Smith “In the Name of Democracy” 2005 p.143-7)

Congressional research Service report on the use of Preventive Military Force International Socialist Review on the Shock doctrine AKA the Bush Doctrine The Coming Wars by Seymour Hersh

George W. Bush’s reëlection was not his only victory last fall. The President and his national-security advisers have consolidated control over the military and intelligence communities’ strategic analyses and covert operations to a degree unmatched since the rise of the post-Second World War national-security state. Bush has an aggressive and ambitious agenda for using that control—against the mullahs in Iran and against targets in the ongoing war on terrorism—during his second term. The C.I.A. will continue to be downgraded, and the agency will increasingly serve, as one government consultant with close ties to the Pentagon put it, as “facilitators” of policy emanating from President Bush and Vice-President Dick Cheney. This process is well under way. (Jeremy Brecher, Jill cutler and Brendan Smith “In the Name of Democracy” 2005 p.148-52)

You might think that the debacle in Iraq would be enough for the Pentagon, that it would not be in the mood to seek out new routes to unnecessary wars for the United States to fight. (Jeremy Brecher, Jill cutler and Brendan Smith “In the Name of Democracy” 2005 p.153-4)

Terminating the Bush Juggernaut (Jeremy Brecher, Jill cutler and Brendan Smith “In the Name of Democracy” 2005 p.251)

Morality, international law, the U.S. constitution, and common sense provide many compelling reasons to take affirmative measures to bring the Bush administration’s war crimes to a halt. (Jeremy Brecher, Jill cutler and Brendan Smith “In the Name of Democracy” 2005 p.248)

The scope and depth of the American antiwar movement, which had marched and lobbied and blocked traffic throughout the country in 2003, was most strikingly revealed, I think, by its enormous effort in 2004 to elect a candidate who supported the war. Had Howard Dean been the nominee, instead of the tedious and finger-to-the-wind “centrist” John Kerry, (Jeremy Brecher, Jill cutler and Brendan Smith “In the Name of Democracy” 2005 p.275)

New Hampshire peace Action New Hampshire peace Action

We have talked to many veterans from various wars who have told us that there I a quota they have to fulfill every month, and that it really doesn’t matter if they lie because in the contract the new recruit signs there is a clause that protects the U.S. military from being held accountable for any remark made by the recruiter. (Jeremy Brecher, Jill cutler and Brendan Smith “In the Name of Democracy” 2005 p.297-8)

At the Nuremberg tribunals that followed World War II, America insisted that the surviving leaders of Nazi Germany and imperial Japan be neither shot when captured nor set free, but rather prosecuted as war criminals in a court of law that gave those accused a full opportunity to present a defense. (Jeremy Brecher, Jill cutler and Brendan Smith “In the Name of Democracy” 2005 p.301)

“If I were doing the Security Council today, I’d have one permanent member because that’s the real reflection of the distribution of power in the world…[and that member would be] the United States.” (Jeremy Brecher, Jill cutler and Brendan Smith “In the Name of Democracy” 2005 p.310) also cited on Source Watch

Just what is a war Criminal? (Jeremy Brecher, Jill cutler and Brendan Smith “In the Name of Democracy” 2005 p.)

“It is a big mistake for us to grant any validity to international law even when it may seem in our short-term interest to do so- because over the long term… those who think that international law realy means anything are those who want to constrict the united States.” Original source ( (Jeremy Brecher, Jill cutler and Brendan Smith “In the Name of Democracy” 2005 p.)

also cited at Insights

Jeremy Brecher, Jill cutler and Brendan Smith “In the Name of Democracy” American Empire Project

The secret visit did achieve its basic purpose: it conveyed to the Chinese that American support for the democratic upheaval in Poland did not apply to China. ( Zbigniew Brzezinski “Second Chance” 2007 p.55)

I proposed a modest covert program designed to support the quest for independence by the non-Russian nations of the Soviet Union. ( Zbigniew Brzezinski “Second Chance” 2007 p.60)

The paradox of an objectively secure and mighty America, victorious in the Cold War, searching for global demons to justify its subjective insecurity created fertile soil for the fears that became so pervasive after 9/11. ( Zbigniew Brzezinski “Second Chance” 2007 p.89)

The arrogance that swept the Bush White House was captured in a story in the New York Times Magazine by Ron Suskind (October 2004) in which a senior Bush aide derisively dismissed criticism from what he called the “reality-based community.” Said the official, “That’s not the way the world really works anymore….We are an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality -- judiciously, as you will -- we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.'' ( Zbigniew Brzezinski “Second Chance” 2007 p.137)

“ Faith, Certainty and the Presidency of George W. Bush” By RON SUSKIND NYT 10/17/04

Google officials quote includes Daily KO, Democratic Underground and well over 500 other sites

Zbigniew Brzezinski “Second Chance” 2007 Business book mall quotes poorly organized

Third World youth are particularly volatile. The rapidly expanding demographic bulge in the twenty-five and under age bracket represents a huge mass of impatience. This groups revolutionary spearhead is likely to emerge from among the millions of students concentrated in the often intellectually dubious tertiary-level educational levels of developing countries. Semimobilized in large congregations and connected by the internet, they are positioned to reply, on a far vaster scale, what occurred years earlier in Mexico City and Tiananmen Square. Revolutionaries-in-waiting, they represent the equivalent of the militant proletariat of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

To sum up, the political awakening is now global in geographic scope, comprehensive in social scale (with only remote peasant communities still particularly passive), strikingly youthful in demographic profile and thus receptive to rapid political mobilization, and transnational in sources of inspiration because of the cumulative impact of literacy and mass communications. As a result, modern populist passions can be aroused even against a distant target, despite the absence of a unifying doctrine such as Marxism.

Only by identifying itself with the idea of universal human dignity—with its basic requirement of respect for culturally diverse political, social, and religious emanations—can America overcome the risk that the global political awakening will turn against it. Human dignity encompasses freedom and democracy but goes beyond them. It involves social justice, geneder equality, and, above all, respect for the worlds cultural and religious mosaic. That is yet another reason why impatient democratization, imposed from outside, is doomed to fail. Stable liberal democracy has to be nurtured by stages and fostered from within. ( Zbigniew Brzezinski “Second Chance” 2007 p.203-4)

“Military Insanity & Homeland Insecurity” includes “Why They Hate Us (I & II): on military occupation” by Stephen Walt and many others Blog's List includes “On the New Power Elite Shaping the New World Order” By - Ziad K. Abdelnour

“ Are We Witnessing the Start of a Global Revolution? North Africa and the Global Political Awakening, Part 1” By Andrew Gavin Marshall

( previous blog also posted on Global Illumination Council

Zbigniew Brzezinski “Second Chance” 2007 International Socialist Review

“Obama Campaign Linked To Chechen Terrorism” at Webster Tarpley blog

Given America’s growing global indebtedness (it is now borrowing some 80 percent of the world’s savings) and huge trade deficits, a major financial crisis, especially in an atmosphere of emotionally charged and globally pervasive anti-American feeling, could have dire consequences for America’s well-being and security. The euro is becoming a serious rival to the dollar and there is talk of an Asian counterpart to both. A hostile Asia and a self-absorbed Europe could as some point become less inclined to continue financing U.S debt ( Zbigniew Brzezinski “Second Chance” 2007 p.211-2)

( Zbigniew Brzezinski “Second Chance” 2007 cited at Above Top Secret

….Murray carried the Calvinist idea of irresistible grace to its logical conclusion and included every soul within the circle of divine love.59

Asael, like Murray, put his trust in salvation by grace alone. In “A few words of advice" he (Richard L. Bushman “Joseph Smith and the Beginnings of Mormonism” 1988 p.27)

(Richard L. Bushman “Joseph Smith and the Beginnings of Mormonism” 1988 p.35)

My mind was much agitated during the whole night. Sometimes I contemplated heaven and heavenly things; then my thoughts would turn upon those of earth — my babes and my companion. During this night I made a solemn covenant with God, (Richard L. Bushman “Joseph Smith and the Beginnings of Mormonism” 1988 p.37)

Richard L. Bushman “Joseph Smith and the Beginnings of Mormonism” 1988 also cited in “Rough Stone” p. 24

The reason became clear in one of the prophetic dreams, which Lucy took seriously enough to record verbatim. In the first dream in Royalton around 1811, Joseph, Sr., found himself traveling in a barren field covered with dead fallen (Richard L. Bushman “Joseph Smith and the Beginnings of Mormonism” 1988 p.39)

(Richard L. Bushman “Joseph Smith and the Beginnings of Mormonism” 1988 p.50)

(Richard L. Bushman “Joseph Smith and the Beginnings of Mormonism” 1988 p.52)

Joseph Smith, Jr., became to be concerned about religion “at about the age of twelve years.”….. “My mind became seriously imprest with regard to all important concerns for the welfare of my immortal Soul,” …..

In their sensitive and unsettled frames of mind, the Smiths responded to the stimulus of the revival preaching much as they had before. At some unspecified date Lucy finally overcame her reservations and joined the Western Presbyterian Church in Palmyra, probably the best established church in the village and before 1823 the only one with a building of its own. Hyrum, Sophronia, and Samuel joined with her.32 Joseph, Sr., and [p.54] the other sons held back. Joseph, Jr., "became somewhat partial to the Methodist sect," and came close to joining, but could not overcome his reservations. Two printer's apprentices at the Palmyra Register who knew Joseph remembered his Methodist leanings. One said he caught "a spark of Methodism in the camp meeting, away down in the woods, on the Vienna road." The other remembered that Joseph joined the probationary class of the Palmyra Methodist Church. Joseph himself confessed "some desire to be united with them." He later said "he wanted to get religion too, wanted to feel and shout like the rest but could feel nothing."33……

For, notwithstanding the great love which the converts to these different faiths expressed at the time of their conversion, and the great zeal manifested by the respective clergy, who were active in getting up and promoting this extraordinary scene of religious feeling, in order to have everybody converted, as they were pleased to call it, let them join what sect they pleased; yet when the converts began to file off, some to one party and some to another, it was seen that the seemingly good feelings of both the priests and the converts were more bpretended than real; for a scene of great confusion and bad feeling ensued—priest contending against priest, and convert against convert; so that all their good feelings one for another, if they ever had any, were entirely lost in a strife of words and a contest about opinions. (Richard L. Bushman “Joseph Smith and the Beginnings of Mormonism” 1988 p.53-5)

“History of Joseph Smith, the Prophet” BH Roberts

Additioanl Google excerpts

By 1832 when he first wrote it down Joseph knew that his vision in 1820 was one of the steps in “the rise of the Church and the eve of time,” along with Moroni’s visit, the restoration of the Aaronic Priesthood, and the reception of the “high Priesthood.” (Richard L. Bushman “Joseph Smith and the Beginnings of Mormonism” 1988 p.56)

Like countless other revival subjects who had come under conviction Joseph had received assurance of forgiveness… Three years later in 1835 and again in another account recorded in 1838, experience had enlarged his perspective……

Joseph did tell a Methodist preacher about the vision. Newly reborn people customarily talked over their experiences with a clergyman to test the validity of the conversion. The preacher's contempt shocked Joseph. Standing on the margins of the evangelical churches, Joseph may not have recognized the ill repute of visionaries. The preacher reacted quickly, not because of the strangeness of Joseph's story but because of its familiarity. Subjects of revivals all too often claimed to have seen visions. In 1825 a teacher in the Palmyra Academy said he saw Christ descend "in a glare of brightness exceeding tenfold the brilliancy of the meridian Sun." The Wayne Sentinel in 1823 reported Asa Wild's vision of Christ in Amsterdam, New York, and the message that all denominations were corrupt. At various other times and places, beginning early in the Protestant era, religious eccentrics claimed visits from divinity. Nathan Cole, a Wetherfield, Connecticut, farmer and carpenter, recorded in his “Spiritual Travels” that in 1741 “God appeared unto me and made me Skringe; before whose face the heavens and the earth fled away; and I was shrinked into nothing….”

The visions themselves did not disturb the established clergy so much as the messages that the visionaries claimed to receive. Too often the visions justified a breach of the moral code or a sharp departure in doctrine. By Joseph's day, any vision was automatically suspect, whatever its content. "No person is warranted from the word of God," a writer in the Connecticut Evangelical Magazine said in 1805, "to publish to the world the discoveries of heaven or hell which he supposes he has had in a dream, or trance, or vision. Were any thing of this kind to be made known to men, we may be assured it would have been done by the apostles, when they were penning the gospel history." The only acceptable message was assurance of forgiveness and a promise of grace. Joseph's report on the divine rejection of all creeds and churches would have sounded all too familiar to the Methodist evangelical, who repeated the conventional point that "all such things had ceased with the Apostles and that there never would be any more of them."51 (Richard L. Bushman “Joseph Smith and the Beginnings of Mormonism” 1988 p.57-9)

His remorse came to a head in the fall of 1823. On September 21, after the others in the crowded little cabin had gone to sleep, Joseph, Jr., remained awake to pray "to Almighty God for forgiveness of all my sins and follies…..

He had a loose robe of the most exquisite whiteness. It was whiteness beyond anything earthly I had ever seen; nor do I believe that any earthly thing could be made to appear so exceedingly white and brilliant. His hands were naked, and his arms also, a little above the wrist; so, also, were his feet naked, as were his legs, a little above the ankles. His head and neck were also bare. I could discover that he had no other clothing on but this robe, as it was open, so that I could see into his bosom. Not only was his robe exceedingly white, but his whole person was glorious beyond description, and his countenance truly like lightning. (Richard L. Bushman “Joseph Smith and the Beginnings of Mormonism” 1988 p.61)

Joseph Knight Jr., said his father thought Joseph Smith, Jr., was “the best hand he ever hired.” …. Stowell believed he had located the site of an ancient Spanish mine where coins had been minted and buried……

…with orthodox Christian faith in the minds of common people.92

The forces of eighteenth-century rationalism were never quite powerful enough to suppress the belief in supernatural powers aiding and opposing human enterprise. The educated representatives of enlightened thought, newspaper editors and ministers particularly, scoffed at the superstitions of common people without completely purging them. The scorn of the polite world put the Palmyra and Manchester money diggers in a dilemma. They dared not openly describe their resort to magic for [p.72] fear of ridicule from the fashionably educated, and yet they could not overcome their fascination with the lore that seeped through to them from the past. Their embarrassment shows in the affidavits Hurlbut collected. William Stafford, who admitted participation in two "nocturnal excursions," claimed he thought the idea visionary all along, but "being prompted by curiosity, I at length accepted of their invitations." Peter Ingersoll made much more elaborate excuses. One time he went along because it was lunchtime, his oxen were eating, and he was at leisure. Secretly, though, he claimed to be laughing up his sleeve: "This was rare sport for me." Another time he said he "thought it best to conceal my feelings, preferring to appear the dupe of my credulity, than to expose myself to his resentment. . . ." Willard Chase and the Staffords said nothing about their personal quests for treasure and reliance on stones other than Joseph's.93 Despite the disdain of the educated, ordinary people apparently had no difficulty reconciling Christianity with magic. Willard Chase, perhaps the most vigorous of the Palmyra money diggers, was a Methodist class leader at the time he knew the Smiths, and in his obituary was described as a minister. When Josiah Stowell employed Joseph to use his seerstone to find Spanish bullion, Stowell was an upright Presbyterian and an honored man in his community. The so-called credulity of the money diggers can be read as a sign of their faith in the reality of the invisible powers described in scripture. Christian belief in angels and devils made it easy to believe in guardian spirits and magical powers.94……

When he failed after three attempts, Joseph spontaneously cried out, “Why can I not obtain this book.” Moroni then appeared to say, “Because you have not kept the commandments of the Lord.” ……

The transcripts of a purported trial in March, 1826, in South Bainbridge sheds further light on the Smith family’s state of mind on the eve of receiving the plates…… (Richard L. Bushman “Joseph Smith and the Beginnings of Mormonism” 1988 p.69-75)

Apparently without returning to Harmony…. In Harmony Joseph and Emma met Isaac Hale for the first time since the marriage. The old man tearfully rebuked Joseph for stealing his daughter and said he would rather follow her to her grave than have her married to Joseph…. (Richard L. Bushman “Joseph Smith and the Beginnings of Mormonism” 1988 p.77)

In September, 1827, according to Joseph Knight, ……Knight remembered Joseph saying that the angel told him "if he would Do right according to the will of God, he mite obtain [the plates] the 22nt day of September Next and if not he never would have them." According to Knight, he was at….. (Richard L. Bushman “Joseph Smith and the Beginnings of Mormonism” 1988 p.81)

Lucy Smith said that Mrs. Harris dreamed of an angel and the plates that night, and awoke the next morning believing. She offered to lend Joseph $28 and, to satisfy her, Joseph accepted. Martin himself arrived a few days later when Joseph was off working for Peter Ingersoll to earn some flour….

Martin hefted the box containing the plates and went home. He later said that he went to his bedroom, prayed, and was shown by God that “it was his work, it was his work and that it was designed to bring the fullness of his gospel to the gentiles….”

Martin “the Lord appeared unto him…. He must go to NYC with the characters linguist… (Richard L. Bushman “Joseph Smith and the Beginnings of Mormonism” 1988 p.84-6)

Anthon and Harris differ drastically in their accounts of what happened. Anthon wrote letters in 1834 and 1841 to critics of the Mormons, denying that he had verified Joseph’s translation or the authenticity of the characters. Anthon claimed he saw through the hoax at once, feared that Martin was about to be cheated of his money, and warned the “simple-hearted farmer” to beware of rogues. Unfortunately Anthon contradicts himself on an important detail. In the first letter Anthon said he refused to give Harris a written opinion; according to the second, the opinion was written “without any hesitation,” in an attempt to expose the fraud. (Richard L. Bushman “Joseph Smith and the Beginnings of Mormonism” 1988 p.) Even in the midst of the translation questions flickered across Martin’s mind. During a break the two men sometimes went to the river to throw stones. (Richard L. Bushman “Joseph Smith and the Beginnings of Mormonism” 1988 p.90)

Emma said no. Joseph at that time of his life "could neither write nor dictate a coherent and well worded ... The whole thing was as marvelous to Emma as to any one. I am satisfied that no man could have dictated the writing of the manuscripts unless he ... Lucy Smith said Oliver became so obsessed with the story he heard from the Smiths (Richard L. Bushman “Joseph Smith and the Beginnings of Mormonism” 1988 p.96)

Richard L. Bushman “Joseph Smith and the Beginnings of Mormonism” Read the Book of Mormon By David Frischknecht at LDS Business College Devotional

(Richard L. Bushman “Joseph Smith and the Beginnings of Mormonism” Joseph's translation shows remarkable consistency By Michael R. Ash, For the Deseret News

(Richard L. Bushman “Joseph Smith and the Beginnings of Mormonism” additional Google results of quote

When Martin had taken dictation from Joseph, they hung a blanket between them to prevent Martin from inadvertently catching a glimpse of the plates contrary to the angel’s instructions. By the time Oliver arrived, they did not always follow that rule….

…..A revelation put Oliver’s doubts to rest….. (Richard L. Bushman “Joseph Smith and the Beginnings of Mormonism” 1988 p.97)

“When Martin Harris had taken dictation from Joseph, they at first hung a blanket between them to prevent Harris from inadvertently catching a glimpse of the plates, which were open on a table in the room. By the time Cowdery arrived, translator and scribe were no longer separated. Emma said she sat at the same table with Joseph, writing as he dictated, with nothing between them, and the plates wrapped in a linen cloth on the table. When Cowdery took up the job of scribe, he and Joseph translated in the same room where Emma was working. Joseph looked in the seerstone, and the plates lay covered on the table. Neither Joseph nor Oliver explained how translation worked, but Joseph did not pretend to look at the ‘reformed Egyptian’ words, the language on the plates, according to the book’s own description. The plates lay covered on the table, while Joseph’s head was in a hat looking at the seerstone, which by this time had replaced the interpreters.” (Richard Bushman, Rough Stone Rolling, pp. 71-72) “When he [Joseph Smith] ‘translated’ the Book of Mormon, he did not read from the gold plates; he looked into crystals of the Urim and Thummim or gazed at the seerstone. The words came by inspiration, not by reading the characters on the plates…Joseph translated Abraham as he had the characters on the gold plates, by knowing the meaning without actually knowing the plates’ language.” (Rough Stone Rolling, pages 291-292) debate at Mormanity

Later in April, in a subsequent revelation, Oliver was promised that by asking in faith he would receive "a knowledge concerning the engravings of old records (Richard L. Bushman “Joseph Smith and the Beginnings of Mormonism” 1988 p.99)

In the middle of the prayer, in the brightness of day, an angel descended in a cloud of light. He said he was John the Baptist and that he had been sent by Peter, James and John. Joseph and Oliver (Richard L. Bushman “Joseph Smith and the Beginnings of Mormonism” 1988 p.100-1)

Mary Whitmore, Peter Sr,’s wife, experienced her own miracle, according to David….. She met an old man who said, “you have been faithful and diligent [sic] in your labors, but you are tired because of the increase in your toil; it is proper therefore that you should receive a witness that your faith may be strengthened." The old man then showed Mary Whitmore the plates, which had been hidden in the barn for safe keeping. (Richard L. Bushman “Joseph Smith and the Beginnings of Mormonism” 1988 p.103 see above link for Google quote) this goes to Mary Whitmore page at Whitmore College

Joseph knew his story was difficult to accept….

The March revelation answering Martin's query emphasized that "I, the Lord, am God, and have given these things unto you, my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., and have commanded you that you should stand a witness of these things (Richard L. Bushman “Joseph Smith and the Beginnings of Mormonism” 1988 p.104-5)

additional quotes from Google books

While Book of Mormon critics complained about the absence of miraculous proof, they had some explaining of their own to do. How did these 584 pages of text come to issue from the mind of an untaught, indolent ignoramus, notable only for his money-digging escapades? That caricature had to be reconciled with the large, complex, intense volume that Mormons carried in their satchels. (Richard L. Bushman “Joseph Smith and the Beginnings of Mormonism” 1988 p.124)

(Richard L. Bushman “Joseph Smith and the Beginnings of Mormonism” also cited in "Believing history: Latter-day Saint essays" By Richard L. Bushman, Reid Larkin Neilson, Jed Woodworth

I. Woodridge Riley “The Founder of Mormonism” (Richard L. Bushman “Joseph Smith and the Beginnings of Mormonism” 1988 p.)

The Book of Mormon offered as reasonable an explanation as any for the time. From the seventeenth century on, ministers in Europe and America had argued the Indians were Israelites on the grounds of similarities in Hebrew (Richard L. Bushman “Joseph Smith and the Beginnings of Mormonism” 1988 p.134) same excerpt cited in “Believing history: Latter-day Saint essays” p.123 By Richard L. Bushman, Reid Larkin Neilson, Jed Woodworth

The Book of Mormon's mission was to convert the Indian fragment of Israel along with all the other dispersed remnants, ... The reason was that Mormons and a Congregational minister like Ethan Smith could never agree on the role of the (Richard L. Bushman “Joseph Smith and the Beginnings of Mormonism” 1988 p.138)

Parley Pratt said “as I ?

read, the spirit of the Lord was upon me, and I knew and comprehended that the book was true, as plainly and manifestly as a man comprehends and knows that he exists.”….

... Parley Pratt remembered speaking (Richard L. Bushman “Joseph Smith and the Beginnings of Mormonism” 1988 p.140-1)

(Richard L. Bushman “Joseph Smith and the Beginnings of Mormonism” additional Google excerpts including rough Stone p. 107

…"The Book of Mormon and the holy scriptures are given of me," a revelation said, "for your instruction."

On the other hand, the Book of Mormon did not become a handbook for doctrine and ecclesiastical practice…..

…Mormons were much more likely to seek revelations from their prophet… (Richard L. Bushman “Joseph Smith and the Beginnings of Mormonism” 1988 p.142)

It was not narrowly conceived as a mechanism for spreading the Book of Mormon or converting the Indians; rather, it was to call men back to Christ in the full power of the Gospel. A revelation to David Whitmer and Oliver Cowdery in June, 1829, expressed the thrust of the work and the message:

Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God; For, behold, the Lord your Redeemer suffered death in the flesh; wherefore he suffered the pain of all men, that all men might repent and come unto him. And he hath risen again from the dead, that he might bring all men unto him, on conditions of repentance. And how great is his joy in the soul that repenteth! Wherefore, you are called to cry repentance unto this people. And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father! (Richard L. Bushman “Joseph Smith and the Beginnings of Mormonism” 1988 p.145-6)

"Doctrine and Covenants of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints" at Sacred Texts 18. Revelation to Joseph Smith, Oliver Cowdery, and David Whitmer, Fayette, New York, June 1829.

The revelation told Martin to repent, not to covet his neighbor’s wife, nor to seek his neighbor’s life. In direct answer to his request, he was commanded not to "covet thine own property, but impart it freely to the printing of the Book of Mormon. . . ." The revelation also spoke on a doctrinal point that may have been bothering him (Richard L. Bushman “Joseph Smith and the Beginnings of Mormonism” 1988 p.155)

Joseph Through the summer Oliver Cowdery and the Whitmer family began to conceive of themselves as independent authorities with the right to correct Joseph and receive revelation. Oliver had witnessed at least three major revelations with (Richard L. Bushman “Joseph Smith and the Beginnings of Mormonism” 1988 p.166)

In 1851 Franklin D. Richards published the words of Moses and the Prophecy of Enoch in England, and in 1880 they were officially accepted as scripture by the church in Utah.22 The delay in publication was not an indication of the (Richard L. Bushman “Joseph Smith and the Beginnings of Mormonism” 1988 p.187)

"Doctrine and Covenants of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints" at Sacred Texts

Here are some additional quotations from the book: "(In the First Vision) Joseph had two questions in his mind: which church was right, and how to be saved. The two questions were actually one." (Pg. 54) "In his first narrative Joseph said only that he saw the Lord in the light and heard His words of forgiveness... By 1838 Joseph understood how significant it was that God the Father had appeared to introduce the Son. A new era in history began at that moment. Joseph's personal salvation paled in comparison to the fact that the God of Heaven had set His hand again to open a new dispensation." (Pg. 57) "For a time Joseph probably used the (seer) stone to help people find lost property and other hidden things, and his reputation reached (Josiah) Stowell... All of this was later turned against Joseph Smith." (Pg. 69-70) "The very existence of a (1826) trial record, if it is indeed authentic, attests to the popular interest in stone looking and treasure hunting." (Pg. 75) "Even in the midst of translation questions flickered across Martin's mind. During a break the two men sometimes went to the river to throw stones. Once Martin found one that resembled the seerstone and made a substitution without Joseph's noticing." (Pg. 90) "While Book of Mormon critics complained about the absence of miraculous proof, they had some explaining of their own to do. How did these 584 pages of text come to issue from the mind of an untaught, indolent ignoramus, notable only for his money-digging escapades? That caricature had to be reconciled with the large, complex, intense volume that Mormons carried in their satchels." (Pg. 124) "Almost everything Ethan Smith (in View of the Hebrews 1825) worked so industriously to prove, the Book of Mormon disproved or disregarded." (Pg. 136) "Alexander Campbell (in his Delusions: an analysis of the Book of Mormon : with an examination of its internal and external evidences, and a refutation of its pretences to divine authority ...) thought the Book of Mormon was Joseph Smith's attempt to decide 'all the great controversies,' but neither Joseph nor the early Mormons used the book that way. Mormons were much more likely to seek revelation through their Prophet. Despite the effort that went into the translation, Joseph Smith did not make the book the foundation of the church." (Pg. 142) (Richard L. Bushman “Joseph Smith and the Beginnings of Mormonism” excerpts from Amazon review

"Cowdery, Oliver" Richard Lloyd Anderson Provo, Utah: Maxwell Institute



Edgefield . . . has had more dashing, brilliant, Romantic figures, statesmen, orators, soldiers, adventurers, daredevils, than any county of South Carolina, if not any rural county in America . . . They gave to their village and county a character that was South Carolinian, more intense, more fiery, than was found elsewhere.

William Watts Bell, The State That Forgot

IN EARLY NOVEMBER 1781, with the outcome of the American Revolution much in doubt, Captain James Butler of the South Carolina militia got word that a raiding party of Tory loyalists had seized a herd of cattle and a bevy of horses from his neighbors. His fellow settlers at Mount Willing, little more than a forest clearing in the backcountry wilderness, urged him to lead a force to pursue the marauders. Butler demurred. He had been released from eighteen months in a British jail in Charleston only weeks before. He had suffered enough, he said, and his farm needed tending.

Butler had immigrated to the South Carolina backcountry in the early 1760s over the great wagon trail that led from Pennsylvania through the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, then the most heavily traveled road in America. With him came his wife, two sisters, and a growing family, which now numbered eight children in all. The Butlers were of Scotch-Irish descent, part of a huge wave of 250,000 immigrants who arrived in Pennsylvania between 1715 and 1775 from the north of England, Scotland, and northern Ireland. They spoke English, not Gaelic, but had a lilting cadence in their voices, an accent preserved in the speech of the South today. These Scotch-Irish were a poor but proud people who had left their homelands after centuries of incessant warfare. In temperament, they were tough, blunt, touchy, hard-drinking, and pugnacious.

The Butlers' new land in South Carolina was promising. It lay halfway between the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Atlantic Ocean in what would become Edgefield County. There were great primeval forests of oak and hickory and endless stretches of longleaf pine. In the spring, the undergrowth was clothed in splashes of pink, white, and magenta by dogwood and azaleas. Swarms of wild turkeys, geese, ducks, and pigeons darkened the sky. Everywhere there was an abundance of small streams and rivers for water. Along their banks, stands of sugarcane grew in profusion, often reaching higher than a man's head. The red clay soil was rich, good for growing corn and grazing cattle and horses. Some of the settlers experimented with cotton, but until Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin across the nearby Savannah River in Georgia in 1793, separating the seeds from the fiber was too difficult to make it a profitable crop. Still, a few of this first generation in the backcountry, including the Butlers, had already acquired enough wealth to buy black slaves.

But if the land was rich, life had proven vicious. Since 1760, spanning the whole time the Butlers had been in South Carolina, the area around them had been engaged in some of the cruelest fighting in American history. The conflict had started with a massacre in 1760 by Cherokee Indians that killed scores of settlers. In one attack, the seventy-six-year-old grandmother of John C. Calhoun, a future vice president of the United States and the greatest of all the Carolinians, was murdered in an ambush with twenty-two other people.

By 1761, when the Cherokee were defeated, much of the backcountry was devastated. Homeless veterans formed outlaw gangs that abducted young women from their villages and tortured wealthy planters and merchants to make them reveal where they had hidden their valuables. Infuriated by this lawlessness, the more respectable settlers formed themselves into "Regulators" to break up the gangs. It was the first organized vigilante justice in America.

The Regulators succeeded. But they were so brutal that the leading historian of the movement, Richard Maxwell Brown, has argued that "they introduced the strain of violence and extremism that was to be the curse of the upcountry and the nemesis of South Carolina" for more than a century. Often they were sadistic. One group of fifty Regulators who captured a "roguish and troublesome" fellow, said to be a horse thief, stripped him and tied him to a tree with a wagon chain. Then they each took turns giving him ten lashes, for a bloody total of five hundred stripes, to the accompaniment of a drum and fiddle.

An uneasy calm ensued in the early 1770s, but the fighting erupted even more violently with the advent of the American Revolution in 1775. Along with the battles between the Continental and British armies, there was a guerrilla war of family against family and neighbor against neighbor; it was carried on by ambush, atrocity, and plunder. "No conflict within the borders of the United States has surpassed the South Carolina Back Country civil war in cruelty and bitterness," it has been said.

Some of the militia on both sides--the Tories and the Revolutionaries, or Whigs--were in the war explicitly for booty. Two of the leading South Carolina Whig officers, Andrew Pickens and Thomas Sumter, made plunder part of their troops' pay. "Each Colonel to receive three grown negroes and one small negro," one set of instructions advertised. "Each Major to receive three grown negroes; Captain two grown negroes; Lieutenants one large and one small negro; the Staff one large and one small negro; the Sergeants one and a quarter negro; each private one grown negro."

The most sanguinary episode in the backcountry feuding came in 1781 as a troop of three hundred Tory militia cavalry under Major William Cunningham, known as "Bloody Bill," moved out of British headquarters in Charleston, passed through the American lines, and advanced up the Saluda River on Mount Willing, where the Butlers lived. In background, Cunningham was much like Captain Butler. He, too, was of Scotch-Irish descent and had emigrated down the wagon trail from Pennsylvania and Virginia, settling with a group of his relatives only a few miles from Mount Willing. He had fought with Butler in some of the same battles against the Cherokee and at the outset of the Revolution had joined the colonists against the British. But he changed sides abruptly in 1778 after he received word that his brother, who was lame and an epileptic, had been whipped to death by a Whig militia captain.

On a vengeful raid, Bloody Bill's troop stole the horses and cattle from Captain Butler's neighbors. Butler's reluctance to join in the pursuit was finally overcome by a plea from his nineteen-year-old son, James, who refused to take part in the expedition unless his experienced father headed it. The Revolutionaries soon overtook a small band of Cunningham's raiders and recaptured their animals. The elated men stopped at dusk at a tavern ten miles southeast of Mount Willing near Cloud's Creek. The creek itself was named for a family that had been killed by the Cherokee a few years earlier. Thinking themselves safe, and unaware of the size of the rest of Bloody Bill's force, the colonists passed the night drinking happily, without posting a sentinel.

Early the next morning, while still drunk, Butler's men were roused by the tavernkeeper's daughter, who saw Cunningham's troops approaching. It was three hundred against thirty, and Cunningham had them surrounded. The Tory major demanded a surrender. But the younger James Butler was suspicious of the enemy commander and told his companions that he "would settle the terms of the capitulation." At that, he fired his flintlock rifle, killing a Tory and setting off a general fusillade. James himself was mortally wounded while he knelt to prepare a second shot. As he lay dying, he handed the rifle to his father, who kept firing until he had exhausted all the balls in his pouch.

An unconditional surrender was arranged. The Revolutionaries were made to stand on a ladder suspended as a bench, and Bloody Bill then ordered that they all be put "to the unsparing sword." Captain Butler grabbed a pitchfork and tried to defend himself, until a saber stroke severed his right hand. Only two of the thirty men escaped.

Cunningham continued his raid up the Saluda River, massacring several more groups of settlers. At Mount Willing, Mrs. Sarah Smith, a sister of Captain Butler's, led a group of wives, mothers, and sisters to bury the dead. Only Captain Butler, with his severed hand, and his son were recognizable. The rest of the men were placed in a common grave, dug by the victims' slaves.

Major Cunningham fled South Carolina after the Revolution; one of his lieutenants, Matthew Love, did not. In November 1784, three years to the day after the Cloud's Creek massacre, Love was pardoned by a judge in accordance with the terms of the peace treaty with England. A crowd led by Butler's oldest son, William, was waiting at the courthouse. While the sheriff watched, the mob took Love outside and hanged him from a tree.

It was not until almost a century later, after the Civil War, that the African-Americans kept as slaves at Mount Willing were publicly identified. Before emancipation, virtually no records gave the surnames of slaves in South Carolina because, by law, slaves were deemed "chattels personal in the hands of their owners." As a South Carolina court succinctly put it, "they are, generally speaking, not considered as persons but as things." When slaveholders referred to their bondsmen at all, on bills of sale or in inventories of their plantations, they listed only the slave's first name. But in 1868, the name of Willie Bosket's great-great-grandfather, Aaron Bosket, appeared on the voter registration rolls for Mount Willing precinct, Edgefield County. It was the first election in which the former slaves were allowed to vote and the first public recording of Willie's family. Willie's ancestors had not chosen to live in Edgefield--they had been sold into slavery there--and legally they did not exist. Nonetheless, they tilled Edgefield soil, and as the years passed and generations of Boskers followed one another, they came to feel that the county was their home as much as it was the Butlers'. Like the white families, they came to be part of Edgefield. Aaron, born into hard servitude, had a phrase for it that he took from an old spiritual: "We are all God's children."

THE CLOUD'S CREEK MASSACRE and the era of violence in the backcountry from 1760 to the 1780s left an unhappy stamp on the early settlers. The physical destruction alone was awful; Edgefield was a wasteland. A minister who had fled another heavily fought-over district along the coast and returned at the end of the war found that "all was desolation." Every field, every plantation, he wrote, "showed marks of ruin and devastation. Not a person was to be met with in the roads." Society itself, he thought, seems to be at an end. . . . Robberies and murders are often committed on the public roads. The people that remain have been peeled, pillaged and plundered. . . . A dark melancholy gloom appears everywhere, and the morals of the people are almost entirely extirpated.

Inland, in the backcountry, it was worse, particularly around Mount Willing. John A. Chapman, a historian who was born in Edgefield early in the nineteenth century, said, "I doubt whether any part of the State, or of the United States, suffered more from the strife between Whig and Tory than did this particular section of Edgefield."

The constant fighting, looting, and killing left many people with a numbed, often casual attitude toward violence. Soon, the county acquired a reputation as "Bloody Edgefield" because of its high number of murders. Judge Thomas J. Mackey, who rode the South Carolina circuit, presiding over the regular fall and spring sessions of court week in Edgefield, said facetiously, "I am going to hold court in Edgefield, and I expect a somewhat exciting term, as the fall shooting is about to start."

Mason L. "Parson" Weems, an itinerant writer best known for the biography of George Washington that invented the pleasant fiction of little George and the cherry tree, visited Edgefield to peddle his books. He was inspired to pen a sensational tract, The Devil in Petticoats, or God's Revenge Against Husband Killing. It told the tale of Becky Cotton, an Edgefield lady who murdered her three husbands and deposited their bodies in a pool near her house. "Oh mercy!" Parson Weems began. "What! Old Edgefield again! Another murder in Old Edgefield! . . . Well, the Lord have mercy upon Old Edgefield! For sure it must be Pandemonium itself, a very district of Devils."

Cotton was the name of Becky's third husband. She killed her first spouse by running a mattress needle through his heart; the second she poisoned; Cotton's head she split with an ax. Put on trial in 1806, she "came off clear," Weems discovered. Her tears and beauty, he said, conquered the judge and jury. One juror even became her fourth husband. In the end, though, Becky Cotton was killed by one of her brothers.

Judge John Belton O'Neall, a distinguished South Carolina jurist, recalled attending his first court session at Edgefield not long after the Becky Cotton trial. "The dockets were enormous," he said, with more than two hundred cases, a huge number for an agricultural county with a total population of twenty-four thousand whites and blacks. Edgefield's biggest town was Edgefield Court House, also known as Edgefield Village, with a mere three hundred inhabitants.

Determining crime rates in antebellum South Carolina is necessarily inexact; contemporary judges, juries, and sheriffs had limited interest in keeping statistics. But some rough estimates can be made. One careful study of judicial records for the period from 1800 to 1860 found that the murder rate in South Carolina, an overwhelmingly rural, agrarian area, was four times higher than that in Massachusetts, then the most urban, industrial state. This goes against a central theorem of modern criminology, which predicts higher homicide rates in densely populated urban regions, where crowding and anonymity break down traditional social ties and values. In South Carolina, prosecutions for all crimes of violence--including assault and rape as well as murder--made up almost sixty percent of the court cases, but only eighteen percent in Massachusetts, where the most common criminal acts were theft and public drunkenness. The records also show that the vast majority of people put on trial for violent crimes in antebellum South Carolina were whites; the slaves were thought to be a gentle people.

If the murder rate in South Carolina was high compared with the North, one scholar has suggested it was even higher in Edgefield, perhaps double the state average.

The prevalence of murder in Edgefield in the mid-nineteenth century can be crudely measured through the county coroners’ reports of juries of inquest. From 1844 to 1858, the Edgefield coroners' officially recorded sixty-five murders. That is probably an undercount, since a number of deaths were attributed to natural causes or "acts of God" that by a less charitable interpretation might have been the result of deliberate violence, such as a person who drowned after being beaten. Nevertheless, that works out to an annual rate of 18 murders per 100,000 inhabitants. In 1992, according to the FBI's Uniform Crime Reports, only one state in the entire country, Louisiana, approached this figure, with a homicide rate of 17.4 per 100,000. (Fox Butterfield “All God's Children” 1995 p.8) Fox Butterfield “All God's Children” also cited in E-campas

She made a switch out of a big branch of the tree in the back yard and beat him. (Fox Butterfield “All God's Children” 1995 p.82)

Even Butch’s grandmother supported his fighting when challenged. “I tell my children to fight it out,” she told the neighbors. “If Butch don’t fight, I’m going to beat him myself.” (Fox Butterfield “All God's Children” 1995 p.85)

When Laura saw Willie, he remembered later, her eyes narrowed and her voice grew cold. “Get your ass over here, right now,” she commanded between clenched teeth. (Fox Butterfield “All God's Children” 1995 p.210)

“Why am I so angry toward the system?” Willie continued. “Well, the reason is because I’m only a monster that the system created-a monster that’s come back to haunt the system’s ass. And I’ll dog this system until it’s in its grave, because it’s a wrong system.” (Fox Butterfield “All God's Children” 1995 p.316)

“Ladies and gentlemen. This trial will not bring any justice to Earl Porter. It is not going to bring justice to Willie Bosket either for all his trials and tribulations at the hands of the system. But it can bring justice to thousands of children.” (Fox Butterfield “All God's Children” 1995 p.322)

James Carroll "House of War” Tom Hull

In any case, the declaration carried grave implications for the war’s duration, the war’s conclusion, and the shape of the conflict that would follow the war. If Churchill opposed Roosevelt on this point, it was not because he was indifferent to shoring up Stalin, nor because he had learned history’s lessons less well than Roosevelt, nor because he was softer — more “Wilsonian” — than his American counterpart. Churchill, after all, had spent the century up to his elbows in the blood of Britain’s imperial wars. That was the experience he was drawing on. Churchill knew that by foreclosing any possible negotiations toward surrender, the Allies were making it more likely that the Axis powers would fight to the bitter end, at a huge cost in lives on both sides, resulting in a level of devastation that would itself be the seedbed of the next catastrophe. This was so because “unconditional surrender” could be taken by an enemy as promising the destruction not just of its armies but of its whole society. Indeed, Joseph Goebbels would tell Germans that this demand issued at Casablanca meant the Allies were set on making slaves of their entire nation.27 To put such dread in the breast of an enemy population was to make inevitable a fight to the death — or, as Churchill had put it about his own people earlier in the war, when they faced the prospect of conquest by an ascendant Germany, a fight “on the beaches.” Knowing of his own ferocious readiness to resist to the last breath, the last ounce of blood, Churchill might have cited Sun Tzu, the ancient Chinese theorist of war, who wrote, “When you surround an army leave an outlet free. Do not press a desperate foe too hard.”


