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Online Journal 04-22-07

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  • Robert Sterling
    Please send as far and wide as possible. Thanks, Robert Sterling Editor, The Konformist http://www.konformist.com The price of liberty is eternal vigilance Apr
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      Please send as far and wide as possible.

      Thanks,
      Robert Sterling
      Editor, The Konformist
      http://www.konformist.com

      The price of liberty is eternal vigilance
      Apr 20, 2007

      Include in that price a contribution to Online Journal. Your support
      via check or credit card helps us stay eternally vigilant and
      delivering articles that challenge disinformation and bring you
      information other media venues won't touch.

      If you prefer to make a contribution by check or money order, write
      to editor@... for a mailing address.

      ***

      Commentary
      Perspectives on our changing climate: Weather versus climate
      By Rand Clifford
      Online Journal Contributing Writer
      Mar 28, 2007

      In Eastern Washington we're emerging from an old fashioned winter
      like we haven't seen in years. Repeated blasts of arctic air huffed
      and puffed the local Letters-To-The-Editor page full of requests for
      Al Gore to send us some of that global warming. Editors frosted the
      confusion with titles such as "G-g-g-g-Global Warming?" and, "Hey!
      Where's The Heat?" Embarrassing harangues of people flaunting their
      ignorance marked every cold snap, ignorance of the difference
      between weather, and climate. And while temperatures sank around
      here like they're supposed to, like they used to, the Northern
      Hemisphere just recorded its warmest winter on record.

      We've increased atmospheric carbon dioxide so much so fast, like
      tossing a blanket on the globe, trapping more and more infrared
      radiation from flowing back into space. Fundamental science of this
      dynamic is very simple: extra blanket = warming. Weather is very
      simple: look outside. But Climate Change is a more accurate term for
      our dilemma, and climate is very complex. Weather is outside your
      window; climate covers the globe.

      We all know what it's like outside, just like most of us can spot a
      scientist. You know, they're usually people with no idea what's in
      style, tending to look around a lot, seeming to see a lot. They use
      big words, especially when there's a group of them and they start
      talking so we can't understand them.

      Complexity of modern science, as in modern medicine, demands
      specialization, giving us all kinds of scientists: geologists,
      chemists, cosmologists, entomologists, biologists, physicists,
      climatologists . . . then we get into the PhD's, kind of a blanket
      to cover any . . . ists that got left out -- and that's where
      there's some big fast money right now! If you are a
      credentialed "scientist," FOSSIL FUEL has a job for you. Simply
      shine your credentials and publish an article about how what is
      happening is not really happening . . . $10,000.00 a pop,
      plus "expenses."

      Sure, this century has seen FOSSIL FUEL spend many millions
      spreading denial, paying "experts" to travel the country preaching
      doubt. And in 2001, Phillip Cooney became the White House head of
      Environmental Policy, after six years of being in charge of
      confusing Americans about Climate Change for the American Petroleum
      Institute. A lobbyist and lawyer with zero scientific training,
      Cooney handled the administration's disinformation and denial
      regarding Climate Change until leaked documents embarrassed him into
      resigning in 2005, and going to work for Exxon Mobil. However, this
      new campaign seems the most vulgar so far in shouting that Americans
      understand nothing of science. No wonder the difference between
      weather and climate lags in understanding. Science is subtle, often
      whispers; money shouts!

      But Americans know that when they have an abscessed tooth they don't
      go to a proctologist. Without so much disinformation/denial money
      pouring from FOSSIL FUEL, more Americans might realize that the best
      data on climate change comes from scientists who specialize in
      climate. Climatologists universally agree that what is happening to
      global climate is in fact really happening. And they know that the
      extra blanket we've thrown on the globe with our burning of fossil
      fuels is a primary cause. Never has it been so crucial that we learn
      to whom we should listen. For instance, what's left of the messenger
      Al Gore, wrapped around all those bullet holes.

      For anyone unsure of the meaning of ad hominem, dictionary
      definitions will include: an appealing to feelings or prejudices
      rather than intellect; an attack on an opponent's character rather
      than by an answer to the contentions made. However, the treatment of
      Gore by our corporate media is the best definition of ad hominem
      I've ever seen. Editorial cartoons have been gushing ink over
      everything Gore, except the truth of his message, which is so
      clearly established in light of the attacks. Today our local
      editorial page showed a fat Gore seated before a congressional
      committee and being asked why he wasn't going after China and India
      because they are much bigger polluters than us. Gore replies that he
      doesn't want to be president of China or India. Seated next to the
      questioner, Senator Clinton is drawing a caricature of "Fat Albert."