Ironically, Roosevelt would learn at Tehran, ten months after Casablanca, that Stalin, whom he hoped to encourage with the demand of unconditional surrender, was completely opposed to it. Even the harshest conditions, Stalin argued — and if he did not aim to enslave the German population, he certainly aimed to impoverish them — would bring about a settlement far sooner than none at all.31 Stalin’s army, imposing itself “unconditionally” on Germany from the east in the war’s last months, would lose a million more men. (James Carroll “House of War” 2006 p.8-9) James Carroll “House of War” for Prologue and first 12 pages click here

Groves moved to stop Szilard by challenging the petition as a criminal violation of security. He ordered the scientists to give it to no one whose security clearance was lower than Szilard’s own, a tactic eliminating many scientists from merely looking at the petition. (James Carroll “House of War” 2006 p.69-70)

…Groves was the first to put into words the harsh corollary of this assumption-namely, the United Sates had to be prepared to use its nuclear advantage to prevent any enemy from matching it. (James Carroll “House of War” 2006 p.75)

“But that was later,” I said.


“And at the time, in 1945, you didn’t really appreciate what had happened in Tokyo.”

“No Not then.”

“And now? What do you make of it now?”

McNamara’s eye’s abruptly filled. “Now?”


“Well it was a war crime.” All at once he was on the verge of weeping. “It was one of the war crimes with which I can be charged.” (James Carroll “House of War” 2006 p.97)

LeMay probably had this declaration in mind when, long after the war, he explained the rationale for his campaign by telling Michael Sherry, “There are no innocent civilians. It is their government and you are fighting a people, you are not fighting an armed force anymore. So it doesn’t bother me so much to be killing the so-called innocent bystanders.” (James Carroll “House of War” 2006 p.99)

2. Stimson’s September 11

Of all the people who participated in the decisions that led to that carnage, one in particular had worked to prevent it from happening ever again, Henry Stimson…..

If we were truly realistic, instead of idealistic, as we appear to be, we would not permit any foreign power with which we are not firmly allied, and in which we do not have substantial confidence, to make or possess atomic weapons. If such a country started to make atomic weapons, we would destroy its capacity to make them before it has progressed far enough to threaten us. (James Carroll House of War” 2006 p.111-22)

James Carroll House of War” also cited in James Carrolls editorial

Byrnes, as we saw, had made Stimson nervous, with the bomb “rather ostentatiously on his hip” and with his bullying early approach to Molotov. Byrnes had been among the first to recognize grave political differences with Moscow, but he did not believe they foreordained a global conflict. And he had soon seen where the ideologically driven bullying tactics were leading. (James Carroll House of War” 2006 p.133)

Kennan had begun by defining the Soviet leaders as being at the mercy of paranoid hallucinations about threats from the west, but soon those threats were not hallucinatory. Kennan had argued that only fear of an outside enemy would enable Stalin to retain power and then Kennan sponsored exactly that fear. (James Carroll House of War” 2006 p.137-40)

The next day, Forrestall noted, the newspapers were “full of rumors and portents of war.”…. In response to events in Czechoslovakia, Truman had said that “moral, god-fearing peoples…must save the world from Atheism and totalitarianism.” And now he showed what that meant. (James Carroll House of War” 2006 p.143)

When a reporter presses, Truman cut him off saying, “It’s a matter that the military people will have to decide. I’m not a military authority that passes on these things…The military commander in the field will have charge of the use of the weapons, as he always has.”

His press secretary soon issued a “clarifying” statement, that the atomic bomb remained under the president’s sole authority and that no decision to use it had been made. (James Carroll House of War” 20006 p.191-3)

James Carroll House of War” also cited in Truman Library

At a banquet celebrating the first successful test of the Soviet H-bomb, Sakharov proposed a toast: May all our devices explode as successfully as today’s, but always over test sites and never over cities.” He later recalled that his stunned colleagues reacted “as if I had said something indecent.” (James Carroll House of War” 20006 p.198)

Behind her back we would call her M.T., as in “empty,” but she was anything but. A stern woman, she was not to be ignored or disobeyed. (James Carroll House of War” 20006 p.202)

Dulles had written the most warmongering planks of the Republican platform, denouncing, for example, “the negative, futile, and immoral policy of ‘containment,’ which abandons countless human beings to despotism and Godless Communism.” (James Carroll House of War” 20006 p.204-5)

10. the Missed Opportunity

When Stalin died, on March 5, 1953, tectonic shifts occurred in the Communist world-his trusted henchman Lavrenti Beria would soon be shot, for example-but Eisenhower and Dulles, viewing that world monolithically, missed them. (James Carroll House of War” 20006 p.207-9)

“Essentially,” Lindsey continued, “LeMay had built an air force that could only get off the ground for a first strike.” (James Carroll House of War” 20006 p.222)

In March 1958, the Soviets had proposed that the stationing of nuclear weapons in central Europe be prohibited, effectively making a nuclear-free zone of Poland, Czechoslovakia, and East and West Germany. (James Carroll House of War” 20006 p.239)

Since Kennedy's own election campaign had made the missile gap the nation's burning question, McNamara knew he had to deal with it at once. If the Soviet Union was far ahead of the United States in rocket manufacture and deployment, the kind of turnaround McNamara would have to orchestrate in the Pentagon was clear. If, as some hold, Kennedy was disingenuous in warning of the missile gap, McNamara would establish that, too. He had to know what the facts were and how they were arrived at. "So I went up to the Air Force on that first day," he said.

He had no reason to know that the day he was referring to was the one I had come to regard as the Pentagon's eighteenth birthday. "I went to A-2 [the chief of air intelligence]. I can't think of his name. He was a major general, very nice guy. I said I want to see the basis of your study, the underlying data. So he got out photographs and everything. Well, the photographs were U-2 photographs and were very, very limited, in the sense that you couldn't be sure -- at least I couldn't be sure -- what the hell we were looking at. The A-2 seemed to be quite certain, but as it turned out, he was looking at them through Air Force glasses."

McNamara compared the U-2 photographs with those from the new reconnaissance satellite Discoverer, and what he found was not only that the missile gap charge was false-Arthur Schlesinger, not an uninterested observer, later wrote that it was “in good faith overstated”-but that was the intelligence system on which he and the president had to depend was a shambles.

Each of the five services had its own intelligence operation. When McNamara asked the Army for its estimate of deployed and ready Soviet missiles as of January 1961, he was told ten; the Navy put the number at less than half that. The Air Force set the figure at more than fifty, and perhaps as high as two hundred. Within the Air Force, the Strategic Air Command had yet another, independent intelligence operation, and it insisted on higher numbers yet. And there were equivalent disparities on projections of the gap in the future. The Air Force had been the main source of all missile gap alerts, beginning in 1957 with the Gaither Committee's and including Stuart Symington's warning that the Soviet Union by the early 1960s would have three thousand ICBMs. When McNamara demanded that Air Force intelligence officers justify their estimates in light of the Discoverer photographs, they could not. "Even Air Force analysts were embarrassed by the pictures," the historian Fred Kaplan wrote. "The images starkly rebutted the estimates of Air Force intelligence." Soon it would be "discovered" that the actual number of deployed Soviet ICBMs was four.

McNamara saw what was happening, what had by then become a regular feature of Pentagon information gathering. Of the Air Force intelligence chief, McNamara said to me, "I'm absolutely certain he was not trying to mislead anybody -- the Air Force chief of staff, the president, or the secretary of state, or anybody." In fact, it was worse than mere deception. As we have seen again and again, each service branch assessed enemy capacities based less on objective readings of Soviet arsenals than on the branch's own procurement wishes. Thus what Navy intelligence emphasized were sonar soundings that showed a dangerous growth in the Soviet submarine force. The Army saw the Red Army's drastic expansion of conventional divisions and tank brigades on the edge of Europe and the prospect of Communist aggression in brushfire wars in the Third World. And the Air Force saw everything through the lens of its plans for the new B-70 bomber and for the ten thousand Minuteman missiles a worst-case reading of missile gap required.

As McNamara indicates, none of this is to indict intelligence agencies for outright dishonesty. Intelligence assessments moving up a chain of command have a way of confirming presuppositions at the top. We saw how, during World War II, Allied bomber generals wanted to believe an air war against cities would destroy enemy morale, and British intelligence assessments (disputed by some Americans) said it would be so. In the late 1940s, Harry Truman wanted to believe in a long-term American nuclear monopoly so that he could berate Moscow -- and Leslie Groves and then the CIA assured him it would be so. The same pattern would be repeated when Lyndon Johnson was told what he wanted to hear about Vietnam, and when Ronald Reagan's obsession with the "evil empire" drew support from intelligence that missed the significance of nonviolent democracy movements -- the opposite of "evil" -- behind the Iron Curtain.

What Mc. was seeing was the third-generation effect of intel. entities whose missions were defined so emphatically by the individual services that thier ability to serve a broader national interest was almost entirely destoryed….

I concluded that we just had to get rid of five independent intel. services" Mcnamara said to me...... So I concieved of forming the Defense Intelligence Agency, with a commitment to gathering and evaluating info. based on a higher loyalty than to any service"....

Still-- and knowing that if he could not rely on the basic data about and interpretation of enemy capacity and intention, all else was meaningless-- he remained determined to take control of such information...... but intelligence gathering was the most jealously guarded activity in the military. Everything from mission to budget to battle order began and ended with the assessments of J-2, A-2, and ONI, and no service chief was going to willingly surrender an inch of that turf. Mcnamara was a shrewd enough manager to see a fight coming, but it soon became a test for him-- not so much of his own authority but of the constitutional principle of civilian control. By taking control of information and its interpretation, he would bring the Pentagon behemoth to heel. (James Carroll House of War” 20006 p.255-8)

(James Carroll House of War” also cited at the Education Forum

Even before Kennedy took office, at a transition briefing with the Joint Chiefs of Staff on January 13, 1961, his people were confronted with a proposal, according to a Chicago Sun-Times report three weeks later, “that the U.S. launch a preventive atomic attack to stop Communist infiltration of Laos.” As the newspaper reported another three weeks later, the proposal came from LeMay.

…All the civilian control in the world meant nothing as long as the general’s strategic planning-how, when, and at what a nuclear strike would be launched- was not subject to oversight, much less to criticism….

….A military command’s greatest responsibility is for war planning that reflects the actualities of an anticipated battlefield, but SAC, was engaged in planning for its own bureaucratic and budgetary self-interest….. (James Carroll House of War” 20006 p.264-7)

The CIA concluded that there were only four operational ICBMs, all on low alert, at a single, easily targeted site called Plesetsk, in Russia….

But don’t relax. The discovery of the Soviet Union’s radical strategic inferiority brought with it a new kind of threat, because an enemy that knows of its relative weakness has all the more reason to strike first, especially once the weakness becomes known to the other side….

….When Kaysen went to the SAC headquarters in Omaha to more fully inform himself on the SIOP, his questions to the generals were greeted with bristling responses. “None of your goddamn business” is how Kaysen described their attitude toward him….

….At last a SAC general was standing in the oval office and putting it to the president: “If a general atomic war is inevitable, the U.S. should strike first.” (James Carroll House of War” 20006 p.270-4)

….As Kennedy eventually found it possible to reject any move toward a nuclear strike, so did Khrushchev, presumably deflecting on his side the dangerous contingency plans of his rational advisors and the mad urges of his bomber generals…. (James Carroll House of War” 20006 p.277-8)

As it was learned only years later, Kennedy made a solitary decision to resolve the crisis by proposing what was an anathema to almost all of his advisors: a trade of the fifteen U.S. Jupiter missiles in Turkey for the Soviet missiles in Cuba. The Jupiters were outmoded anyway, but Nitze called the idea "absolutely anathema ... as a matter of prestige and politics." 143 But Kennedy knew that prestige and politics were issues as much for Khrushchev as for him. The missile swap was a face-saving arrangement that Khrushchev accepted.

And then an odd thing happened. The Senate confirmation of the nominee should have been routine, but a conservative young Republican congressman from Illinois, looking to make a mark by embarrassing the Kennedy administration, attacked Nitze from out of nowhere. The congressman charged him with having attended a National Council of Churches meeting years before, an event at which disarmament had been advocated by some in attendance. Disarmament! Showing his ignorance, the congressman charged the author of NSC-68 and the Gaither Report, two of the most hawkish statements ever to come out of Washington, with being “soft.” The proponent of a first strike over Berlin and an all-out air assault on Cuba was a disarmer! It was a ludicrous charge and hardly honest. Even if the young congressman was ignorant of Nitze’s militant history going back to the Stategic Bombing Survey, he had to have known that John Foster Dulles, secretary of state at the time of the Council of Churches meeting, had also attended, had even given the keynote speech. It was hardly a gathering of pinkos. And Nitze had, in any case, publicly argued against disarmament positions. But the attack was launched, and others in Congress picked it up, a club with which to hit the Democrats. Nitze’s nomination to a job he did not want was nearly defeated. The wound of the insult would never quite heal. The first-term congressman who slandered him was named Donald Rumsfeld.

…..Indeed in his crisis-ending communication to Kennedy on October 28, Khrushchev suggested that the Soviet Union “should like to continue the exchange of views on the prohibition of atomic and thermonuclear weapons, on general disarmament and other problems relating to the relaxation of international tensions.” Kennedy promptly affirmed the same hope: “Perhaps now, as we step back from danger, we can make some real progress in this vital field.”

11. At American University (James Carroll House of War” 20006 p.280-9)

James Carroll House of War” also cited on Education Forum

James Carroll House of War” also cited on Bad Attitudes

One official who witnessed such a process up close in the early days of the Vietnam War described the unfolding, within the “institutional culture,” this way: “They begin by lying to Congress and the public, all for the best of reasons; in this case the felt necessity of ‘containing’ communism in South Vietnam. Next they lie to each other, concealing information and even private opinions that might introduce a note of discordant doubt. And finally, they lie to themselves-having become so profoundly, psychically committed to the wisdom of their actions, having raised the stakes so high, that any admission of error would be a failure of unacceptable dimensions.” (James Carroll House of War” 20006 p.306)

….speech he gave at the United Nations on September 25, 1961

Then he put forward the first comprehensive plan for complete nuclear disarmament since the Baruch Plan had called for international control of atomic energy in 1946. (James Carroll “House of War” 2006 p.315-6)

Kennedy speech at the United Nations 9/25/61

Thinking of the children with whom he had huddled underground in Hanoi, Daniel wrote a statement for the group: “Our apologies, good friends, for the fracture of good order, and the burning of paper instead of children… We could not so help us God do otherwise For we are sick at heart our hearts give us no rest for thinking of the Land of Burning Children.” (James Carroll “House of War” 2006 p.319)

Statement of Daniel Berrigan

Curtis LeMay….“I think most military men think it’s just another weapon in the arsenal…I think there are many times when it would be most efficient to use nuclear weapons… I don't believe the world would end if we exploded a nuclear weapon." A world of mine ended that day. (James Carroll “House of War” 20006 p.320) (James Carroll “House of War” also quoted on 1968 timeline

Johnson, for example reported a recurrent dream in which, as recalled by one of his aides, “He would wake up in the night, pick up his red telephone, and say, ‘Secretary of Defense, you there? Joint Chiefs, you there? CinC-SAC, you there? This is your Pres-I-dent. I’ve been tossing and turning, and I’ve decided that we’ve got to hit the Russians with all our A-bombs and H-bombs. So, I’m putting my thumb on the button. And I’m mashing it down.’ Johnson would then stop and say, ‘And do you know what they say to me? They say, ‘Fuck you, Mr. Pres-I-dent.’”…

There was the dilemma: absolute dread of a coming nuclear war and absolute requirements to prepare for it. At the collapse into buffoonery of bomber-turned-political-candidate LeMay showed, the contradictory pressures were breaking men right and left. All of this amounts to the powerful pressure exerted on its leadership by an American population, which at since 1945 had been conditioned to expect the worst from an omnipotent Kremlin, in response to which the only security was an ever-upward escalation of American arms. Nitze had preserved in a kind of bureaucratic amber the paranoid mindset that originated with his mentor Forrestal, and that had been vigorously inflicted on the national consciousness for a decade, ”It’s a we/they world,” Nitze told Pentagon colleagues after he had been named deputy secretary of defense. “It’s us against the Soviets. Either we get them first, or they get us first.” (James Carroll “House of War” 20006 p.324-5)

The justification for the major shift was the startling discovery” to which Laird testified a week after Nixon’s announcement: the frightening new conclusion that Moscow had abandoned the nuclear balance of deterrence in favor of a strategy aimed at wiping out the U.S. retaliatory capacity with a surprise (“first strike”) attack, a “knockout blow.” (James Carroll “House of War” 20006 p.331-3)

Now Laird did respond: “We have not done that, Mr. Chairman, I want to make that very clear. We have not arrived at a different position from the intelligence estimates in this whole matter…I have not overstated the case at any point. I have always used the intelligence estimate, the agreed upon estimate.” To which Fulbright replied, “I am not trying to level an accusation.”

But he was. The intelligence estimate had made the clear assertion that the Soviet Union’s going for a first strike was “highly unlikely.” The Defense Intelligence Agency concurred in that conclusion, and had reiterated it at least twice during June alone. Laird was hoist on his own petard, and by the summer, with the Senate split and the issue roundly politicized, the ABM system was in jeopardy. Nixon and Kissinger were on Laird’s back; he was blowing it. Then a strange thing happened. Helms was not fired, but an adjustment was made in the National Intelligence Estimate. In an “updating” of the estimate of the Soviet IBM capability, the key sentences that were causing Laird such problems disappeared, and when the update was published, the offending words were gone.

Richard Helms had too high a profile and too influential a political constituency to be fired by Nixon in the midst of this dispute, and he was also a man who knew when to yield a point. “After an assistant to Secretary of Defense Laird informed Helms,” in the words of the Senate investigation, “that the statement contradicted the public position of the Secretary,” Helms ordered the deletion. “A willingness to compromise,” his biographer comments in relation to this incident, “was both Helm’s strength and his weakness… To get along, he often had to go along.” Helms himself later said that when the CIA chief “clashes with the Secretary of Defense, he isn’t a big enough fellow on the block.”

But General Carroll, the less powerful and deliberately anonymous agency chief deep inside the Pentagon, was something else. If one thing had distinguished his career, it was an inbred inability to go along. For years, his main consistency had been Robert McNamara, as together they tried to transcend the parochialism of interservice rivalry, but Carroll had no constituency now. His primary loyalty had been not to the Joint Chiefs, not to his own Air force, but to McNamara’s demand for uncorrupted intelligence. The newspapers were full of the dramatic push and pull between Laird and Fulbright’s committee, including leaked reports about the contradictory secret testimony of “intelligence chiefs.” Whatever testimony my father offered in the matter did not become public. At the time, I asked my mother about it, and she told me that Dad had been called to testify. Later, I asked my father, and he demurred. When I pressed him, he told me that his assessment had been and continued to be the same as Helm’s: there was no evidence of a soviet intention to go for a first strike. “Dick Helms and I agreed on that,” he said.

Within days of Secretary Laird’s having testified before Fulbright’s committee that his Pentagon intelligence sources were in complete accord with the soon to be adjusted USIB estimate on the Soviet intention, my father was removed as head of the DIA. The crucial deletion of text, to which Helms agreed eliminating evidence of Laird’s contradiction of his own intelligence service, did not occur until after my father’s demise, but my conclusion, first reached thirty years ago, seems reasonable. In 2003, I spoke to a former DIA analyst who worked for my father at the time, and he remembered the end of General Carroll’s tenure vividly, and how it was tied to the ABM debate as it approached a climax on Capital Hill. “We were all aware of it. I am sure they said something like, ‘Now, Joe, can’t you give us a break on the ABM?’ to which he would have said, ‘Don’t make an argument for a weapon system based on corrupted intelligence.’”

In 2005, on the other hand, I spoke to the official historian of the Defense Intelligence Agency. He had no knowledge of the dispute, but he did recall that General Carroll had clashed over “organizational issues.”

General Carroll never made public any point of contention between himself and Secretary Laird, which was consistent with his long-standing commitment to maintain the lowest of profiles. The DIA historian’s impression was that my father could have continued as director “into the 1970s,” but I know from my mother that this is not true. In July 1969 my father was abruptly told that he was being transferred to a new job. I recall my mother telling me that the position was at an Air Force base in Texas. This assignment, to a slot tied to the rank of a major general, entitled a demotion, a loss of the third star my father had worn for a decade. My mother was crushed by the news, and indicated that my father was as well. In a classic instance of psychosomatic reaction, his back “went out” just then.

Stress is opportunistic, physicians tell us, and it finds the body’s weak point. My father’s chronic problem with a slipped disk suddenly became acute, nearly paralyzing him, and his doctor urged an operation. Within days of having been told of his transfer, he was admitted to the hospital at Andrews Air Force Base, and I went at once to Washington. I did not know it, but military medicine had his own diagnosis for the condition my father was suffering: “hysterical conversion symptoms,” a kind of behind-the-lines shell shock. For a decade, day in day out, he had been facing impossible challenges, with little or no support, under orders to create an enterprise that the very institution he served was determined to defeat. In the end, defeat came. My father would have been the last person to compare his condition to what GI’s were suffering in Vietnam, but his physical collapse mimicked that of men brought down on the battlefield. Even then, as I heard from Mom, yet knowing nothing, I had a vague sense of him as a casualty of the war. (James Carroll “House of War” 20006 p.333-5)

James Schlesinger and Henry Kissinger understood the link between the two kinds of power in ways that few others in government had, and they both wanted to secure nuclear-based dominance to foster America’s recovery from Vietnam….. They wanted to make nukes usable and they wanted to make nuclear war winnable…… (James Carroll “House of War” 20006 p.348)

As it was, Nixon repeatedly ordered his military forces, including the nation’s strategic nuclear forces, to a level of alert one step short of nuclear war. Except for Kennedy during the Cuban Missile Crisis, no other president has done this even once, and it is instructive to note that the Soviet Union never ordered its nuclear forces to such a state of alert. Under Nixon, U.S. strategic forces were brought to a war footing at least three times, and his closest advisors worried that, for his own insane purposes, he would do it even more.

….“I’d rather use the nuclear bomb,” Nixon said at one point. “The nuclear bomb. Does that bother you? I just want you to think big, Henry, for Christ’s sake.”

For example, the general in charge of Strategic air command, on his own authority, without informing Washington and without complete knowledge of the alert’s purpose, ordered the B-52 squadrons based on Guam not to participate in the nuclear alert…. (James Carroll “House of War” 20006 p.350-2) James Carroll “House of War” also cited on James Carroll “House of War” also cited in Oh My News

… Kissinger, on his own authority, assembled the National Security Council in the white House Situation Room, although without the president or vice president-“the statutory membership of the National Security Council minus these two men.” So it was that without any input from, much less the control by, the nation’s elected leaders, Kissinger and others decided how to respond to the Soviet ultimatum….

Schlesinger issued the directive that “any emergency order coming from the president” be first shown to him, the secretary of defense, before any action was taken. (James Carroll “House of War” 20006 p.354-6

The man on whom Ford depended as he sought to navigate between the Scylla and Charybdis of Kissinger and Schlesinger was his White House chief of staff, a former fellow congressman named Donald Rumsfeld. As a conservative Republican from an affluent Illinois district, Rumsfeld had routinely voted against legislative vestiges of the War on Poverty, federal programs designed to help the poor, but that had not prevented Nixon from naming him director of the Office of Economic Opportunity, the antipoverty agency. Rumsfeld's job was to gut it. This was the beginning of the right-wing republican campaign to roll back the "big government" bequeathed by Lyndon Johnson's Great Society, a movement that would gain great success under Ronald Reagan. Rumsfeld's two young deputies there were Richard Cheney and Frank Carlucci. Rumsfeld had left OEO to serve in the Nixon White House. He was spared the poison draught of Watergate by having been named ambassador to NATO at the end of 1972. When Ford succeeded Nixon, he immediately turned to his trusted ally Rumsfeld for help. And Rumsfeld, appointed chief of staff, once again named Cheney as his deputy.

At Ford's elbow, Rumsfeld out maneuvered Henry Kissinger, undercutting the uncertain new president's faith in the entire project of détente. (Its opponents loved to point out that the French word meant both "relaxed tension" and "trigger.") Rumsfeld was one of the first to resuscitate, from its Truman-era iterations, the moral argument against the Nixon-Kissinger real-politik project of making big-power deals with the wicked Communists, an appeal to which Ford, the moralistic midwesterner, was susceptible. It was not only that the Soviets were not to be trusted, but the link between arms control concessions and Soviet behavior on human rights, in particular emigration policies and the repressive treatment of dissidents, had to be reestablished. Détente was taken to be a form of incipient ethical relativism, a signal of the Vietnam-induced rot of American character.

Rumsfeld had a hard-liner's sympathy with Schlesinger, but the arrogant secretary of defense had impossibly alienated his insecure superior, and Ford wanted to escape his shadow even more than Kissinger's. In the fall of 1975 -- a "Halloween massacre" -- Ford's chief of staff made his move. Now throughly under Rumsfeld's sway, the president fired Schlesinger outright, removed Kissinger from his position as national security adviser, banishing him to the relative harmlessness of Foggy Bottom, and replace William Colby at the CIA with George H.W. Bush. (Rumsfeld saw Bush as his own main rival to become Ford's vice president in 1976, and the intelligence post removed him from contention.) In the most dramatic move of all, Rumsfeld had Ford appoint as Schlesinger's replacement at the Pentagon none other than himself….

It is hard to believe that observers could have taken Rumsfeld's maneuvers as anything but a triumph of traditional anti-Soviet ideology, given what they put in place. Rumsfeld immediately sought major increases in defense spending, reversing the dramatic downturn in the percentage of the gross national product that had been spent on the military under Nixon. Rumsfeld's move to the Pentagon marked the definitive end of détente, destroyed any chances for SALT under Ford, and laid the groundwork for a post-Vietnam generational shift that would aim at, and ultimately accomplish, the restoration of America's overwhelming military dominance, a supremacy unapologetically based on nuclear weapons. Among those empowered by Rumsfeld were his acolyte Cheney and his factotum Carlucci, each of whom would follow him as secretary of defense, together with Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz, who would, from within the government and outside it, be permanent Pentagon tribunes of American hegemony. They would be joined by the likes of Colin Powell, Richard Armitage, and Condoleezza Rice. The group Rumsfeld put in place, shaping policy through the Reagan years and then coming fully into their own when Rumsfeld returned to the E-ring office over the River Entrance in the early twenty-first century, would eventually become known as the Vulcans, a name James Mann used as the title of his book on the group. What they all had in common was a hunger for martial dominance that was born of the failure of Vietnam…..

Its triumph, however, would not come easily. In the first post-Vietnam instance of military challenge, within weeks of the fall of Saigon, Ford's team would stumble badly -- and an ominous shadow would fall over the future. A U.S. cargo ship, the SS Mayaguez, was raided by a Cambodian naval force in May 1975. Another of the Kissinger legacies in the region had been the fall of Cambodia, a month before, to the Khmer Rouge, and the new Communist regime was flexing its muscles. Ths ship's thiry-eight American crew members were taken prisoner. Rumsfeld, with Kissinger's concurrence, persuaded Ford to bypass diplomacy and display his toughness, first by bombing the port city of Kompong Som and then by ordering an operation aimed at rescuing the crew. Ford denounced "an act of piracy," and U.S. Marines, like swashbucklers, swung aboard the captured ship (the first such hostile boarding at sea since 1826), only to find it abandoned. In another foreshadowing, the Rumsfeld circle had based its action on ridiculously flawed intelligence. Hundreds of other Marines invaded an island where the captured crewmen were thought to be. In the battle there, forty Americans were killed -- for nothing. It was then discovered that the Mayaguez crew had been released unharmed shortly after being captured, set adrift in a Thai fishing vessel. Despite vast differences in scale and intention, the incompetent rescue attempt was a kind of overture, complete with the music of bombing, for the war Rumsfeld would orchestrate against Iraq beginning in 2003. The Mayaguez action was overwhelmingly popular with Americans, lethal to young U.S. soldiers --and it was unnecessary. (James Carroll “House of War” 20006 p.358-61) James Carroll “House of War” also cited in dumb monkey

It was Reagan’s obsession with military power and military solutions that blinded him to the significance of Solidarity, a movement that resolutely renounced violence. Reagan would embrace the savage, death-squad-dominated Contra movement in Central America in the name of opposition to Communism, but he and his administration ignored the far more significant, and ultimately triumphant, solidarity movement because they could not imagine nonviolent resistance as powerful…. (James Carroll “House of War” 20006 p.378-80

Leonid Brezhnev could not ignore it either. Indeed, on June 15, in a speech at the United Nations, the Communist leader pledged that the Soviet Union would never be the first to use nuclear weapons-a pledge that neither Reagan nor any of those who succeeded him as president would match…..

Yet anything a man from Moscow advocated had to be regarded as supect…..

….The freeze was truly moving the earth below them. The president’s rhetorical extremity was a signal of how concerned Reagan and his circle were about a popular movement that was picking up steam…. (James Carroll “House of War” 20006 p.387-9)

To ask where Reagan got the idea for SDI is to enter the twilight zone of his zany imagination…. Hollywood is as likely a source for the president’s proposal as any physicist working at RAND…. (James Carroll “House of War” 20006 p.392)

In Nicaragua, the brutal Somoza regime had been in power since the 1930’s. FDR had called Anastasio Somoza Garcia a son of a bitch, “but he’s our son of a bitch.” (James Carroll “House of War” 20006 p.399)

The Reagan administration’s attitude toward the murdered Catholics, whom many regarded as martyrs, was eloquently summed up by U.N. Ambassador Jeanne Kirkpatrick when, in testimony before Congress, she dismissed the Catholic women slain in El Salvador as “not real nuns.” (James Carroll “House of War” 20006 p.401)

Jeanne Kirkpatrick

13. Enter Gorbachev

Within a month of coming into office in March 1985, Gorbachev unilaterally stopped the deployment of Soviet Missiles in Europe. He then called for a bilateral halt to nuclear weapons testing and for cuts in strategic arms in excess of anything so far discussed. (James Carroll “House of War” 20006 p.404-17)

From start to finish, the media found the Plowshares actions not newsworthy. That was especially so once the dominant story unfolding in the late 1980s and early 1990s was the thaw in the Cold War, and then the end of it. (James Carroll “House of War” 20006 p.418-20-23)

Indeed, the new situation seemed to bring out something profoundly reactionary in Bush. As a congressman, he had been strident in his anti-Communism, and during Vietnam he had publicly supported the idea of using nuclear weapons. (James Carroll “House of War” 20006 p.426)

Bush made the most dramatic gesture of arms reduction, that is, mainly because his military no longer wanted the weapons. The president did not explain that in his speech. (James Carroll “House of War” 20006 p.428)

LeMay’s successor as head of the strategic Air Command, Thomas Power, as we saw earlier, defined victory in 1960 by saying, “At the end of the war, if there are two Americans and one Russian, we win.” But LeMay’s further successor, General George Lee Butler, who was the last SAC commander before it became the U.S. Strategic Command in 1992, has said that the war plans over which he presided were “barbaric… more barbaric than…[anything] you’ll find in the animal kingdom. (James Carroll “House of War” 20006 p.462-3)

On July 30, Soyster received a memo from a DIA analyst, reporting on reconnaissance photos that showed thirty-five thousand Iraqi troops mustered at the border of Kuwait. Of Saddam’s plans for that force, the analyst wrote bluntly, “He intends to use it.” But Soyster did not believe his analysts conclusion. (James Carroll “House of War” 20006 p.442)

But the Pentagon had never accepted that. Getting former Warsaw Pact members into NATO, beginning with Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic, was less a security question, now that Russia was in decline, than an economic one, for Moscow’s former satellite nations, needing an arms buildup from scratch, represented a major new market for the Pentagon’s industrial partners. That was an argument Clinton could understand, and as a politician he saw a benefit of pleasing U.S. voters with ties to Eastern Europe….

Early in his term, the president visited an aircraft carrier, the USS Theodore Roosevelt. As he was piped aboard, he passed a young sailor at the head of the gangplank. The sailor pointedly declined to salute his commander in chief. Instead of rebuking such disrespect to the office of the presidency on the spot, or afterward, Clinton let the slight pass, as if it did not matter. The president's refusal to enforce due deference to authority was a graver offense against the military ethos than the sailor's contemptuous act, and every member of the armed forces took note. (James Carroll “House of War” 20006 p.454-5)

By his own account, Powell says it was he, not Clinton, who brought up the subject of homosexuals in the military. (James Carroll “House of War” 20006 p.459-60)

Perhaps the most important thing about the Dayton peace negotiations was who was not there. Only the men of violence were invited to the table, representatives of the killers Milosevic and Croatian leader Franco Tudjman, and of the Bosnian resistance, led by Alija Izetbegovic. But there was one figure in the Balkans who had held out hope of another way, the leader of the Kosovar nonviolent resistance, Ibraham Rugova. An Albanian professor, he was the most widely admired man in Kosovo province. (James Carroll “House of War” 20006 p.477)

General Wesley Clark, NATO’s supreme commander, resented the Russian intervention and gave the order to move against it with force. But Clark’s British subordinate, General Sir Mike Jackson, refused saying, “Sir, I’m not starting World War III for you.” (James Carroll “House of War” 20006 p.481)

In 1999, toward the end of a Clinton administration that had needlessly kept the nuclear arsenal near Cold War levels, Nitze denounced that cache of destruction in an op-ed piece in the New York Times. “The fact is, I see no compelling reason why we should not unilaterally get rid of our nuclear weapons. To maintain them is costly and adds nothing to our security.” he wrote, “I can think of no circumstances under which it would be wise for the United States to use nuclear weapons, even in retaliation for their prior use against us. What, for example, would our target be? It is impossible to conceive of a target that could be hit without large-scale destruction of many innocent people.” The man who had done more than any other to justify America’s dependence on nuclear weapons now reversed the entire thrust of his career. To Repeat, “I see no compelling reason why we should not unilaterally get rid of our nuclear weapons.” Now you tell us….

In 1992, just before Clinton took office, Wolfowitz wrote a document called “Defense Planning Guidance,” which amounted to the first articulation of a new post-Cold War military strategy. The Pentagon’s “first objective” now was “to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival. The United Sates would become the world’s permanent and preeminent military overseer, maintaining armed forces of such overwhelming superiority as to be beyond challenge. American power would be exercised alone and from above. The diplomat’s dream of cooperative internationalism, to which the United States had traditionally deferred, if it never fully submitted, was dashed in the Wolfowitz vision, to be replaced by nothing less than Washington’s unilateral reach, also known as “forward Presence.”…. (James Carroll “House of War” 20006 p.483-4)

James Carroll “House of War” also cited on Marilyns non-violent planet

When we brought our small daughter to this place, she stood before the Maya Lin masterpiece, silently taking in the fifty-nine thousand names. Then she said, “The Vietnam War?” Yes, we said. To which she said, “Then where are the Vietnamese names?” (James Carroll “House of War” 20006 p492.)

Officially promulgated “National Defense Strategies,” under the rubric of “forward defense of freedom,” did away with the once firm tradition of defensively deployed forces, linked to allies and ready to react to conflicts instead of initiate them. (James Carroll “House of War” 20006 p.496)

On larger questions, dissention could be just as loud. For example, a 2003 Pentagon report argued that the most serious threat to U.S. security was not Islamist terrorism but environmental degradation. Complaints and reports like these were mostly ignored. (James Carroll “House of War” 20006 p.502)

I was surprised when I asked Rickover how he would react to a total elimination of all nuclear weapons from the earth. (Jimmy Carter “White House Diaries” 2010 p.58)

Admiral Rickover came to support a testing program for school children similar to the one we have in Georgia, an all-out effort on organized-crime control, and an end to the giveaway of patents taken out by contractors whose new discoveries were developed using federal money. (Jimmy Carter “White House Diaries” 2010 p.72)

It would be easier if I was a dictator and didn’t have to worry about the Congress or other foreign leaders who didn’t agree with us…..

King was pastor of a church in Albany, Georgia, who had disrupted our worship services in Plains during 1976 by demanding membership in our Plains Baptist Church. (Jimmy Carter “White House Diaries” 2010 p.81-2)

Grenada is the smallest country in our hemisphere, and Gairy was primarily concerned with mysticism, the definition of God and a resolution that he sponsored for years before the United Nations to investigate unidentified flying objects.

I remember with particular clarity that when he opened the wrong briefcase to… (Jimmy Carter “White House Diaries” 2010 p.95)

Jimmy Carter “White House Diaries” excerpts along with excerpts from Kenedy “Keeping the Faith” quotes

Senate is still deadlocked on the energy package. The influence of the oil and gas industry is unbelievable, and it’s impossible to arouse the public to protest themselves. The strict partisan alignment and animosity that now prevails in the Congress did not exist twenty-five years ago. On many issues regarding defense or controlling deficits, I received more support from Republicans than from Democrats. (Jimmy Carter “White House Diaries” 2010 p.110)

An unaroused American public is no match for the legions of tenacious and well-funded Washington lobbyists. (Jimmy Carter “White House Diaries” 2010 p.258)

When I became president, most of the regimes in South and Central America were military dictatorships. Historically, the U.S. government under both Democratic and Republican presidents had supported the dictators and strongly opposed-often with U.S. Marines or army troops-any popular uprisings of indigenous or minority citizens that threatened the status quo. The reasons for this were obvious. Many of the leaders had been trained at West Point or Annapolis, were fluent in English, conversant with our free enterprise system, and eager to form lucrative partnerships with American corporations that had an interest in the national resources of the country involved. These included bananas, Pineapples, bauxite, tin, iron ore, and exotic lumber. It was politically convenient to brand any indigenous people or other groups as Communists or simply revolutionaries. Catholic priests who supported the poor and subjected citizens were condemned by the Vatican as practicing “liberation theology.” We became strongly involved in promoting human rights in all these countries, condemning injustices, interceding with abusive leaders, using economic pressure, and giving public support to human rights activists. (Jimmy Carter “White House Diaries” 2010 p.346)

I worked on hospital cost containment [bill] in the afternoon, calling the members of congress, many of whom have been bribed by the hospital industry. (Jimmy Carter “White House Diaries” 2010 p.370)

The most thorough analysis of this question was October Surprise, written by Gary Sick in 1991. Gary is a retired navy captain who served on the National Security Council staffs under President Ford, me, and Reagan. (Jimmy Carter “White House Diaries” 2010 p.480)

December 5 I decided to hold all aid to El Salvador because we have information the security forces were involved in the murder of several Catholic nuns, some of whom were Americans. (Jimmy Carter “White House Diaries” 2010 p.491-3)

Haig and Allen have refused to be briefed on the Iranian situation! We’ve no contact with the Reagan people in Defense. (Jimmy Carter “White House Diaries” 2010 p.504)

The purpose of the government-media campaign to undermine the peace process is not obscure. It was important to ensure that Nicaragua would remain under at least a low level of terrorist attack within and military threat at the borders, so that it could not devote its pitiful resources to the awesome and probably hopeless task of reconstruction from U.S. violence, and so that internal controls would allow U.S. commentators to bemoan the lack of freedom in the country targeted for attack. The same logic lay behind the Pentagon directives to the proxy forces (explicitly authorized by the State Department, and considered reasonable by liberal doves) to attack undefended "soft targets." The reasoning was explained by a contra defector who was so important that he had to be as rigorously avoided by the independent media as the Secretary General of the OAS: Horacio Arce, chief of contra (FDN) intelligence, whose nom de guerre was Mercenario ("mercenary") -- talk about "freedom fighters" and "democrats" is for the educated classes at home. Contras were accorded ample media attention, more than the Nicaraguan government, but Arce received a different treatment.

Arce had a good deal to say when interviewed in Mexico in late 1988 after his defection. In particular, he described his illegal training in an airforce base in the southern United States, identified by name the CIA agents who provided support for the contras under an AID cover in the U.S. Embassy in Tegucigalpa, outlined how the Honduran army provided intelligence and support for contra military activities, and reported the sale of CIA-supplied Soviet-style arms to the FMLN guerrillas in El Salvador (later offered as "proof" of Cuban and Nicaraguan arms shipments). Arce then explained: "We attack a lot of schools, health centers, and those sort of things. We have tried to make it so that the Nicaraguan government cannot provide social services for the peasants, cannot develop its project...that's the idea." Evidently, the careful U.S. training was successful in getting the basic idea across.

It was never seriously in doubt that congressional liberals and media doves would support measures of economic strangulation and low-level terror guided by these principles until Nicaragua would achieve "democracy" -- that is, until political power passed to business and landowning elites linked to the United States, who are "democrats" for this reason alone, no further questions asked.15 They can also be expected to lend at least tacit support to further Washington efforts to undermine and subvert any government that fails to place the security forces under effective U.S. control or to meet proper standards of subservience to domestic and foreign business interests. (Noam Chomsky "Detering democracy" p79-80)

The articulation of Washington’s unilateral right to resort to force in the Bush administration’s National Security Strategy broke little new ground. Writing in Foreign Affairs before the 2000 elections, Condoleezza Rice, for example, had condemned the “reflexive appeal… to notions of international laws and norms, and the belief that the support of many states-or even better, of institution like the United Nations –is essential to the legitimate exercise of power.” The US government need not conform to the “illusory ‘norms” of international behavior,” she explained, or “adhere to every international convention and agreement that someone thinks to propose.” Clients and allies apart, all states of course must rigorously obey those norms, as the United States interprets them, or else. (Chomsky “Failed States” p85-6) Foreign affairs article

In 1981, Samuel Huntington, professor of the science of government at Harvard University, explained the functions of the Soviet threat: “you may have to sell” intervention or other military action “in such a way as to create the misimpression that it is the Soviet Union you are fighting. That is what the United States has done ever since the Truman Doctrine.” On the same grounds, he warned a few years later, Mikhail Gorbachev’s “public relations can be as much a threat to American interests in Europe as were [Leonid] Brezhnev’s tanks.” (Chomsky “Failed States” p103)

As historian Charles Bergquist concludes in his review of justifications for interventions in Latin America, “to conserve…faith in liberal democracy” analysts must “distort…evidence, and transform the rational consistency in US policy (the defense of capitalist interests) into irrationality (unfounded fear of Communism).” The same has regularly been true elsewhere as well. (Chomsky “Failed States” p110)

On 9/11 in 1973, after years of subversion of Chilean democracy, support for terror, and “making the economy scream,” General Augusto Pinochet’s forces attacked the Chilean presidential palace.

Subversion of democracy by concentrations of private power, of course, familiar: mainstream commentators casually observe that “business is in complete control of the machinery of government” (Robert Reich), echoing Woodrow Wilson’s observation, days before taking office, that “the masters of the government of the United States are the combined capitalists and manufacturers of the United States”. America’s leading twentieth-century social philosopher, John Dewey, concluded that “politics is the shadow cast on society by big business” and will remain so as long as power resides in “business for private profit through private control of backing, land, industry, reinforced by command of the press, press agents and other means of publicity and propaganda.” Accordingly, reforms will not suffice. Fundamental social change is necessary to bring meaningful democracy. (Chomsky “Failed States” p205-6) cited in this discussion as well

The initial design was articulated clearly by the most influential of the framers, James Madison. He held that power should be in the hands of “the wealth of the nation… the more capable set of men. ”People without property, or the hopes of acquiring it,” he reflected at the end of his life, “cannot be expected to sympathize sufficiently with its rights, to be safe depositories over them.” The rights are not those of property, which has no rights but of property owners, who therefore should have extra rights beyond citizens generally…. . (Chomsky “Failed States” p206-7)

-in Woodrow Wilson’s words- that “most men are the servants of corporations…in a very different America from the old.” In this new America- “no longer a scene of individual enterprise,…individual opportunity, and individual achievement”-“small groups of men in control of great corporations wield a power and control over the wealth and business opportunities of the country.” As the process of corporatization gained force,….. (Chomsky “Failed States” p208-9)

The task of advertising is to undermine the free markets we are taught to admire: mythical entities in which consumers make informed rational choices. In such systems, business would simply provide information about their products: cheap, easy, simple. But it is hardly a secret that they do nothing of the sort. On the contrary, business spends hundreds of billions of dollars a year projecting imagery to delude customers. Uncontroversially, that is the goal of advertising-not providing information….Furthermore, as Veblon pointed out long ago, one of the primary tasks of business propaganda is the “fabrication of consumers,” a device that helps induce “all the classic symptoms of state based totalitarianism: atomization, political apathy and irrationality, the hollowing and banalization of purportedly democratic political processes, mounting popular frustration and so forth.”

The basic observation is as old as Adam Smith, who warned that the interests of merchants and manufacturers are “to deceive or even oppress the public,” as they have done “on many occasions.” By now they are served by major industries that have been created for this purpose. Informed consumer choice is about as realistic as the famed “entrepreneurial initiative” and “free trade.” Except for temporary advantage, the fanciful markets of doctrine and economic theory have never been welcomed- or long tolerated- by those who dominate society.

Sometimes the commitment to deceit takes extreme forms. One illustration is the US-Australia negotiations on a “free trade agreement” from 2003. These were held up by Washington’s concern that Australia follows “evidence-based” procedures and prohibits “direct-to-consumer marketing for prescription drugs,” while US “manufacturers would prefer a system in which they have the freedom to market their products and set prices according to the market’s willingness to pay.” Australia engages in unacceptable market interference, US government negotiators objected. Pharmaceutical corporations are deprived of their legitimate rights if they are required to produce evidence when they claim that their latest product is better than some cheaper alternative, or run TV ads in which some sports hero or movie actress tells the audience to “ask your doctor whether this drug is right for you (if’s right for me),” sometimes not even revealing what the drug is supposed to be for. The right of deceit must be guaranteed to the immensely powerful and pathological immortal “persons” that have been created by radical judicial activism. Australia’s Health care system is perhaps the most efficient in the world. In particular, drug prices are a fraction of those in the United States: the same drugs, produced by the same companies, earning substantial profits though not like those in the United States, where such profits are commonly justified on the dubious grounds that they are needed for research and development (R&D)…. (Chomsky “Failed States” p220-2)

The facts are sometimes acknowledged, with an interesting twist. )…. (Chomsky “Failed States” p225-6)

A month earlier, Undersecretary of State Paula Dobriansky presented the State Department’s annual report on human rights around the world, (Chomsky “Failed States” p231-2)

The reactionary statists who have a thin grip on political power are dedicated warriors. With consistency and passion that approach caricature, their policies serve the substantial people—in fact, an unusually narrow sector of them—and disregard or harm the underlying population and future generations. They are also seeking to use their current opportunities to institutionalize these arrangements, so that it will be no small task to reconstruct a more humane and democratic society….. (Chomsky “Failed States” p236-7)

In Ohio drawing from the same courageous defenders of academic freedom against the onslaught from the left, Senator Larry Mumper introduced legislation to “restrict what university professors could say in their classrooms.”…… ….. (Chomsky “Failed States” p239)

The financial crisis is surely no secret. The press reports that 30 percent of health care costs go for administration,….. (Chomsky “Failed States” p246-7)

Meanwhile Cuba-Venezuela relations are becoming very close, each relying on its comparative advantage……(Chomsky “Failed States” p256,8)

One commonly hears that carping critics complain about what is wrong, but do not present solutions. There is an accurate translation for that charge: "They present solutions, but I don't like them." In addition to the proposals that should be familiar about dealing with the crises that reach to the level of survival, a few simple suggestions for the United States have already been mentioned: 1) accept the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court and the World Court; 2) sign and carry forward the Kyoto protocols; 3) let the UN take the lead in international crises; 4) rely on diplomatic and economic measures rather than military ones in confronting terror; 5) keep to the traditional interpretation of the UN Charter; 6) give up the Security Council veto and have "a decent respect for the opinion of mankind," as the Declaration of Independence advises, even if power centers disagree; 7) cut back sharply on military spending and sharply increase social spending. For people who believe in democracy, these are very conservative suggestions: they appear to be the opinions of the majority of the US population, in most cases the overwhelming majority. They are in radical opposition to public policy. To be sure, we cannot be very confident about the state of public opinion on such matters because of another feature of the democratic deficit: the topics scarcely enter into public discussion and the basic facts are little known. In a highly atomized society, the public is therefore largely deprived of the opportunity to form considered opinions. (Chomsky “Failed States” 262)

Then McNamara says, “I think he’s right….But what makes it immoral if you lose and not Immoral if you win?”

I haven’t seen the film, but I’ve been told that in it McNamara identifies his own role during the Second World War for the first time. Noam Chomsky Imperial Ambitions p.65-

The Reagan administration blocked it because they didn’t want the public to know what happened in Guatemala in 1954 and Iran in 1953. Noam Chomsky Imperial Ambitions p.

Every four years Americans, those who vote, are faced with what is often called the lesser of two evils as their presidential options. Dave Dellinger, who passed away in May, used to call it "the evil of two lessers." You say that there is "a fraction" of difference between George Bush and John Kerry. And this raised some eyebrows. I heard, "It sounds like Chomsky is coming out for Kerry." Could you expand on your position.

There are differences. They have different constituencies. There are different groups of people around them. On international affairs I wouldn’t expect any major policy changes. It would probably be more like back to the Clinton years, when you have sort of the same policies, but more modulated, not so brazen and aggressive, less violent. And I would expect a kind of return to that.

On domestic issues there could be a fairly significant difference–it’s not huge–but different in its outcomes. The group around Bush are real fanatics. They’re quite open. They’re not hiding it; you can’t accuse them of that. They want to destroy the whole array of progressive achievements of the past century. They’ve already more or less gotten rid of progressive income tax. They’re trying to destroy the limited medical care system. The new pharmaceutical bill is a step towards that. They’re going after Social Security. They probably will go after schools. They do not want a small government, any more than Reagan did. They want a huge government, and massively intrusive. They hate free markets. But they want it to work for the rich. The Kerry people will do something not fantastically different, but less so. They have a different constituency to appeal to, and they are much more likely to protect some limited form of benefits for the general population.

There are other differences. The popular constituency of the Bush people, a large part of it, is the extremist fundamentalist religious sector in the country, which is huge. There is nothing like it in any other industrial country. And they have to keep throwing them red meat to keep them in line. While they’re shafting them in their economic and social policies, you’ve got to make them think you’re doing something for them. And throwing red meat to that constituency is very dangerous for the world, because it means violence and aggression, but also for the country, because it means harming civil liberties in a serious way. The Kerry people don’t have that constituency. They would like to have it, but they’re never going to appeal to it much. They have to appeal somehow to working people, women, minorities, and others, and that makes a difference.

These may not look like huge differences, but they translate into quite big effects for the lives of people. Anyone who says "I don’t care if Bush gets elected" is basically telling poor and working people in the country, "I don’t care if your lives are destroyed. I don’t care whether you are going to have a little money to help your disabled mother. I just don’t care, because from my elevated point of view I don’t see much difference between them." That’s a way of saying, "Pay no attention to me, because I don’t care about you." Apart from its being wrong, it’s a recipe for disaster if you’re hoping to ever develop a popular movement and a political alternative. Noam Chomsky Imperial Ambitions p.112-3

Yes. One of the first acts in the conquest of Falluja was to take over the general hospital, which was a major war crime. Noam Chomsky Imperial Ambitions p.122=7

Take this morning’s New York Times, which has an article reporting the views of Gregory Mankiw, the chair of the president’s Council of Economic Advisors. Noam Chomsky Imperial Ambitions p.142=3

John F. Kennedy apparently sponsored a military coup in 1963 that put Saddam Hussein’s Baathist party in power. Noam Chomsky Imperial Ambitions p.162-3

Or take Haiti. Haiti is considered a “failed state,” but in 1990 Haiti had a democratic election of the kind we can only dream of. Noam Chomsky Imperial Ambitions p.200-1

The west is guided by a different vision, one outlined forthrightly by Winston Churchill (Noam Chomsky World Orders Old and New p.4)

On similar grounds, the United States never considered Stalin’s proposals for a unified and demilitarized Germany with free election in 1952. (Noam Chomsky World Orders Old and New p.33)

There was also no delay in demonstrating that the contempt for democracy that has long been a leading feature of U.S. policy and intellectual culture would persist without change. (Noam Chomsky World Orders Old and New p.45)

A rational person interested in what the Soviet leaders intended to do during the Cold War years would ask what they did do, particularly in the regions most fully under their control. (Noam Chomsky World Orders Old and New p.71)

Recognizing these peculiarities of American political culture, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce distributed more than a million copies of it’s pamphlet “Communist Infiltration in the United States” Immediately after the war, along with another entitled “Communists Within the Government.” (Noam Chomsky World Orders Old and New p.89)

Modern gynecological surgery, for example, was developed by respected medical researchers who were free to torture helpless Irish indigent women as well as slaves in their experimental work; Mengele might have been impressed. (Noam Chomsky World Orders Old and New p.115)

As Washington prepared to reverse Guatemala’s brief experiment with democracy in 1954, a State Department official warned that Guatemala “has become an increasing threat to the stability of Honduras and El Salvador. (Noam Chomsky World Orders Old and New p.122)

(Noam Chomsky Third World Traveler quotes similar to World Orders Old and New )

The violence of the Israeli reaction to the Intifada received some general notice, but neither these reports, nor the occasional accounts in earlier years when atrocities passed beyond the norm, give an accurate picture of the “sheer accumulations of endless humiliations and casually committed brutalities” that (Noam Chomsky World Orders Old and New p.)

Events followed a parallel course. Israeli military operations in the territories were accelerated at once, with fifteen Palestinians killed and nine houses destroyed in September……..Among them was grocer Abdul-Rahman Yusif Aruri , “the victim of what the human rights organization, Al-Haq, described as ‘premeditated execution,’” his cousin, University of Massachusetts professor Naseer Aruri, reported. (Noam Chomsky World Orders Old and New p.258)

Frank Miller took over the video conference and I stepped out and called Watson on a secure line. "We got the passenger manifests from the airlines. We recognize some names, Dick. They're al Qaeda." I was stunned, not that the attack was al Qaeda but that there were al Qaeda operatives on board aircraft using names that FBI knew were al Qaeda.

"How the fuck did they get on board then?" I demanded.

"Hey, don't shoot the messenger, friend. CIA forgot to tell us about them." Dale Watson was one of the good guys at FBI. He had been trying hard to get the Bureau to go after al Qaeda in the United States with limited success. "Dick, we need to make sure none of this gang escapes out of the country, like they did in '93." In 1993 many of the World Trade Center bombers had quickly flown abroad just before and after the attack. (Richard Clarke “Against All Enemies” 2004 p.13)

For now, however, the President shifted to the economic damage. Somehow he had learned that four shopping malls in Omaha had closed after the attacks. "I want the economy back, open for business right away, banks, the stock market, everything tomorrow." Ken Dam, the Deputy Secretary of the Treasury, filling in for the traveling Paul O'Neill, pointed out that there was physical damage to the Wall Street infrastructure. "As soon as we get the rescue operations done up there, shift everything to fixing that damage so we can reopen," Bush urged. Turning to Secretary of Transportation Norm Mineta, he pressed for resumption of air travel. Mineta suggested that flights could begin at noon the next day. (Richard Clarke “Against All Enemies” 2004 p.24)

Charlie Allen had his hair on fire. That is the way that Steve Simon, then the head of the State Department politico-military analysis team, put it. "You better talk to him. He thinks Iraq is really going to do it." (Richard Clarke “Against All Enemies” 2004 p.55-6)

The Saudis were eager for us to involve other Arab nations. Cheney flew on to Cairo to persuade Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak to send troops to the Kingdom. Wolfowitz and I flew on to Bahrain, Abu Dhabi, and Salalah to gain approvals for American aircraft to land at air bases in the smaller Gulf countries. In the United Arab Emirates, we were greeted by the unusual sight of ali of the emirs of the seven federal states sitting together led by President Zayed. They had expected us to ask to land forty-eight fighter aircraft. When we asked to base two hundred, there was an audible gasp. Zayed, however, had been trying to warn America for weeks that Saddam would invade Kuwait. A week earlier he had asked for U.S. tanker aircraft to help his aircraft defend UAE oil flelds from Iraq. He now knew that the Americans were serious this time and ordered construction of more fighter aircraft support areas immediately. (Richard Clarke “Against All Enemies” 2004 p.60)

The Pentagon, civilian and military, was outraged that the President would launch an investigation of military laxness. (Richard Clarke “Against All Enemies” 2004 p.113)

Freeh had told senior FBI officers that the White House staff were all “politicals” who could not be trusted. (Richard Clarke “Against All Enemies” 2004 p.114)

The U.S. military are particularly sensitive to civilians telling them how to do their job, or even asking them how they intend to do it. The officer corps have all been taught to tell civilians “Just give me the objective. I’ll figure out how to do it.” This response has its roots in Vietnam, when Lyndon Johnson sat in the Situation Room going over maps and pictures, ruling out bombing targets. It was this tradition that prevented us from knowing how the military would go after Aideed in Somalia-otherwise, we would have suggested that repeated daytime raids from helicopters in a city was not a good idea. It was this tradition that also meant I could not formally become involved in discussions about what platforms would be used to launch the cruise missiles. Nonetheless, I called my friend s on the Joint Staff to raise the issue that the Pakistani military might detect strange U.S. Navy activity off their coast long before Joe Ralston was sipping curry soup. I was assured the missiles would be fired from submerged attack subs. There might be a destroyer employed, but there was often a U.S. destroyer passing by the Pakistani coast. (Richard Clarke “Against All Enemies” 2004 p.187)

The only way to stop it is to work with the leaders of Islamic nations to insure that tolerance of other religions is taught again, that their people believe they have fair opportunities to participate in government and the economy, that the social and cultural conditions that breed hatred are bred out. (Richard Clarke “Against All Enemies” 2004 p.263) Richard Clarke “Against All Enemies” 2004 also cited by Shipman

The message sent to the Iraqi commanders through a variety of creative means was “Don’t Fight,” just let us get rid of Saddam. Because of those messages, many Iraqi commanders did not fight and actually sent their troops home. Yet after Jerry Bremmer was appointed pro-consul of Iraq, the U.S. had another message: “You’re all fired.” (including teachers, doctors, nurses etc.)…. pensions they had planned on when hitting retirement age would not be there. (Richard Clarke “Against All Enemies” 2004 p.271-2)

Elsewhere we were now seen as a super bully more than a super power, not just for what we did but for the way we did it, disdaining international mechanisms that we would later need. (Richard Clarke “Against All Enemies” 2004 p.273)

On a 2003 visit to the United States, General Musharraf complained that the U.S. was offering him military assistance funds which he did not need and not providing economic development help he desperately required. (Richard Clarke “Against All Enemies” 2004 p.280-1)

(Richard Clarke “Against All Enemies”

Too much media involvement and too little “real life” social interaction (Barbara Coloroso “The Bully, the Bullied, and the Bystander” 2008 p.120-1)

In his book: Can We Be Good Without God? Dr. Robert Buckman asks the question “Why should I behave decently?” His answer: “Because it will be a better world for the human race if we all do.” (Barbara Coloroso “The Bully, the Bullied, and the Bystander” 2008 p.125)

Days after the shooting at Columbine High School in Littleton Colorado, a group of Nashville, Tennessee, students created a Web site: They invited other students throughout the world to sign the following pledge: (Barbara Coloroso “The Bully, the Bullied, and the Bystander” 2008 p.174-5)

Peter Yarrow and Flora Lazar “Don’t Laugh at Me, Teachers Guide: Grades 6–8, Creating a Ridicule-Free Classroom” 2000

In my research for this book, I was unable to find any such comprehensive program for middle school and high school in either the United States or Canada. (Barbara Coloroso “The Bully, the Bullied, and the Bystander” 2008 p.181)

At San Marcos High School in San Marcos, California, a student drew up a list of his tormentors on the back of a class handout. (Barbara Coloroso “The Bully, the Bullied, and the Bystander” 2008 p.185-6)

In his book Nobody left to hate: Teaching Compassion after Columbine, Elliot Aronson wrote about this poisonous atmosphere in middle and senior high school, which he saw as one of the root causes of violence: (Barbara Coloroso “The Bully, the Bullied, and the Bystander” 2008 p.190)

…”Would I want it done to me?”……Have we not yet learned to hear their cry? Apparently not. In 1978, James Dobson wrote in his book, Temper your Child’s Temper Tantrums: (Barbara Coloroso “Kids Are Worth It” 1995 p.8-9)

The main source of good discipline is growing up in a loving family, being loved and learning to love in return. –Benjamin Spock, Baby and Child Care (Barbara Coloroso “Kids Are Worth It” 1995 p.27)

Children need parents who model self-discipline rather than preach it. They learn from what their parents actually do; not from what they say they do…. When parents rigidly discipline (and don’t walk what they talk), the child becomes overdisciplined…. The over disciplined child is rigid, obsessive, overly controlled and obedient, people pleasing, and ravished with shame and guilt. -- John Bradshaw, Homecoming (Barbara Coloroso “Kids Are Worth It” 1995 p.23)

The major problems arise when the teen decides he doesn’t want to please his parents anymore. More than once, brick-wall parents have said to me, “Would you look at this kid. He was such a good kid., so well behaved, so well mannered, so well dressed. Now look at him!” I say, “You know what? He hasn’t changed. From the time he was young, he dressed the way you told him to dress; he acted the way you told him to act; he said the things you told him to say. He’s been listening to somebody else tell him what to do. The problem is, it isn’t you anymore; it’s his peers. The kid hasn’t learned how to think. (Barbara Coloroso “Kids Are Worth It” 1995 p.112)

I don’t care how busy you are- you can take the time with your children. You can talk about your dreams; you can talk about your day; you can talk about your frustrations. The busier you are, the more valuable meal time is for your child. If we don’t spend this time with our youngsters, they are not going to develop healthy attitudes towards family life. –Dr. Lee Salk (Barbara Coloroso “Kids Are Worth It” 1995 p.259)

Robert Dallek “Nixon and Kissinger” 2007 on line copy

But in fact, Nixon’s childhood was much more tumultuous and troublesome than he let on. Frank Nixon, his father, was a boisterous, unpleasant man who needed to dominate everyone-“a ‘punishing and often brutal’ father.” Edward Nixon, the youngest of the Nixon children described his “mother as the judge and my father as the executioner.” (Robert Dallek “Nixon and Kissinger” 2007 p.5)

Henry chose William Y. Elliot as his mentor. Recognized as the most powerful member of the Government department along with Carl Friedrich, the fifty-two-year-old Elliott was in some respects a model of what Henry wished to be. “I am interested in the practical politics of international relations,” Kissinger told Friedrich, signaling a decision to become a Government major intent on the useful applications of his learning.

Elliott was a larger-than-life figure--both physically and temperamentally-who staged cockfights in the basement of his residence and enjoyed being called “Wild Bill.” A native of Tennessee, Elliott had won distinction as an all-American football player at Vanderbilt. He was a memorable character, with the attributes of a Southern politician who would have been as comfortable in Washington’s corridors of power as in the halls of academe. He wore his service in the Office of War Mobilization during World War II as a badge of honor, and encouraged Kissinger and other students to see dual careers in government and the academy as noble ambitions.

Henry had to prove himself to Elliott, who greeted him coolly at their first meeting. “Oh God, another tutee,” he exclaimed after making Kissinger stand awkwardly in front of his desk for a bit while he attended to some business. Elliott instructed him to read twenty-five books on Immanuel Kant and write a paper comparing his critiques of pure and practical reason. Henry surprised the professor by reading all the books and completing a paper in three months that dazzled Elliott. “I want you to meet this fellow Henry Kissinger, who is a combination of Kant and Spinoza,” Elliott told another tutee. “If we put together his profundity with your elegance of style, we’ll really have something.” Elliott wrote to the Phi Beta Kappa selection committee: “I have not had any students in the past five years, even among the summa cum laude group, who have had the depth and philosophical insight shown by Mr. Kissinger.” But Elliott also noted Henry’s limits: “His mind lacks grace and is Teutonic in its systematic thoroughness.” (Robert Dallek “Nixon and Kissinger” 2007 p.41)

What if a revolutionary state were in pursuit of a just cause and a status quo nation were serving unjust goals? A colleague asked Kissinger. “If I had to choose between justice and disorder, on the one hand,” Kissinger replied, “and injustice and order, on the other, I would always choose the latter.” (Robert Dallek “Nixon and Kissinger” 2007 p.46)

He (Nixon) told Haldeman that he was relying on what he called “the Madman theory.” He believed that the North Vietnamese would see him as ready to “do anything to stop the war. We’ll just slip the word to them that, ‘for God’s sake, you know Nixon is obsessed about Communism. We can’t restrain him when he is angry-and he has his hands on the nuclear button’- and Ho Chi Minh will be in Paris in two days begging for peace.” (Robert Dallek “Nixon and Kissinger” 2007 p.106) References to the “Madman theory” were made on numerous occasions.

During the trip to Europe, after he received reports of additional Soviet construction in Cuba, he instructed Haig to take a hard line with Dobrynin. It was a mistake to give Haig, a no-nonsense general with little appreciation for diplomatic subtleties the assignment. Or it may be that Kissinger anticipated Haig’s tough talk. Haig told Dobrynin that they were violating the 1962 ban on offensive weapons in Cuba and ordered him to dismantle the base or “we will do it for you.” Dobrynin flushed angrily, and said, “In a loud voice, ‘You are threatening the Soviet Union. That is …intolerable.’”

When told of the exchange, Nixon and Kissinger were “furious…You have exceeded your authority,” Henry shouted at him over the phone. “You can’t talk to the Russians that way. You may have started a war.” Kissinger knew better, but he felt compelled to reflect Nixon’s distress at Haig’s intemperate language. He was undoubtedly pleased that Haig had said what his position of greater authority precluded him from saying. (Robert Dallek “Nixon and Kissinger” 2007 p.229-30)

It is difficult to understand how anyone could work for someone as volatile and irrational as Nixon sometimes was. Most likely, Kissinger and others rationalized their collaboration as helping to save Nixon from himself. After all, he was a democratically elected president and they saw themselves as serving the national well-being by reigning him in. Yet what seems so striking in the record is how often the people around Nixon catered to his outbursts and flights of fancy rather than calling him back to reality by challenging some of his most unsavory and unenforceable demands. It was a way to remain at Nixon’s side but it was a disservice to sensible policy making. It also speaks volumes about the reluctance of high government officials to alienate a president and perhaps force their departure from an office they believe gives them the chance to shape history making events. (Robert Dallek “Nixon and Kissinger” 2007 p.316)

Nixon countered, with implicit reference to the twenty-seven-year Soviet domination of eastern Europe, “Small nations object to having their fate decided by larger ones.” He then softened his remarks by declaring that “we wouldn’t want to anger Albania.” When the laughter subsided, Gromyko exclaimed sarcastically, “That is a very noble intention.” (Robert Dallek “Nixon and Kissinger” 2007 p.395)

Nixon said, “Eliminate the politicians, except George Bush. He’d do anything for the cause.” (Robert Dallek “Nixon and Kissinger” 2007 p.434)

(James Dobson “The Strong Willed Child” p.1-3) 2011

The Dobson household consisted of a mother and a father, a boy and a girl, one hamster, one parakeet, one lonely goldfish, and two hopelessly neurotic cats. We all lived together in relative harmony with a minimum of conflict and strife. But there was another member of our family who was less congenial and cooperative. He is a stubborn twelve pound dachshund named Sigmund Freud (Siggie), who honestly believes he owns the place. All dachshunds tend to be independent, I’m told, but Siggie was a confirmed revolutionary. He was not vicious or mean; he just wanted to run things—and the two of us engaged in a power struggle throughout his lifetime.

Siggie was not only stubborn, but he wouldn’t pull his own weight in the family. He wouldn’t bring in the newspaper on cold mornings; he refused to chase a ball for the children; he didn’t keep the gophers out of the garden; and he didn’t do any of the usual tricks that most cultured dogs perform. Alas, Siggie refused to engage in any of the self-improvement programs that I initiated on his behalf. He was content just to trot through life, watering and sniffing and barking at everything that moved.

Sigmund was not even a good watchdog. This fact was confirmed the night we were visited by a prowler who entered our backyard at three o’clock in the morning. I suddenly awoke from a deep sleep, got out of bed, and felt my way through the house without turning on the lights. I knew someone was on the patio and Siggie knew it too, because the coward was crouched behind me! After listening to the thumping of my heart for a few minutes, I reached out to take hold of the rear doorknob. At that moment, the backyard gate quietly opened and closed. Someone had been standing three feet from me and that someone was now tinkering in my garage. Siggie and I held a little conversation in the darkness and decided that he should be the one to investigate the disturbance. I opened the back door and ordered my dog to “Attack!” But Siggie had just had one! He stood there throbbing and shaking so badly that I couldn’t even push him out the back door. In the noise and confusion that ensued, the intruder escaped (which pleased both dog and man).

Please don’t misunderstand me: Siggie was a member of our family and we loved him dearly. And despite his anarchistic nature, I did finally teach him to obey a few simple commands. However, we had some classic battles before he reluctantly yielded to my authority. The greatest confrontation occurred when I had been in Miami for a three-day conference. I returned to observe that Siggie had become boss of the house while I was gone. But I didn’t realize until later that evening just how strongly he felt about his new position as captain.

At eleven o’clock that night, I told Siggie to go get into his bed, which was a permanent enclosure in the family room. For six years, I had given him that order at the end of each day, and for six years Siggie had obeyed. On that occasion, however, he refused to budge. He was in the bathroom, seated comfortably on the furry lid of the toilet seat. That was his favorite spot in the house, because it allowed him to bask in the warmth of a nearby electric heater. Incidentally, Siggie had to learn the hard way that it was extremely important that the lid be down before he left the ground. I’ll never forget the night he learned that lesson. He came thundering in from the cold and sailed through the air—and nearly drowned before I could get him out.

On the night of our great battle, I told Sigmund to leave his warm seat and go to bed. Instead, he flattened his ears and slowly turned his head toward me. He braced himself by placing one paw on the edge of the furry lid, then hunched his shoulders, raised his lips to reveal the molars on both sides, and uttered his most threatening growl. That was Siggie’s way of saying, “Get lost!”

I had seen this defiant mood before and knew that I had to deal with it. The only way to make Siggie obey was to threaten him with destruction. Nothing else worked. I turned and went to my closet and got a small belt to help me “reason” with ’ol Sig. My wife, who was watching this drama unfold, told me that as soon as I left the room, Siggie jumped from his perch and looked down the hall to see where I had gone. Then he got behind her and growled.

When I returned, I held up the belt and again told the angry dog to get into his bed. He stood his ground so I gave him a firm swat across the rear end, and he tried to bite the belt. I popped him again and he tried to bite me. What developed next is impossible to describe. That tiny dog and I had the most vicious fight ever staged between man and beast. I fought him up one wall and down the other, with both of us scratching and clawing and growling. I amstill embarrassed by the memory of the entire scene. Inch by inch I moved him toward the family room and his bed. As a final desperate maneuver, Siggie jumped on the couch and backed into the corner for one last snarling stand. I eventually got him into his bed, but only because I outweighed him two hundred to twelve!

The following night I expected another siege of combat at Siggie’s bedtime. To my surprise, however, he accepted my command without debate or complaint and simply trotted toward the family room in perfect submission. In fact, Siggie and I never had another “go for broke” stand.

It is clear to me now that Siggie was saying on the first night, in his canine way, “I don’t think you’re tough enough to make me obey.” Perhaps I seem to be humanizing the behavior of a dog, but I think not. Veterinarians will confirm that some breeds of dogs, notably dachshunds and shepherds, will not accept the leadership of their masters until human authority has stood the test of fire and proved itself worthy. I got that message across to Siggie in one decisive encounter, and we were good friends for the rest of his life. (James Dobson “The Strong Willed Child” p.1-6)

Just as surely as some children are naturally compliant, others seem to be defiant upon exit from the womb. They come into the world smoking a cigar and yelling about the temperature in the delivery room and the incompetence of the nursing staff and the way the doctors are running things. Long before their children are born, mothers of strong-willed children know there is something different going on inside, because their babies have been trying to carve their initials on the walls. In infancy, these children fairly bristle when their bottle is late and demand to be held throughout the day. Three o’clock in the morning is their favorite “playtime.” Later, during toddlerhood, they resist all forms of authority and their greatest delights include “painting” the carpet with Mom’s makeup or trying to flush the family cat down the toilet. Their frustrated parents wonder where they went wrong and why their child-rearing experience is so different from what they had expected. They desperately need a little coaching about what to do next. (James Dobson “The Strong Willed Child” p.14)

Consider the views of Dr. John Valusek, a psychologist with whom I appeared on the Phil Donahue television show:

“The way to stop violence in Americas is to stop spanking children,” argues psychologist John Valusek. In a speech to the Utah Association for Mental health some weeks ago, Valusek declared that parental spanking promotes the thesis that violence against others is acceptable.

“Spanking is the first half-inch on the yardstick of violence,” said Valusek. “It is followed by hitting and ultimately by rape, murder, and assassination, the modeling behavior that occurs at home sets the stage: ‘I will resort to violence when I don’t know what else to do.’”

To Dr. Valusek and his permissive colleagues I can only say '"Poppycock!"' How ridiculous to blame America's obsession with violence on the disciplinary efforts of loving parents! This conclusion is especially foolish in view of the bloody fare offered to our children on TV each day. The average 16-year-old has watched 18,000 murders during his formative years, including a daily bombardment of knifings, shootings, hangings, decapitations, and general dismemberment. Thus, it does seem strange that the psychological wizards of our day search elsewhere for the cause of brutality-and eventually point the finger of blame at the parents who are diligently training our future responsible citizens. Yet this is the kind of "press" that has been given in recent years to parents who believe in spanking their disobedient child.


Those same specialists also say that a spanking teaches your child to hit others, making him a more violent person. Nonsense! If your child has ever bumped his arm against a hot stove, you can bet he'll never deliberately do that again. He does not become a more violent person because the stove burnt him. In fact, he learned a valuable lesson from the pain. Similarly, when he falls out of his high chair or smashes his finger in the door or is bitten by a grumpy dog, he learns about the physical dangers in his world. These bumps and bruises throughout childhood are nature's way of teaching him what to treat with respect. They do not damage his self-esteem. They do not make him vicious. They merely acquaint him with reality. In like manner, an appropriate spanking from a loving parent provides the same service. It tells him there are not only physical dangers to be avoided, but he must steer clear of some social traps as well (selfishness, defiance, dishonesty, unprovoked aggression, etc.) (James Dobson “The Strong Willed Child” p.33-5)

There are dangers implicit in what I have stated about discipline of the strong-willed child. The reader could assume that I perceive children as the villains and parents as the inevitable good guys. Of greater concern is the inference that I’m recommending rigid, harsh, oppressive approach to discipline in the home. Neither statement is even partially accurate…. (James Dobson “The Strong Willed Child” p.89)

As I’ve stated, a child’s will is a powerful force in the human personality. It is one of the few intellectual components which arrives full strength at the moment of birth...

The will is not delicate and wobbly. Even for a child in whom the spirit has been sandbagged, there is often a will of steel, making him a threat to himself and others as well….My point is that the will is malleable. It can and should be polished-not to make a robot of a child for our selfish purposes, but to give him the ability to control his own impulses and exercise self-discipline later in life. In fact, we have a God-given responsibility as parents to shape the will in the manner described in the previous chapter. (James Dobson “The Strong Willed Child” p.94-6)

1. Neither child is ever allowed to make fun of the other in a destructive way. Period! This is an inflexible rule with no exceptions.
2. Each child's room is his private territory. There are locks on both doors, and permission to enter is a revocable privilege. (Families with more than one child in each bedroom can allocate available living space for each youngster.)
3. The older child is not permitted to tease the younger child.
4. The younger child is forbidden to harass the older child.
5. The children are not required to play with each other when they prefer to be alone or with other friends.
6. We mediate any genuine conflict as quickly as possible, being careful to show impartiality and extreme fairness.
(James Dobson “The Strong Willed Child” p.179) rules also sited in this article.

One father told me recently that his son and his nephew began to argue and then beat each other with their fists. Both fathers were nearby and decided to let the fight run its natural course. During the first lull in the action, one of the boys glanced sideways toward the passive men and said, "Isn't anybody going to stop us before we get hurt?!" The fight, you see, was something neither boy wanted. Their violent combat was directly related to the presence of the two adults and would have taken a different form if the boys had been alone. Children will "hook" their parents' attention and intervention in this way.

Believe it or not, this form of sibling rivalry is easiest to control. The parent must simply render the behavior unprofitable to each participant….

(This last paragraph is different in the original book.) I would recommend that you review the problem (for example, a morning full of bickering) with the children and then say, "Now listen carefully. If the two of you want to pick on each other and make yourselves miserable, then be my guests [assuming there is a fairly equal balance of power between them]. Go outside and fight until you're exhausted. But it's not going to occur under my feet anymore. It's over! And you know that I mean business when I make that kind of statement. Do we understand each other? (James Dobson “The Strong Willed Child” p.180-1) also cited in this article

Now, if one of the Dobson’s takes a single bite of food before putting his napkin in his lap, he is required to go to his bedroom and count to twenty-five in a loud voice. This game is highly effective, although it has some definite disadvantages. You can’t imagine how foolish Shirley and I feel when we’re standing in an empty section of the house counting to twenty-five while our children giggle. Ryan particularly never forgets his napkin and he loves to catch the rest of us in a moment of preoccupation. (James Dobson “The Strong Willed Child” p.224-5)

Parental power can be defined as a hostile form of manipulation in order to satisfy selfish adult purposes. As such, it disregards the best interests of the little child on whom it tramples and produces a relationship of fear and intimidation. Drill instructors in the Marine Corps have been known to depend on this form of power to indoctrinate their beleaguered recruits. (James Dobson “The Strong Willed Child” p.247)

“Things cannot be forced from the top…The international relinquishing of sovereignty would have to spring from the people-it would have to be so strong that the elected delegates would be turned out of office if they failed to do it. . . . War will exist until that distant day when the conscientious objector enjoys the same reputation and prestige that the warrior does today." (Douglass "JFK and the Unspeakable" 2007 p 6)

Kennedy threatened “to splinter the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter it into the winds.” NYT 4/25/66

“[This treaty] is particularly for our children and grandchildren and they have no lobby here in Washington.” (P51)

Kennedy to Norman Cousins “One of the ironic things about this entire situation is that Mr. Khrushchev and I are occupy approximately the same political positions inside our governments. He would like to prevent a nuclear war but is under severe pressure from his hard-line crowd, which interprets every move in that direction as appeasement. I have similar problems. Meanwhile the lack of progress in reaching agreements between our two countries gives strength to the hard-line boys in both, with the result that the hard-liners in the Soviet Union and the United States feed on one another, each using the actions of the other to justify their own positions.” (Douglass "JFK and the Unspeakable" P 53,345)

RFK told Daniel Ellsberg in 1967 that “we would have handled it like Laos” ….. “Because we were there.” They saw what happened to the French and they knew they couldn’t win either. (Douglass "JFK and the Unspeakable" p108)

“Harry Truman once said there are 14 or 15 million Americans who have the resources to have representatives in Washington to protect their interests, and that the interests of a great mass of other people, the hundred and fifty or sixty million, is the responsibility of the President of the United States. And I propose to fulfill it! (Douglass "JFK and the Unspeakable" 142)

Kennedy to Charles O’Donnell "If I tried to pull out completely now from Vietnam we would have another Joe McCarthy red scare on our hands, but I can do it after I'm reelected. So we had better make damn sure I am reelected." Kennedy to Charles Bartlett "We don't have a prayer of staying in Vietnam. Those people hate us. But I can't give up a piece of territory like that to the Communists and then get the people to reelect me." (Douglass "JFK and the Unspeakable" p181)

After the Diem coup Kennedy told George Smathers “I’ve got to do something about those bastards.” ….”They should be stripped of their exorbitant power.” (Douglass "JFK and the Unspeakable" p211)

Conversation with Norman Cousins and Nikita Khrushchev
Cousins: How did it feel to have your fingers so close to the nuclear trigger?
Khrushchev: The Chinese say I was scared. Of course I was scared. It would have been insane not to have been scared. I was frightened about what could happen to my country- or your country and all other countries that would be devastated by a nuclear war. If being frightened meant that I helped avert such insanity then I’m glad I was frightened. One of the problems in the world today is that not enough people are frightened by the danger of nuclear war.” (Douglass "JFK and the Unspeakable" p341)

At a suburban WalMart that is advertising a "job fair" I am seated at a table with some baloons attached to it ( this is the "fair" part) to wait for Julie. She is flustered, when she shows up after about a ten minute wait, because, as she explains, she just works on the floor and has never interviewed anyone before. Fortunately for her, the interview consists almost entirely of a four-page "opinion survey," with "no right or wrong answers," Julie assures me, just my own personal opinion in ten degrees from "totally agree" to "totally disagree". As with the Winn-Dixie preemployment test I took in Key West, there are the usual questions about whether a coworker observed stealing should be forgiven or denounced, whether management is to blame if things go wrong, and if it's all right to be late if you have a "good excuse." The only thing that distinguishes this test is its obsession with marijuana, suggesting that it was authored by a serious stoner struggling to adjust with the corporate way of life. Among the propositions I am asked to opine about are, "Some people work better when they're a little bit high," "Everyone tries marijuana," and, bafflingly, "Marijuana is the same as a drink." Hmm, what kind of drink? I want to ask. "The same" how....chemically or morally? Or should I write something flippant like, "I wouldn't know because I don't drink"? The pay is $6.50, Julie tells me, but can shoot up to $7 pretty fast. She thinks I would be great in the ladies' department, and I tell her I think so too. (Barbara Ehrenreich “Nickel and Dimed" 2001 p.58)

A report issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in July (Barbara Ehrenreich “Nickel and Dimed" 2001 p.105)

She can offer me a job now, but first a little “survey,” on which there are no right or wrong answers, she assures me just whatever I think. (Barbara Ehrenreich “Nickel and Dimed" 2001 p.124,6,8)

A video on “associate honesty” shows a cashier being caught on videotape as he pockets some bills from the cash register. (Barbara Ehrenreich “Nickel and Dimed" 2001 p.144)

In 1988, Arkansas state senator Jay Bradford attacked Wal-Mart for paying its employees so little that they had to turn to the state for welfare. He was, however, unable to prove his point by getting the company to open its payroll records. (Barbara Ehrenreich “Nickel and Dimed" 2001 p.175)

(Barbara Ehrenreich “Nickel and Dimed" also cited in “Gender and work in today’s world”

footnote 12 Wal-Mart employees have sued the retail chain for unpaid overtime in four states— West Virginia, New Mexico, Oregon, and Colorado. The plaintiffs allege that they were pressured to work overtime and that the company then erased the overtime hours from their time records. Two of the West Virginia plaintiffs, who had been promoted to management positions before leaving Wal-Mart, said they had participated in altering time records to conceal overtime work. Instead of paying time and a half for overtime work, the company would reward workers with "desired schedule changes, promotions and other benefits," while workers who refused the unpaid overtime were "threatened with write-ups, demotions, reduced work schedules or docked pay" (Lawrence Messina, "Former Wal-Mart Workers File Overtime Suit in Harrison County," Charleston Gazette, January 24, 1999). In New Mexico, a suit by 110 Wal-Mart employees was settled in 1998 when the company agreed to pay for the overtime ("Wal-Mart Agrees to Resolve Pay Dispute," Albuquerque Journal, July 16, 1998). In an e-mail to me, Wal-Mart spokesman William Wertz stated that "it is Wal-Mart's policy to compensate its employees fairly for their work and to comply fully with all federal and state wage and hour requirements." (Barbara Ehrenreich “Nickel and Dimed" 2001 p.183)

Johnson allegedly told the Joint Chief of Staff “Just let me get elected, then you can have your war.” (Douglass "JFK and the Unspeakable" p376) It is worth noting though that some people including Noam Chomsky, critic of the CIA and military establishment claim the original source for this is questionable.