      If Gore's facts were wrong, they could be attacked; since they are
      true, Gore must be attacked. Perhaps

      one reason political cartoons have been especially relentless is
      because Americans seem to believe that something seen in the
      newspaper or on television news must be true, there's some kind of
      law! And cartoons, they're just cartoons. Well, besides a few
      technicalities like libel considerations, there is no law. Any kind
      of bullshit goes, judgment of the consumer and reputation of the
      source the only de facto limitations.

      Back to that cartoon, the statement about China and India being much
      bigger polluters than us could just as easily sully an editorial
      column in The New York Times. Truth is the United States emits well
      over twice the greenhouse gasses of China and India put together.
      Their rate of increase may exceed ours because of their rapid
      economic growth, but they have a long way to go to catch us in
      actual levels. Editorial cartoons are extremely powerful; many
      readers of this particular Gore attack will surely walk away
      suddenly knowing that China and India are " . . . much bigger
      polluters than us!"

      So I decided to do some street research. First I chose an upscale
      bar downtown, watering hole for many in the financial and legal
      industries. About 6:30 on a raw and gusty Wednesday evening, sunset
      around here now, I went into McMurthy's. Two groomed men sitting
      together at the bar wore business suits, Caucasians around 40. I
      took a stool on their left and ordered a shot of Bushmills. It was
      halftime of the college basketball playoffs game the men were
      watching on the television set mounted high behind the bar. They
      both looked at me.

      And as though I might be some kind of scientist, I asked the closest
      one: "So, what do you guys think of all this global warming stuff?"

      Neither one flinched, but rather, both seemed to welcome my
      invitation to debate.

      "Gore's a loser," said the guy I'd asked.

      The other one took a drink before smacking his lips, and
      saying, "He's wacko. . . ."

      Seems these two were not novices, both having read Michael
      Crichton's State of Fear. I began to hear about solid scientific
      evidence that parts of the world were actually cooling. Though I
      hadn't read the book, I was familiar with its better blunders. So I
      tacitly conveyed having read State of Fear, cordially agreeing that
      in fact some parts of the globe were cooling, taking it even further
      by saying the science behind Climate Change assures us that
      especially Northern Europe will get much cooler as the Gulf Stream
      shuts down -- something which has already begun. Fresh water from
      melting ice of Greenland is interrupting the thermohaline
      circulation which, in addition to distributing heat around the
      globe, makes northern Europe far warmer than other areas at
      comparable latitude.

      This took no shine from these men's confidence, but an eagerness in
      their glancing eyes told me they were anxious for the television to
      rescue them. Not letting up, I mentioned that validity of the
      science in Crichton's book must be measured by his description of
      the beginning of a hurricane, where he details a gigantic mass of
      high pressure slowly beginning to rotate. I pointed out that a
      hurricane is actually an area of low pressure that evolves from a
      trough, or tropical wave, to a topical depression. As the central
      pressure continues to drop, winds pick up and the disturbance
      becomes a tropical storm, then a hurricane.

      "In fact," I said, "among the lowest surface pressures ever recorded
      was in the eye of hurricane Wilma, a category 5 hurricane that
      followed hurricane Katrina by about six weeks. The lowness of
      pressure in the eye of a hurricane is a good gauge of the
      hurricane's strength. When Crichton describes a gigantic mass of
      high pressure as the beginning of a hurricane, he could not be more
      wrong. So, again, the novel's scientific validity must all be taken
      with that in mind."

      I finished my drink.

      The second half began with a spectacular two-handed reverse dunk. I
      said, "See you guys later," and in moments had walked into a very,
      very early-season thunderstorm. The lady standing beside me under
      McMurthy's awning for shelter from the downpour held a stuffed bag
      from Macy's in each hand. I looked her in the eyes. She
      shouted, "Crazy weather!"

      Rand Clifford lives in Spokane, Washington, and can be reached at:
      randc@.... His novels CASTLING and TIMING are published by
      StarChief Press.