On the evening of the fourth, at an NSC meeting when the President asked, “Do they want war by attacking our ships in the middle of the Gulf of Tonkin?” Director of Central Intelligence John McCone answered: “No. the North Vietnamese are reacting to our [sic] attack on their offshore islands. They are responding out of pride and on the basis of defense considerations.” (Daniel Ellsberg "Secrets: a Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers" 2003 p.16)

Democratic Senator Ed Johnson of Colorado on the Senate floor in 1954 “I am against sending American GI’s into the mud and muck of Indochina on a bloodletting spree to perpetuate colonialism and white man’s exploitation in Asia.” (Daniel Ellsberg "Secrets: a Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers" 2003 p 26-7) It is worth noting that some people have assumed that this quote came from Lyndon Johnson presumably it was misquoted and repeated at some time.

John McNaughton was not so sure, “The trouble with you, Forrestal," he once said, "is that you think we can turn this thing off, and that we can get out of this whenever we want. But I wonder. I think it gets harder every day, each day we lose a little control, each decision we make wrong, or don’t make at all, makes the next decision a little harder because if we haven’t stopped it today, the reason for not stopping will still exist tomorrow and we’ll be in deeper.” (Daniel Ellsberg "Secrets: a Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers" 2003 p.55)

Lodge continued with the arresting statements ; “You’ve got a gentleman in the White House right now [LBJ] who has spent most of his life rigging election. I’ve spent most of my life rigging elections I spent nine whole months rigging a Republican Convention to choose Ike as a candidate rather than Bob Taft. If that was bad…” Nixon and I would have taken Chicago in 1960 if there had been an honest count. The republican machine there was simply lazy; they didn’t get out the vote, and they didn’t have anyone watching the polls. But I don’t blame democrats for that, I blame Republicans. There is just a limit to how naïve or hypocritical we can afford to be out here.” Lodge turned to Porter and said, “is that responsive to your question?”
Porter, looking slightly taken aback, said, “I just thought General Lansdale should stay close to General Thang on the issue of elections.”
Lodge replied, “Well I want General Lansdale to stay close to Thang on the subject of elections; and I want General Lansdale to stay close to thang on the subject of pacification which I think is a great deal more important.” Later he declared, “Get it across to the press that they shouldn’t apply higher standards here in Vietnam than they do in the US.” But in a cable responding to State’s concerns that same morning, the ambassador had put it slightly differently: “The first steps for us in Saigon and in Washington are to make it clear to the press and to congress that Vietnam should not be judged by American standards.” (Daniel Ellsberg "Secrets: a Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers" 2003 p.107)

Getting right to business, Lansdale said, “Mr. Vice President, we want to help General Thang make this the most honest election that’s ever been held in Vietnam.”
“Oh, sure, honest, yes, that’s right”- Nixon was seating himself in an armchair next to Lansdale- “so long as you win!” With the last words he did three things in quick succession: winked, drove his elbow hard into Lansdale’s arm, and, in a return motion, slapped his own knee. My colleagues turned to stone. (Daniel Ellsberg "Secrets: a Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers" 2003 p.108)

Kissinger finally spoke, in his gravely accent, “How can you conduct diplomacy without a threat of escalation? Without that there is no basis for negotiations.”
I (Ellsberg) said “Well, Henry, a lot of negotiation, a lot of bargaining, does go on in the world without a threat of bombing.” (Daniel Ellsberg "Secrets: a Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers" 2003 p.235)

The next morning, before I flew home to California, I called Mort Halperin, who was working for Henry Kissinger in the White House on Vietnam. I said to him, “Let me put a question to you, Mort. What would be your best guess on the proportion of Vietnamese, by now, who would rather see the war over, no matter who won?”

He said, not to my surprise “I suppose about eighty or ninety percent.”

"What do you think the boss would say?" I was refering to Kissenger.

”I’ve never discussed it with him. But I would guess he would say about the same.”

I said, “Those guesses sound about right. But here’s a question that’s new to me. It’s starting to bother me a lot. If it were true that most of the South Vietnamese wanted the war to be over, whether that was at the cost of either a Communist victory or a GVN victory, how could we be justified in prolonging the war inside their country? Why would we have the right to keep it going even one more day?”

There was long silence. Then Mort said, “That’s a very good question. I don’t have an answer. Let me think about it.” (Daniel Ellsberg "Secrets: a Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers" 2003 p.248) (Daniel Ellsberg "Secrets: a Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers" also cited on Bad Attitudes

Ellsberg drew the following conclusions from his review of the Pantagon papers and his own experiences:
There have been no First and Second Indochina wars, just one continuous conflict for almost a quarter of a century.
In practical terms, on one side, it has been an American war almost from its beginnings ; at first French-American, eventually wholly American. In both cases it was a struggle of Vietnamese- not all of them but enough to persist_ against American policy and American financing, proxies, technicians, firepower, and finally troops and pilots.
Since at least the late 1940’s there had probably never been a year when political violence in Vietnam would have reached or stayed at the scale of a “war” had not the US presidents, Congress, and citizens fueled it with money, weapons, and ultimately manpower; first through the French, then funneled to wholly owned client regimes, and at last directly. Indeed there would have been no war after 1954 if the United States and its Vietnamese collaborators, wholly financed by the United States, had not been determined to frustrate and overturn the process of political resolution by election negotiated at Geneva.
It was no more a “civil war” after 1955 or 1960 than it had been during the US-supported French attempt at colonial reconquest. A war in which one side was entirely equipped and paid by a foreign power- which dictated the nature of the local regime in its own interests- was not a civil war. To say that we had “interfered” in what is “really a civil war,” as most American academic writers and even liberal critics of the war do to this day, simply screened a more painful reality and was as much a myth as the earlier official one of “aggression from the North.” In terms of the UN Charter and of our own avowed ideals, it was a war of foreign aggression, American aggression. (Daniel Ellsberg "Secrets: a Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers" 2003 p.255)

If the war was unjust, as I now regarded it, that meant that every Vietnamese killed by Americans or by the proxies we had financed since 1950 had been killed by us without justification. I could think of no other word for that but murder. Mass Murder. Could it ever be precipitate to end a policy of murder? (Daniel Ellsberg "Secrets: a Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers" 2003 p.257)

Our VUU point review of Greg Epstein “Good without God” 2009 p.)

Thou didst apportion the means of livelihood to thy
Creatures like a drunkard who shows himself churlish.
Had a man made such a division, we would have said to him,
You have swindled. Let this teach you a lesson (Greg Epstein “Good without God” 2009 p.46)

Annie Laurie Gaylor’s massive volume Woman Without Superstition (Greg Epstein “Good without God” 2009 p.)

But for much more on the subject of Parenting Beyond Belief, please see the wonderful book and Web site of that name, by award winning author, academic, and lecturer Dale McGowan (Greg Epstein “Good without God” 2009 p.136)

Once upon a time he used to dress in many colors (Greg Epstein “Good without God” 2009 p.199)

Ethical Culture asked for and was given neither credit nor further say in the fate of the charity it founded. (Greg Epstein “Good without God” 2009 p.212-4)

As the example above illustrates, the pre-1978 notice requirement often had draconian results-authors could lose their copyright protection just because they failed to comply with a mere technical formality. (Stephen Fishman “Copyright Handbook” 2008 p.18)

The copyright office will refuse register a work that is without doubt unprotectible….. for instance, the King James version of the Bible, which is in the public domain, unless the applicant added protectible material to it. (Stephen Fishman “Copyright Handbook” 1995 p.4/53)

The vast majority of written works-including catalogue copy, toy instructions and third-rate poetry-make the grade for minimum creativity. (Stephen Fishman “Copyright Handbook” 1995 p.6/4)

Although facts are not protected by the Copyright Act, state laws might protect them…In addition trade secret laws might protect facts that are not disseminated to the public. However, whether protection under state law is actually available today is very uncle4ar because the Copyright Act provides that it preempts (supersedes) state law. (Stephen Fishman “Copyright Handbook” 1995 p.6/6)

The Supreme Court has ruled that raw facts may be compiled at will and that the complier is free to use those contained in another’s compilation. (Feist Publications, Inc. v. Rural Telephone Services co., 111 S.Ct. 1282 (1991)) (Stephen Fishman “Copyright Handbook” 1995 p.7/9)

Are scholarly writings works made for hire? Works created by professors and other scholars employed by universities, colleges and other academic institutions pose a special problem. (Stephen Fishman “Copyright Handbook” 1995 p.)

The Real world of Publishing Practices Traditionally, magazines and other periodicals usually only acquired North American serial rights, second serial rights or one-time publications rights. However things are changing fast in magazine publishing. (Stephen Fishman “Copyright Handbook” 2008 p.)

The quality of the material you want to use must be considered as well as the quantity. For example, in one famous case, the Nation magazine obtained a copy of Gerald Ford’s memoirs prior to publication. (Stephen Fishman “Copyright Handbook” 1995 p.)

You don’t need to engage in a hypercritical textual analysis to determine whether substantial similarities exist…. Publisher of certain types of works, particularly directories and other fact compilations, sometimes deliberately insert minor errors in their work to help prove copying. If the alleged infringer’s work contains the same errors, copying must have occurred. (Stephen Fishman “Copyright Handbook” 1995 p.)

Criminal Prosecution Willful copyright infringement is a federal crime (17 U.S.C. 506). Accordingly, the United States Attorney General has the power to prosecute infringers. A person who is convicted of infringement can be required to pay fines up to $500,000 and be imprisoned for up to five years in for a second offence. (Stephen Fishman “Copyright Handbook” 2008 p.)

Indeed, it is possible to get a temporary restraining order. (TRO) almost immediately without notifying the defendant or holding a formal court hearing. (Stephen Fishman “Copyright Handbook” 1995 p.)

Copyright does not protect hard work

In the past, some courts have held that copyright protected databases and other works that lacked originality and/or creativity if a substantial amount of work was involved in their creation. However the Supreme Court outlawed this sweat of the brow theory in the Feist decision. (Stephen Fishman “Copyright Handbook” 1995 p.14/12)

The most authoritative source on copyright law is Nimmer on Copyright, a four volume legal treatise written by the late professor Melville B. Nimmer and updated biannually by his son David, a copyright lawyer. (Stephen Fishman “Copyright Handbook” 1995 p.15/2)

International Copyright Protection, edited by David Nimmer and Paul Geller and published by Matthew Bender. Unfortunately this one volume treatise does not contain an index. (Stephen Fishman “Copyright Handbook” 1995 p.15/2-3)

A 1985 survey found that the average cost of trying a copyright infringement suit in New York City ranged from $58,000 to $107,000. Costs may be lower in other parts of the country… (Stephen Fishman “Copyright Handbook” 1995 p.)

Manipulated Kids: Teens Tell How Ads Influence Them Roy F. Fox at Educational Leadership

Lisa was right; Eric was talking about "flavor crystals." It was the exact phrase used in the gum commercial.

None of the other five students sitting around the table questioned the accuracy of this label. None of them found anything unusual in the fact that Lisa expressed this information with these words and retrieved them so easily. There were no raised eyebrows, no shades of doubt. Everything was normal.

Nobody in the group saw any difference between the real thing they were talking about-the gum-and the label they had so quickly and naturally affixed to it-“flavor crystals.” This hollow phrase simply enhances the product, making it seem better than it is. The students were unaware that they’d given the gum a positive evaluation by using the advertiser’s exact words. (Roy Fox “Harvesting Minds” 1996 p.xvii-xviii)

I think it’s stupid. I don’t know why athletes do that-pay all that money for all them ignorant commercials for themselves. Guess it makes everyone like ‘em more and like their team more. Doesn't Emmitt Smith have a bunch of commercials that's makin' everybody like his team better?

Debbie, the ninth grader quoted above, was telling me why she thinks professional athletes make the television commercials she watches at school on Channel One. After Debbie's response sunk in, I decided to ask each group that same day the same question: “Why do professional athletes make commercials?” The next group brainstormed the following reasons:

• Because it motivates them to play better
• Because it's a reward for doing excellent work
• Because it helps their team
• Because it elevates their status and reputation among their peers
• Because athletes are sponsored by different companies

After talking with Debbie and other students, I realized that they usually did not consider commercials to be messages aimed at selling something. Instead they viewed Nike commercials solely as advertisements for the athletes-perks that athletes pay for themselves to bolster their own egos and their teams reputation. Few kids mentioned that a product was being sold or that the athletes wanted to earn money for themselves. (Roy Fox “Harvesting Minds” 1996 p.1-2)

At the end of small-group sessions, I asked students, “Is there anything else about commercials that we haven’t talked about?” “Yes!” they enthused, “We need new commercials!” Their answer is not surprising if you place it within its rightful context: operant conditioning. Anybody who watches so many commercials, every day for nine months, with some ads repeated endlessly, develops a craving for new commercials, a desire for more. Especially young people.

Channel One’s commercials employ classic propaganda techniques such as repetition, testimonials, bandwagon appeals, transfers of one quality or element to another, and highly synthesized music and imagery. We’ve long known that such propaganda is most effective in closed environments, where outside stimuli can’t interfere with the intended messages. And class rooms of captive students make up the perfect controlled environment: no external noise or outside distractions interfere with the flood of commercials, which star-the students tell me-“kids just like us.” But advertsiers don’t call this propaganda. Instead they camouflage it in techno-market-speak, such as “brand and product loyalties through class room-centered, peer-powered lifestyle patterning.” …..

…. Nor do mass publications such as Newsweek (1994b) serve the truth: one article praising Channel One assures us-in bold and all-caps-that “NEWS+ADS=LEARNING.” Learning what? How to wait in a holding cell for your next shot of a Kit Kat candy bar serum? Gimme a break…..

….. In January 1989, Whittle Communications based in Knoxville, Tennessee, announced plans to test its Channel One broadcast in six school systems. In exchange for Channel One, 90 percent of a school’s students must watch Channel One for 92 percent of the on-air time (schools must supply Channel One with attendance records); each program must be watched in its entirety; shows cannot be interrupted; and teachers do not have the right to turn the program off. (Roy Fox “Harvesting Minds” 1996 p.5-7)

"Manipulated Kids: Teens Tell How Ads Influence Them" by Roy F. Fox Sep 1995 at Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development

The Flames of educational crisis were fanned by Whittle’s friends and insiders, some of whom cashed in on Channel One. They include Chester Finn Jr. and Lamar Alexander (former secretary of education), who led the National Commission on Excellence in Education when it released A Nation at Risk: The Imperative for Educational Reform (Kozol 1992)….. And Whittle and Alexander had close connections: “Alexander, a friend of Whittle’s for some twenty years, initially served on Whittle’s board and also worked as a consultant to, and held stock in, his corporation-a relationship from which he profited financially. (Having bought four Whittle Communications shares in 1988 for $19,000, Alexander and his wife sold them back to Whittle for $330,000 five months later)” (Kozol 1992, 274). (Roy Fox “Harvesting Minds” 1996 p.10)

One day, we watched a commercial that aired for the first time on Channel One. This thirty-second ad featured the athlete David Robinson. Throughout6 that day, most of the kids told me that this commercial’s structure consisted of “three parts,” which they recalled in the correct sequence: (1) Robinson goes to college and earns his master’s degree; (2) Robinson becomes a naval officer; and (3) he goes to the Olympics (twice) before becoming a professional ball player. (Right after watching it I remembered none of these things!) (Roy Fox “Harvesting Minds” 1996 p.33-4)

At the end of each small-group session, I asked the students, “Is there anything else about commercials that we haven’t talked about, that I should know?” Their consistent and unmistakable response to this question surprised even me. Invariably, groups would nearly shout in unison: “Yes! We need new commercials.” (Roy Fox “Harvesting Minds” 1996 p.38)

When I asked Andy what he thought the difference was between a program and a commercial, he replied, “Commercials don’t have as much time to get their message across. Programs are really long.” Andy’s distinction, that simple length of time separated commercial from noncommercial television content, was shared by most of the kids I interviewed. Few students stated that the main difference between commercials and programs was one of intent or purpose-that commercials are made to sell products. Kids know that commercials sell products and services; but when asked how programs and commercials differ, they never mentioned selling products. This failure to link commercials with sales reflects other findings of the study, such as when students used the phrases “regular program” and “talk show” to describe commercials. I showed one of Pepsi’s “It’s Like This” commercials to a college freshman who had never seen Channel One. This student, an English major who is also highly skilled in analyzing media, defined the ad as a combination of a commercial and a “preview” for a regular television program, such as “Friends.” This student even guessed that some footage of the commercial had been excerpted from the actual program being previewed. Overall, the kids in this study did not regard commercials as fundamentally different from other forms of television. (Roy Fox “Harvesting Minds” 1996 p.55-6)

Public service messages were appearing on network television and Channel One long before Pepsi’s series of documentary look-alike ads, with their use of black-and-white, grainy-looking film, rough-cut editing, and overlapping voices. In imitating PSA’s, Pepsi capitalized on a positive, respected, ready-made framework through which students could interpret the new ads. For example, one student said, “The hidden message in the Pepsi commercial is ‘Stop the Hate.’” And the exact phrase used in a popular PSA is “Stop the Hate.”

Blurring is nothing new to Channel One. Others have documented Channel One’s previous attempts to merge the “neutral” content of news and features with commercials…. Immediately following the program was a Sprint commercial, showing viewers how the network’s “points of light” helped to end Soviet communism. Interestingly, the Channel One contract addresses this issue of blurring: “ADVERTISING/PROGRAMMING DISTINCTION. Any creative technique that may confuse the viewer by blurring the distinction between programs and commercials is unacceptable” (Whittle n.d., 12).

As you can see from students’ comments throughout this section, the blurring of commercials and noncommercials helps kids view Pepsico, Inc. as caring-as deeply committed to helping them cope with their emotional and psychological problems. Most Kids felt quite strongly about Pepsi’s altruistic intention:

Beth: I think Pepsi is trying to appeal to what we’re going through right now.

RF: do you think that commercial was trying to sell something?

Ellen: the main message is kind of like sponsored by them-but they’re trying to appeal to the things we’re going through right now.

Paige: Yeah-Pepsi understands what we’re going through.

Beth: Yeah, and on the side, they might be trying to sell Pepsi.

All: [Simultaneously] Yeah.

Beth: They’re not saying, “Drink Pepsi and you won’t be racist.”

RF: How does all of this make you feel about Pepsi?

Beth It’s good that they’re trying to help us with our problems.

Pepsi has succeeded in what most advertisers try to do-establish positive and even warm feelings about the product. One student told me, “They’re not trying to hit you over the head and make you do something.” However, not surprisingly, Pepsi was the product mentioned most frequently in survey questions that asked students to identify specific products. Also, students can buy Pepsi in most Channel One schools.


The types of responses examined in this chapter provide the foundation for how kids evaluate commercials. As we shall see, kids judge commercials in both critical and uncritical ways-though mostly uncritically. In turn, how students evaluate commercials helps determine how ads shape the kids’ subsequent behaviors. These topics are explored in the chapters ahead. (Roy Fox “Harvesting Minds” 1996 p.58-9)

Heather: Let me start with commercials I don't like, especially commercials with animals, like ads for pet food--that cat food and talking parrot commercial. It's like the cats actually understand and listen to a bird telling them not to eat it! I mean--it's natural habitat! Just the fact that the bird talks gets on my nerves. And he has an accent that doesn't even sound right!

RF: Why don't you like that?

Heather: 'Cause it's not what animals do. It's not real life.

RF: Do you think the makers of this commercial know that it's not like real life?

Heather: Yeah, but it's just stupid--just downright stupid and idiotic, like that Energizer Bunny commercial, which shows the bunny fighting Darth Vader and then the batteries in his laser go out, but the bunny's laser is still goin'.

RF: And this one is stupid, too?

Heather: Yes! Because you know they change the batteries in the rabbit! They have to change the battery! I have never found an Energizer battery that has run that long in my entire life, and I’ve bought lots of these batteries. RF: Why do you buy Energizer batteries?

Heather: ‘Cause they last longer than everything else.

Most kids seemed to interpret intended, unreal events in commercials as adults do-with bemused acceptance of camera tricks. However, some reported that such events were impossible or unreal, articulating a naïve criticism, as Heather, a senior, does here. She concluded that no batteries can run as long as they do on the commercials. Although she accepts this ad as exaggerating how long a battery can last, her criticism does not affect her consumer behavior. (Roy Fox “Harvesting Minds” 1996 p.75)

Roy Fox “Blurring Commercials with other types of programming” Stay Free Magazine

Embracing Commercials

After talking with Debbie, the ninth grader quoted at the beginning of Chapter 1, about why she thought professional athletes made commercials, I realized that she did not consider ads commercials for products. Instead, Debbie (and many other kids, it turned out) viewed Nike commercials solely as advertisements for the athletes-which they pay for in order to bolster their own egos and their team’s reputation. Hardly ever did the kids say that athletes made commercials to make money. Instead of athletes endorsing products, these kids viewed products as endorsing the athletes.

The prior examples (and many more) formed a clear pattern of student response to commercials. Throughout this study, kids wholeheartedly embraced commercials. They enthusiastically accepted and assumed the most positive motives about commercials. As mentioned earlier, they seldom perceived a creator behind the commercials. Even when students did perceive a creator, they viewed the responsible party in very positive ways. Finally, when kids embraced commercials, they bypassed analysis entirely. They took positive stances from the start, as Amy does in describing an army recruitment commercial:

One commercial that really stands out in my mind is the one where the basketball player jumps into the air, and then all of a sudden, he sits there and says, “Since I’m going to be up here for a while, I think I’ll talk to you.” Then all of a sudden he’s in this green outfit. He wasn’t just so-and-so, the basketball player-he was also Colonel such-and-Such. This caught my eye because he wasn’t a basketball player trying to sell you something-he was encouraging you to learn! (Roy Fox “Harvesting Minds” 1996 p.79)

Ordinarily, harvesting the attention of an audience of potential consumers on a large enough scale to interest a major advertising sponsor involves considerable risk. With Channel One, that risk is virtually eliminated. The program’s sponsors know the size and demographic makeup of their audience with a level of certainty unmatched by practically any other form of advertising.

A large majority of the kids in this study expressed very positive feelings towards commercials. Many students’ affection for ads and advertisers can be described as a kind of blind love, where one sees no faults in another….. (Roy Fox “Harvesting Minds” 1996 p.81)

Channel One Whittles Away at Education PDF

Because… The large type at the top of the ad labels the three panes of stained glass as “The Temple of Nike.” Just below that, the ad states, “Hours of Worship Mon-Sat 10-7 PM Thurs 10-8 PM Sun 11-6 PM.” (Roy Fox “Harvesting Minds” 1996 p.85)

“I didn’t think my son would ever do this! Not my son!” In short, the commercial satirizes nervous parents who equate this gum with hard drugs. (Roy Fox “Harvesting Minds” 1996 p.101)

In these situations, neither teachers nor students have the time or the motivation to analyze an ad for its persuasive techniques. (Roy Fox “Harvesting Minds” 1996 p.104)

Replays of commercials occur in subtle, private ways when kids dream about them. Several students described dreams they have about Channel One’s commercials. Because I never dreamed that anyone would dream about commercials, for the first half of the study I did not even ask the question. Out of approximately 100 students, about 8 kids reported having dreamed about commercials. In these dreams, kids made commercials and starred in them. (Roy Fox “Harvesting Minds” 1996 p.118)

How do These Findings Relate to What Advertisers Want?

First, advertisers’ most frequently cited reason for targeting kids is that kids spend lots of money-what market researchers refer to as “disposable income” (an interesting phrase, which treats money as trash to get rid of quickly). In 1992, “children ages 4-12 spent about $9 billion, and adolescents ages 12-19 spent $57 billion of their own money and $26 billion of their family’s money” (Bowen 1995, 1).

Second, in the advertising it’s common knowledge, that young adults have long been a difficult “target” for advertisers. The findings of this study agree that students in grades 6-12 are indeed hard to reach-outside of school-because they are pursuing the things that most typically interest adolescents: each other, sports, jobs, cars, family, church, clubs, scouts, band, homework,. The list is endless.

During my interviews most kids say they watched very little television outside of school. Therefore, in-school commercials have very little competition. Also, at home kids need only press the remote control’s mute button to block commercials-something they cannot do in school. Ironically, the school-traditionally the protected bastion of democracy- has become the most pure or controlled environment for studying the effects of propaganda.

Third, considerable research reveals that brand loyalty is established at an early age. For instance, a University of California study (Newsweek 1994a) reported that right when cigarette advertisers began targeting women (1967-1973), the number of twelve-year-old girls who smoked increased 112 percent. (Roy Fox “Harvesting Minds” 1996 p.144)

Because propagandists do not want competing or conflicting messages to counteract their own line (“noise”), they try to control intrusions. Control over students’ options is achieved in the following ways: (1) students are required by law to attend school and hence to view commercials; (2) students cannot turn off the TV, switch channels, or turn down or mute the broadcast; (2) students cannot leave or disrupt the room in which the broadcast occurs; (4) satellites receiving from Channel One can only pick up channel One signals: (5) students cannot control how or when the program is being broadcast (although they can record the broadcast to watch again!); and (6) students are not required to view any other competing or alternative broadcasts. Moreover, Whittle commissioned a three-year research project on the effectiveness of Channel One-but he banned researchers from evaluating the effects of advertising on the students; and published summaries of the research reports employ boxed information and other techniques to intensify Channel One’s successes. Barry (1994) offers a detailed critique of research investigations into Channel One, especially those paid for by Whittle. (Roy Fox “Harvesting Minds” 1996 p.160-1)

A second major strategic premise is the fast war doctrine. Israel realizes that its survival depends on quick and decisive victories; it cannot allow a war to drag on for any length of time. None of the five wars fought over its thirty five year history has brought permanent victory or peace. There have been only respites to prepare for the next war. One reason for this is that neither of the superpowers, the United States or the Soviet Union, is prepared to see its client states totally defeated. Whenever one state appears to be on the verge of total victory or total defeat, one or the other of the superpowers brings pressure to bear to bring the conflict to a halt. In all three major wars-1956, 1967, 1973- Israeli forces were advancing and were capable of destroying the enemy. In each instance, superpower pressure forced the Israeli advance to a halt. One aspect of the war in Lebanon reflects this situation. The basis for Israeli war plan was to achieve its objectives before the US intervened and forced a halt to the fighting. Israel understands that its wars are not purely military but are fought in the larger political context of regional interests and great-power rivalry. The conclusion the Israelis have drawn is that it must achieve its battlefield goals rapidly and decisively before the great powers can intervene.

Israeli’s third major strategic premise is that it cannot ever truly defeat its combined Arab opponents in a final military sense. Arab manpower and the financial support that each country receives from other Arab states or the great powers make semi-permanent war the only real possibility in a purely military sense. Therefore, the Israeli application of military force is always directed towards the achievement of some political settlement. In practice, the Israelis see that the enemy loses territory which can be traded for a political settlement. War must be the servant of political ends, as Clausewitz points out. In the operation in Lebanon, however, the Israelis understand that their enemies cannot be defeated military to an extent that they will no longer constitute a threat. Rather, military victories are to serve larger political goals. (Richard Gabriel “Operation Peace for Galilee” p. 14-5)

In the early days, Ansar was a jerry-built barbed-wire enclosure situated on bare, windy, open terrain. It was too small and quickly became overcrowded, with less than adequate living conditions, water supplies, and sanitary functions. After the siege of Beirut, when the Israelis could relax their military hold on the country, conditions were considerably improved. Interviews with scores of individuals who had been in the Ansar camp, as well as with Israeli prison guards, indicate that the Israelis deliberately set up the mukhtar system, creating communities of about two hundred. All contact between the communities was through the head of the community, the mukhtar; food supplies were channeled through the mukhtar as well. The mukhtar system is common in the Middle East, and the Israelis adopted it to avoid aggravating confessional hatreds; the prisoners were allowed to govern themselves, prepare their own food, and punish their own. The result, however, was that the PLO came to dominate the camp’s informal social structure and thus were able to extract tribute from non-PLO members. Brutal PLO discipline led to disturbances and riots by anti-PLO communities that demanded that the Israelis become more involved in the day to day operation of the camp to protect them from PLO retribution.

The central problem at Ansar was how to separate the PLO fighters from the larger population. By June 1983, there were 9,040 suspects being detained at Ansar; only 2,997 had been processed and released. Many religious communities in Lebanon wanted their people, whom they claimed were being brutalized by the PLO, to be released quickly. Their leaders complained to the Israelis that they had no right or purpose in holding them any longer. (Richard Gabriel “Operation Peace for Galilee” p. 115)

In the final analysis, of course, the game in Beirut was zero-sum. The PLO understood that if it was driven from Beirut and from Lebanon and lost its territorial base contiguous with Israel, it would come to an end as a military if not a political force. Arafat was under no illusion that the loss of the war and the failure to come to a political settlement would mean the demise of the PLO as an effective force in Middle East politics. Thus, if it was true that the Israelis had chosen siege warfare as a way to achieve their military and political goals, it was equally true that their decision appealed to the PLO as the ideal way to achieve its goals. In the end, both antagonists mirrored one another in their choice of strategy, although for very different reasons. (Richard Gabriel “Operation Peace for Galilee” p. 134)

“They exterminated everything in the city with a sword; man and woman, young and old.”
Joshua 6:21

“How does one reconcile that with the idea that some people use the bible as a guide to their life? Well, one would either have to admit that history is wrong, and I don’t think that it is, or that God is a savage creature, in that the instruction of the bible is certainly full of enough violence to give rise to the question of what kind of a God, if there is one, would permit this?” (Richard Gabriel “Bible Battles” the History Channel)

James McNeal The Kids Market: Myths and Realities Gary Ruskin Mothering magazine as economic resources to be mined

James McNeal, author of The Kids Market: Myths and Realities, is one of the leading experts on selling to children. Writing in Mothering magazine, Gary Ruskin reports that McNeal sees children “as economic resources to be mined.” To show just how despicable this can be, Ruskin cites the work of Cheryl Idell, a consultant who has written about advertising strategy for corporate clients selling to sell to children. According to Ruskin, Idell advocates that corporate clients capitalize upon nagging and whining by children to motivate parents to make purchases. “In other words, Idell’s job is to make your life miserable,” says Ruskin. This is business as usual in much of corporate America and the reason why some psychologists have sought action by the American Psychological Association to declare collaboration with this process a violation of ethical standards. (James Garbarino “See Jane Hit” 2007 p.69) original article from Mothering magazine Reclaiming the commons Reclaiming the commons “Your children are under attack” J. Taylor “Preventing Problem Gambling"

The next morning, Focus students convened for Christian Worldview, one of the cources that fall under the “defending family” rubric. It was taught by Del Tackett, president of the Focus on the Family Institute and former official in the National Security Council under George H. W. Bush. The class opened with Tackett queuing up a slide titled “The battle over history” onto the same projector screen that DeWitt had used. One side of the screen featured a circle around the words truth/reality. In a circle on the other side of the screen were the words lies/illussions. Tackett held up a copy of I, Rigoberta Menchu, the memoir of a woman who claimed to have witnessed widespread torture at the hands of the U.S.-backed Guatemalan military regime, published in 1982. The author went on to win the Nobel Peace Prize, and the book was widely assigned to colleges across the country, but it was later alleged to be partially fabricated. “This book is pro-feminists, anti-capitalist, and anti-American,” Tackett told his class. “That’s why it became the darling of academia, which said, ‘Whether or not the book is true, I don’t care. We should teach about the brutality of the Guatemalan military, financed by America, and about the horrors of capitalism.’” Tackett used the book to segue into a lecture on what he called the current scourge of revisionist history. “What is the target of historical revisionism in this country today?” Tackett wondered aloud. “Christianity.” (Dan Gilgoff "The Jesus Machine" 2008 p.59)

“Over the last twenty-five or thirty years, Dr. Dobson has written or talked, publicly or privately, about almost every issue,” said Diane Passno, who joined Focus in the early 1980’s and is now its orthodoxy czar. “You can’t have the founder-president with an opinion and the ministry coming out with a different opinion. Ninety-nine times out of a hundred you’re on target, but you have to be aware that the one percent that you’re not on target is going to cause the ministry embarrassment.” Passno reviews every Focus product before it becomes available to constituents and trains what she calls “orthodoxy experts” within various departments to do self-policing. (Dan Gilgoff "The Jesus Machine" 2008 p.65-6)

Reed was just twenty-eight years old at the time, but his elfin build and boyish face made him look even younger…..Document disclosures revealed that Reed’s compnies had collected at least $4.2 million from Abramoff to organize conservative opposition to Indian Casinos that threatened to competer with Abramoff’s gaming clients.) (Dan Gilgoff "The Jesus Machine" 2008 p.92-3)

“There were frequent episodes [on Dobson’s show] where we gave the Hill’s switchboard number, and it would literally shut down the Capital Hill phone system,” Bauer recalled. “So early on, when, when members [of Congress] would get to their offices and all the phones are lit up and their staffers are looking harried and [the congressman is] like ‘What in the world is going on?’ and the staff says, ‘Dr. Dobson says you voted the wrong way on this bill,’ that leaves a lasting impression pretty darn quick.” (Dan Gilgoff "The Jesus Machine" 2008 p.118)

There was only one snag. New York Democratic Senator Charles Schumer had attached an amendment to the bill that blocked pro-life activists who violated abortion clinic access laws from entering bankruptcy to duck court-ordered damages or fines. (Dan Gilgoff "The Jesus Machine" 2008 p.119)

As it continued to meet, the Arlington Group’s membership grew from just over a dozen marquee activists to count representatives from about seventy Christian Right groups. Attendees came to include former Watergate convict and Prison Fellowship Ministries founder Chuck Colson, National Association of Evangelicals president Ted Haggard, and Ohio secretary of state J. Kenneth Blackwell, a conservative Christian who would run for governor in Ohio in 2006. The meetings were highly secretive, with no news media permitted and strict bylaws forbidding participants to discuss Arlington Group proceedings with the press. Its dull moniker notwithstanding, activists who participated in its early meetings immediately sensed that the Arlington Group’s formation represented a historic development for the Christian Right. “It was the most effective coalition that I’ve ever seen,” said home-schooling advocate Michael Farris, who attended one or two early Arlington Group meetings before backing out over his opposition to the marriage amendment. “In terms of getting the principals there, and the member and the breath of leaders, it was the biggest deal ever.”

Before the Arlington Group began meeting, the universe of Religious Right organizations and activists was wracked by competition for funds, media exposure, and government access. There was a fair amount of suspicion and antagonism among the groups. “Many think that the founding of Moral Majority and other such groups is a part of a vast right-wing conspiracy.” Former Moral Majority operative Ed Dobson (no relation to James Dobson) wrote in Blinded by Might, the book he coauthored with Cal Thomas in 1999. “They think that people like James Dobson, [Fort Lauderdale-based televangelists] James Kennedy, Donald Wildman, Jerry Falwell, and dozens of others get together on a regular basis at some remote location as part of a secret society…. Nothing could be further from the truth. Moral Majority was not the result of some high-level consultation between the power brokers of the Religious right. It was the idea of one man: Jerry Falwell.”

The Arlington Group, by contrast, is a secret society of the Religious right’s top power brokers, including Dobson, Wildmon, Falwell, and Kennedy’s top deputy that meets on a regular basis.

The formation of the Arlington Group didn’t vanquish the competition for resources among Christain Right groups, but it did permit the movement’s dozens of individual organizations to coordinate their efforts in an unprecedented way….. (Dan Gilgoff "The Jesus Machine" 2008 p.156-8)

Dobson’s opinion carried more weight than anyone else’s. “A Lot of those people knew me from my Reagan days, and I had personal connections among conservatives in Washington, but I must say my clout was enhanced because now I was working with Dobson, who was a real power in the culture, said Hodel, the former Focus president, who’d served as energy secretary and interior secretary in the Reagan administration. “People would work very diligently to get [Dobson] to support their position because he offered a great deal of influence once he said, ‘I’ll support that.’ He was the guy people would turn to. The feeling in the meetings was that if Dobson supported something, you had a great deal of people supporting it and if he didn’t, the people wouldn’t support it either.” (Dan Gilgoff "The Jesus Machine" 2008 p.158-9)

But the DNC’s polling also illustrated the depth of the Democrats’ religion problem. One poll found that roughly half of American voters were influenced as much or more by their religious faith as by any other issue when casting their ballots, and that those voters were voting Republican by as much as two to one. And yet these so-called values voters were also among the most economically vulnerable in the country, making them natural allies of the Democratic Party. The finding supported the thesis of the 2004 bestseller What’s the Matter with Kansas?, which argued that lower-and middle-class Americans supported Republican candidates because of their conservative position on cultural issues, and thqat they did so against their own economic interest. (Dan Gilgoff "The Jesus Machine" 2008 p.257)

A staunch social conservative and fervent supporter of Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, the Reverend Richard Cizik had looked skeptically on the environmental movement for decades. “Environmentalists were adherents to New Age faiths,” Cizik said in an interview. “It was a kind of mother earth mentality that said, ‘Evangelicals need not apply.’” As the chief Washington lobbyist for the National Association of Evangelicals, Cizik knew he was not alone. A 1996 Brookings Institution study found that committed white evangelicals were by far the most antienvironment religious group in the nation. The study theorized that such attitudes were explained largely by dispensationalist theology, the belief among many evangelicals that the world will descend into chaos just before Jesus’s return. Such a view tends to render attempts at environmental preservation useless.

That’s what made Cizik’s signature-gathering campaign for the Evangelical Climate Initiative remarkable. Drawn up by Cizik and other evangelical leaders in 2005, the Evangelical Climate Initiative was a petition that declared global warming was happening and that the Bible demanded a response from evangelical Christians. It called on the Bush administration and the Republican-controlled Congress to begin taking steps to combat the problem. With enough signatures, its drafters thought they would send a bold message to the Republican Party: that a huge chunk of its base was demanding action on an issue the Democratic Party had more or less owned since the emergence of the environmental movement in the late 1960s. If successful, the Evangelical Climate Initiative could turn the traditional politics of the environment on their head and open doors to bold new environmental laws.

Cizik’s own environmental awakening had begun in 2002, when a fellow evangelical pastor who had launched an anti-SUV “What Would Jesus Drive?” campaign pressured Cizik into attending a conference on climate change in England. The conference featured a handful of evangelical scientists, who convinced Cizik that global warming was real and that it had disastrous consequences for life on earth. Cizik told the New York Times that he experienced a “conversion” in England around the climate change issue that was so intense as to be comparable to an “alter call,” the part of a Protestant church service when nonbelievers are called forward to accept Jesus as their savior.