      ***

      The last confession of E. Howard Hunt: US government/CIA team
      murdered JFK
      By Larry Chin
      Online Journal Associate Editor
      Apr 3, 2007

      The April 5 issue of Rolling Stone features the deathbed confession
      of CIA operative and key Bay of Pigs/Watergate/Nixon administration
      figure E. Howard Hunt, The Last Confession of E. Howard Hunt by Erik
      Hedegaard. This piece is significant not only for its exploration of
      Hunt, but for breakthrough information that appears to thoroughly
      corroborate the work of key John F. Kennedy assassination
      researchers and historians.

      Who killed JFK?

      According to Hunt's confession, which was taken by his son, St. John
      ("Saint") Hunt, over the course of many personal and carefully
      planned father-son meetings, the following individuals were among
      the key participants:

      Lyndon B. Johnson: LBJ, whose own career was assisted by JFK nemesis
      J. Edgar Hoover (FBI), gave the orders to a CIA-led hit team, and
      helped guide the Warren Commission/lone gunman cover-up.

      Cord Meyer: CIA agent, architect of the Operation Mockingbird
      disinformation apparatus, and husband of Mary Meyer (who had an
      affair with JFK).

      David Atlee Philips: CIA and Bay of Pigs veteran. Recruited William
      Harvey (CIA) and Cuban exile militant Antonio Veciana.

      William Harvey: CIA and Bay of Pigs veteran. Connected to Mafia
      figures Santos Trafficante and Sam Giancana.

      Antonio Veciana: Cuban exile, founder of CIA-backed Alpha 66.

      Frank Sturgis: CIA operative, mercenary, Bay of Pigs veteran, and
      later Watergate figure.

      David Morales: CIA hit man, Bay of Pigs veteran. Morales was also a
      figure involved with the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy.

      Lucien Sarti: Corsican assassin and drug trafficker,
      possible "French gunman," Grassy Knoll (second) shooter.

      Would Hunt continue to tell lies on his deathbed? Perhaps. Would
      Hunt tell a final tall story or two, to protect himself, or perhaps
      deal one final slap in the face to the US government (which made him
      a fall guy for Watergate)? Yes. Would Hunt hide the involvement of
      certain individuals to whom he remained loyal, including people who
      are still alive? Certainly. Anything from an operative like Hunt can
      only be accepted with caution and healthy skepticism.

      Nevertheless, Hunt's scenario has the ring of truth.

      Each of the named names are well-known CIA and CIA-linked players
      exposed by many researchers and historians who have detailed the
      enduring connection from the Bay of Pigs and the Dallas hit to
      Watergate and Iran-Contra.

      The Hunt confession vindicates generations of historians,
      researchers and whistleblowers who have given their lives and
      careers to expose the truth about Dealey Plaza. While there are too
      many to name, they include, but are not limited to (and in no
      particular order): Jim Garrison, Mark Lane, Fletcher Prouty, Josiah
      Thompson, Carl Oglesby, Peter Dale Scott, Anthony Summers, Robert
      Groden, Victor Marchetti, David Lifton, Harrison Livingstone,
      Michael Canfield, A.J. Weberman, Sylvia Meagher, William Turner, Jim
      Marrs, Pete Brewton, John Newman, Philip Melanson, Hal Verb, Mae
      Brussell, Harold Weisberg, Oliver Stone, Mike Ruppert and Dan
      Hopsicker, Jim diEugenio and Linda Pease.

      Meanwhile, the criminal deceptions of the US government and its
      corporate media, the Warren Commission, and the dirty work of cover-
      up specialists such as Gerald Posner and Mark Fuhrman, and the
      legions of JFK assassination revisionist/theorists, deserve a final
      rebuke, and eternal scorn.

      Highlighting Hunt's role

      Although the Rolling Stone piece does not address it, the Hunt
      confession directly corroborates two classic investigations that
      previously exposed the role of Hunt. They are Mark Lane's Plausible
      Denial and Michael Canfield/A.J. Weberman's Coup D'Etat in America.
      Lane's book details how he took Hunt to court, and won a libel suit,
      essentially proving that the CIA murdered JFK, and that Hunt lied
      about his whereabouts. The investigation of Canfield and Weberman
      identified Hunt and Frank Sturgis as two of the three "tramps"
      arrested at Dealey Plaza.

      Time has only made these investigations more relevant. More than
      ever, their books, and those of the JFK historians and researchers
      above listed, deserve to be found, read and studied.

      Hunt to Nixon to Bush

      The Rolling Stone piece fails to go after the roles of Richard Nixon
      and George Herbert Walker Bush. But the Hunt confession, if
      accurate, leads directly to them, to their lifelong associates, and
      all the way to the present George W. Bush administration.

      The Dallas-Watergate-Iran-Contra connection has been thoroughly
      documented by the key JFK researchers, and in particular, in the
      work of Peter Dale Scott, one of the very first to show the deep
      political continuity across three decades. Daniel Hopsicker's Barry
      and the Boys goes into even more detail on the players.

      Consider the career of George H.W. Bush. He was a Texas oilman
      (Zapata Oil) and a CIA operative, involved with the Bay of Pigs.
      Bush's name was found in the papers of George DeMohrenschildt, one
      of Lee Harvey Oswald's CIA handlers. As documented by Pete Brewton,
      author of The Mafia, the CIA and George Bush, Bush was deeply
      connected with a small circle of Texas elites tied to the CIA and
      the Mafia, as well as the Florida-based CIA/anti-Casto Cuban exile/
      Mafia milieu As Richard Nixon's hand-picked Republican National
      Committee chairman, and later as CIA director, Bush constantly
      covered-up and stonewalled for his boss about Watergate, which
      itself (by the admission of Frank Sturgis and others) was a cover-up
      of the JFK assassination.

      Tracking any of the individual CIA operatives involved with the Bay
      of Pigs, it is impossible to ignore or deny direct connections to
      George H.W. Bush and his crime family, across the Kennedy
      assassinations, covert operations in Indochina and, later, Latin
      America.

      Beyond any reasonable doubt, the US government murdered John F.
      Kennedy. There are people still alive today who were involved
      directly and indirectly implicated. Some are probably even serving
      in positions of high influence. Some still have never been
      identified or touched.

      All of these individuals still need to be pursued, exposed, and
      brought to justice.

      ***

      Will conservatives support our troops when they mutiny?
      By Dennis Rahkonen
      Online Journal Contributing Writer
      Apr 19, 2007

      U.S. soldiers' tours of duty have been extended by three months in
      both Afghanistan and Iraq. In the latter country, this development
      plays out ominously against unprecedented levels of popular anti-
      Americanism, as evidenced by a huge rally targeting the occupation,
      recently held in Najaf, which united Shiites, Sunnis, and uniformed
      members of Iraq's police and military.

      It's a recipe for disaster, in more ways than one, as past history
      demonstrates.

      Those too young to remember the early '70s are unaware of a
      remarkable phenomenon from that era.

      During the latter stages of the Vietnam war, as Americans were still
      being sacrificed in a conflict that was both unequivocally wrong and
      hopelessly lost, U.S. rank-and-file troops engaged in open rebellion.

      Downplayed by the government and major media as it was occurring,
      evidence of that rebellion has been expunged or whitewashed in
      official, revisionist histories of Vietnam.

      But the truth manages to get through, sometimes in utterly damning
      fashion, such as the following, written in 1971 by Col. Robert Heinl
      in the Armed Forces Journal:

      "Our army that now remains in Vietnam is in a state approaching
      collapse, with individual units avoiding or having refused combat,
      murdering their officers and noncommissioned officers, drug-ridden
      and dispirited, where not near-mutinous . . . [C]onditions [exist]
      among American forces in Vietnam that have only been exceeded in
      this century by . . . the collapse of the Tsarist armies in 1916 and
      1917."

      Three circumstances finally brought the Vietnam debacle to an end.

      First in importance was the fact that Vietnamese guerrillas and
      North Vietnam's regular army prevailed against the American
      superpower.

      Then there was the highly potent, domestic antiwar movement that
      routinely filled U.S. streets with militant protests while also
      engaging in student teach-ins, neighborhood organizing, voter
      registration, draft counseling, and other forms of pivotal defiance.

      But it was the realization, so demoralizing to those who wished to
      continue the war, that "their" army was literally dissolving before
      astonished eyes that made withdrawal from Vietnam inevitable. A
      final congressional cutoff of war funding was anticlimactic. Johnny
      had already put down his gun.

      Considering that George Bush's Iraq folly represents equally as
      futile an effort to trump objective reality with stubborn,
      subjective will as was once attempted in Vietnam -- and also because
      his escalating, open-ended "surge" erects a human shooting gallery
      in which U.S. troops will be mercilessly picked off -- it's only a
      matter of time before already severely eroded military morale in
      Iraq decisively breaks down.

      Disobeying commands that would result in certain slaughter has
      already taken place.