After returning to the United States, Cizik helped organize meetings of evangelical leaders aimed at formulating an evangelical response to global warming. He bought hybrid Toyota Priuses for himself and his wife. Asked about the biblical basis for his newfound environmentalism, Cizik would say that, in granting man dominion over the earth, God had also entrusted man with the care of his creation. Indeed, Cizik refused to refer to his global warming activism as environmentalism; he insisted it be called “Creation Care.”

He wasn’t just being cute. Cizik, whose organization includes upward of thirty million American evangelicals, knew that born-again Christians had long frowned on the environmental movement’s embrace of government regulation and on its calls for population control. But polls suggest that evangelical attitudes toward the environment are complex. A 2004 Pew Research Center poll found that while many more evangelicals oppose environmental regulations than do adherents of other religious traditions, a slight majority actually favor stronger environmental regulations. Cizik thought that the secret to convincing more evangelicals to adopt some tenets of environmentalism was to dispense with the traditional environmentalist plea to protect nature for its own sake. “It has to be framed as a people issue,” Cizik said. “Evangelicals will understand it more clearly that way.”

That’s what the Evangelical Climate Initiative was for. “For most of us, until recently this has not been treated as a pressing issue or major priority,” the document acknowledged. It briefly laid out the scientific evidence for global warming. It framed global warming as a “people issue,” arguing that the expected environmental fallout, including a rise in sea level, droughts, and the accelerated spread of tropical diseases, would wreak havoc on the world’s poor. It cited more than a half-dozen biblical passages on mankind’s stewardship duties toward nature. And it called for federal legislation to curb carbon dioxide emissions, possibly through a “cap-and-trade” program. Such a program would impose a cap on CO2 emission levels, then allow manufacturers to buy and sell emissions credits, providing flexibility and financial incentives for compliance.

Collecting signatures for the Evangelical Climate Initiative was not easy. Leaders of some evangelical denominations told Cizik that signing on to such a traditionally liberal platform would be too risky unless he could give them political cover. They wanted him to first sign up an evangelical star with solid conservative credentials—someone like Rick Warren, author of The Purpose-Driven Life. So Cizik and other Evangelical Climate Initiative boosters lobbied Warren over to their side, then used his support to prod the fence-sitters. As the unveiling of the document approached in early 2006, Cizik was visibly excited, especially over the prospect of lobbying traditional Republican allies in Congress—who were with him on issues like opposing gay marriage—on a cause so far outside their comfort zones. “The Natural Resources Defense Council or the Sierra Club is not going to change the minds of conservative Republicans,” Cizik said. “But is it conceivable that the National Association of Evangelicals could? It’s conceivable.”

The Evangelical Climate Initiative was unveiled in February 2006, bearing the signatures of eighty-six evangelical luminaries. In addition to Warren, they included Salvation Army chief Todd Bassett, Christianity Today editor David Neff, and the presidents of thirty-nine evangelical colleges, including such highly regarded institutions as Wheaton College and Calvin College.

But two signatures were conspicuously absent: those of National Association of Evangelicals president Ted Haggard (who would step down later that year amid allegations that he had paid for drug-fueled trysts with a gay prostitute) and Washington lobbyist Richard Cizik.

Cizik’s name had originally been on the Evangelical Climate Initiative—he was, after all, one of the document’s chief architects and advocates. But at the last minute before its Washington unveiling, he’d requested that it be withdrawn. In January, as Cizik was coaxing other evangelical leaders to sign his document, the NAE received a one-page letter from a coalition of Christian Right leaders requesting that the NAE forgo adopting an official position on climate change. “Global warming is not a consensus issue, and our love of the Creator and respect for His creation does not require us to take a position,” the letter read, charging squarely at the central pillars of the Evangelical Climate Initiative. Written under the auspices of a group called the Interfaith Stewardship Alliance, its signatories included Chuck Colson, the American Family Association’s Don Wildmon, and James Dobson.

In retrospect, Cizik should have seen it coming. When the National Association of Evangelicals had convened in Washington the previous year to discuss a handbook it was drafting on Christian political engagement, Focus on the Family had sent its political chief just to voice objections to the documents section on creation care. “For Rich Cizik, the [global warming] issue is paramount,” the Focus rep, Tom Minnery, said in an intervies later. “My concern is that the issue is not paramount among American evangelicals.”

In fact, Cizik had consistently stressed that Creation Care was not the paramount political concern for himself or for the evangelical community, but that it was an urgent matter nonetheless. In the eyes of Dobson and other Christian Right leaders, the Evangelical Climate Initiative was not only a concession to its liberal enemies, but a threat to the movement’s core agenda: fighting same-sex marriage, abortion, and the removal of religion from the public square. America’s cultural crisis was too dire for the evangelical movement to be distracted by a bunch of Christian tree huggers.

Cizik believed that taking a stand on global warming would actually lend more credibility to the Christian Right’s traditional agenda, which he wholly endorsed. If the evangelical movement succeeded in swaying key Republicans to pass global warming legislation, his thinking went, it would be much harder for the movement’s opponents to characterize it as out of the mainstream on causes like the Federal Marriage Amendment. Plus, successfully lobbying for a climate change bill could give the Christian Right something it rarely got: a legislative victory, which would remind Washington policy makers of the movement’s influence.

The January 2006 letter from Dobson and other Christian Right leaders was influential in its own right, though. Cizik removed his name from the Evangelical Climate Initiative before its public launch in Washington the following month. NAE president Ted Haggard, a Creation Care advocate who was expected to sign the document, announced that he would withhold his name, too.

Cizik has by no means given up on Creation Care, however. One of his top tasks continues to be convincing Bible-believing Christians, including, most importantly, Christian Right leaders, that environmentalism is nothing short of a biblical mandate. “Fundamentally, we are rescuing evangelicalism from bad theology,” he said. “…. That’s how important this is.”

Cizik’s ongoing Creation Care activism riled Christian Right leaders, including Dobson. In May 2006 Cizik even showed up in a provocative photograph in Vanity Fair’s “green issue,” where he appeared to be walking on water, barefoot. The NAE lobbyist, it seemed, still hadn’t gotten the message. So in spring or early summer of 2006, Dobson wrote to NAE's Colorado Springs headquarters calling for Cizik's firing, according to a source knowledgeable about the action. The NAE expressed its surprise at Dobson’s request, the source said—Dobson is a member neither of the organization’s board of directors nor of its executive committee—and vowed to stand by Cizik, who’d been at the organization for more than twenty-five years. (Dan Gilgoff "The Jesus Machine" 2008 p.268-74)

A few days before the November 2004 election, Jimmy Carter was asked what would happen if, instead of flying to Zambia or Venezuela or East Timor, his widely respected international election-monitoring team was invited to turn its attention to the United States. (Andrew Gumbel “Steal This Vote” 2005 p.1)

Rove, like Johnson, learned to play rough very early in his career, almost ripping the heart out of the College Republican movement as he concocted a bogus slate of alternative delegates to get himself elected chairman in 1973. (Andrew Gumbel “Steal This Vote” 2005 p.25)

A week before the 2004 presidential election, conservative newspaper columnist Mona Charen wrote an irascible piece for the Washington Times asserting that it was indeed the voters who posed the gravest threat to the American political system. (Andrew Gumbel “Steal This Vote” 2005 p.28)

Such reactionary nonsense might not be worth noting but for the resonance with similarly antidemocratic thinking in the corridors of power. Institutionally the biggest culprit has been the Supreme Court, which not only struck a blow against the principle of counting all the votes in its election-ending Bush v. Gore decision in 2000, but also chose to throw doubt, as no Supreme Court had in over a century, the very notion that citizens have a right to vote at all. (Andrew Gumbel “Steal This Vote” 2005 p.36-7)

Politicians are often refreshingly candid in admitting what this is all about. “We are in the business of rigging elections,” North Carolina state senator Mark McDaniel said bluntly after the 2001round. “This… basically does away with the need for election,” concurred Tony Quinn, a Republican redistricting consultant in California. (Andrew Gumbel “Steal This Vote” 2005 p.44)

“Election fraud and the myths of American democracy” by Andrew Gumbel at find

“Election fraud and the myths of American democracy” by Andrew Gumbel at the more extensive

So, after trying in vain to rouse Zachariah Chandler, he simply fired off telegrams in the chairman’s name telling party operatives in the key Southern constituencies: “With your state sure for Hayes, he is elected. Hold your state. A few hours later, a telegram from South Carolina’s Republican’s governor, Daniel Chamberlain, came back with the words: “South Carolina for Hayes, need more troops.” (Andrew Gumbel “Steal This Vote” 2005 p.92)

By far the most significant thing about Centennial Crisis: The Disputed election of 1876 was that it was written by William Rehnquist, the chief justice who was responsible for putting George W. Bush in similarly controversial circumstances in 2000. (Andrew Gumbel “Steal This Vote” 2005 p.104)

The Populist leader Tom Watson of Georgia (later to become a startlingly caustic racist) valiantly told one audience of blacks and poor whites during the 1896 campaign: “You are made to hate each other because upon that hatred is rested the keystone of the arch of financial despotism which enslaves you both” (Andrew Gumbel “Steal This Vote” 2005 p.126)

On the morning of November 10, 1898, a highly disciplined troupe of two thousand white vigilantes gathered in the streets of Wilmington, North Carolina, with the express intent of murdering as many Negroes as they could find and seizing control of the city. (Andrew Gumbel “Steal This Vote” 2005 p.127)

Already at this early stage, voting rights campaigners were beginning to fret about the degree of public control being signed away to private vendor companies, an issue that remains equally pressing today. Not only did the manufacturers shroud their products in secrecy, they also became actively involved in running elections, because technophobic administrators in many places thought having them around would help prevent mistakes. That did not change when the Federal Election Commission finally published some minimal standards for electronic voting in 1990. As Mae Churchill of the Urban Policy Research Institute in California wrote to the FEC at the time: “The proprietary interests of voting system vendors have been allowed to drive the standards drafting procedure… The privatizing of elections is taking place without the consent or knowledge of the governed.” (Andrew Gumbel “Steal This Vote” 2005 p.191)

“E-voting in the United States: A cautionary tale” 2006 Andrew Gumbel

Danciu sued for access to the Sequoia source code to see if it contained some fatal flaw. He was told, however, that the source code was considered a trade secret under Florida law and that even Lepore and her staff were not authorized to examine it on pain of criminal prosecution. (Andrew Gumbel “Steal This Vote” 2005 p.227)

Something Rotten in the State of Florida by Andre Gumbel at

Something Rotten in the State of Florida by Andre Gumbel at Common

Something Rotten in the State of Florida by Andre Gumbel at macrumors forums

“Florida fiasco keeps Bush's votes in safe hands” By Andrew Gumbel at NZ

In the fall of 2002, to the great amusement of the wider world, the United States played host to its first-ever international election-monitoring mission. It was not just any mission. The ten-man team from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) included representatives from Russia and Albania-the sort of countries that until just a couple of years earlier, might have reasonably expected to receive lessons in democracy from the United States, not the other way around. (Andrew Gumbel “Steal This Vote” 2005 p.299)

In July 2004 a Democratic Congressman from Florida by the name of Alcee Hastings was elected president of the OSCE’s parliamentary assembly, and he used the position as a bully pulpit to call for a full-scale observation of the Bush-Kerry contest-with a presence if not all the states, intensive monitoring of polling procedures by hundreds of observers, oversight of campaign practices and media campaigns over a period of months, and so on. The OSCE realized there was no way to acquiesce to such a request without being seen as to be out to get the republicans, especially in Florida, so it settled instead on a compromise: a “targeted observation mission,” which would be bigger than simple assessment but would restrict its focus to a handful of key states on election day. (Andrew Gumbel “Steal This Vote” 2005 p.303)

There is nothing about e-voting that makes it inherently disastrous. On the contrary, as with all other kinds of technology, there is a right way to go about this and a wrong way, and in some parts of the world, at least, it has been handled with a heartening degree of caution and oversight…..

In Europe the prime motivation for e-voting has not been the elimination of fraud, but rather the hope that the growing problem of voter apathy can be stemmed by making the process quicker and more painless. The Netherlands has been a pioneer in developing DREs, although it has focused almost exclusively on ensuring the technical solidity of the machines and given little or no thought to security measures or back up. A Dutch system was almost introduced to Ireland in time for the 2004 local and European elections, but the Irish Commission on Electronic Voting decided at the last minute to reject the system, because its experts had not been allowed to see the source code and test it to their satisfaction…..

One unexpected success story, curiously, has been Venezuela. After its bruising experience with ES&S, the National Electoral Council commissioned two young Venezuelan computer engineers to devise their own DRE system from scratch, complete with a paper trail. The opposition to President Hugo Chavez was skeptical at first, worrying that some kind of scheme was being cooked up and noting that the government owned 28 percent of one of the engineer’s two companies. (Andrew Gumbel “Steal This Vote” 2005 p.312-4)

E-Voting Discourses in the UK and in the Netherlands” by Wolter Pieters and Robert van Haren

(Sam Harris “The End of Faith” 2004

(Sam Harris “The End of Faith” 2004

(Sam Harris “The End of Faith” 2004

(Sam Harris “The End of Faith” 2004

(Sam Harris “The End of Faith” 2004

(Sam Harris “The End of Faith” 2004

(Sam Harris “The End of Faith” 2004

It should be of particular concern to us that the beliefs of Muslims pose a special problem for nuclear deterrence. There is little possibility of our having a cold war with an Islamist regime armed with long-range nuclear weapons. A cold war requires that the parties be mutually deterred by the threat of death. Notions of martyrdom and jihad run roughshod over the logic that allowed the United States and the Soviet Union to pass half a century perched, more or less stably, on the brink of Armageddon. What will we do if an Islamist regime, which grows dewy-eyed at the mere mention of paradise, ever acquires long-range nuclear weaponry? If history is any guide, we will not be sure about where the offending warheads are or what their state of readiness is, and so we will be unable to rely on targeted, conventional weapons to destroy them. In such a situation, the only thing likely to ensure our survival may be a nuclear first strike of our own. Needless to say, this would be an unthinkable crime—as it would kill tens of millions of innocent civilians in a single day—but it may be the only course of action available to us, given what Islamists believe. How would such an unconscionable act of self-defense be perceived by the rest of the Muslim world? It would likely be seen as the first incursion of a genocidal crusade. The horrible irony here is that seeing could make it so: this very perception could plunge us into a state of hot war with any Muslim state that had the capacity to pose a nuclear threat of its own. All of this is perfectly insane, of course: I have just described a plausible scenario in which much of the world’s population could be annihilated on account of religious ideas that belong on the same shelf with Batman, the philosopher’s stone, and unicorns. That it would be a horrible absurdity for so many of us to die for the sake of myth does not mean, however, that it could not happen. Indeed, given the immunity to all reasonable intrusions that faith enjoys in our discourse, a catastrophe of this sort seems increasingly likely. We must come to terms with the possibility that men who are every bit as zealous to die as the nineteen hijackers may one day get their hands on long-range nuclear weaponry. The Muslim world in particular must anticipate this possibility and find some way to prevent it. Given the steady proliferation of technology, it is safe to say that time is not on our side. (Sam Harris “The End of Faith” 2004 p.129)

Sam Harris “The End of Faith” also cited on his web site

Nevertheless, many people are now convinced that the attacks of September 11 say little about Islam and much about the sordid career of the west-in particular about the failures of U.S. policy….

Perhaps the foremost among them is Noam Chomsky. In addition to making foundational contributions to linguistics and the psychology of language, Chomsky has been a persistent critic of U.S. foreign policy for over three decades….

Before pointing out just how wayward Chomsky’s thinking is on this subject, I would like to concede many of his points, since have the virtue of being both generally important and irrelevant to the matter at hand. There is no doubt that the United States has much to atone for, both domestically and abroad. In this respect we can more or less swallow Chomsky’s thesis whole. To produce this horrible confection at home, start with our genocidal treatment of the Native Americans, add a couple hundred years of slavery, along with our denial of entry to Jewish refugees fleeing the death camps of the Third Reich, stir in our collusion with a long list of modern despots and our subsequent disregard for their appalling human rights records, add our bombing of Cambodia and the Pentagon Papers to taste, and then top with our recent refusals to sign the Kyoto protocol for greenhouse emissions to support any ban on land mines, and to submit our selves to the rulings of the International Criminal Court. The result should smell of death, hypocrisy, and fresh brimstone.

(Sam Harris “The End of Faith” 2004 p.138-47)

We should, I think, look upon modern despotisms as hostage crises. Kim Jong Ii has thirty million hostages. Saddam Hussein had twenty-five million. The clerics in Iran have seventy million more. It does not matter that many hostages have been so brainwashed that they will fight their would-be liberators to the death. They are held prisoner twice over-by tyranny and by their own ignorance. The developed world must, somehow, come to their rescue. Jonathan Glover seems right to suggest that we need "something along the lines of a strong and properly funded permanent UN force, together with clear criteria for intervention and an international court to authorize it." We can say it even more simply: we need a world government How else will a war between the United States and China ever become as unlikely as a war between Texas and Vermont? We are a very long way from even thinking about the possibility of a world government, to say nothing of creating one. It would require a degree of economic, cultural, and moral integration that we may never achieve. The diversity of our religious beliefs constitutes a primary obstacle here. Given what most of us believe about God, it is at present unthinkable that human beings will ever identify themselves merely as human beings, disavowing all lesser affiliations. World government does seem a long way off-so long that we may not survive the trip. (Sam Harris “The End of Faith” 2004 p.151)

I quote Scalia at some length, because his remarks reveal just how close we are to living in a theocracy: This is not the Old Testament, I emphasize, but St. Paul.... [T]he core of his message is that government-however you want to limit that concept-derives its moral authority from God. Indeed, it seems to me that the more Christian a country is the less likely it is to regard the death penalty as immoral .... I attribute that to the fact that, for the believing Christian, death is no big deal. Intentionally killing an innocent person is a big deal: it is a grave sin, which causes one to lose his soul. But losing this life, in exchange for the next? ... For the nonbeliever, on the other hand, to deprive a man of his life is to end his existence. What a horrible act! . The reaction of people of faith to this tendency of democracy to obscure the divine authority behind government should not be resignation to it, but the resolution to combat it as effectively as possible. We have done that in this country (and continental Europe has not) by preserving in our public life many visible reminders that-in the words of a Supreme Court opinion from the 1940s-"we are a religious people, whose institutions presuppose a Supreme Being." . . . All this, as I say, is most unEuropean, and helps explain why our people are more inclined to understand, as St. Paul did, that government carries the sword as "the minister of God," to "execute wrath" upon the evildoer. (Sam Harris “The End of Faith” 2004 p.156-7)

The scientists administered beatings to dogs with perfect indifference and made fun of those who pitied the creatures as if they felt pain. They said the animals were clocks; that the cries they emitted when struck were only the noise of a little spring that had been touched, but that the whole body was without feeling. They nailed the poor animals up on boards by their four paws to vivisect them to see the circulation of the blood, which was a great subject of controversy. (Sam Harris “The End of Faith” 2004 p.174)

What, after all, is "collateral damage" but the inadvertent torture of innocent men, women, and children? Whenever we consent to drop bombs, we do so with the knowledge that some number of children will be blinded, disemboweled, paralyzed, orphaned, and killed by them. It is curious that while the torture of Osama bin Laden himself could be expected to provoke convulsions of conscience among our leaders, the unintended (though perfectly foreseeable, and therefore accepted) slaughter of children does not.

So we can now ask, if we are willing to act in a way that guarantees the misery and death of some considerable number of innocent children, why spare the rod with suspected terrorists? What is the difference between pursuing a course of action where we run the risk of inadvertently subjecting some innocent men to torture, and pursuing one in which we will inadvertently kill far greater numbers of innocent men, women, and children? Rather, it seems obvious that the misapplication of torture should be far less troubling to us than collateral damage: there are, after all, no infants interned at Guantanamo Bay, just rather scrofulous young men, many of whom were caught in the very act of trying to kill our soldiers. Torture need not even impose a significant risk of death or permanent injury on its victims; while the collaterally damaged are, almost by definition, crippled or killed. The ethical divide that seems to be opening up here suggests that those who are willing to drop bombs might want to abduct the nearest and dearest of suspected terrorists-their wives, mothers, and daughters-and torture them as well, assuming anything profitable to our side might come of it. Admittedly, this would be a ghastly result to have reached by logical argument, and we will want to find some way of escaping it.

In this context, we should note that many variables influence our feelings about an act of physical violence, as well as our intuitions about its ethical status. As Clover points out, "in modern war, what is most shocking is a poor guide to what is most harmful." To learn that one's grandfather flew a bombing mission over Dresden in the Second World War is one thing; to hear that he killed five little girls and their mother with a shovel is another. We can be sure that he would have killed more women and girls by dropping bombs from pristine heights, and they are likely to have died equally horrible deaths, but his culpability would not appear the same. Indeed, we seem to know, intuitively, that it would take a different kind of person to perpetrate violence of the latter sort. And, as we might expect, the psychological effects of participating in these types of violence are generally distinct. Consider the following account of a Soviet soldier in Afghanistan: "It's frightening and unpleasant to have to kill, you think, but you soon realize that what you really find objectionable is shooting someone point-blank. Killing en masse, in a group, is exciting, even-and I've seen this myself-fun. This is not to say that no one has ever enjoyed killing people up close; it is just that we all recognize that such enjoyment requires an unusual degree of callousness to the suffering of others.

It is possible that we are simply unequipped to rectify this disparity-to be, in Glover's terms, most shocked by what is most harmful. A biological rationale is not hard to find, as millions of years on the African veldt could not possibly have selected for an ability to make emotional sense of twenty-first-century horror. That our Paleolithic genes now have chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons at their disposal is, from the point of view of our evolution, little different from our having delivered this technology into the hands of chimps. The difference between killing one man and killing a thousand just doesn't seem as salient to us as it should. And, as Clover observes, in many cases we will find the former far more disturbing. Three million souls can be starved and murdered in the Congo, and our Argus-eyed media scarcely blink. When a princess dies in a car accident, however, a quarter of the earth's population falls prostrate with grief. Perhaps we are unable to feel what we must feel in order to change the world….

WHICH way should the balance swing? Assuming that we want to maintain a coherent ethical position on these matters, this appears to be a circumstance of forced choice: if we are willing to drop bombs, or even risk that pistol rounds might go astray, we should be willing to torture a certain class of criminal suspects and military prisoners; if we are unwilling to torture, we should be unwilling to wage modern war….

The False Choice of Pacifism

Pacifism is generally considered to be a morally unassailable position to take with respect to human violence. The worst that is said of it, generally, is that it is a difficult position to maintain in practice. It is almost never branded as flagrantly immoral, which I believe it is. While it can seem noble enough when the stakes are low, pacifism is ultimately nothing more than a willingness to die, and to let others die, at the pleasure of the world's thugs. It should be enough to note that a single sociopath, armed with nothing more than a knife, could exterminate a city full of pacifists. There is no doubt that such sociopaths exist, and they are generally better armed. Fearing that the above reflections on torture may offer a potent argument for pacifism, I would like to briefly state why I believe we must accept the fact that violence (or its threat) is often an ethical necessity. (Sam Harris “The End of Faith” 2004 p.192-9)

This is not to deny that there are problems with democracy, particularly when it is imposed prematurely on societies that have high birthrates, low levels of literacy, profound ethnic and religious factionalism, and unstable economies. There is clearly such a thing as benevolent despotism, and it may be a necessary stage in the political development of many societies. (Sam Harris “The End of Faith” 2004 p.230)

We do not have to bring the members of Al Qaeda “to justice” merely because of what happened on September 11, 2001. the thousands of men, woman, and children who disappeared in the rubble of the World Trade Center are beyond our help-and successful acts of retribution, however satisfying they may be to some people, will not change this fact. Our subsequent actions in Afghanistan and elsewhere are justified because of what will happen to more innocent people if members of Al Qaeda are allowed to go on living by the light of their peculiar beliefs. The horror of Sept. 11 should motivate us, not because it provides us with a grievance that we now must avenge, but because it proves beyond any possibility of doubt that certain twenty-first-century Muslims actually believe the most dangerous and implausible tenets of their faith. (Sam Harris “The End of Faith” 2004 p.136)

Sam Harris “The End of Faith” 2004 on line copy

There are, for instance, twenty-one U.S. states that still allow corporal punishment in their schools. These are places where it is actually legal for a teacher to beat a child with a wooden board hard enough to raise large bruises and even to break the skin. Hundreds of thousands of children are subjected to this violence each year, almost exclusively in the South. Needless to say, the rationale for this behavior is explicitly religious: for the Creator of the Universe Himself has told us not to spare the rod, lest we spoil the child (Proverbs 13:24, 20:30, and 23:13–14). However, if we are actually concerned about human well-being, and would treat children in such a way as to promote it, we might wonder whether it is generally wise to subject little boys and girls to pain, terror, and public humiliation as a means of encouraging their cognitive and emotional development. Is there any doubt that this question has an answer? Is there any doubt that it matters that we get it right? In fact, all the research indicates that corporal punishmentis a disastrous practice, leading to more violence and social pathology—and, perversely, to greater support for corporal punishment. 4 (Sam Harris “The Moral Landscape” 2010 p.3)

Secular liberals, on the other hand, tend to imagine that no objective answers to moral questions exist. While John Stuart Mill might conform to our cultural ideal of goodness better than Osama bin Laden does, most secularists suspect that Mill’s ideas about right and wrong reach no closer to the Truth. Multiculturalism, moral relativism, political correctness, tolerance even of intolerance—these are the familiar consequences of separating facts and values on the left. (Sam Harris “The Moral Landscape” 2010 p.5)

While it is too early to say that we have a full understanding of how human beings flourish, a piecemeal account is emerging. Consider, for instance, the connection between early childhood experience, emotional bonding, and a person’s ability to form healthy relationships later in life. We know, of course, that emotional neglect and abuse are not good for us, psychologically or socially. We also know that the effects of early childhood experience must be realized in the brain. Research on rodents suggests that parental care, social attachment, and stress regulation are governed, in part, by the hormones vasopressin and oxytocin, 11 because they influence activity in the brain’s reward system. When asking why early childhood neglect is harmful to our psychological and social development, it seems reasonable to think that it might result from a disturbance in this same system. (Sam Harris “The Moral Landscape” 2010 p.9)

The Bad Life and the Good Life

For my argument about the moral landscape to hold, I think one need only grant two points: (1) some people have better lives than others, and (2) these differences relate, in some lawful and not entirely arbitrary way, to states of the human brain and to states of the world. To make these premises less abstract, consider two generic lives that lie somewhere near the extremes on this continuum:

The Bad Life

You are a young widow who has lived her entire life in the midst of civil war. Today, your seven-year-old daughter was raped and dismembered before your eyes. Worse still, the perpetrator was your fourteen-year-old son, who was goaded to this evil at the point of a machete by a press gang of drug-addled soldiers. You are now runningbarefoot through the jungle with killers in pursuit. While this is the worst day of your life,it is not entirely out of character with the other days of your life: since the moment youwere born, your world has been a theater of cruelty and violence. You have never learned to read, taken a hot shower, or traveled beyond the green hell of the jungle. Even the luckiest people you have known have experienced little more than an occasional respite from chronic hunger, fear, apathy, and confusion. Unfortunately, you’ve been very unlucky, even by these bleak standards. Your life has been one long emergency, and now it is nearly over.

The Good Life

You are married to the most loving, intelligent, and charismatic person you have ever met. Both of you have careers that are intellectually stimulating and financially rewarding. For decades, your wealth and social connections have allowed you to devote yourself to activities that bring you immense personal satisfaction. One of your greatest sources of happiness has been to find creative ways to help people who have not had your good fortune in life. In fact, you have just won a billion-dollar grant to benefit children in the developing world. If asked, you would say that you could not imagine how your time on earth could be better spent. Due to a combination of good genes and optimal circumstances, you and your closest friends and family will live very long, healthy lives, untouched by crime, sudden bereavements, and other misfortunes.

The examples I have picked, while generic, are nonetheless real—in that they represent lives that some human beings are likely to be leading at this moment. While there are surely ways in which this spectrum of suffering and happiness might be extended, I think these cases indicate the general range of experience that is accessible, in principle, to most of us. I also think it is indisputable that most of what we do with our lives is predicated on there being nothing more important, at least for ourselves and for those closest to us, than the difference between the Bad Life and the Good Life. (Sam Harris “The Moral Landscape” 2010 p.15)

Worries like this merely raise the question of how we should value dissenting opinions. Jeffrey Dahmer’s idea of a life well lived was to kill young men, have sex with their corpses, dismember them, and keep their body parts as souvenirs. We will confront the problem of psychopathy in greater detail in chapter 3. For the moment, it seems sufficient to notice that in any domain of knowledge, we are free to say that certain opinions do not count. In fact, we must say this for knowledge or expertise to count at all. Why should it be any different on the subject of human well-being? (Sam Harris “The Moral Landscape” 2010 p.18-9)

Moral Blindness in the Name of “Tolerance”

There are very practical concerns that follow from the glib idea that anyone is free to value anything—the most consequential being that it is precisely what allows highly educated, secular, and otherwise well-intentioned people to pause thoughtfully, and often interminably, before condemning practices like compulsory veiling, genital excision, bride burning, forced marriage, and the other cheerful products of alternative “morality “found elsewhere in the world. Fanciers of Hume’s is/ought distinction never seem to realize what the stakes are, and they do not see how abject failures of compassion are enabled by this intellectual “tolerance” of moral difference. While much of the debate on these issues must be had in academic terms, this is not merely an academic debate. There are girls getting their faces burned off with acid at this moment for daring to learn to read, or for not consenting to marry men they have never met, or even for the “crime” of getting raped. The amazing thing is that some Western intellectuals won’t even blink when asked to defend these practices on philosophical grounds. I once spoke at an academic conference on themes similar to those discussed here. Near the end of my lecture, I made what I thought would be a quite incontestable assertion: We already have good reason to believe that certain cultures are less suited to maximizing well-being than others. I cited the ruthless misogyny and religious bamboozlement of the Taliban as an example of a worldview that seems less than perfectly conducive to human flourishing.

As it turns out, to denigrate the Taliban at a scientific meeting is to court controversy. At the conclusion of my talk, I fell into debate with another invited speaker, who seemed, at first glance, to be very well positioned to reason effectively about the implications of science for our understanding of morality. In fact, this person has since been appointed to the President’s Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues and is now one of only thirteen people who will advise President Obama on “issues that may emerge from advances in biomedicine and related areas of science and technology” in order to ensure that “scientific research, health care delivery, and technological innovation are conducted in an ethically responsible manner.” 25 Here is a snippet of our conversation, more or less verbatim:

She: What makes you think that science will ever be able to say that forcing women to wear burqas is wrong?

Me: Because I think that right and wrong are a matter of increasing or decreasing well-being—and it is obvious that forcing half the population to live in cloth bags, and beating or killing them if they refuse, is not a good strategy for maximizing human well-being.

She: But that’s only your opinion.

Me: Okay … Let’s make it even simpler. What if we found a culture that ritually blinded every third child by literally plucking out his or her eyes at birth, would you then agree that we had found a culture that was needlessly diminishing human well-being?

She: It would depend on why they were doing it.

Me [slowly returning my eyebrows from the back of my head]: Let’s say they were doing it on the basis of religious superstition. In their scripture, God says, “Every third must walk in darkness.”She: Then you could never say that they were wrong. Such opinions are not uncommon in the Ivory Tower. I was talking to a woman (it’s hard not to feel that her gender makes her views all the more disconcerting) who had just delivered an entirely lucid lecture on some of the moral implications of recent advances in neuroscience. She was concerned that our intelligence services might one day use neuroimaging technology for the purposes of lie detection, which she considered a likely violation of cognitive liberty. She was especially exercised over rumors that our government might have exposed captured terrorists to aerosols containing the hormone oxytocin in an effort to make them more cooperative. 26 Though she did not say it, I suspect that she would even have opposed subjecting these prisoners to the smell of freshly baked bread, which has been shown to have a similar effect. 27 While listening to her talk, as yet unaware of her liberal views on compulsory veiling and ritual enucleation,I thought her slightly overcautious, but a basically sane and eloquent authority on scientific ethics. I confess that once we did speak, and I peered into the terrible gulf that separated us on these issues, I found that I could not utter another word to her. In fact, our conversation ended with my blindly enacting two neurological clichés: my jaw quite literally dropped open, and I spun on my heels before walking away. (Sam Harris “The Moral Landscape” 2010 p.42-4)

In his wonderful book The Blank Slate, Steven Pinker includes a quotation from the anthropologist Donald Symons that captures the problem of multiculturalism especially well:

If only one person in the world held down a terrified, struggling, screaming little girl, cut off her genitals with a septic blade, and sewed her back up, leaving only a tiny hole for urine and menstrual flow, the only question would be how severely that person should be punished, and whether the death penalty would be a sufficiently severe sanction. But when millions of people do this, instead of the enormity being magnified millions-fold, suddenly it becomes “culture,” and thereby magically becomes less, rather than more, horrible, and is even defended by some Western “moral thinkers,” including feminists. 29 (Sam Harris “The Moral Landscape” 2010 p.46)

1. Consider, for instance, how much time and money we spend to secure our homes, places of business, and cars against unwanted entry (and to have doors professionally unlocked when keys are lost). Consider the cost of internet and credit card security, and the time dissipated in the use and retrieval of passwords. When phone service is interrupted for five minutes in a modern society the cost is measured in billions of dollars. I think it safe to say that the costs of preventing theft are far higher. Add to the expense of locking doors, the pains we take to prepare formal contracts—locks of another sort—and the costs soar beyond all reckoning. Imagine a world that had no need for such prophylactics against theft (admittedly, it is difficult). It would be a world of far greater disposable wealth (measured in both time and money). (Sam Harris “The Moral Landscape” 2010 p.206 footnote 1)

Neuroscientist James Blair…. The negative emotions of others, rather than parental punishment, may be what goad us to normal socialization. Psychopathy, therefore, could result from a failure to learn from the fear and sadness of other people. (Sam Harris “The Moral Landscape” 2010 p.99)

The developmental literature suggests that, because punishment (the unconditional stimulus) rarely follows a specific transgression…… obey punisher (Sam Harris “The Moral Landscape” 2010 p.214 footnote 88)

Consider the following examples of human violence:

1. A four-year-old boy was playing with his father’s gun and killed a young woman. The gun had been kept loaded and unsecured in a dresser drawer.

2. A twelve-year-old boy, who had been the victim of continuous physical and emotional abuse, took his father’s gun and intentionally shot and killed a young woman because she was teasing him.

3. A twenty-five-year-old man, who had been the victim of continuous abuse as a child, intentionally shot and killed his girlfriend because she left him for another man.

4. A twenty-five-year-old man, who had been raised by wonderful parents and never abused, intentionally shot and killed a young woman he had never met “just for the fun of it.”

5. A twenty-five-year-old man, who had been raised by wonderful parents and never abused, intentionally shot and killed a young woman he had never met “just for the fun of it.” An MRI of the man’s brain revealed a tumor the size of a golf ball in his medial prefrontal cortex (a region responsible for the control of emotion and behavioral impulses)…….

While viewing human beings as forces of nature does not prevent us from thinking in terms of moral responsibility, it does call the logic of retribution into question. Clearly, we need to build prisons for people who are intent upon harming others. But if we could incarcerate earthquakes and hurricanes for their crimes, we would build prisons for them as well. 109 The men and women on death row have some combination of bad genes, bad parents, bad ideas, and bad luck—which of these quantities, exactly, were they responsible for? No human being stands as author to his own genes or his upbringing, and yet we have every reason to believe that these factors determine his character throughout life. Our system of justice should reflect our understanding that each of us could have been dealt a very different hand in life. In fact, it seems immoral not to recognize just how much luck is involved in morality itself (Sam Harris “The Moral Landscape” 2010 p.107-9)

As someone who has received many thousands of letters and emails from people who have ceased to believe in the God of Abraham, I know that pessimism about the power of reason is unwarranted. People can be led to notice the incongruities in their faith, the self-deception and wishful thinking of their coreligionists, and the growing conflict between the claims of scripture and the findings of modern science. Such reasoning can inspire them to question their attachment to doctrines that, in the vast majority of cases, were simply drummed into them on mother’s knee. The truth is that people can transcend mere sentiment and clarify their thinking on almost any subject. Allowing competing views to collide—through open debate, a willingness to receive criticism, etc.—performs just such a function, often by exposing inconsistencies in a belief system that make its adherents profoundly uncomfortable. There are standards to guide us, even when opinions differ, and the violation of such standards generally seems consequential to everyone involved. Self-contradiction, for instance, is viewed as a problem no matter what one is talking about. And anyone who considers it a virtue is very unlikely to be taken seriously. Again, reason is not starkly opposed to feeling on this front; it entails a feeling for the truth. (Sam Harris “The Moral Landscape” 2010 p.130)

Of course, no technology is ever perfect. Once we have a proper lie detector in hand, well-intentioned people will begin to suffer its propensity for positive and negative error. This will raise ethical and legal concerns. It is inevitable, however, that we will deem some rate of error to be acceptable. If you doubt this, remember that we currently lock people away in prison for decades—or kill them—all the while knowing that some percentage of the condemned must be innocent, while some percentage of those returned to our streets will be dangerous psychopaths guaranteed to reoffend. We are currently living with a system in which the occasional unlucky person gets falsely convicted of murder, suffers for years in prison in the company of terrifying predators, only to be finally executed by the state. Consider the tragic case of Cameron Todd Willingham, who was convicted of setting fire to the family home and thereby murdering his three children. While protesting his innocence, Willingham served over a decade on death row and was finally executed. It now seems that he was almost surely innocent—the victim of a chance electrical fire, forensic pseudoscience, and of a justice system that has no reliable means of determining when people are telling the truth. 68 (Sam Harris “The Moral Landscape” 2010 p.135-6)

Of course, there are many other ways in which we can be misled by context. Few studies illustrate this more powerfully than one conducted by the psychologist David L.Rosenhan,73 in which he and seven confederates had themselves committed to psychiatric hospitals in five different states in an effort to determine whether mental health professionals could detect the presence of the sane among the mentally ill. In order to get committed, each researcher complained of hearing a voice repeating the words “empty,”“hollow,” and “thud.” Beyond that, each behaved perfectly normally. Upon winning admission to the psychiatric ward, the pseudopatients stopped complaining of their symptoms and immediately sought to convince the doctors, nurses, and staff that they felt fine and were fit to be released. This proved surprisingly difficult. While these genuinely sane patients wanted to leave the hospital, repeatedly declared that they experienced no symptoms, and became “paragons of cooperation,” their average length of hospitalization was nineteen days (ranging from seven to fifty-two days), during which they were bombarded with an astounding range of powerful drugs (which they discreetly deposited in the toilet). None were pronounced healthy. Each was ultimately discharged with a diagnosis of schizophrenia “in remission” (with the exception of one who received a diagnosis of bipolar disorder). Interestingly, while the doctors, nurses, and staff were apparently blind to the presence of normal people on the ward, actual mental patients frequently remarked on the obvious sanity of the researchers, saying things like “You’re not crazy. You’re a journalist.”

In a brilliant response to the skeptics at one hospital who had heard of this research before it was published, Rosenhan announced that he would send a few confederates their way and challenged them to spot the coming pseudopatients. The hospital kept vigil, while Rosenhan, in fact, sent no one. This did not stop the hospital from “detecting” a steady stream of pseudopatients. Over a period of a few months fully10 percent of their new patients were deemed to be shamming by both a psychiatrist and a member of the staff. While we have all grown familiar with phenomena of this sort, it is startling to see the principle so clearly demonstrated: expectation can be, if not everything, almost everything. Rosenhan concluded his paper with this damning summary: “It is clear that we cannot distinguish the sane from the insane in psychiatric hospitals.” (Sam Harris “The Moral Landscape” 2010 p.141-2)

And on almost every measure of societal health, the least religious countries are better off than the most religious. Countries like Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and the Netherlands—which are the most atheistic societies on earth—consistently rate better than religious nations on measures like life expectancy, infant mortality, crime, literacy, GDP, child welfare, economic equality, economic competitiveness, gender equality, health care, investments in education, rates of university enrollment, internet access, environmental protection, lack of corruption, political stability, and charity to poorer nations, etc. 12 The independent researcher Gregory Paul has cast further light on this terrain by creating two scales—the Successful Societies Scale and Popular Religiosity Versus Secularism Scale—which offer greater support for a link between religious conviction and societal insecurity. 13 And there is another finding which may be relevant to this variable of societal insecurity: religious commitment in the United States is highly correlated with racism. 14 (Sam Harris “The Moral Landscape” 2010 p.146)

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV), published by the American Psychiatric Association, is the most widely used reference work for clinicians in the field of mental health. It defines “delusion” as a “false belief based on incorrect inference about external reality that is firmly sustained despite what almost everyone else believes and despite what constitutes incontrovertible and obvious proof or evidence to the contrary.” Lest we think that certain religious beliefs might fall under the shadow of this definition, the authors exonerate religious doctrines, in principle, in the next sentence: “The belief is not one ordinarily accepted by other members of the person’s culture or subculture (e.g., it is not an article of religious faith)” (p. 765). As others have observed, there are several problems with this definition. 62 As any clinician can attest, delusional patients often suffer from religious delusions. And the criterion that a belief be widely shared suggests that a belief can be delusional in one context and normative in another, even if the reasons for believing it are held constant. Does a lone psychotic become sane merely by attracting a crowd of devotees? If we are measuring sanity in terms of sheer numbers of subscribers, then atheists and agnostics in the United States must be delusional: a diagnosis which would impugn 93 percent of the members of the National Academy of Sciences. 63 There are, in fact, more people in the United States who cannot read than who doubt the existence of Yahweh. 64 In twenty-first-century America, disbelief in the God of Abraham is about as fringe a phenomenon as can be named. But so is a commitment to the basic principles of scientific thinking—not to mention a detailed understanding of genetics, special relativity, or Bayesian statistics. (Sam Harris “The Moral Landscape” 2010 p.158)

64. Twenty-one percent of American adults (and 14 percent of those born on American soil) are functionally illiterate (,while only 3 percent of Americans agree with the statement “I don’t believe in God.”Despite their near invisibility, atheists are the most stigmatized minority in the United States—beyond homosexuals, African Americans, Jews, Muslims, Asians, or any other group. Even after September 11, 2001, more Americans would vote for a Muslim for president than would vote for an atheist (Edgell, Geteis, & Hartmann, 2006) (Sam Harris “The Moral Landscape” 2010 p.234 footnote 64)

Sam Harris “The Moral Landscape” 2010 Scribd

He [Brigham Young] called upon the Lord to bless this place [winter quarters in Council Bluffs, Iowa] for the good of the Saints and curse every Gentile who should attempt to settle here, with sickness, rottenness and death. Also to curse the land of Missouri that it might cease to bring forth grain or fruit of any kind to its inhabitants, and that they might be cursed [with] sickness, rottenness and death; that their flesh might consume away on their bones. And their blood be turned to maggots, and that their torments never cease, but increase until they leave the land and it be blessed for possession of the Saints. (John Heinerman and Anson Shupe “The Mormon Corporate Empire” 1985 p.9)

“Mormon Quotes: Vengeance” at Mormon Think

In a larger sense, persecution of the Mormons produced a militarist counterchallenge to the outside world. …. Indeed, the event that precipitated the Smiths’ arrest and eventual murder by a mob in an Illinois jail could be seen as growing out of the Mormons fear and isolation: Joseph smith had instructed his followers to wreck the print shop of a newspaper critical of the Church. This is the sort of Mormon retaliation that further threatened the neighboring gentiles, who in turn increases pressures on the Mormons to leave the area. There is little doubt, moreover, that much of the mob violence directed at Mormons in Missouri and Illinois was deliberately ignored, minimized, or even aided by public officials. Once in Utah and more confident in their isolation, the Mormons reinstituted the Nauvoo Legion as a permanent militia, partly to deal with some hostile Indians among the Snake and Shoeshone tribes and also, undoubtedly, as a gesture to Gentiles that here they would dig in to make a permanent stand. ….

An extreme example of the garrison mentality was the Mountain Meadows Massacre in the summer of 1857. To understand the event it is useful to consider first the the doctrine of blood atonement….Joseph Fielding Smith…described this belief:

Joseph Smith taught that there were certain signs so grievous that many may commit, that they would place the transgressors beyond the power of Christ. If these offenses are committed, then the blood of Christ will not cleanse them from their sins even though they repent. Therefore their only hope is to have their blood shed to atone, as far as possible, in their behalf. This is scriptural doctrine, and is taught in all the standard works of the Church. (John Heinerman and Anson Shupe “The Mormon Corporate Empire” 1985 p.14-6)

Mormon Quotes: Blood Atonement

The time has now come to tell why we held secret meetings. We were maturing plans fourteen years ago which we can now tell... When God sets up a system of salvation, he sets up a system of government. When I speak of a government, I mean what I say. I mean a government that shall rule over temporal and spiritual affairs. (John Heinerman and Anson Shupe “The Mormon Corporate Empire” 1985 p.20)

“Mormon Quotes Council of Fifty” at Mormon Think

Prophet Joseph Smith, Jr., “History of the Church of Jesus Christ Later-day Saints”

additional Google quote citations

“We are called the State Legislature [of Utah], but when the time comes, we shall be called the Kingdom of God. Our government is going to pieces, and it will be like water that is split upon the ground that cannot be gathered. For the time will come when we will give laws to the nations of the earth. Joseph Smith organized this government before, in Nauvoo, and he said if we did our duty, we shall prevail over all our enemies. We should get all things ready, and when the time comes, we should let the water on to the wheel and start the machine in motion.” Second Mormon President Brigham Young (John Heinerman and Anson Shupe “The Mormon Corporate Empire” 1985 p.21)

“Religionists say the funniest things” at Born Atheist

“Mormon Quotes Council of Fifty” at Mormon think

Additional Google quotes

“Such a state of affairs means no more or less than the complete overthrow of the nation, and not only of this nation, but the nations of Europe.” Orson Pratt, Journal of Discourses, 18:341 (John Heinerman and Anson Shupe “The Mormon Corporate Empire” 1985 p.21)

“The 28 Principles of Liberty: Principle 27” at LDS Liberty

Bonneville International Corporation [LDS owned communications corporation] receives approval today from this Commission [FCC] to add to its stable of industrial and mass media properties an AM radio station, and an FM radio station, in the second largest market in the United States: Los Angeles – a city in which it already has a $20 million interest in the prestigious and dominant Los Angeles Times.

This action is taken without a public discussion of the principal issues raised by this case: the conflicts with the public interest in granting ever-increasing mass media power – with all its economic, political, and social implications – to large industrial conglomerate corporations in the United States, in this case an industrial conglomerate that is inexorably intertwined with a religious sect, the Mormon Church.

This combination of media and other economic power raises a final issue -- the domination of a city, State, and region by a particular religious sect. The issue is subtle -- it is not occasioned simply by church ownership of property or a media outlet -- rather the question arises because of the accumulation of power by the Mormon Church, and the increase of that power by actions of this Commission. (John Heinerman and Anson Shupe “The Mormon Corporate Empire” 1985 p.50-1)

“Mormon Quotes: Communications” at Mormon Think


The economic growth is an integral part of Mormon theology. Indeed, of some 112 revelations received by the prophet Joseph Smith, 88 dealt directly with economic matters. In the Doctrine and Covenants, 9,614 verses address temporal affairs; of those, 2,618 affirm that economics and religion are not “easily separated.” The roots of this outlook can be traced to Joseph Smith and Brigham Young, and they continue to exert influence at the highest levels of the LDS hierarchy. (John Heinerman and Anson Shupe “The Mormon Corporate Empire” 1985 p.77-8)

“Marketing Strategies of Mormonism” By Joshua Decker

Will the President that sits in the chair of state be tipped from his seat? Yes, he will die an untimely death, and God Almighty will curse him; and He will also curse his successor, if he takes the same stand. (John Heinerman and Anson Shupe “The Mormon Corporate Empire” 1985 p.129)

"Mormon Quotes: Politics" Mormon Think

"MORMONISM A Latter Day Deception" by Martin Wishnatsky

"The Changing World of Mormonism" by Jerald and Sandra Tanner

Foundation for Apologetic Information and Research (FAIR): Bible/Old Testament practices/Cursing of enemies

Mormon dialogue discussion board

One example was Robert R. Mullen and company, which handled international public relations for the Mormon Church and served as “an overseas cover for CIA activities” from 1959 to 1972. (Mormon Mullen once wrote an apologetic entitled The Latter-day Saints: The Mormon’s Yesterday and Today.) Indeed, according to the Rockefeller Report on the CIA Issued in 1975:

Robert Mullen had for many years cooperated with the CIA making some of his overseas offices available at different times as a cover for Agency employees abroad. The existence of Mullens' relationship with the CIA was, of course, kept secret to protect the secrecy of the cover arrangements and this led to complications when, after Watergate, the Mullen Company came under investigation…

Mormon Robert Bennett, son of Senator Wallace F. Bennett (R-Utah), bought the Mullen Company in 1971 and employed ex-CIA Watergate Burglar E. Howard Hunt at the time of the notorious Watergate Hotel break-in. Robert Bennett had been active in the Republican party and once worked at the U.S. Department of Transportation. These political connections led Bennett and the Mullen Company to become involved with Hunt and the Watergate burglars. In fact, Hunt and others discussed their plans for the break-in in meetings at the Mullen company offices.

Another connection between the LDS Church and the CIA is through the Agency’s extensive recruitment of young Mormon men shortly after they finish their mission and college education. This recruitment takes the CIA regularly to the Brigham Young University main campus in Provo, Utah. Journalist Kenneth C. Danforth wrote in a Harper’s article that he had heard many references to the high proportion of Mormon CIA employees. He asked Church leader Wendell J. Ashton, “Why is it that such a huge numbers of Mormons are attracted to the CIA?” Ashton’s reply: “The question is ’Are our young men attracted to the CIA or is the CIA attracted to them?’”

Denver CIA recruiter Jack Hansen said during one recruitment visit to the Provo campus”

“Utah is one of our good sources. A lot of people have language or foreign culture experience. That’s what we look for.”

Another CIA recruiter, Charles Jackson, claimed that additional factors about Mormons make them good candidates for CIA work, namely that their reputations for a “sense of conformity and respect for authority,” their sobriety (as abstainers from drugs and alcohol), and their patriotism. (John Heinerman and Anson Shupe “The Mormon Corporate Empire” 1985 p.162-3)

The Salt Lake City Messenger #38 April 1976 Mormons and the CIA

For example, Richard W. Bretzing, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles office, was both Miller’s superior and a Mormon bishop. Sometime before his arrest Miller had been excommunicated; afterwards, Bretzing had appealed to Miller’s past Mormon faith and urged him to “repent” of his mistakes.Miller’s defense attorney asked a U.S. district judge to dismiss the charges on the grounds that Bretzing was using Miller as a scapegoat to prove that Bretzing does not favor Mormon agents. This was a logical move on Bretzing’s part, the attorney argued since Bretzing had been recently accused of favoritism towards his LDS peers. One agent, for example, had complained to reporters that “the Mormon Mafia was running the office and giving choice assignments to their own people.” Bretzing resisted this accusation and issued the following statement:

There are dozen’s, perhaps hundreds of special agents of the FBI currently on the rolls and serving throughout the world who are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I believe it is unfair to impugn them or their religion based on the activities of another individual with a common religious background. The suggestion that preferential treatment has been given or is being given to anyone based on his or her personal religious preference is totally inconsistent with exercising our rights and privileges guaranteed by the United States Constitution. (John Heinerman and Anson Shupe “The Mormon Corporate Empire” 1985 p.166-7)

Mormon Think: Government Agencies and Mormon Influence

“Richard T. Bretzing : FBI's L.A. Boss Passes Hardest Test” LA Times 1/11/1987

“Ex-FBI Agent Free on Bond Pending 3rd Spying Trial : Espionage: Richard W. Miller posts $337,000 and has his first taste of freedom since his arrest in 1984” LA Times 10/31/1989

LA Times articles about Richard W. Miller

One Air Force officer with whom we talked claimed that the Mormons’ reputation as a reliable patriotic group had been a benefit to his own career in several ways. He had deliberately implemented the same kind of rigid administration he had known in the church in his own work, with successful results. Gentiles in the military and the government, he believes, show a “remarkable acceptance” of LDS peers and seek them for their loyalty, integrity, and “perfect obedience.” In fact, the officer estimates that his previous military assignments were made particularly because he is a Mormon, even though he knew of other officers better qualified or more experienced.

This officer is also a valuable asset to the LDS Church in the same way that U.S. Senators Jake Garn and Orrin Hatch (among other Mormon officials in Washington) are through the Mormon network in the nation’s capital. He told one of us that he has always made it a point to discuss any vital decisions that might be made with some of the brethren in Salt Lake City. Proud of his close relationship with most of the Council of the Twelve, he declares that Gordon B. Hinkley of the First Presidency is “a good and dear friend.”

But this high-ranking individual’s contacts with LDS church leadership involve more than mere moral uplift. For example, he was instrumental in helping the General Authorities secure permission from East German government to build the Freiberg temple there ( discusse4d in chapter 2). Church leaders have not overlooked his worth. On several occasions when he thought seriously about retiring from the Air Force, high level leaders, specifically the late LDS President Harold B. Lee, Gordon B. Hinckley, and several apostles, asked him to stay on in the interest of the church…….

… A sobering example is the MX missile controversy in the early 1980’s….

It seemed at first like another boost for the Utah economy. Government contracts would pump massive amounts of money into the state. Jobs would be plentiful for years, regardless of recessions elsewhere in the nation. But then “overnight the weight of public opinion shifted to 70 percent [of Utahns] being opposed to MX deployment in Utah.” The reason was simple: on May 5, 1981, the LDS First Presidency issued a statement condemning any basing of the MX missile in Utah and Nevada.

The statement gave a number of curious reasons…..

The LDS church did everything in their statement but confront the real reason for the opposition to the MX missile basing strategy. We suspect that they did not want to air their conviction that Mormons consider the Salt Lake basin to be the new Zion, the capital of the forthcoming Kingdom of God on earth and the cradle of Jesus christ’s imminent millennium……

Liberal columnist Carl T. Rowan branded the Mormons as hypocrites. He wrote scathingly :

I am not a booster of the MX. But Kimball’s statement troubles me, because it illustrates that even our religious leaders invoke “morality” in ways that say, “Let someone else make the sacrifices, run the risks, while I remain prosperous and secure.”……

There is something sickeningly phony about people who make pious speeches about the dangers of godless communism, and who cry for the transfer of funds from social programs to weapons systems, but who in a crunch say, “Don’t endanger us by putting those missiles in our state” (John Heinerman and Anson Shupe “The Mormon Corporate Empire” 1985 p.172-5)

I understand you to say that for the present the Church had no intention of taking people from any employment financed by any relief agency such as the federal government or even county and city governments.

It was also my understanding that there was no intention on the part of the Church to take the responsibility now assumed by the relief agencies of the State or local communities, whether the people concerned were members of the Church or not.

It was also my understanding that the Church program has not removed anyone from the Federal Works Program or from the direct relief rolls of the State and local communities....

You may recall that I emphasized the fact that the Federal Government did not have and has not had a single person on the dole in Utah for many months. ….

I am sorry that I cannot be more flattering to the [LDS] Organization which we watch with so much interest but the fact remains that most of the propaganda that has come out about the efforts of the Utah Church is fictitious…..

So far as Utah as a whole is concerned, it has a very heavy federal Works Program load... The number of people receiving Old Age Pensions and the Aid to Dependent Children are both among the highest in the United States. I am enclosing a copy of the latest statistical report from the Social Security Board which will give you the facts about Old Age Pensions and Aid to Dependent Children. You will see that in proportion to its population, Utah is getting assistance for more people on the whole than most any state in the country. Furthermore, the pensions paid told to old age recipients are a good deal above the average in the United States.

The Church has not yet made any effort, or pretended to make any effort to take members from the governmental work projects. It has merely urged those on such projects to do a full day’s work for a day’s pay.

Dean R. Brimhall, letters

The Myth of Mormon Work Relief

They had carried on, for years, the conventional gifts of food and clothing to a few of their indignant members. They apparently suddenly realized that murmurings of devout members who had paid tithing…were asking themselves whether it would not be more sensible to buy an insurance annuity than to pay such a huge percentage of their earnings and then find their church unable to reciprocate by helping them during “evil times.”

The Church had a plan to take care of all its members. They suddenly became violent critics of direct relief and “criticized “government” doles, quite ignoring the fact that the Federal Government had beaten them to this idea by nearly a year.

1936 was an election year, with Democratic Franklin Roosevelt pitted against republican Alf Landon. J. Reuben Clark, a prominent Mormon republican and adviser to the Landon as well as first counselor in the presidency of the Church, made much of the Mormon plan in speeches. In October, shortly before the presidential election, Clark announced to the world that

The Church plan had succeeded. All Mormons were off relief. National publicity immediately followed. Numerous articles have been published saying that the Mormons had taken more than 80,000 off the relief roles. The astonished reactionary press seized on this with avidity. At last someone had shown that “it could be done” without government aid.

The Mormons could never produce the evidence to back up their claims. Brimhill’s own statistics showed that the Mormons possibly had about 80,000 men and woman receiving some form of unspecified federal assistance at one time, but that number never received straight relief, and that number was never removed from the rolls of public relief or work projects. Rather Brimhall found:

Less than four thousand persons in all the world who needed assistance worked some time or other on Mormon Church projects. Some may have worked a day or two, some may have worked a month. No man-months or man-years are given... From 80,000 or more we come to the published fact that less than 4,000 worked some unknown length of time at some given time during 1936 on some Mormon Church Security program project. Many of these 3,865 were no doubt workers on federal projects who, as devout Mormons, worked occasionally for the Church. During this time the federal government continues to spend millions taking care of Mormons not only in Utah but in other states. The Federal Surplus Commodity Corporation, a mere sideshow of the public assistance, has distributed to Mormons many times the amount produced by the Mormons on their ‘work projects.’ The WPA School Lunch Program alone, has distributed in Utah many times as much food to needy children as has been produced by the entire Mormon Church Program throughout the world.

By the late 1930’s Brimhall, among others, was irked at publicity that praises the LDS Church for its alleged exemplary ability to “take care of its own.”…..

“It is my opinion, and that of many other Bishops, that without the aid of the present government relief projects it would be impossible to care for the unemployed members of our church. I feel a deep sense of gratitude for the government assistance which has been rendered to the unemployed.” Bishop Gordon Taylor Hyde, letter to President Franklin S. Harris, October 25, 1938, Dean R. Brimhall Papers, Box 19, Folder 2, University of Utah Library (John Heinerman and Anson Shupe “The Mormon Corporate Empire” 1985 p.183-7)

"Mormon Quotes: Church Welfare System" Mormon Think

….Brigham Young, one of the six recommended apostles, encouraged such honest dissent and discussion. In 1860 he told Mormons at General Conference:

We will first present the authorities of the church; and I sincerely request the members to act freely and independently in voting—also in speaking, There has been no instance in this Church of a person's being in the least curtailed in the privilege of speaking his honest sentiments. It cannot be shown in the history of this people that a man has ever been injured, either in person, property, or character, for openly expressing, in the proper time and place, his objections to any man holding authority in this Church, or for assigning his reasons for such objections. Persons have frequently ruined their own characters by making false accusations. Some say they dare not tell their feelings, and feel obliged to remain silent. They, no doubt, tell the truth. Why do they feel so? This, probably, arises from some vindictive feelings against a certain man or men whom they would injure, if they could; and they conclude that their brethren are like them and would seek their injury, if they should avail themselves of the privilege of speaking or acting according to their wicked sentiments and thoughts: therefore they dare not develop the evil that is within them, lest judgment should be meted out to them. They know that they have evil designs; they know that they would bring evil on their brethren, if they had the power; and fear seizes them: they skulk off, and in the midst of the enemies of this people they say they are conscience bound—that they are tied by the influence, power, or authorities of this people. What is it which thus binds them? It is the power of evil which is in their own breasts: that is all that in the least abridges them in their privileges.

When I present the authorities of this Church for the Conference to vote upon, if there is a member here who honestly and sincerely thinks that any person whose name is presented should not hold the office he is appointed to fill, let him speak. I will give full liberty, not to preach sermons, nor to degrade character, but to briefly state objections; and at the proper time I will hear the reasons for any objections that may be advanced. I do not know that I can make a fairer proffer. I certainly would, if it were reasonable to do so. I would not permit contention; I would not permit long argument here: I would appoint another time, and have a day set apart for such things. But I am perfectly willing to hear a person's objections briefly stated. (source: Remarks by President Brigham Young, Delivered in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, April 7, 1860.)

When our leaders speak, the thinking has been done. When they propose a plan--it is God's plan. When they point the way, there is no other which is safe. When they give direction, it should mark the end of controversy. God works in no other way. To think otherwise, without immediate repentance, may cost one his faith, may destroy his testimony, and leave him a stranger to the kingdom of God. Source: Foundation for Apologetic Information & Research includes updated response. many additional uses of quote from Google

Elder Marion G. Romney, first counselor to President Spencer W. Kimball in the early 1980s, recalled similar sentiments voiced by the late President Heber J. Grant about the same time as the preceding quote. Grant said to Romney:

My boy, you always keep your eye on the President of the church, and if he ever tells you to do something wrong, and you do it, the lord will bless you for it. (John Heinerman and Anson Shupe “The Mormon Corporate Empire” 1985 p.196-7)

Or slight variation, "Always keep your eye on the President of the church, and if he ever tells you to do anything, even if it is wrong, and you do it, the lord will bless you for it but you don't need to worry. The lord will never let his mouthpiece lead the people astray." source:

Men in their ambition have ever sought for power, to rule and to exercise a controling influence over their fellow men and generally but little regard has been had to the way and means of which they have come into possession of such power, neither when obtained, has it been always used with an eye single to the benefit or salvation of mankind….

The question is sometimes asked-to what extent is obedience to those who hold the priesthood required? This is a very important question, and one which should be understood by all Saints. In attempting to answer this question we would repeat, in short, what we have already written, that willing obedience to the laws of God, administered by the Priesthood, is indispensable to salvation; but, we would further add, that a proper conservative to this power exists for the benefit of all, and none are required to tamely and blindly submit to a man because he has a portion of the Priesthood.

The Millenial Star editorial goes on to condemn the uncritical, lemming-like loyalty that Grant later espoused:

We have heard men who hold the priesthood remark, that they would do anything they were told to do by those who presided over them, (even) even if they knew it was wrong: but such obedience as this is worse than folly to us; it is slavery in the extreme; and the man who would thus willingly degrade himself, should not claim rank among intelligent beings, until he turns from his folly.

When the Elders of Israel will so far indulge in these extreme notions of obedience, as to teach them to the people, it is generally because they have it in their hearts to do wrong themselves, and wish to pave the way to accomplish that wrong; or else because they have done wrong, and wish to use the cloak of their authority to cover it.

1852 Millennial Star scanned version

1852 Millennial Star HTML

“I am sorry that no one has even taken a picture of the [General Conference] audience voting to accept the Church leaders for a new period of office. Every hand in the audience goes up simultaneously. The question of voting “Yes” or “No” on a particular candidate is so mechanical that the hands go up in a unison that is most dramatic.” No member is ever asked to choose between two individuals; he is asked to vote “Yes” or “No” on the official or on the policies of the Church, as the case may be... The officials would be highly indignant if there were any hands raised in opposition and there have been instances where one hand has gone up in opposition and the person attempted to explain the reason for his opposition but such a person is usually ejected... “I do not want to bother you with the story but I am sure that any student of Sociology who is interested in the problem of authoritarianism would find the Mormon Church a laboratory rich in material for his studies.”

- Dean R. Brimhall, letter to Miss Dorothy Kahn, April 17, 1939, Dean R. Brimhall Papers, Box 26, Folder 15, University of Utah Library Democracy within the Church at Mormon

God will do nothing regarding His work except through His own duly anointed prophets! They are his servants. They are the watchmen of the towers of Zion.

They will give us the Lord’s word in no uncertain terms as God makes it known. That is why He has His prophets on earth. They are for the edification of the Saints and to protect us from every wind of doctrine. Let us follow them and avoid being led astray. (John Heinerman and Anson Shupe “The Mormon Corporate Empire” 1985 p.198-9)

"Mormon Quotes: Infallibility of Prophets" Mormon Think

"The Mormon Corporate Empire" Reviewed negatively by Malin L. Jacobs a member of the LDS presumably

Foundation for Apologetic Information & Research (FAIR) Wiki Mormons defending their faith run by former Mormon to educate and encourage people to leave the Church

George Q Cannon at Upenn

“Aliens in the World: Sectarians, Secularism and the Second Great Awakening” Mormons Millerites Quakers etc.

Religion for Mormons and other Idiots: Mormon Wars Part 5: Rumors of Rumors of War

Mormon Think: Could Joseph Smith have Written the Book of Mormon?

Project QKENCHANT According to a 1992 CIA release that summarizes Clay Shaw’s contacts with the CIA:

Herman and Chomsky "Manufacturing Consent" 1988 excerpts

Back in I972, Judge Lewis Powell (later elevated to the Supreme Court) wrote to chamber of commerce urging business “to buy the top academic reputations in the country to add credibility to corporate studies and give business a stronger voice on the campuses.” (Herman and Chomsky "Manufacturing Consent" 1988 p23)

Under secretary of Agriculture in El Salvador Jorge Alberto Villacorta public statement “I resigned because I believed that it was useless to continue in a government not only incapable of putting an end to the violence but a government which itself is generating the political violence through repression….There exists clear evidence that during the month of March, while I served as undersecretary, recently elected directors of the agricultural enterprises were killed by gunfire…. Recently, in one of the large estates taken over by the agrarian reform uniform members of the security forces accompanied by a masked person pointed out the directors of the self-management group and then these individuals were shot in front of their co-workers.” (Herman and Chomsky "Manufacturing Consent" 1988 p51-2 original source Robert Armstrong and Janet Shenk “El Salvador the Face of Revolution” 1982)

George Schultz in regards to the elections in Nicaragua which he attemted to discredit but not in regards to the elections to El Salvador or Guatemala “The important thing is that if there is to be a an electoral process, it be observed not only at the moment when the people vote, but in all the preliminary aspects that make an election meaningful.” for elections to be meaningful, “rival political groups” must be allowed “to form themselves and have access to people, to have the right of assembly, to have access to the media.” (Herman and Chomsky "Manufacturing Consent" 1988 p90-1 source Philip Taubman NYT 2/6/84)

“The United States is not obliged to apply the same standard of judgment to a country whose government is avowedly hostile to the US as for a country like El Salvador, where it is not. These people [Sandinistas] could bring about a situation in Central America which could pose a threat to US security. That allows us to change our yardstick.” (Herman and Chomsky "Manufacturing Consent" 1988 p91)

In El Salvador in 1981 Duarte acknowledges “the masses are with the guerrillas.” (Herman and Chomsky "Manufacturing Consent" 1988 p125)

John Paul Vann US official “A popular political base for the government of South Vietnam does not exist….. The existing government is oriented toward the exploitation of the rural and lower class urban populations. It is, in fact, a continuation of the French colonial system of government with upper class Vietnamese replacing the French. ... the dissatisfaction of the agrarian population ... is expressed largely through alliance with the NLF [the NLF, or National Liberation Front, (what American politicians and the press called the 'Viet Cong'). (Herman and Chomsky "Manufacturing Consent" 1988 p181)

Ambassador Lodge “It is obvious that the generals are all we’ve got.” (Herman and Chomsky "Manufacturing Consent" 1988 p181)

General Maxwell Taylor spoke about the need of “establishing some reasonably satisfactory government,” replacing it if we are not satisfied, either with civilians, or with “a military dictatorship.” (Herman and Chomsky "Manufacturing Consent" 1988 p182)

By 1967, the war had reached such a level of devastation that, in Fall’s words, “Vietnam as a cultural and historic entity is threatened with extinction, as the countryside literally dies under the blows of the largest military machine ever unleashed on an area of this size.” (42) The strategy of destroying South Vietnam was generally considered a success. Harvard professor and government adviser Samuel Huntington concluded that “In an absent-minded way the US in Vietnam may well have stumbled upon the answer to ‘wars of national liberation,’” namely, “forced-draft urbanization and mobilization” by violence so extreme as “to produce a massive migration from countryside to city,” thus “undercutting the Maoist strategy” of organizing the peasant population (over 80 percent of the population when these techniques were initiated) and undermining the Viet Cong, “a powerful force which cannot be dislodged from its constituency so long as the constituency continues to exist.” (43) (Herman and Chomsky "Manufacturing Consent" 1988 p183) original source Time magazine 1970

McNamara Memo for LBJ “Only the U.S. presence after 1954 held the South together under far more favorable circumstances, and enabled Diem to refuse to go through with the 1954 provision calling for nationwide `free' elections in 1956.” (Herman and Chomsky "Manufacturing Consent" 1988 p187)

William Bundy, soon to become assistant secretary of state for Far Eastern affairs, later commented that “Actually no one on our side knew what the new people were thinking at all…Our requirements were really very simple- we wanted any government which would continue to fight.” The generals however did not want to continue to fight. Rather, along with the prime minister installed as a civilian cove for the military regime, they “wanted to move as rapidly as possible towards transferring the struggle for power in the South from the military to the political level,” leading to “a negotiated agreement among the Vietnamese parties themselves, without American intervention.” They saw the NLF “as preponderantly noncommunist in membership” and largely independent of Hanoi’s control, and regarded a political settlement among the South Vietnamese as feasible in essential agreement with the official NLF program. 61 Kahin Intervention p183 (Herman and Chomsky "Manufacturing Consent" 1988 p189-90)

LBJ to lodge his mission was “knocking down the idea of neutralization wherever it rears its ugly head,” (Herman and Chomsky "Manufacturing Consent" 1988 p190)

‘The extent of US sadism is noteworthy, as in the (null) reaction to it. In 1977, when India tried to send a hundred buffalo to Vietnam to replenish the herds destroyed by US violence, the United States threatened to cancel “food-for-peace” aid, while the press featured photographs of pheasants in Cambodia pulling plows as proof of communist barbarity; the photographs in this case were probably fabrications of the Thai intelligence, but authentic ones could, no doubt, have been obtained throughout Indochina. The Carter administration even denied rice to Laos (despite a cynical pretense to the contrary), where the agricultural system was destroyed by US terror bombing. Oxfam America was not permitted to send solar pumps to Cambodia for irrigation in 1983; in 1981, the US government sought to block a shipment of school supplies and educational kits to Cambodia by the Mennonite Church’ (Herman and Chomsky "Manufacturing Consent" 1988 p247)

Lewis cites Supreme Court Justice Powell, who observed: "no individual can obtain for himself the information needed for the intelligent discharge of his political responsibilities. For most citizens the prospect of personal familiarity with newsworthy events is hopelessly unrealistic. In seeking out the news the press therefore acts as an agent of the public at large. It is the means by which people secure that free flow of information and ideas essential to the intelligent self-government. By enabling the public to assert meaningful control over the political process, the press performs a crucial function in effecting the societal purpose of the First Amendment." Therefore, as Judge Gurfein ruled in supporting the right of the New York Times to publish the Pentagon Papers after the government had failed to show any threat of a breach of security but only the possibility of embarrassment: "a cantankerous press, an obstinate press, a ubiquitous press must be suffered by those in authority in order to preserve the even greater values of freedom of expression and the right of the people to know." (Herman and Chomsky "Manufacturing Consent" 1988 p297) also includes excerpt from also includes excerpt from ruling cited in

As we have stressed throughout this book, the US media do not function in the manner of the propaganda system of a totalitarian state. Rather, they permit -- indeed, encourage -- spirited debate, criticism, and dissent, as long as these remain faithfully within the system of presuppositions and principles that constitute an elite consensus, a system so powerful as to be internalised largely without awareness." (Herman and Chomsky "Manufacturing Consent" 1988 p 302) also cited in

Media analyst Lance Bennet "The public is exposed to powerful persuasive messages from above and is unable to communicate meaningfully through the media in response to these messages.... Leaders have usurped enormous amounts of political power and reduced popular control over the political system by using the media to generate support, compliance, and just plain confusion among the public." (Herman and Chomsky "Manufacturing Consent" 1988 p303)

In retrospect, Clarke said, he believes that the President and his men did not respond for three reasons: “One, they did not want to get involved in Afghanistan like Russia did. Two, they were saving forces for the war in Iraq. And, three, Rumsfeld wanted to have a laboratory to prove his theory about the ability of small numbers of ground troops, coupled with airpower, to win decisive battles.” The result Clarke told me, was that “the U.S. has succeeded in stabilizing only two or three cities. The President of Afghanistan is just the mayor of Kabul.” (Seymour Hersh “Chain of Command” 2004 p.147) (Seymour Hersh “Chain of Command” also cited in the New Yorker

Most alarmingly, according to a U.N. survey, nearly 70 percent of farmers intended to increase their poppy crops in 2004, most of them by more than half…. Many of the areas that the UN report identified as likely to see increased production are in regions where the United States has a major military presence. (Seymour Hersh “Chain of Command” 2004 p.155)

Chalabi, who was born into a wealthy Shiite banking family, hadn’t lived in Iraq for decades. He emigrated to England with his parents in 1958, when he was thirteen years old, and earned a doctorate in mathematics from the University of Chicago. (Seymour Hersh “Chain of Command” 2004 p.164)

It was believed that the government of President Mohammad Khatami, the United States’ newfound partner in the war against the Taliban, would permit I.N.C. forces and their military equipment to croos the Iranian border into southern Iraq. (Seymour Hersh “Chain of Command” 2004 p.171)

The Iraqi hawks and their opponents were preoccupied with disputes over Chalabi’s potential usefulness….

Within six months of September 11th, Alawi and a number of former Iraqi officers….Allawi’s…”..strongest virtue was that he was a thug.” (Seymour Hersh “Chain of Command” 2004 p.179-80)

Arabs are like most people,” Perle told me. “They like winners, and will go with the winners all the time. (Seymour Hersh “Chain of Command” 2004 p.182”) Seymour Hersh “Chain of Command” 2004 also cited in New Yorker article

A senior Israeli official told me “….Our lack of retaliation was seen in the West as very smart, but in the Arab world it had serious negative effect on Israel’s deterrence posture. If someone thinks they can hit Israel and not get hit ten times as strongly back, it is a serious issue. It won’t happen again….” (Seymour Hersh “Chain of Command” 2004 p.185)

The coming war meant money-lots of it-would be spent, and made. Some of the most ardent advocates of the war against Iraq were also the most eager to profit from it. (Seymour Hersh “Chain of Command” 2004 p.189)

There was no question that Perle believed that removing Saddam from power was the right thing to do. At the same time, he set up a company that stood to profit from a war. (Seymour Hersh “Chain of Command” 2004 p.200)

"The I.A.E.A. has concluded, with the concurrence of outside experts, that these documents . . . are in fact not authentic," ElBaradei said. One senior I.A.E.A. official went further. He told me, “These documents are so bad that I cannot imagine that they came from a serious intelligence agency. It depresses me, given the low quality of the documents, that it was not stopped. At the level it reached, I would have expected more checking.” (Seymour Hersh “Chain of Command” 2004 p.205) Seymour Hersh “Chain of Command” also cite by Leading to war Seymour Hersh “Chain of Command” also cited by Seymour Hersh “Chain of Command” also cited in the New Yorker

He went on, “I think Mr. ElBaradei, frankly is wrong. And I think if you look at the track record of the International Atomic Energy Agency on this kind of issue, especially where Iraq is concerned, they have consistently underestimated or missed what it was Saddam was doing. I don’t have any reason to believe they’re any more valid this time than they’ve been in the past.” Three days later, the war in Iraq began. (Seymour Hersh “Chain of Command” 2004 p.207) (Seymour Hersh “Chain of Command” also cited in wolf Blitzer interview) (Seymour Hersh “Chain of Command” for original transcript of “Meet the Press”)

The intelligence community was in full retreat, and the Office of Special Plans circumvented the vetting process…. “The Vice President came into a meeting furious that we hadn’t given the money to Chalibi,” the former official recalled. Cheney said, “Here we are, denying him money, when they”-the Iraqi National Congress-“areproviding us with unique intelligence on Iraqi WMDs.” (Seymour Hersh “Chain of Command” 2004 p.215)

Holmes added, “The whole story is complicated by Strauss’s-actually Plato’s-that philosophers need to tell noble lies not only to the people at large but also to powerful politicians.” (Seymour Hersh “Chain of Command” 2004 p.220-1)

In late summer, the White House sharply escalated the nuclear rhetoric. There were at least two immediate targets: the midterm congressional elections and the pending vote on a congressional resolution authorizing the President to take any action he deemed necessary in Iraq, to protect America s national security.

On August 7th, Vice-President Cheney, speaking in California, said of Saddam Hussein, “What we know now, from various sources, is that he . . . continues to pursue a nuclear weapon.” On August 26th, Cheney suggested that Saddam had a nuclear capability that could directly threaten “anyone he chooses, in his own region or beyond.” He added that the Iraqis were continuing to pursue the nuclear program they began so many years ago. On September 8th, he told a television interviewer, “We do know, with absolute certainty, that he is using his procurement system to acquire the equipment he needs in order to enrich uranium to build a nuclear weapon.” The President himself, in his weekly radio address on September 14th, stated, “Saddam Hussein has the scientists and infrastructure for a nuclear-weapons program, and has illicitly sought to purchase the equipment needed to enrich uranium for a nuclear weapon.” There was no confirmed intelligence for the President s assertion.

The government of the British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, President Bush s closest ally, was also brought in. As Blair later told a British government inquiry, he and Bush had talked by telephone that summer about the need “to disclose what we knew or as much as we could of what we knew.” Blair loyally took the lead: on September 24th, the British government issued a dossier dramatizing the W.M.D. threat posed by Iraq. In a foreword, Blair proclaimed that “the assessed intelligence has established beyond doubt that Saddam . . . continues in his efforts to develop nuclear weapons. The dossier noted that intelligence based, again, largely on the SISMI report showed that Iraq had sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.” A subsequent parliamentary inquiry determined that the published statement had been significantly toned down after the C.I.A. warned its British counterpart not to include the claim in the dossier, and in the final version Niger was not named, nor was SISMI.

The White House, meanwhile, had been escalating its rhetoric. In a television interview on September 8th, Condoleezza Rice, the national-security adviser, addressing questions about the strength of the Administration s case against Iraq, said, We don t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud a formulation that was taken up by hawks in the Administration. And, in a speech on October 7th, President Bush said, “Facing clear evidence of peril, we cannot wait for the final proof the smoking gun that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud.” (Seymour Hersh “Chain of Command” 2004 p.230) Seymour Hersh “Chain of Command” also cited in truth out

Several senior war planners complained to me in interviews that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and his inner circle of civilian advisers, who had been chiefly responsible for persuading President Bush to lead the country into war, had insisted on micromanaging the war’s operational details. Rumsfeld’s team took over crucial aspects of the day-to-day logistical planning—traditionally, an area in which the uniformed military excels—and Rumsfeld repeatedly overruled the senior Pentagon planners on the Joint Staff, the operating arm of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. “He thought he knew better,” one senior planner said. “He was the decision-maker at every turn.”

On at least six occasions, the planner told me, when Rumsfeld and his deputies were presented with operational plans—the Iraqi assault was designated Plan 1003—he insisted that the number of ground troops be sharply reduced. Rumsfeld’s faith in precision bombing and his insistence on streamlined military operations has had profound consequences for the ability of the armed forces to fight effectively overseas. “They’ve got no resources,” a former high-level intelligence official said. “He was so focused on proving his point—that the Iraqis were going to fall apart.”

The critical moment, one planner said, came last fall, during the buildup for the war, when Rumsfeld decided that he would no longer be guided by the Pentagon’s most sophisticated war-planning document, the TPFDL—time-phased forces-deployment list—which is known to planning officers as the tip-fiddle (tip-fid, for short). A TPFDL is a voluminous document describing the inventory of forces that are to be sent into battle, the sequence of their deployment, and the deployment of logistical support. “It’s the complete applecart, with many pieces,” Roger J. Spiller, the George C. Marshall Professor of military history at the U.S. Command and General Staff College, said. “Everybody trains and plans on it. It’s constantly in motion and always adjusted at the last minute. It’s an embedded piece of the bureaucratic and operational culture.” A retired Air Force strategic planner remarked, “This is what we do best—go from A to B—and the tip-fiddle is where you start. It’s how you put together a plan for moving into the theatre.” Another former planner said, “Once you turn on the tip-fid, everything moves in an orderly fashion.” A former intelligence officer added, “When you kill the tip-fiddle, you kill centralized military planning. The military is not like a corporation that can be streamlined. It is the most inefficient machine known to man. It’s the redundancy that saves lives.”

The TPFDL for the war in Iraq ran to forty or more computer-generated spreadsheets, dealing with everything from weapons to toilet paper. When it was initially presented to Rumsfeld last year for his approval, it called for the involvement of a wide range of forces from the different armed services, including four or more Army divisions. Rumsfeld rejected the package, because it was “too big,” the Pentagon planner said. He insisted that a smaller, faster-moving attack force, combined with overwhelming air power, would suffice. Rumsfeld further stunned the Joint Staff by insisting that he would control the timing and flow of Army and Marine troops to the combat zone. Such decisions are known in the military as R.F.F.s—requests for forces. He, and not the generals, would decide which unit would go when and where.

The TPFDL called for the shipment in advance, by sea, of hundreds of tanks and other heavy vehicles—enough for three or four divisions. Rumsfeld ignored this advice. Instead, he relied on the heavy equipment that was already in Kuwait—enough for just one full combat division. The 3rd Infantry Division, from Fort Stewart, Georgia, the only mechanized Army division that was active inside Iraq last week, thus arrived in the Gulf without its own equipment. “Those guys are driving around in tanks that were pre-positioned. Their tanks are sitting in Fort Stewart,” the planner said. “To get more forces there we have to float them. We can’t fly our forces in, because there’s nothing for them to drive. Over the past six months, you could have floated everything in ninety days—enough for four or more divisions.” The planner added, “This is the mess Rumsfeld put himself in, because he didn’t want a heavy footprint on the ground.”