      One such incident happened in Ramadi. A squad from the Second
      Battalion, Fifth Marines was asked to duplicate a mission performed
      by another Marine squad that had been completely wiped out -- to
      take the same path, invite fire, and hopefully expose Iraqi
      insurgents to cover fire. Fearful of a second massacre, the chosen
      squad, to a man, refused to move out. At the last minute, an
      alternate mission was authorized, thereby avoiding possibly violent
      insubordination.

      Significantly, it's been reported that roughly half a dozen generals
      have indicated they'll resign if Bush expands the Iraq war through
      an attack on Iran. This adds an entirely new dimension to the
      overall dynamic.

      Our troops are being asked to accomplish the impossible, through now
      longer, repeated deployments. The psychological stress of facing a
      determined Iraqi insurrection that will continue until either the
      sun explodes or the last American is driven out is almost worse than
      the physical destruction Iraq's resistance fighters relentlessly
      inflict.

      Sooner or later, major refusal is bound to occur. When it does, will
      conservatives continue to support our troops, who -- at that
      juncture -- will need all the public backing they can possibly get?

      Or will they condemn as "traitors" American parents' precious sons
      and daughters who choose to turn around and say, "Enough of this
      murderous bullshit!" rather than march dutifully into an exploding
      death trap of Dick Cheney's malicious making?

      Let's not forget that crass manipulation of emotions surrounding the
      Support Our Troops theme by right-wingers got Americans onboard for
      an illegal, immoral aggression in the first place.

      Back before the war even began, after principled peace activists had
      already marched in great numbers to try to stop Bush's impending
      travesty, conservatives countered with jingoistic rallies where
      opposing the coming disaster -- which would prove so devastating to
      our troops -- was falsely presented as betraying them.

      Republicans "supported" our soldiers and Marines straight into
      graves, and into horrific survival absent arms, legs, and sanity.

      That was the actual, abject betrayal!

      As awful as it was, I'm afraid we'll see it sordidly surpassed in
      the not too distant future as conservatives castigate service
      personnel who exhibit the wisdom, and enormous courage, to no longer
      fight in a rich man's dirty war for oil.

      Dennis Rahkonen of Superior, Wisconsin, has been writing for various
      progressive outlets since the '60s. He can be reached at
      dennisr@....

      ***

      Patriots Day
      By Budd Saunders
      Online Journal Contributing Writer
      Apr 20, 2007

      The promise of America hinged on what happened on April 19, 1775.
      When Bush declared 9/11 to be Patriots Day, my wife went ballistic.
      It seems that Patriots Day is April 19! The night of April 18-19 was
      when Paul Revere took his famous "midnight ride" alerting
      people, "The British are coming!"

      Although my wife was born in Alabama, she was raised in Cambridge
      and Lexington, Massachusetts, and participated in many Patriots Day
      celebrations honoring the small group of Minute Men who held the far
      superior British troops in Lexington long enough for the Minute Men
      in Concord to secure the ammunition stored there.

      There has been a rivalry between those two towns ever since. At
      least as long as my wife lived there, every Thanksgiving Lexington
      and Concord played their last football game of the year against each
      other, and the winner got the Revolutionary musket. Usually Concord
      got it, but my wife is hopeful that things have changed since she
      moved away and that now Lexington is winning the musket.

      At dawn on every April 19, the Lexington High School band, in which
      my wife played clarinet, marched from the eastern edge of town to
      the Battle Green along the route Revere and the British took. They
      marched the route again in the afternoon for the big town
      celebration in honor of that brave group of Minute Men.

      Eight of them were killed. Beside the doorway to the home of one of
      my wife's friends was a plaque to one who died that day on those
      very steps my wife climbed many times to visit her friend.

      The Red Coats marched on to Concord, where Minute Men had had time
      to prepare and were victorious. And that was the start of our
      Revolution.

      The Constitution would not be completed for 12 years. That is our
      beloved Constitution. The Constitution that spells out what has (in
      the past) made the United States the nation we pride ourselves on
      being: "Land of the free and home of the brave." That is the
      Constitution and national character that Bushies are destroying with
      their greedy power grabbing to create the dictatorship of an
      imperial presidency in the name of a newly proclaimed "Patriots Day."

      I'm not denying the importance of 9/11, but it is not Patriots Day.
      By stealing the name, the Bush/Rovians deny us one of the proudest
      days in our history. And I for one want it back.

      Let's lift one to April 19th: "May the spirit of the true patriotism
      of 1775 rise again."

      Question authority. It's the American way.
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