Plan 1003 was repeatedly updated and presented to Rumsfeld, and each time, according to the planner, Rumsfeld said, “‘You’ve got too much ground force—go back and do it again.’” In the planner’s view, Rumsfeld had two goals: to demonstrate the efficacy of precision bombing and to “do the war on the cheap.” Rumsfeld and his two main deputies for war planning, Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith, “were so enamored of ‘shock and awe’ that victory seemed assured,” the planner said. “They believed that the weather would always be clear, that the enemy would expose itself, and so precision bombings would always work.”

Rumsfeld’s personal contempt for many of the senior generals and admirals who were promoted to top jobs during the Clinton Administration is widely known. He was especially critical of the Army, with its insistence on maintaining costly mechanized divisions. In his off-the-cuff memoranda, or “snowflakes,” as they’re called in the Pentagon, he chafed about generals having “the slows”—a reference to Lincoln’s characterization of General George McClellan. “In those conditions—an atmosphere of derision and challenge—the senior officers do not offer their best advice,” a high-ranking general who served for more than a year under Rumsfeld said. One witness to a meeting recalled Rumsfeld confronting General Eric Shinseki, the Army Chief of Staff, in front of many junior officers. “He was looking at the Chief and waving his hand,” the witness said, “saying, ‘Are you getting this yet? Are you getting this yet?’ ”

Gradually, Rumsfeld succeeded in replacing those officers in senior Joint Staff positions who challenged his view. “All the Joint Staff people now are handpicked, and churn out products to make the Secretary of Defense happy,” the planner said. “They don’t make military ju7dgements they just respond to the snowflakes.”

In the months leading up to the war, a split developed inside the military, with the planners and their immediate superiors warning that the war plan was dangerously thin on troops and matériel, and the top generals—including General Tommy Franks, the head of the U.S. Central Command, and Air Force General Richard Myers, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff—supporting Rumsfeld. After Turkey’s parliament astonished the war planners in early March by denying the United States permission to land the 4th Infantry Division in Turkey, Franks initially argued that the war ought to be delayed until the troops could be brought in by another route, a former intelligence official said. “Rummy overruled him.”

Many of the present and former officials I spoke to were critical of Franks for his perceived failure to stand up to his civilian superiors. A former senator told me that Franks was widely seen as a commander who “will do what he’s told.” A former intelligence official asked, “Why didn’t he go to the President?” A Pentagon official recalled that one senior general used to prepare his deputies for meetings with Rumsfeld by saying, “When you go in to talk to him, you’ve got to be prepared to lay your stars on the table and walk out. Otherwise, he’ll walk over you.”

In early February, according to a senior Pentagon official, Rumsfeld appeared at the Army Commanders’ Conference, a biannual business and social gathering of all the four-star generals. Rumsfeld was invited to join the generals for dinner and make a speech. All went well, the official told me, until Rumsfeld, during a question-and-answer session, was asked about his personal involvement in the deployment of combat units, in some cases with only five or six days’ notice. To the astonishment and anger of the generals, Rumsfeld denied responsibility. “He said, ‘I wasn’t involved,’” the official said. “‘It was the Joint Staff.’”

“We thought it would be fence-mending, but it was a disaster,” the official said of the dinner. “Everybody knew he was looking at these deployment orders. And for him to blame it on the Joint Staff—” The official hesitated a moment, and then said, “It’s all about Rummy and the truth.”

According to a dozen or so military men I spoke to, Rumsfeld simply failed to anticipate the consequences of protracted warfare. He put Army and Marine units in the field with few reserves and an insufficient number of tanks and other armored vehicles. (The military men say that the vehicles that they do have have been pushed too far and are malfunctioning.) Supply lines—inevitably, they say—have become overextended and vulnerable to attack, creating shortages of fuel, water, and ammunition. Pentagon officers spoke contemptuously of the Administration’s optimistic press briefings. “It’s a stalemate now,” the former intelligence official told me. “It’s going to remain one only if we can maintain our supply lines. The carriers are going to run out of jdams”—the satellite-guided bombs that have been striking targets in Baghdad and elsewhere with extraordinary accuracy. Much of the supply of Tomahawk guided missiles has been expended. “The Marines are worried as hell,” the former intelligence official went on. “They’re all committed, with no reserves, and they’ve never run the lavs”—light armored vehicles—“as long and as hard” as they have in Iraq. There are serious maintenance problems as well. “The only hope is that they can hold out until reinforcements come.”

The 4th Infantry Division—the Army’s most modern mechanized division—whose equipment spent weeks waiting in the Mediterranean before being diverted to the overtaxed American port in Kuwait, is not expected to be operational until the end of April. The 1st Cavalry Division, in Texas, is ready to ship out, the planner said, but by sea it will take twenty-three days to reach Kuwait. “All we have now is front-line positions,” the former intelligence official told me. “Everything else is missing.”

Last week, plans for an assault on Baghdad had stalled, and the six Republican Guard divisions expected to provide the main Iraqi defense had yet to have a significant engagement with American or British soldiers. The shortages forced Central Command to “run around looking for supplies,” the former intelligence official said. The immediate goal, he added, was for the Army and Marine forces “to hold tight and hope that the Republican Guard divisions get chewed up” by bombing. The planner agreed, saying, “The only way out now is back, and to hope for some kind of a miracle—that the Republican Guards commit themselves,” and thus become vulnerable to American air strikes.

“Hope,” a retired four-star general subsequently told me, “is not a course of action.” Last Thursday, the Army’s senior ground commander, Lieutenant General William S. Wallace, said to reporters, “The enemy we’re fighting is different from the one we war-gamed against.” (One senior Administration official commented to me, speaking of the Iraqis, “They’re not scared. Ain’t it something? They’re not scared.”) At a press conference the next day, Rumsfeld and Myers were asked about Wallace’s comments, and defended the war plan—Myers called it “brilliant” and “on track.” They pointed out that the war was only a little more than a week old.

Scott Ritter, the former marine and United Nations weapons inspector, who has warned for months that the American “shock and awe” strategy would not work, noted that much of the bombing has had little effect or has been counterproductive. For example, the bombing of Saddam’s palaces has freed up a brigade of special guards who had been assigned to protect them, and who have now been sent home to await further deployment. “Every one of their homes—and they are scattered throughout Baghdad—is stacked with ammunition and supplies,” Ritter told me.

“This is tragic,” one senior planner said bitterly. “American lives are being lost.” The former intelligence official told me, “They all said, ‘We can do it with air power.’ They believed their own propaganda.” The high-ranking former general described Rumsfeld’s approach to the Joint Staff war planning as “McNamara-like intimidation by intervention of a small cell”—a reference to Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara and his aides, who were known for their challenges to the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the Vietnam War. The former high-ranking general compared the Joint Chiefs of Staff to the Stepford wives. “They’ve abrogated their responsibility.”

Perhaps the biggest disappointment of last week was the failure of the Shiite factions in southern Iraq to support the American and British invasion. Various branches of the Al Dawa faction, which operate underground, have been carrying out acts of terrorism against the Iraqi regime since the nineteen-eighties. But Al Dawa has also been hostile to American interests. Some in American intelligence have implicated the group in the 1983 bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut, which cost the lives of two hundred and forty-one marines. Nevertheless, in the months before the war the Bush Administration courted Al Dawa by including it among the opposition groups that would control postwar Iraq. “Dawa is one group that could kill Saddam,” a former American intelligence official told me. “They hate Saddam because he suppressed the Shiites. They exist to kill Saddam.” He said that their apparent decision to stand with the Iraqi regime now was a “disaster” for us. “They’re like hard-core Vietcong.”

There were reports last week that Iraqi exiles, including fervent Shiites, were crossing into Iraq by car and bus from Jordan and Syria to get into the fight on the side of the Iraqi government. Robert Baer, a former C.I.A. Middle East operative, told me in a telephone call from Jordan, “Everybody wants to fight. The whole nation of Iraq is fighting to defend Iraq. Not Saddam. They’ve been given the high sign, and we are courting disaster. If we take fifty or sixty casualties a day and they die by the thousands, they’re still winning. It’s a jihad, and it’s a good thing to die. This is no longer a secular war.” There were press reports of mujahedeen arriving from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Algeria for “martyrdom operations.”

There had been an expectation before the war that Iran, Iraq’s old enemy, would side with the United States in this fight. One Iraqi opposition group, the Iraqi National Congress, led by Ahmed Chalabi, has been in regular contact with the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, or sciri, an umbrella organization for Shiite groups who oppose Saddam. The organization is based in Iran and has close ties to Iranian intelligence. The Chalabi group set up an office last year in Tehran, with the approval of Chalabi’s supporters in the Pentagon, who include Rumsfeld, his deputies Wolfowitz and Feith, and Richard Perle, the former chairman of the Defense Policy Board. Chalabi has repeatedly predicted that the Tehran government would provide support, including men and arms, if an American invasion of Iraq took place…..In a press conference on Friday, Rumsfeld warned Iranian militants against interfering with American forces and accused Syria of sending military equipment to the Iraqis. A Middle East businessman who has long-standing ties in Jordan and Syria—and whose information I have always found reliable—told me that the religious government in Tehran “is now backing Iraq in the war. There isn’t any Arab fighting group on the ground in Iraq who is with the United States,” he said. (Seymour Hersh “Chain of Command” 2004 p.249-57)

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Speaking to journalists in September 2002 about the uses of preemptive military actions in Iraq and elsewhere, Rumsfeld said, “We all would like perfection; we’d like all the dots connected for us with a ribbon wrapped around it.” Americans, he added, “want evidence beyond reasonable doubt. You want to be able to be certain that you know before anyone’s punished.” But, he continued, “This isn’t punishment. We’ve got the wrong model in our minds if we’re thinking about punishment. We’re not. This isn’t retaliation or retribution.” (Seymour Hersh “Chain of Command” 2004 p.267)

An American who has advised the civilian authority in Baghdad similarly said, “The only way we can win is to go unconventional. We’re going to have to play their game. Guerrilla versus Gurrilla. Terrorism verses terrorism. We’ve got to scare the Iraqi’s into submission.” (Seymour Hersh “Chain of Command” 2004 p.274)

Told of such comments, the pentagon advisor, who is an expert on unconventional war, expressed dismay. “There are people saying all sorts of things about manhunts,” he said. “… we don’t fight terror with terror….”

Boykin praised President Bush as a “man who prays in the Oval Office,” and declared that Bush was “not elected” President but “appointed by God.” (Seymour Hersh “Chain of Command” 2004 p.276-7)

Pakistan has had the bomb since 1987, when its nuclear laboratories successfully fabricated a warhead. Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan, who developed Pakistan’s uranium enrichment program, is revered today by his countrymen as the father of the nuclear bomb. (Seymour Hersh “Chain of Command” 2004 p.291)

The skeptics among intelligence and military officials I spoke to challenged that view. The C.I.A., they noted, provided effective information on the warheads in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s when it worked closely with the Pakistan military in Afghanistan. community (Seymour Hersh “Chain of Command” 2004 p.293)

The document's most politically sensitive information, however, was about Pakistan. Since 1997, the C.I.A. said, Pakistan had been sharing sophisticated technology, warhead-design information, and weapons-testing data with the Pyongyang regime. Pakistan, one of the Bush Administration's important allies in the war against terrorism, was helping North Korea build the bomb.

In 1985, North Korea signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, which led to the opening of most of its nuclear sites to international inspection. By the early nineteen-nineties, it became evident to American intelligence agencies and international inspectors that the North Koreans were reprocessing more spent fuel than they had declared, and might have separated enough plutonium, a reactor by-product, to fabricate one or two nuclear weapons. The resulting diplomatic crisis was resolved when North Korea's leader, Kim Jong Il, entered into an agreement with the Clinton Administration to stop the nuclear-weapons program in return for economic aid and the construction of two light-water nuclear reactors that, under safeguards, would generate electricity.

Within three years, however, North Korea had begun using a second method to acquire fissile material. This time, instead of using spent fuel, scientists were trying to produce weapons-grade uranium from natural uranium--with Pakistani technology. One American intelligence official, referring to the C.I.A. report, told me, "It points a clear finger at the Pakistanis. The technical stuff is crystal clear--not hedged and not ambivalent."….

North Korea is economically isolated; one of its main sources of export income is arms sales, and its most sought-after products are missiles. And one of its customers has been Pakistan, which has a nuclear arsenal of its own but needs the missiles to more effectively deliver the warheads to the interior of its rival, India. In 1997, according to the C.I.A. report, Pakistan began paying for missile systems from North Korea in part by sharing its nuclear-weapons secrets. According to the report, Pakistan sent prototypes of high-speed centrifuge machines to North Korea. And sometime in 2001 North Korean scientists began to enrich uranium in significant quantities. Pakistan also provided data on how to build and test a uranium-triggered nuclear weapon, the C.I.A. report said.

A former senior Pakistani official told me that his government's contacts with North Korea increased dramatically in 1997; the Pakistani economy had foundered, and there was "no more money" to pay for North Korean missile support, so the Pakistani government began paying for missiles by providing "some of the know-how and the specifics." Pakistan helped North Korea conduct a series of "cold tests," simulated nuclear explosions, using natural uranium, which are necessary to determine whether a nuclear device will detonate properly. Pakistan also gave the North Korean intelligence service advice on "how to fly under the radar," as the former official put it---that is, how to hide nuclear research from American satellites and U.S. and South Korean intelligence agents.

It had taken Pakistan a decade of experimentation, and a substantial financial investment, before it was able to produce reliable centrifuges; with Pakistan's help, the North Koreans had "chopped many years off" the development process, the intelligence official noted. It is not known how many centrifuges are now being operated in North Korea or where the facilities are. (They are assumed to be in underground caves.) The Pakistani centrifuges, the official said, are slim cylinders, roughly six feet in height, that could be shipped "by the hundreds" in cargo planes. But, he added, "all Pakistan would have to do is give the North Koreans the blueprints. They are very sophisticated in their engineering." And with a few thousand centrifuges, he said, "North Korea could have enough fissile material to manufacture two or three warheads a year, with something left over to sell." (Seymour Hersh “Chain of Command” 2004 p.303-6) Seymour Hersh “Chain of Command” also cited in access my library Seymour Hersh “Chain of Command” also cited in official essay

President Bush's contempt for the North Korean government is well known, and makes the White House's failure to publicize the C.I.A. report or act on it all the more puzzling. In his State of the Union address in January of last year, Bush cited North Korea, along with Iraq and Iran, as part of the "axis of evil." Bob Woodward, in "Bush at War," his book about the Administration's response to September 11th, recalls an interview at the President's Texas ranch in August: " 'I loathe Kim Jong Il!' Bush shouted, waving his finger in the air. 'I've got a visceral reaction to this guy, because he is starving his people.' " Woodward wrote that the President had become so emotional while speaking about Kim Jong Il that "I thought he might jump up."

The Bush Administration was put on notice about North Korea even before it received the C.I.A. report. In January of last year, John Bolton, the Under-Secretary of State for Arms Control, declared that North Korea had a covert nuclear-weapons program and was in violation of the nonproliferation treaty. In February, the President was urged by three members of Congress to withhold support for the two reactors promised to North Korea, on the ground that the Pyongyang government was said to be operating a secret processing site "for the enrichment of uranium." In May, Bolton again accused North Korea of failing to coöperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency, the group responsible for monitoring treaty compliance. Nevertheless, on July 5th the President's national-security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, who presumably had received the C.I.A. report weeks earlier, made it clear in a letter to the congressmen that the Bush Administration would continue providing North Korea with shipments of heavy fuel oil and nuclear technology for the two promised energy-generating reactors.

The Administration's fitful North Korea policy, with its mixture of anger and seeming complacency, is in many ways a consequence of its unrelenting focus on Iraq. Late last year, the White House released a national-security-strategy paper authorizing the military "to detect and destroy an adversary's WMD assets"---weapons of mass destruction---"before these weapons are used." The document argued that the armed forces "must have the capability to defend against WMD-armed adversaries . . . because deterrence may not succeed." Logically, the new strategy should have applied first to North Korea, whose nuclear-weapons program remains far more advanced than Iraq's. The Administration's goal, however, was to mobilize public opinion for an invasion of Iraq. One American intelligence official told me, "The Bush doctrine says MAD"---mutual assured destruction---"will not work for these rogue nations, and therefore we have to preëmpt if negotiations don't work. And the Bush people knew that the North Koreans had already reinvigorated their programs and were more dangerous than Iraq. But they didn't tell anyone. They have bankrupted their own policy---thus far---by not doing what their doctrine calls for."

Iraq's military capacity has been vitiated by its defeat in the Gulf War and years of inspections, but North Korea is one of the most militarized nations in the world, with more than forty per cent of its population under arms. Its artillery is especially fearsome: more than ten thousand guns, along with twenty-five hundred rocket launchers capable of launching five hundred thousand shells an hour, are positioned within range of Seoul, the capital of South Korea. The Pentagon has estimated that all-out war would result in more than a million military and civilian casualties, including as many as a hundred thousand Americans killed. A Clinton Administration official recalled attending a congressional briefing in the mid-nineties at which Army General Gary Luck, the commander of U.S. forces in Korea, laconically said, "Senator, I could win this one for you---but not right away."

In early October, James A. Kelly, Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, flew to Pyongyang with a large entourage for a showdown over the uranium-enrichment program. The agenda was, inevitably, shaped by officials' awareness of the President's strong personal views. "There was a huge fight over whether to give the North Koreans an ultimatum or to negotiate," one American expert on Korea told me. "Which is the same fight they're having now." Kelly was authorized to tell the Koreans that the U.S. had learned about the illicit uranium program, but his careful instructions left him no room to negotiate. His scripted message was blunt: North Korea must stop the program before any negotiations could take place. "This is a sad tale of bureaucracy," another American expert said. "The script Kelly had was written in the N.S.C."---the National Security Council---"by hard-liners. I don't think the President wanted a crisis at this time." The C.I.A. report had predicted that North Korea, if confronted with the evidence, would not risk an open break with the 1994 agreement and would do nothing to violate the nonproliferation treaty. "It was dead wrong," an intelligence officer told me. "I hope there are other people in the agency who understand the North Koreans better than the people who wrote this."

"The Koreans were stunned," a Japanese diplomat who spoke to some of the participants told me. "They didn't know that the U.S. knew what it knew." After an all-night caucus in Pyongyang, Kang Suk Ju, the First Vice Foreign Minister of North Korea, seemed to confirm the charge when he responded by insisting upon his nation's right to develop nuclear weapons. What he didn't talk about was whether it actually had any. Kang Suk Ju also accused the United States, the Japanese diplomat said, of "threatening North Korea's survival." Kang then produced a list of the United States' alleged failures to meet its own obligations under the 1994 agreement, and offered to shut down the enrichment program in return for an American promise not to attack and a commitment to normalize relations. Kelly, constrained by his instructions, could only re-state his brief: the North Koreans must act first. The impasse was on.

But, as with the June C.I.A. report, the Administration kept quiet about the Pyongyang admission. It did not inform the public until October 16th, five days after Congress voted to authorize military force against Iraq. Even then, according to Administration sources quoted in the Washington Post, the Administration went public only after learning that the North Korean admission---with obvious implications for the debate on Iraq---was being leaked to the press. On the CBS program "Face the Nation" on October 20th, Condoleezza Rice denied that news of the Kelly meeting had been deliberately withheld until after the vote. President Bush, she said, simply hadn't been presented with options until October 15th. "What was surprising to us was not that there was a program," Rice said. "What was surprising to us was that the North Koreans admitted there was a program."

"Did we want them to deny it?" a former American intelligence expert on North Korea asked me afterward. He said, "I could never understand what was going on with the North Korea policy." Referring to relations between the intelligence service and the Bush Administration, he said, "We couldn't get people's attention, and, even if we could, they never had a sensible approach. The Administration was deeply, viciously ideological." It was contemptuous not only of the Pyongyang government but of earlier efforts by the Clinton White House to address the problem of nuclear proliferation---a problem that could only get worse if Washington ignored it. The former intelligence official told me, "When it came time to confront North Korea, we had no plan, no contact---nothing to negotiate with. You have to be in constant diplomatic contact, so you can engage and be in the strongest position to solve the problem. But we let it all fall apart."

The result was that in October, as in June, the Administration had no option except to deny that there was a crisis. When the first published reports of the Kelly meeting appeared, a White House spokesman said that the President found it to be "troubling, sobering news." Rice repeatedly emphasized that North Korea and Iraq were separate cases. "Saddam Hussein is in a category by himself," Rice said on ABC's "Nightline." One arms-control official told me, "The White House didn't want to deal with a second crisis."

In the following months, the American policy alternated between tough talk in public---vows that the Administration wouldn't be "blackmailed," or even meet with North Korean leaders---and private efforts, through third parties, to open an indirect line of communication with Pyongyang. North Korea, meanwhile, expelled international inspectors, renounced the nonproliferation treaty, and threatened to once again begin reprocessing spent nuclear fuel---all the while insisting on direct talks with the Bush Administration. (Seymour Hersh “Chain of Command” 2004 p.306-10) Seymour Hersh “Chain of Command” also cited in official essay

A large-scale American military presence in Pakistan could create an uproar in the country and weaken Musharraf’s already tenuous hold on power. The operation represents a tremendous gamble for him personally (he narrowly survived two assassination attempts in December) and, by extension, for the Bush Administration—if he fell, his successor might be far less friendly to the United States. One of Musharraf’s most vocal critics inside Pakistan is retired Army Lieutenant General Hamid Gul, a fundamentalist Muslim who directed the I.S.I. from 1987 to 1989, at the height of the Afghan war with the Soviets. If American troops start operating from Pakistan, there will be “a rupture in the relationship,” Gul told me. “Americans think others are slaves to them.” Referring to the furor over A. Q. Khan, he added, “We may be in a jam, but we are a very honorable nation. We will not allow the American troops to come here. This will be the breaking point.” If Musharraf has made an agreement about letting American troops operate in Pakistan, Gul said, “he’s lying to you.” (Seymour Hersh “Chain of Command” 2004 p.314) Seymour Hersh “Chain of Command” also cited in the New Yorker

In interviews and public statements, Assad had tried to draw a distinction between international terrorists and those he called part of the “resistance” in Israel and the occupied territories, including young Palestinian suicide bombers. It is a distinction that few in the Bush Administration would endorse. Syria’s enmity toward Israel has been unrelenting, as has its criticism of the United States for its support of Israel. In a typical comment, made in late March to Al Safir, a Lebanese newspaper, Assad declared, “No one among us trusts Israel; not the Syrians, not any other Arabs. . . . We must be very careful. Treachery and threats have always been Israeli characteristics. Through its existence, Israel always poses a threat.”

Assad and his advisers—many of whom are his father’s cronies—had hoped that their coöperation in the hunt for Al Qaeda would allow them to improve and redefine their relations with the United States. (Seymour Hersh “Chain of Command” 2004 p.338) Seymour Hersh “Chain of Command” also cited in the New Yorker

In late 2001, the Islamic Republic of Iran, depicted by the State Department as one of the world’s most active sponsors of state terrorism, appeared to becoming one of America’s newest-and most surprising-allies in the war against Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda. And one of America’s oldest allies (Israel) didn’t like it…..

Iran began its pursuit oc nuclear weapons in the mid-1970’s when Shah Mohammud reza Pahlevi was flush with oil money, ambition and American support…. (Seymour Hersh “Chain of Command” 2004 p.342-3)

In a series of interviews in Europe, the Middle East, and the United States, officials told me that by the end of last year Israel had concluded that the Bush Administration would not be able to bring stability or democracy to Iraq, and that Israel needed other options. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s government decided, I was told, to minimize the damage that the war was causing to Israel’s strategic position by expanding its long-standing relationship with Iraq’s Kurds and establishing a significant presence on the ground in the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan. Several officials depicted Sharon’s decision, which involves a heavy financial commitment, as a potentially reckless move that could create even more chaos and violence as the insurgency in Iraq continues to grow.

Israeli intelligence and military operations were, by mid-2004, quietly at work in Kurdistan, providing training for Kurdish commando units, and most important in Israel’s view, running covert operations inside Kurdish areas of Iran and Syria. (Seymour Hersh “Chain of Command” 2004 p.353)

Seymour Hersh “Chain of Command” also cited in about Atheism

Shortly before John Adams helped in drafting the Declaration of Independence in 1776, Abigail wrote to him: “I long to hear that you have declared an independency-and by the way, in the new code of laws which I suppose it will be necessary for you to make I desire you would remember the ladies, and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the husbands. Remember, all men would be tyrants if they could. If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation. (Peter Irons “The People’s History of the Supreme Court” 1999 p.12-3) Peter Irons “The People’s History of the Supreme Court” full letter cited on the Liz library

Madison also carried to his grave the rule adopted by the convention that “nothing spoken in the House be printed, or otherwise published or communicated without leave.” Only one delegate slipped from the secrecy rule, dropping a copy of convention procedures on the floor outside the chamber. They were returned to Washington, who dramatically threw the document on his table. “I do not know whose paper it is, but there it is. Let him who owns it take it.” The miscreant did not come forward, but there were no more breeches of the secrecy rule. No delegate wished to risk the general’s wrath again. (Peter Irons “The People’s History of the Supreme Court” 1999 p.22)

The Virginia plan stated that members of the lower house of the national legislature “ought to be elected by the people of the several states.” This raised the fundamental que4stion: Can the people be trusted to elect their own lawmakers? The first delegate to speak on the issue, Roger Sherman of Connecticut, firmly and bluntly said no….. Sherman was seconded by another New Englander, Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts……Gerry’s attack on popular election of national legislators took the “too much of a good thing” approach. “The evils we experience flow from the excess of democracy,” he argued. (Peter Irons “The People’s History of the Supreme Court” 1999 p.24)

…. Morris outlined his objection to the Virginia Plan, “If the legislature elect,” he argued, “it will be the work of intrigue, of cabal, and of faction; it will be like the election of a pope by a conclave of cardinals; real merit will rarely be the title to the appointment.”….. When the delegates voted, only Morris’s home state of Pennsylvania supported his motion for an “election by the people” of the president. (Peter Irons “The People’s History of the Supreme Court” 1999 p.38-9)

Martin’s last words, spoken on August 31, warned that “the people would be against” the Constitution, and “would not ratify it unless hurried into it by surprise.” Six of the delegates, including the three who stayed through the final session and refused to sign the Constitution, became leaders of the Antifederalist movement against ratification. (Peter Irons “The People’s History of the Supreme Court” 1999 p.55)

In short, the Framers had little in common with the backcountry farmers, small-town tradesmen, and urban “mechanics” who made up the majority of the American population in 1787. To be more correct, the white, male population that owned enough property or paid enough taxes to vote in most states. (Peter Irons “The People’s History of the Supreme Court” 1999 p.59)

The Federalists solved the first problem with strongarm tactics. When the roll call in the legislative session, called to propose a ratification convention, turned up only forty-four members, the Pennsylvania Assembly sent its sergeant at arms to round up at least two of the Antifederalist members, who had boycotted the meeting to prevent a vote they knew they would lose. Surrounded by a self-appointed posse, the sergeant canvassed the taverns and lodging houses near the State House and finally located two of the boycotters, James M’Calmont and Jacob Miley. A later report by the dissenting members described their treatment by the Federalist posse: “Their lodgings were violently broken open, their clothes torn, and after much abuse and insult, they were forcibly dragged through the streets of Philadelphia to the Sate House, and there detained by force.” Federalist members held M’Calmont and Miley in their seats while the Assembly--with its press-gang quorum—voted forty-six to twenty-three to hold elections for a ratification convention. This was hardly a victory for democracy, but neither side in the ratification debate played by the rules of genteel debate. For them, the stakes were too high. (Peter Irons “The People’s History of the Supreme Court” 1999 p.60-1)

The former revolutionary, Patrick Henry, was now a wealthy man, rich in landholdings, and he no longer spoke for the ordinary people he had spurred to fight the British. Ironically, Henry accused the Federalists of speaking for the people without their consent. The preamble to the Constitution began with the words “We the people of the United States” and spoke of their resolve to “form a more perfect union” of the states. Henry, whose speeches consumed more than a fifth of the convention record, vented his anger on Madison and the other Philadelphia delegates> “Who authorized them to speak of We the people, instead of We the states,” he demanded to know. “The people gave them no power to use their name.”

(Peter Irons “The People’s History of the Supreme Court” 1999 p.)

Henry waved a rhetorical copy of the Declaration of Independence before the delegates. The document “which separated us from Great Britain,” he declaimed, had asserted the rights of the people against arbitrary governmental power. But the constitution protected none of these rights. “The rights of conscience, trial by jury, liberty of the press,” he thundered, “all pretensions to human rights and privileges, are rendered insecure, if not lost, by this change.” Echoing his stirring call to rebellion against the British, Henry urged the delegates to rebel against the Federalists. “Liberty, greatest of all earthly blessings-give us that precious jewel, and you may take everything else!” (Peter Irons “The People’s History of the Supreme Court” 1999 p.64-5)

Madison clearly resented those who stirred up fears of an omnipotent and oppressive national government. In his mind, “the great danger lies rather in the abuse of the community than in the legislative body,” referring to Congress. The real danger, he argued, “is not found in either the Executive or Legislative departments of government, but in the body of the people, operating by the majority against the minority.” The majorities he meant by this phrase were not those which elected members of Congress, but those which elected local and state lawmakers. (Peter Irons “The People’s History of the Supreme Court” 1999 p.73)

The third clause provided that “no person religiously scrupulous of bearing arms shall be compelled to render military service in person.” This last clause did not survive the congressional gauntlet, but the first two were blended into the Second Amendment, with their order reversed and the semicolon replaced by a comma. (Peter Irons “The People’s History of the Supreme Court” 1999 p.75)

The men Washington placed on the Court, in contrast, were a thoroughly undistinguished lot. One spent time in debtors’ prison for defaulting on loans; one returned his commission after five days to serve in state office; one never attended a single court session; one was impeached for political bias on the bench; one was insane; and another was senile….

John Jay’s favorite maxim was that “those that own the country ought to govern it,” and he advocated stringent property qualifications on voting. Jay also stated that “the wise and the good never form the majority” of society and that, consequently, government must guard against the “never ceasing union of the wicked and the weak.”…

But support for slavery, in Washington’s mind did not disqualify a man for the Supreme Court. Rutledge was a loyal Federalist and had lobbied for his appointment as Chief Justice…. Rutledge had little attachment to democratic principles. (Peter Irons “The People’s History of the Supreme Court” 1999 p.86-8)

The first six men who actually decided cases on the Supreme Court differed in background, experience, and personality. But they shared four attributes. All were staunch Federalists; all had participated in framing the Constitution or campaigned for its ratification; all belonged to or represented the creditor class with wealth in land or finance; and all believed that the government’s primary function was protecting property rights from the debtor class of workers and small farmers. In these respects, they shared little with “the people” in whose name the Constitution was framed. But they met the test Washington imposed on his judicial choices; loyalty to his party and its nationalistic goals. … (Peter Irons “The People’s History of the Supreme Court” 1999 p.90)

Riding a wave of nationalistic and anti-French sentiment, the Federalists put the Republicans on the defensive. The Rev. Timothy Dwight, president of Yale, delivered a sermon in which he claimed that Jeffersonian Republicanism would make “our wives and daughters the victims of legal prostitution.” As Frenchmen supposedly encouraged their wives and daughters to practice. A Federalist writer urged that Republicans should be treated “as we should a TURK, A JEW, A JACOBIN, OR A DOG.” Diatribes like these turned the voters-white men with property, many with wives and daughters-against the Republicans, and swept the Federalists to an overwhelming victory in the 1798 congressional elections. (Peter Irons “The People’s History of the Supreme Court” 1999 p.98)

Justice Samuel Chase not only rivaled but exceeded Paterson in zealous persecution of Republicans, Chase had publicly urged Congress to adopt the Sedition Act, and he gained the sobriquet of the “hanging judge” for his conduct in trying John Fries for “treason” in 1800. (Peter Irons “The People’s History of the Supreme Court” 1999 p.99-100)

By ruling that corporate charters were “contracts” and thus protected against “impairment by state legislatures, Marshall protected those who provided capital for America’s expanding corporations from political meddling in their business. Justice Story, who differed with Marshall in legal reasoning but agreed with the outcome of the Dartmouth College case, expressed his hope that the Court’s decision “will check any undue encroachments upon civil rights, which the passions of the popular doctrines of the day may stimulate our State Legislatures to adopt.” This equation of “civil rights” with corporate power speaks volumes about the Court’s priorities during this period the protection of property far outweighed the rights of the people like blacks or women. (Peter Irons “The People’s History of the Supreme Court” 1999 p.129)

Jackson had already begun reshaping the Supreme Court before Marshall’s death in 1835, midway through Jackson’s second term….The new president gave the post to John McLean of Ohio. Although McLean had served for six years on the Ohio Supreme Court, his real passion was not law but politics. A major factor in McLean’s appointment, in fact, was that putting him on the Court, on a pledge not to pursue his presidential ambitions, would remove a potential obstacle to Jackson’s second term in the White House. McLean broke his pledge not once but six times between 1832 and 1860, seeking the presidential nomination of six different parties during those years. McLean saw no impropriety in campaigning from the bench, assuring one critic that he would not be subject to “any improper influence” that might “tend to corrupt the Bench.” (Peter Irons “The People’s History of the Supreme Court” 1999 p.142)

However solicitous of “the people,” Taney and his fellow Democrats harbored no animosity toward the “capitalists” who were busily constructing factories to manufacture goods and building railroads to ship them to markets. “While the rights of property are sacredly guarded,” Taney continued in his Charles River Bridge opinion, “we must not forget that the community also have rights, and that happiness and well being of every citizen depends on their faithful preservation.” He looked closely at the original bridge charter and found no grant of an “exclusive privilege” in the charter. (Peter Irons “The People’s History of the Supreme Court” 1999 p.145-6)

The Pierce administration enforced the fugitive slave laws with a vengeance. The arrest of Anthony Burns in Boston in May 1854 prompted a massive abolitionist protest. Burns had escaped from slavery in Virginia and was seized by a federal marshal, who held him for his owner. When Burns was taken before a state judge for a rendition hearing, his owner’s lawyers argued that state courts were required to comply with the Fugitive Slave Act After the judge ruled that the Latimer Law was in conflict with the federal statute, and ordered Burn’s rendition to Virginia, federal troops and the state militia trained a cannon on a crowd of twenty thousand who gathered on Boston Common to protest the decision. William Lloyd Garrison seized the moment with a dramatic gesture. Holding up a copy of the Constitution, he denounced it as “a covenant with death and an agreement with hell.” With these words, he put a torch to the Constitution and burned it to ashes. “So perish all compromises with tyranny!” he cried, echoed by the shouts of the assembled crowd. (Peter Irons “The People’s History of the Supreme Court” 1999 p.153)

When the Strader case reached the Supreme Court, the “states” rights” decision of the Kentucky judges found a receptive audience. Chief Justice Roger Taney wrote for a unanimous Court, dismissing the case for lack of federal jurisdiction. However, he took sides in the dispute, writing that if the slave musicians had returned to Kentucky-willingly or not-their status would have “depended altogether upon the laws of that State and could not be influenced by the laws of Ohio.” Since they never returned to Kentucky, Taney’s opinion on the issue was the rankest form of dictum, the Latin term for judicial statements that go beyond-in this case, far beyond- the questions presented in the case. But the Chief Justice seemed determined in Strader to instruct state judges that the doctrine of “once free, always free” no longer applied in suits for freedom. (Peter Irons “The People’s History of the Supreme Court” 1999 p.161)

Taney couldn’t point to any concrete evidence on this issue. He simply reflected the racial attitudes of his time. Speaking of the century that preceded the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution he wrote that blacks were “regarded as beings of an inferior order, and altogether unfit to associate with the white race, either in social or political relations; and so far inferior, that they had no rights that the white man was bound to respect; and that the negro might justly and lawfully be reduced to slavery for his own benefit.” (Peter Irons “The People’s History of the Supreme Court” 1999 p.173)

During World War I, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes upheld a “sedition” conviction for obstructing the draft. “When a nation is at war many things that might be said in times of peace are such a hindrance to its effort,” Holmes wrote, “that no court could regard them as protected by any constitutional right.” (Peter Irons “The People’s History of the Supreme Court” 1999 p.189)

Grant could point to few accomplishments, but he did place four men on the Supreme Court, one short of a majority. His nominees, all of them corporation lawyers, looked like peas in a pod….Bradley, like Strong a railroad lawyer, came to the Court with a record of hostility toward equal rights for blacks. (Peter Irons “The People’s History of the Supreme Court” 1999 p.197-8)

This case began in 1873 (ironically, the day before the Court issued its Slaughterhouse decision) with a real slaughter in Colfax, Louisiana, the county seat of Grant Parish. An election dispute between white Democrats and black republicans escalated into violence and turned into “the bloodiest single instance of racial carnage in the Reconstruction era,” wrote Foner, that period’s leading historian. Black voters who feared that whites planned to seize the county government gathered at the courthouse, digging trenches and drilling with shotguns. They were assembled by the local sheriff, a Republican, and deputized as a posse to protect county offices in Colfax. On Easter Sunday, after three weeks of sporadic gunfire, a band of whites armed with rifles and a cannon blasted the courthouse, set it ablaze, and massacred the blacks who poured out, waving a white flag of surrender. The death toll remains in dispute; Foner wrote that “some fifty blacks” died, while a black Louisiana legislator stated at the time that “when the sun went down that night, it went down on the corpses of two hundred and eighty negroes.” Whatever the number, there is no dispute that white racists had turned the Colfax courthouse into a human slaughterhouse. (Peter Irons “The People’s History of the Supreme Court” 1999 p.202-5)

Once again, southern Democrats did not shrink from violence in their search for votes. “Armed bands disrupted Republican meetings, whipped freedmen, and murdered local officials,” wrote Eric Foner. To cite one bloody example, a white mob in Hamburg, South Carolina, attacked a Fourth of July gathering of black militiamen, capturing twenty-five as they fled. Matthew Butler, a former Confederate general and the area’s Democratic leader, reportedly singled out five blacks for summary execution. After the Democrats won control of South Carolina’s legislature, white legislators rewarded Butler with election to the United States Senate. (Peter Irons “The People’s History of the Supreme Court” 1999 p.208)

Matthews wrote only two significant opinions; one denied the protections of the Bill of Rights to criminal defendants. And one extended those protections to members of racial minorities. (Peter Irons “The People’s History of the Supreme Court” 1999 p.211)

Harlan concluded with a swipe at Bradley’s patronizing lecture to blacks. “It is,” he wrote, “scarcely just to say that the colored race has been the special favorites of the laws. The statute of 1875, now adjudged to be unconstitutional, is for the benefit of citizens of any race and color.” He reminded his colleagues-and the nation-that “class tyranny” could be imposed by any group that controlled power. “Today, it is the colored race which is denied, by corporations and individuals wielding public authority, rights fundamental in their freedom and citizenship,” Harlan wrote. “At some future time, it may be that some other race will fall under the ban of race discrimination.” (Peter Irons “The People’s History of the Supreme Court” 1999 p.214-5)

He told the Yale graduates of 1891 that the principles of “absolute and eternal justice forbid that any private property” could be “destroyed in the interest of public health, morals, or welfare.” David Brewer was saying that the “police powers” of government to protect the people were subservient to the powers of those who controlled property. He assured his privileged audience that “the love of acquirement, mingled with the joy of possession, is the real stimulus to human activity.” No justice ever penned a greater ode to economic avarice. (Peter Irons “The People’s History of the Supreme Court” 1999 p.218)

Amid this growing strife, the Court remained a bastion of conservatism, earning this banquet toast from a New York banker in 1895: “I give you, gentlemen, the Supreme Court of the United States-guardian of the dollar, defender of private property, enemy of spoliation, sheet anchor of the Republic.” The Court was eager to strike down-as violations of the Fourteenth Amendment-laws that interfered with the “liberty” of businessmen to dictate the wages, hours, and working conditions of their employees. But the justices were not eager to provide the same “liberty” rights to ordinary people, especially blacks. (Peter Irons “The People’s History of the Supreme Court” 1999 p.221-2)

Those who quote the “colorblind” sentence invariably fail to quote the sentence that precedes it in Harlan’s opinion. “The white race deems itself to be the dominant race in this country,” he wrote. “And so it is, in prestige, in achievements, in education, in wealth and in power. So, I doubt not, it will continue to be for all time, if it remains true to its great heritage and holds fast to the principles of constitutional liberty.” (Peter Irons “The People’s History of the Supreme Court” 1999 p.230-1)

Spencer preached a stern doctrine much like the Puritans before who preceded him by two centuries. “The poverty of the incapable, the distresses that come upon the imprudent, the starvation of the idle, and the shoulderings aside of the weak by the strong,” he wrote, “are the decrees of a large far seeing benevolence.”…

Ira Munn refused to apply for a license to operate his business and continued to charge more for grain storage than the law allowed. The state’s attorney general brought charges in 1872, and Munn’s company was fined $100 in county court after a brief trial in which both sides agreed on the facts. The Illinois Supreme Court upheld Munn’s conviction, and his appeal joined several other “Granger cases” that were pending in the Supreme Court. Before the court decided these cases, corporate lawyers expressed optimism that it would strike down “this assault on private property,” as one wrote in the prestigious American Law Review. He added that the Granger movement “was really directed not against abuses, but against the rights of property.” This lawyer found it “perfectly clear that the Granger movement was rank communism.” The first Red Scare had begun, although mid western farmers were hardly resembled the industrial proletariat that Karl Marx called upon in his Communist Manifesto to overthrow the capitalist system. …

He translate Hale’s Latin phrase into simple English; “When private Property is devoted to a public use, it is subject to public regulation.”…. (Peter Irons “The People’s History of the Supreme Court” 1999 p.237-40)

Senator John Sherman, the act’s sponsor, warned his colleagues that failing to curb the monopolies would give ammunition to those who railed against their power. “You must heed their appeal or be ready for the socialist, the communist, the nihilist,” he said. “Society is now disturbed by forces never felt before.” (Peter Irons “The People’s History of the Supreme Court” 1999 p.243)

At Olney’s direction, the federal attorney in Chicago persuaded federal judges to issue a sweeping injunction against the use of “threats, intimidation, persuasion, force or violence” to block trains moving in interstate commerce. Ironically, the judges based the “Debs injunction” on the Sherman Antitrust Act, which the Supreme Court had refused to apply to business monopolies in the Knight case. (Peter Irons “The People’s History of the Supreme Court” 1999 p.246-7)

Some of Holmes rulings carried his deferential philosophy to extremes; the best (or worst) example was his 1927 opinion in Buck v. Bell, upholding Virginia’s “eugenic sterilization” law, under which several thousand “feeble-minded” and “morally delinquent” women had their Fallopian tubes cut by court order. Holmes endorsed the forced sterilization of Carrie Buck, the eighteen-year-old “daughter of a feeble minded mother” and herself “the mother of an illegitimate feeble minded child,” as he stated the facts from the case record. His opinion reeked of the arrogance of aristocracy, and could easily have been written by Herbert Spencer. “It is better for all the world,” Holmes pontificated, “if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind.” Comparing forced sterilization with compulsory vaccination, Holmes had a last, callous word for Carrie Buck and her family: “Three generations of imbeciles are enough.”

Five decades later, a journalist who tracked down Carrie Buck and dug into old records discovered that she had been committed to Virginia’s “State Colony for Epileptics and Feeble Minded” only because she had been raped by the eminent doctor who employed her as a housekeeper. Her daughter, Emma, was a perfectly normal child, and the “eugenic expert” who recommended her sterilization was later honored by the German Nazi regime for helping to draft its “Race Hygiene” law, which laid the tracks that ended in the gas chambers of Auschwitz and other death camps. Holmes knew nothing about the scientific fallacies of the ‘eugenic’ movement; more important, he did not feel any duty to look behind the fabricated record in the Buck case…..

….His only significant constitutional opinion, Twinning v. New Jersey in 1908, held that the right against self-incrimination in criminal trials “is not fundamental in due process of law,” a ruling that was finally overruled by the Court in 1964. (Peter Irons “The People’s History of the Supreme Court” 1999 p.252-3)

One fact about the government’s policy toward the “Great War” is clear; once the Wilson administration decided to enter the conflict, it viewed all opposition as “seditious” and even treasonous. Early in 1917, one of Wilson’s closest advisors, Elihu Root-a former war secretary and wall street lawyer-laid down the law: “We must have no criticism now.” A few months later, upset that his words had not been heeded, Root warned that “there are men walking around the streets…tonight who ought to be taken out at sunrise tomorrow and shot for treason.”

The Wilson administration initiated a “private” campaign against its critics that encouraged Americans to spy on their neighbors and fellow workers. The Justice Department sponsored the American Protection League, which by June 1917 had units in six hundred cities and towns and claimed a membership of almost 100,000 “patriotic” citizens. Ignoring the constraints of the Constitution, league members rifled through the mail of suspected “disloyal,” infiltrated private meetings, and recorded speeches at public gatherings. The government’s volunteer spies viewed any criticism of the war effort as a criminal offence. The APA claimed to have uncovered three million cases of disloyalty; the evidence for this dramatic claim, needless to say, was never offered for the public record. (Peter Irons “The People’s History of the Supreme Court” 1999 p.266)

Schenck already had copies of a leaflet the party had been distributing in its antidraft campaign. It was headed “Long Live the Constitution Of The United States” and reprinted the words of the thirteenth Amendment, which abolished slavery and “involuntary servitude.” The leaflet employed what Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes later called “impassioned language” against the draft. “a conscript is little better than a convict,” it read. “He is deprived of his liberty and of his right to think and act as a free man.” The leaflet urged readers to join the party’s campaign to repeal the draft law. “Do not submit to intimidation,” it implored/ “Exercise your rights of free speech, peaceful assemblage and petitioning the government for a redress of grievances. Come to the headquarters of the Socialist Party, 1326 Arch street, and sign a petition to Congress for the repeal of the Conscription Act.”

The first side of the leaflet simply asked readers to sign a petition. Schenck drafted language for the other side, which he headed, “Assert Your Rights!” Justice Holmes later summarized the text: “It stated reasons for alleging that any one violated the constitution when he refused to recognize ‘your right to assert your opposition to the draft’ and went on, 'If you do not assert and support your rights, you are helping to deny or disparage rights which it is the solemn duty of all citizens and residents of the United States to retain.'” Holmes continued: “It denied the power to send our citizens away to foreign shores to shoot up the people of other lands, and added that words could not express the condemnation such cold-blooded ruthlessness deserves , &c., &c., winding up, 'You must do your share to maintain, support and uphold the rights of the people of this country.'”

…..Judge Hand told one that “man’s destiny is to fight,” and asked another, “doesn’t this squashy sentimentality of a big minority of our people about human life make you puke?” (Peter Irons “The People’s History of the Supreme Court” 1999 p.268-70) Schenck ruling at find law

Eugene Debs Canton speech (Peter Irons “The People’s History of the Supreme Court” 1999 p.272-3)

During the war, an ambitious young clerk in the Justice Department’s Bureau of Investigation named J. Edgar Hoover began compiling lists of actual and alleged “Reds” and soon had files on 200,000 people; federal agents stole membership lists of radical groups and other names came from volunteer spies who reported “subversives” to federal officials…..

The press again cheered the raids. “There is no time to waste on hairsplitting over infringement of liberty,” proclaimed the Washington Post. But the government’s action stirred a small band of “civil libertarians” to protest. The newly formed American Civil Liberties Union, which grew out of groups that defended war protesters and draft resisters, joined the National Popular Government League in publishing a scathing Report upon the Illegal Practices of the United States Department of Justice, documenting many examples of police brutality during the raids, prolonged detention of those arrested without access to counsel or families, and due process violations of the courts. Twelve prominent lawyers, including Zechariah Chaffee and Felix Frankfurter of Harvard Law School, signed the report and condemned the “utterly illegal acts which have been committed by those charged with the highest duty of enforcing the laws.” The ACLU report stunned Attorney General Palmer, who insinuated that his critics were soft on communism. (Peter Irons “The People’s History of the Supreme Court” 1999 p.282-3)

Sanford replied to Holmes “falsely shouting fire” example of unprotected speech with his own metaphor. “A single revolutionary spark may kindle a fire that, smoldering for a time, may burst into a sweeping conflagration,” he wrote. “It cannot be said that the State is acting arbitrarily when in the exercise of its judgment as to the measures necessary to protect the public peace and safety, it seeks to extinguish the spark without waiting until it has enkindled the flame or blazed into the conflagration.” How long might a rhetorical fire “smoulder” before it burst into revolution? Sanford did not say, or even hazard an estimate. His “smouldering test was not tied to the “circumstances” of speech; New York could “extinguish” any revolutionary “utterances” at any time, because it might someday prompt someone to burn down the capital of Albany. (Peter Irons “The People’s History of the Supreme Court” 1999 p.289)

Brandies matched Holmes in the power of his prose. “Fear of serious injury cannot alone justify suppression of free speech and assembly,” he wrote. “Men feared witches and burnt woman. It is the function of speech to free men from the bondage of irrational fears.” Brandies refined Holmes’s “clear and present danger” test in words that underscored the state’s burden in proving that “immediate serious violence” would occur if speech was not suppressed. “If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies” of revolutionary speech, he added, “the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence. Only an emergency can justify repression. Such must be the rule if authority is to be reconciled with freedom. Such, in my opinion, is the command of the Constitution.”

Although the Four Horsemen joined the De Jonge majority, they all dissented in April 1937 from a decision that reversed the conviction of Angelo Herndon, a black Communist organizer convicted in 1932 of inciting fellow blacks to “insurrection” in Georgia. The state law exposed anyone who attempted “to induce others to join in any combined resistance to the lawful authority of the State” to a death penalty; Herndon’s all white jury had recommended “mercy” and the judge sentenced him to eighteen years in prison. Justice Owen Roberts followed Hughes lead in De Jonge and wrote a narrow opinion in Herndon v. Lawry. Roberts stressed the fact that Herndon’s organizing efforts consisted of holding three meetings for “discussion of relief for the unemployed.” It was clear that Angelo Herndon, like Dirk De Jonge, was arrested solely for being a Communist organizer. Making “membership in a party and solicitation of members for that party a criminal offense, punishable by death,” Roberts wrote, “is an unwarranted invasion of the right of freedom of speech.” But he did not base his opinion on that point, ruling instead that Georgia’s “insurrection” law set no “reasonable ascertainable standard of guilt” and was so “vague and indeterminate” that it violated the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause. (Peter Irons “The People’s History of the Supreme Court” 1999 p.291-2)

Epstein’s opponents dismissed as “fanciful” his effort to distinguish the cases. “We have had a depression,” they conceded, but this fact did not justify a minimum wage law; on the contrary, “a depression makes such a law the more harmful and oppressive by increasing the difficulty of the least efficient in securing employment,” Tipaldo’s lawyers warmly embraced the Adkins decision. “A social philosophy in conflict with the fundamental principles of the American Constitution has doubtless gained many adherents since that case was decided,” they granted, “but every argument that can be presented in favor of minimum wage legislation was heard and considered then.”

…Irving Brant, the respected St. Lewis Star-Times editorialist, responded caustically: “Because five is a larger number than four, and for no other reason, the law is unconstitutional…. (Peter Irons “The People’s History of the Supreme Court” 1999 p.309-10)

Hughes turned his guns on the crumbling fortress of laissez-faire doctrine. Those who challenged minimum wage laws, he noted, always claimed they deprived workers of their “freedom of contract.” Hughes posed a rhetorical question and answered for the new majority: “What is this freedom? The Constitution does not speak of freedom of contract. It speaks of liberty and prohibits the deprivation of liberty without due process of law. In prohibiting that deprivation the Constitution does not recognize and absolute and uncontrollable liberty.” The Chief Justice fashioned a modern definition of “liberty” from ancient terms. “Liberty in each of its phases has its history and connotation. But the liberty safeguarded is liberty in a social organization which requires the protection of law against the evils which menace the health, safety, morals and welfare of the people. Liberty under the Constitution is thus necessarily subject to the restraints of due process, and regulation which is reasonable in relation to its subject and is adopted in the interests of the community is due process.” Hughes stated the obvious when he concluded that “the case of Adkins v. Children’s Hospital should be, and it is overturned.”

…The Four Horsemen-all over seventy, and with eighty years on the Court between them- knew they had fought and lost their final judicial battle. (Peter Irons “The People’s History of the Supreme Court” 1999 p.316-7)

….Another advantage of the Freuhauf case was that the company had infiltrated the union with spies from the Pinkerton Detective Agency; this was the kind of “interference with the unions the Wagner Act prohibited.

“We are asked to shut our eyes to the plainest facts of our national life and to deal with the question of direct and indirect effects in an intellectual vacuum,” Hughes wrote of those who read the Commerce Clause through nineteenth-century lenses. “When industries organize themselves on a national scale, making their relation to interstate commerce the dominant factor in their activities,” he asked, “how can it be maintained that their industrial labor relations constitute a forbidden field into which Congress may not enter when it is necessary to protect interstate commerce from paralyzing consequences of industrial war?” (Peter Irons “The People’s History of the Supreme Court” 1999 p.320-2)

Murphy summed up his constitutional philosophy in one sentence: “Only by zealously guarding the rights of the most humble, the most unorthodox and the most despised among us can freedom flourish and endure in our land.” (Peter Irons “The People’s History of the Supreme Court” 1999 p.330)

General DeWitt blamed his lack of evidence against the Japanese Americans on their sneaky nature: “The very fact that no sabotage has taken place to date is a disturbing and confirming indication that such action will be taken,” he claimed.

…He backed mass internment even though “it would make a tremendous hole in our constitutional system.” Perhaps the most revealing-and cynical-remark came from John J. McCloy, another Harvard lawyer who served as Stimson’s chief deputy. “To a Wall Street lawyer,” he told an army official, “the Constitution is just a piece of paper.” (Peter Irons “The People’s History of the Supreme Court” 1999 p.350-1)

One week before the Court issued its Hirabayashi decision, Justice Felix Frankfurter had referred to his Jewish ancestry in angry response to the overturning of his Gobitis opinion in the Barnette decision. Frankfurter had rejected Justice Frank Murphy’s appeal to avoid “catapulting a personal issue into the arena.” But Frankfurter made his own appeal when Murphy circulated a blistering dissent in Hirabayashi, finding a “melancholy resemblance” between the restrictions on Japanese Americans and “the treatment accorded to members of the Jewish race” in Germany. Frankfurter asked Murphy to consider whether his statement might be read as accusing his colleagues of “playing into the hands of the enemy.” This appeal to wartime unity convinced Murphy to change his dissent to a concurrence, but he retained the comparison of Japanese Americans to German Jews and his conclusion that the military orders approached “the very brink of constitutional power.” (Peter Irons “The People’s History of the Supreme Court” 1999 p.357)

Murphy had withdrawn his Hirabayashi dissent because he did not want to stand alone on the constitutional battlefield. But two of his colleagues stood with him in Korematsu. (Peter Irons “The People’s History of the Supreme Court” 1999 p.360) also covered in his book “War Powers”

Federal judges in Portland and Seattle later vacated the wartime convictions of Min Yasui and Gordon Hirabayashi. Justice Department lawyers had withdrawn an earlier appeal of Judge Patel’s ruling to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, but they pursued an appeal in 1987 of the ruling of Judge Donald Voorhes that granted Hirabayashi’s petition. Government lawyers never revealed their reasons, but me4mbers of the coram nobis legal team suspected that pressure from veterans’ groups on the Reagan administration lay behind this legal about-face. During argument before the Ninth Circuit panel, Judge Mary Schroeder asked Victor Stone why the government had not acted on its own to vacate the convictions. “We didn’t think there was anybody out there who cared,” Stone replied bringing gasps to the courtroom audience…. (Peter Irons “The People’s History of the Supreme Court” 1999 p.363-4)

Margold advised NAACP leaders that “it would be a great mistake to fritter away our limited funds on sporadic attempts to force the making of equal divisions of school funds in the few instances where such attempts might be expected to succeed.” This approach would force civil rights lawyers to file separate lawsuits in each southern school district, to recruit plaintiffs in each district who had the courage and fortitude to face hostility from whites and delays in court, and to perform the laborious task of digging out the facts of school funding disparities in each case. Even if they succeeded, lawsuits to equalize facilities would require judges to act as school superintendents, checking the quality of textbooks, playgrounds, and lavatories. “And we should be leaving untouched the very essence of the existing evils” of segregation, Margold warned. “On the other hand,” he wrote, “ if we boldly challenge the constitutional validity of segregation if and when accomplished irremediably by discrimination, we can strike directly at the most prolific sources of discrimination.” (Peter Irons “The People’s History of the Supreme Court” 1999 p.370)

In 1944, the average yearly expenditure in southern states for black children was $21.40, less than half the $50.14 spent on whites. (Peter Irons “The People’s History of the Supreme Court” 1999 p.372)

Located on the flat plain between the swampy lowlands along the Atlantic coast and the rolling Piedmont hills in the west, Clarendon County in 1947 had some 32,000 residents, more than 70 percent of them black. All but a few black families lived on farms, but few owned the land. They raised cotton and worked as sharecroppers for white owners. More than two thirds of the black families earned less than a thousand dollars each year; more than a third of all blacks over ten could not read or write. Black children attended sixty-one ramshackle schools, most without plumbing or electricity. The county spent $179 for each white child in public school, but only $43 for each black child. (Peter Irons “The People’s History of the Supreme Court” 1999 p.385)

Someone later asked Eisenhower if he had made any mistakes as president. “Yes two,” he replied, “and they are both sitting on the Supreme Court.” Ike referred to Earl Warren and William Brennan. (Peter Irons “The People’s History of the Supreme Court” 1999 p.403)

Fifteen- year- old Elizabeth Eckford did not show up at Daisy Bates’s home. Walking alone, holding her head high, she tried to enter Central High and was turned away by soldiers with bayonets. A menacing crowd surrounded Elizabeth and began yelling, “Get her! Lynch her!” Someone hollered, “Get a rpoe and drag her over to this tree!” Protected by a white NAACP member, she finally escaped the mob on a city bus. (Peter Irons “The People’s History of the Supreme Court” 1999 p.405)

The Weismans returned to court after Deborah’s graduation and won a ruling against further prayer in Providence schools….President Bush endorsed a constitutional amendment to reverse the Courts prayer decision, while his challenger Bill Clinton, opposed the move. Bush sent his solicitor general, Kenneth Starr to support principle Lee at the Court…. Justice Antonin Scalia, another devout Catholic and former altar boy, wrote for the four dissenters and accused the majority of driving a judicial “bulldozer” over American tradition. (Peter Irons “The People’s History of the Supreme Court” 1999 p.413)

Johnson owed his Senate election in 1948 to Fortas, who persuaded the Supreme Court to keep federal judges from opening the ballot boxes into which Johnson’s eighty-seven vote primary victory had been stuffed, which led wags to call him “Landside Lyndon.” (Peter Irons “The People’s History of the Supreme Court” 1999 p.415)

Justice Marshall demanded to know when life begins in Texas. “We say there is life from the moment of impregnation,” Floyd answered. Marshall made Floyd’s life a little more difficult. “And do you have any scientific data to support that?” ….. (Peter Irons “The People’s History of the Supreme Court” 1999 p.439)

Because their elementary and high school educations had generally been inferior, in ghetto or rural schools, minority applicants to medical school were burdened with lower college grades and test scores than whites. (Peter Irons “The People’s History of the Supreme Court” 1999 p.453)

Reagan spoke of the Constitution in reverential words, attributing its genesis to divine inspiration. He called it “a covenant with a Supreme Being to whom our Founding Fathers did constantly appeal for assistance.”….

President Reagan invited Americans in 1987 to look “beyond distinctions of class, race, or national origin” in celebrating the Constitution. “I cannot accept this invitation,” replied Thurgood Marshall, whose grandfather was born into slavery. The first black American to sit on the Supreme Court reminded white Americans that “eloquent objections to the institution of slavery went unheeded” at the Philadelphia convention in 1787, and that the delegates who opposed slavery “eventually consented to a document that laid a foundation for the tragic events that were to follow.” Marshall urged his fellow Americans to “commemorate the suffering, struggle, and sacrifice that triumphed over much that was wrong” with the Framers’ compromises. The clauses in the Constitution that permitted and protected slavery have since been repealed, Marshall noted, “but the credit does not belong to the Framers. It belongs to those who refuse to acquiesce to outdated notions of liberty, justice, and equality, and who strived to better them.” From Marshall’s perspective, “the true miracle was not the birth of the Constitution but its life, a life nurtured through two turbulent centuries of our own making, and embodying much good fortune that was not.” (Peter Irons “The People’s History of the Supreme Court” 1999 p.462-3)

Born into poverty in Pin Point, Georgia, Thomas was raised by his grandfather after both parents abandoned him. Myers Anderson imposed rigid discipline on young Clarence, who still bears a scar from a whipping. His grandfather sent Thomas to Catholic schools, and he remained in them through elementary and high schools, one year of seminary, and college life at Holy Cross in Massachusetts. (Peter Irons “The People’s History of the Supreme Court” 1999 p.475)

Norma McCorvey hid behind the legal mask of “Jane Roe” until 1984, when she revealed her identity as the woman who had helped to secure abortion rights for all American women. The violent reaction when she took off her mask left her shocked and scared. “The first shot woke me up,” she recalled of a terrifying night in her Dallas home. She and her partner, Connie Gonzalez, went to investigate. “The second shot went into our front door. And then there was another sound, another boom, much louder! The living room window exploded inward, in slow motion, like a horror movie. The pieces flew toward us.” The FBI investigated but never found the shooter. (Peter Irons “The People’s History of the Supreme Court” 1999 p.483-4)

Henry George “Progress and Poverty” 1879 (1953 abridged edition, with modern commentary)

Corp-Focus Robert Weissman

Robert Wright “The Moral Animal Why We Are The Way We Are: The New Science of Evolutionary Psychology” 2006


On line Library of Liberty

Peter Irons “The History of the Supreme Court” 2003 lectures

“Confrontation, Fidelity, Transformation: The "Fundamentalist" Judicial Persona of Justice Antonin Scalia” Tom Levinson 2006 “The white race deems itself to be the dominant race in this country,” he wrote Harlan dissent

Early in 1917, one of Wilson’s closest advisers, former secretary of war Elihu Root, laid down the law: “We must have no criticism now.” (Peter Irons “War Powers: How the Imperial presidency hijacked the constitution” 2005 p.112-7)

A congressional mission to Vietnam in 1953 underscored Washington’s apprehension in the face of the increasing likelihood of a Vietminh victory over France. (Peter Irons “War Powers: How the Imperial presidency hijacked the constitution” 2005 p.182)

With the Vietnam War finally winding down in 1973, federal judges began to reassert their independent role as arbiters of constitutional disputes between the executive and legislative branches of government. (Peter Irons “War Powers: How the Imperial presidency hijacked the constitution” 2005 p.188-9,192-4)

Finally, just three weeks before the August 15 deadline for ending all military operations in Cambodia, a federal judge issued the first injunction against the government, on July 25, 1973….. congress, he said had never authorized the bombing campaign in Cambodia, and had passed legislation on june 26, 1973, cutting off all funds to continue the bombardment. Nixon had promptly vetoed this measure, and Congress enacted the August 15 deadline after failing to override his veto by the necessary two-thirds margin in both chambers. Reading into this record an “implied grant of power” to continue the bombing, Judd reasoned, would in effect require the president to muster “a vote of only one-third plus one of either House in order to conduct a war.” (Peter Irons “War Powers: How the Imperial presidency hijacked the constitution” 2005 p.194)

Unlike the Vietnam War, which provoked more than a dozen lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of both congressional and presidential actions, the Gulf War produced only one significant judicial test of Bush’s decision to commit troops to combat..... The complaint in Dellums v. Bush was based on the Constitution's delegation of war powers to Congress; it did not rely on the War Powers Resolution……

Apparently Bush read the “plain language” of the Constitution very differently from Judge Greene. When he signed the congressional resolution authorizing military action against Iraq, Bush made this statement: “As I made clear to congressional leaders at the outset, my request for congressional support did not, and my signing this resolution does not, constitute any change in the long standing positions of the executive branch on either the President’s constitutional authority to use the armed Forces to defend the vital U.S. interests or the constitutionality of the War Powers resolution.” (Peter Irons “War Powers: How the Imperial presidency hijacked the constitution” 2005 p.208-10)

The Bush administration, however, could not admit that oil was a factor in its war planning. Indeed, Secretary of defense Donald Rumsfeld bristled when he was asked by reporters in November 2002 about the issue. “It has nothing to do with oil, literally nothing to do with oil,” he said. (Peter Irons “War Powers: How the Imperial presidency hijacked the constitution” 2005 p.230)

Nine months after Powell’s statement, Richard Perle, a top Pentagon advisor contradicted him. Perle stated flatly in November 2001 that Iraq “has weapons of Mass destruction.” He made no bones about his desire to launch an invasion on Iraq. “The lesser risk is in pre-emption,” he adde3d, “We’ve got to stop wishing away the problem.” If Powell was confident in asserting that Iraq had no “significant” WMD capability as of February 2001, what prompted Perle and other administration officials to claim that it did? The obvious answer lies in the 9/11 attacks and the decision to depose Hussein. Claiming that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction offered a justification for Perles advocacy of preemptive invasion to prevent the weapons from being used against Iraq’s neighbors.

Perle’s statement did not make a big media splash, but a later speech by Vice President Dick Cheney hit the headlines. “Cheney says Peril of a Nuclear Iraq Justifies Attack,” reported the New York times in a front page story on Aygust 27, 2002. Speaking to a Veterans of Foreign wars convention, Cheney took the hardest line yet of any Bush administration official. “There is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction,” the vice president said. “There is no doubt he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies and against us.” Cheney all but declared war on Iraq. Confronted by a “murderous dictator” whose scientists were rushing to produce nuclear weapons, the United States faced “as grave a threat as can be imagined,” he warned. “The risks of inaction are far greater than the risk of action,” he concluded. A month after Cheney’s hard-line speech, Rumsfeld testified before the House Armed Services Committee. “We do know that the Iraq regime has chemical and biological weapons,” he stated.

The administration’s claims finally reached the top in October 2002, when the president echoed Rumsfeld in telling the press that Iraq “possesses and produces chemical and biological weapons.” Raising another specter in laying the groundwork for the coming invasion, Bush asserted that Iraq “is seeking nuclear weapons.” While stumping around the country that month for republican congressional candidates, the chief executive repeated, at least fifteen times, his certainty that Iraq had WMDs.

With every House seat and one-third of the Senate seats at stake in the November elections, Bush had carefully timed his invasion campaign. On October 2, he submitted to congress a proposed resolution, authorizing him to employ military force against Iraq. The resolution included sweeping claims of the president’s constitutional power, as commander in chief, “to take action in order to deter and prevent acts of international terrorism against the United States, as congress recognized in the joint resolution on authorization for use of Military force,” in 1991, when Congress had given Bush’s father the green light to drive the Iraqi army from Kuwait. Once again, Congress was being asked to authorize the president to begin a war, without formal declaration. Whether such an authorization met the constitutional standard had become a moot point, since Congress had long ago abdicated its war-declaring power to the executive branch.

Although congressional leaders balked at resting the new Iraq resolution on the earlier authorization, the final version provided Bush with all the leeway he claimed as commander in chief. The resolution cited as justification for its blank-check grant of power all three of the president’s repeated charges against the Iraqi regime, including the “brutal repression of its civilian population,” its “capability and willingness to use weapons of mass destruction against other nations and its own people,” and its role in “supporting and harboring terrorist organizations.” The house approved the resolution by a vote of 296 to 133, and the Senate followed with the even greater margin of 77 to 23. Virtually all the house dissenters were Democrats who held safe seats and thus faced little risk of electoral reprisals, while only a single Senate republican, Lincoln Chaffee of Rhode Island, opposed the resolution, which President Bush signed on October 16, 2002. (Peter Irons “War Powers: How the Imperial presidency hijacked the constitution” 2005 p.233-6)

Congressional record of the US Senate July 17-23 on Google including quotes from Tom Harkin quoting Cheney’s speech at VFW

The most authoritative report on weapons of mass destruction came from David Kay, the chief U.S. weapons inspector and head of the Iraq survey Group. “I’m personally convinced,” he said, “that there were not large stockpiles of newly produced weapons of mass destruction. We don’t find the people, the documents or the physical plants that you would expect to find if the production was going on. I think they gradually reduced stockpiles during the 1990s.”

Perhaps the most telling-chilling- admission on this key issue was made by Paul Wolfowitz, a leading architect of the pre-emptive war doctrine. “For bureaucratic reasons we settled on one issue, weapons of mass destruction, because it was the one reason everyone could agree on,” he later said, without a trace of regret. (Peter Irons “War Powers: How the Imperial presidency hijacked the constitution” 2005 p.238-9)

Thus corporate CEOs take government jobs in the departments responsible for monitoring the very industries the tycoons headed; later, under another administration, perhaps, the recruits to Washington return to their former corporate lairs, where the businesses they now run benefit from the (de)regulating they recently oversaw.

In his farewell address in 1961, President Eisenhower warned the people about the growing influence of the military-industrial complex, but the alarm bells went unheeded by Congress and future presidents. Eisenhower himself named Charles E. Wilson of General Motors to head the defense department; Wilson became famous for saying “What’s good for General Motors is good for the country.” In addition, the defence secretaries who followed Wilson include Robert McNamara, who ran the Ford Motor company; James Schlesinger, a director of Seven Seas Petroleum and the investment firm of Lehman Brothers; and Donald Rumsfeld, former CEO of both worldwide Searle pharmaceutical firm and the general Instrument Corporation, a major defense contractor. The point of this listing, which could be greatly expanded to include other defense and foreign policy positions, is that the president calls upon members of the military-industrial complex, men and women with vested interests in the American Empire, to plan and carry out unilateral, interventionist policies of the Imperial Presidency.

This leads to a further point. Ever since World war II, presidents have commanded a huge defense bureaucracy, which far outstrips, in size and budget, the meager resources available to congress. In 2004, for example, the Defense Department had 636,000 civilian employees and directed a military establishment of 2.3 million troops and support staff, with a total budget of $360 billion. (By comparison, the entire gross domestic product of Russia in 2002- the most recent numbers-was just $347 billion.) the Pentagon building itself houses 23,000 employees, with another 17,000 in various CIA facilities around the world. The recently established Department of Homeland Security has 180,000 employees. Put together, more than 3 million people work in defense-related agencies, from army privates to the secretary of defense. In contrast, Congress has a total budget of $3.6 billion and a total workforce of 30,000 (Peter Irons “War Powers: How the Imperial presidency hijacked the constitution” 2005 p.267)

Given the unlikelihood of change in the near future, those who wish to return the war powers to congress must adopt a long-range strategy one based on the slow, incremental grassroots activism that marked the civil rights movements in its struggle against Jim Crow laws. Decades of patient, often tedious, and sometimes dangerous organizing laid the groundwork for such victories as the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of education decision in 1954 and congressional passage of the Civil Rights Act ten years later. (Peter Irons “War Powers: How the Imperial presidency hijacked the constitution” 2005 p.272-3)

Political scientists estimate that no more than 3 to 5 percent of the public takes an active role in issue politics, with the vast majority on the sidelines, some cheering for one side or the other on the playing field, but most not even showing up for the game. (Peter Irons “God On trial: dispatches from America’s religious battlefields” 2007 p.343-4)

American agents then looked the other way when the Contras, the military insurgents they had trained, made deals to sell cocaine in American cities in order to buy arms and supplies. (Chalmers Johnson “Blowback: the Costs and Consequences of American Empire” 2004 p.8)

For documentary evidence including Oliver North’s notebooks, see “The Contras, Cocaine, and Covert Operations,” National Security Archive electronic Briefing Book, no. 2 (source note for cocaine quote on P.8) (Chalmers Johnson “Blowback: the Costs and Consequences of American Empire” 2004 p.239-40)

The Iran-Contra Affair: The Making of a Scandal The National Security Archive

In the book death by government, the historian Rudoph Rummel estimates that during the twentieth century, 170 million civilians have been victims of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. (Chalmers Johnson “Blowback: the Costs and Consequences of American Empire” 2004 p.67-8)

While the incidence of reported rape in the United States is forty-one for every one hundred thousand people, at the military base in Okinawa it is eighty-two per one hundred thousand. (Chalmers Johnson “Blowback: the Costs and Consequences of American Empire” 2004 p.41-2)

When it came to an issue like land mines, a civilian president, even one with better command credentials than Clinton, can no longer afford to cross his military leaders. (Chalmers Johnson “Blowback: the Costs and Consequences of American Empire” 2004 p.70-1)

The IMF, it must be noted, is staffed primarily with holders of Ph.D.s in economics from American universities, who are both illiterate about and contemptuous of cultures that do not conform to what they call the “American way of life.” They offer only "one size (or, rather, one capitalism) fits all" remedies for ailing economic institutions. The IMF has applied these over the years to countries in Latin America, Russia, and East Asia without ever achieving a single notable success. (Chalmers Johnson “Blowback: the Costs and Consequences of American Empire” 2004 p.80) cited on “Third World Traveler”

One reason privatization appeals to the Pentagon is that whatever these companies do becomes “proprietary information.” The Pentagon does not even have to classify it; and it becomes private property, information on the activities of such companies is exempt from the Freedom of Information Act. Given the extreme legalism of the American political culture, this is sufficient to shield such companies from public scrutiny, although it would not protect them from the new international criminal court. (Chalmers Johnson “Blowback: the Costs and Consequences of American Empire” 2004 p.85) cited by “yearning to be free” blog

In 1997, total worldwide military and arms spending was approximately one-third lower than ten years ago, at the end of the Cold War. Nonetheless, in addition to being the world leader in arms transfers, the United States continues to dominate the development of military technology. According to SIPRI, the U.S. military research and development budget was more than seven times that of second-place France. In 1997, SIPRI found that the world spent $58 billion on military R&D, of which the United States spent $37 billion. In terms of overall national military spending, the Pentagon's most recent Quadrennial Defense Review, concluded in May 1997, envisaged defense budgets in the range of $250-260 billion until the end of time-an amount vastly greater than anything that might be spent by any conceivable combination of adversaries. The defense budget for the year 2000 was $267.2 billion, plus augmentations in order to pay for the Kosovo war.

Together with NATO, Japan, South Korea, and Israel, the United States accounts for 80 percent of the world's total military spending. In 1995, the United States alone outspent Russia, China, Iraq, Syria, Iran, North Korea, Libya, and Cuba combined, by a ratio of two to one; with its allies, it outstripped all potential adversaries by a ratio of four to one. If the comparison is restricted to only those countries considered regional threats by the Pentagon-the “rogue states” of Iraq, Syria, Iran, North Korea, Libya, and Cuba-the United States outspent them twenty-two to one. (Chalmers Johnson “Blowback: the Costs and Consequences of American Empire” 2004 p.86-8) cited by “Third World Traveler”

A staple of American thinking about foreign policy is that democracies pose no threat to other democracies. But if the countries of Latin America are now democracies, logically that should mean that they do not need to "modernize their militaries." They might instead follow the example of Costa Rica, which since 1948 has had no military, only a civilian constabulary, and which is one of the most stable, peaceful countries in the area. Its former president, Oscar Arias, who won the 1987 Nobel Peace Prize for negotiating an end to multiple civil wars in Central America, is a strong opponent of the renewed American arms shipments. In 1999, he observed, "Americans have shown great concern about the reported loss of classified nuclear secrets to the Chinese. But they should be just as outraged that their country gives away many other military secrets voluntarily, in the form of high-tech arms exports. By selling advanced weaponry throughout the world, wealthy military contractors not only weaken national security and squeeze taxpayers at home abut also strengthen dictators and worsen human misery abroad."

When such contradictions are exposed, the Pentagon falls back on the argument that if it does not sell the arms to Latin America, some other country will. By analogy, Colombia might say to the United States that if it does not grow and sell cocaine to Americans, some other country will. When considered together, the extensive JCET training programs in the region and the new arms sales policy are undoubtedly undermining democracy in Latin America and moving several long-standing conflicts toward war. For example, for some time JCET missions have been training the army of Ecuador while the Pentagon has sold Ecuador military Black Hawk helicopters and A-37 combat jets. Only after the training and the sales were completed did the United States discover that Ecuador was planning to use these forces not against drug dealers and "terrorists" but for a war with Peru.

The United States has justified its contacts with the Ecuadorian military as a means to get to know its leaders personally and to develop long-term relationships of trust. But as Washington Post columnist Mary McGrory has observed, many in the Reagan administration and the Pentagon knew practically every crucial figure in the Salvadoran death squads, most of whom were graduates of the School of the Americas at Fort Benning, Georgia. This did not stop the Salvadorans from killing seventy thousand of their fellow countrymen, not to mention raping and killing four American churchwomen in 1980, acts the American ambassador to El Salvador and the secretary of state then covered up. One Salvadoran colonel whom the U.S. ambassador suspected of ordering the murders of the three nuns and a Catholic lay worker was, in 1998, living comfortably with his wife and children in Florida. (Chalmers Johnson “Blowback: the Costs and Consequences of American Empire” 2004 p.90-1) cited by Vicky Drake

The end of World War II had proven no more a “liberation day” for Korea than for Czechoslovakia or other nations in Eastern Europe. (Chalmers Johnson “Blowback: the Costs and Consequences of American Empire” 2004 p.97-102)

General Park’s associate in the 1961 coup was General Kim Jong-pil, who proceeded with the help of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency in order to consolidate Park’s military rule. (Chalmers Johnson “Blowback: the Costs and Consequences of American Empire” 2004 p.107)

Asked why the United States was willing to engage North Korea while still maintaining a strict embargo against Cuba, a “senior administration official,” speaking on condition of anonymity, said with a smile, “To my knowledge [the Cubans] do not have a nuclear weapons program.” (Chalmers Johnson “Blowback: the Costs and Consequences of American Empire” 2004 p.120)

Chalmers Johnson “Blowback: the Costs and Consequences of American Empire” 2004 excerpts from Christianism .com

Chalmers Johnson "Sorrows of Empire" 2004 on own page

Chalmers Johnson "Nemesis" 2006 on own page

Page two: quotes for authors K-Z

Edward Bernays “Propaganda” 1928

Albert J. Beveridge: “The Life of John Marshall” 1916

James Boggs: “The American Revolution: Pages From a Negro Worker's Notebook” 1963

H. Rap Brown: “Die Nigger Die: A Political Autobiography”

retired major General Smedley Darlington Butler “War is a Racket

Noam Chomsky: "9/11" 2001 for free E-book click here

Noam Chomsky: "Counter-Revolutionary Violence: Bloodbaths in Fact and Propaganda" 1973 for free E-book click here

Noam Chomsky: "Deterring Democracy" 1991 for free online copy click here

Noam Chomsky: "Failed states: the abuse of power and the assault on democracy" 2006 for free E-book click here

Noam Chomsky: "Hegemony or survival: America's quest for global dominance" 2003 for free preview click here

Noam Chomsky: "Necessary Illusions: Thought Control in Democratic Societies" 1997 for free E-book click here

Noam Chomsky: "Rethinking Camelot: JFK, Vietnam and the political culture" 1973

Richard Clarke “Against All Enemies” 2004

William John Cox “You’re not Stupid! Get the Truth: A Brief on the Bush Presidency”

Robert Dallek “Nixon and Kissinger” 2007

Richard Dawkins: “The Ancestor's Tale” 2004

Richard Dawkins: “The Blind Watchmaker”

Richard Dawkins: “A Devil's Chaplain” 2004

Richard Dawkins: “The God Delusion” 2006

Richard Dawkins: “The Selfish Gene”

Richard Dawkins: “Unweaving The Rainbow”

Daniel Dennett: “Breaking the Spell-Religion as a Natural Phenomenon” 2006

Daniel Dennett: “Darwin's Dangerous Idea” 1995

Henry George “Progress and Poverty” 1879 (1953 abridged edition, with modern commentary)

Michael Haas: “George W. Bush, War Criminal?” 2009

Sam Harris “The End of Faith” 2004 on line copy

Sam Harris: “Letter To A Christian Nation” 2006

Christopher Hitchens: “God is not Great” 2006

Samuels Huntington “Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order” 1997

Hyde Park Chapter, Chicago Women's Liberation Union “Socialist Feminism: A Strategy for the Women's Movement”

George Jackson: “Soledad Brother: The Prison Letters of George Jackson” 1971

George Lakey: “Strategizing For A Living Revolution” 2003

edited by Andrea Langlois, Ron Sakolsky, & Marian van der Zon “Islands of Resistance Pirate Radio”

Lawrence Lessig Free “Culture: How Big Media Uses Technology and the Law to Lock Down Culture and Control Creativity” 2004

Staughton Lynd “The Freedom Schools” 1964

Nelson Mandela's statement at his trial and his speech at his release

Alice Miller: "For Your Own Good: Hidden Cruelty in Child-Rearing and the Roots of Violence" 1990 for free online copy click here additional material from Alice Miller also available

Olivier Maurel: “Spanking: Questions and answers about disciplinary violence” 2005 for free online copy click here additional material from Alice Miller also available

Greg Mortenson: “Stones into Schools” 2009 on line copy

Bill Moyer: “The Movement Action Plan: A Strategic Framework Describing The Eight Stages of Successful Social Movements” 1987

John Perkins: “The Secret History of American Empire”

Port Huron Statement of the Students for a Democratic Society, 1962

Lewis F. Powell “The Powell Memorandum” 1971

Carl Sagan: “The Dragons of Eden: Speculations on the Evolution of Human Intelligence” 1978

Jeremy Scahill: “Blackwater” 2007 on line copy at

Jeremy Scahill: “Blackwater” on-line copy at knizky.mahdi

David Walker: “David Walker's Appeal”

Joseph Watson “Order out of Chaos”

Bob Woodward “Bush at War” 2002

Bob Woodward “State of Denial” 2006

Bob Woodward “The War Within” 2008

Robert Wright “The Moral Animal Why We Are The Way We Are: The New Science of Evolutionary Psychology” 2006

Howard Zinn: "A People's History of the United States: 1492 to Present (P.S.)" 2005 for free copy click here

History is a Weapon

Deterring Democracy

Warren Report

Report of the Select Committee of Assassinations of the US House of representatives

Clay Shaw Trial transcripts

additional information available at History

Copy of JFK’s “Peace Speech” at American University

Other speeches by JFK

James Douglass Ground Zero Center for nonviolent Action website

Daniel Ellsberg’s website

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