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Did the Secret Service set up Barack Obama for assassination?

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Elections & Voting
Did the Secret Service set up Barack Obama for assassination?
By Larry Chin
Online Journal Associate Editor

Feb 25, 2008, 00:55

According to the Dallas Star-Telegram, the Secret Service gave an order to stop screening for weapons for a full hour before the February 20 Barack Obama rally in Dallas. Metal detectors were turned off, and bags were not checked, as hundreds were allowed to file into Reunion Arena. This bizarre activity “ordered by federal officials,” was immediately reported by an alarmed Dallas Police Department, which knew that it was a “lapse in security.”

The Secret Service (which has been assigned to Obama since August 2007) has denied the allegations, declaring post-facto that the event was secure. However, the Secret Service has provided no detailed explanation about this blatant security stand-down. It is not known who gave the orders. The Obama camp itself has issued no statement.

While this story has been vastly underreported by major corporate media, independent liberal media, particularly Democratic Party and Obama faithful, have expressed astonishment and outrage. President John F. Kennedy’s 1963 assassination in Dallas, Senator Robert F. Kennedy’s assassination in 1968 (which came on the eve of his California presidential primary victory) were also facilitated by Secret Service “lapses.”

While there is no doubt that Barack Obama, bankrolled and sponsored by political elites, appears to be closing in on the Democratic Party nomination, and is an enthusiastic imperial war facilitator, this does not eliminate the real danger he faces from political adversaries.

It goes without saying that Obama is viewed as a bitter enemy (at the very least a symbolic one) by the Bush-Cheney-McCain-neocon gang. Obama not only faces threats from fanatical right-wing and racist elements, but the desperately power-hungry rivals within the more conservative neoliberal wing of the Democratic faction, led by the Clintons. The incendiary Karl Rove-esque attacks launched against Obama by the Clinton apparatus have become increasingly bitter, personal, and below-the-belt in recent weeks.

Obama is also competing with Hillary Clinton for the support of John Edwards. Edwards, the calculating emissary of Bilderberg Group interests, who was, according to Daniel Estulin, author of The True Story of the Bilderberg Group, handpicked by Henry Kissinger to be John Kerry’s vice presidential partner in 2004, may be positioning himself for the same powerful seat this year. Kissinger (who is lurking in McCain’s camp for 2008) and other leading elites already have control of the entire process, from both sides.

Obama’s supporters, and congressional allies such as Senator Dick Durbin, have been concerned for Obama’s safety for months.

It must be noted that the Clintons’ longtime criminal connections, which both tie to, and parallel, those of the Bush family/faction are well-documented (but roundly ignored) fact. The Clintons and Bushes have been full partners across official and unofficial power agendas, co-rulers of the United States, for over two decades. The body count that can be attributed to these two cooperative factions is long and gruesome.

The Clintons’ love of presidential election-season intimidation and dirty tricks are well-known. During the 1992 race for the Democratic Party nomination, Jerry Brown repeatedly accused the Clintons of resorting to tricks worthy of Nixon. As noted by Michael C. Ruppert in Crossing the Rubicon, Ross Perot withdrew from the 1992 presidential contest, pressured into assuring a Clinton victory, after Perot and has family received death threats. (Ruppert, who worked for the Perot campaign, witnessed this firsthand.)

Any prominent political figure who dares vary an inch from the imperial geopolitical script faces threats; first to their reputations and careers, and then their lives. In the “godfather government” that is the United States, this is the rule. This same criminal stranglehold prevents “change” — even the slightest variance from establishment consensus. And even high-level representatives who operate well within the consensus must still defend themselves from “colleagues.”

No government can be trusted. Nor can government officials and elites trust each other.

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Written by Arroyoribera

March 1, 2008 at 10:39 pm

Nader/Gonzalez 2008 — an alternative to pro-corporate political parties

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A week after the November 2004 presidential elections in the United States, I put a home made “Nader 2008” sticker on the back of my car. It is there to this day, though the harsh winter this year has taken a toll on it. I voted for Ralph Nader for President in 2000 and 2004. Now that Ralph Nader has announced for the Presidency again in 2008, I will vote for him again.

Why? Because someone must speak truth into the vacuum of silence and ruling class consensus created by the major media, the two-party political machine, and the corporate money which buys our candidates and the electoral process. With the exception of Dennis Kucinich, noone in the Democrat Party was willing to do so and Kucinich — when he would not shut up — was simply excluded from debates by the corporate-owned Democrat Party. Perhaps former U.S. Representative Cynthia McKinney will run as another voice of truth which can not be shut up. In that case, I will consider voting for her. The important thing is that we must not spend the next 8 months listening to the voices of corporate and ruling class rule in this country, to the exclusion of the true dreams of the U.S. people — peace, prosperity, equality, justice.

The only candidate worthy of my vote — and your vote — is a candidate willing to courageously stand and speak the truth about the United States as an aggressor imperialist nation, an international pariah, a nation ranking low in comparison with other industrialized world (and even in comparison with some developing nations) in many measures of societal well-being, as a racist nation perpetrating war on non-European peoples both abroad and at home.

Nader vs. Wolf Blitzer– http://youtube.com/watch?v=BiYYNfkVGSo&feature=related

VP candidate Matt Gonzalez — http://youtube.com/watch?v=UaoncB-akQY&feature=related

ballot-access.org

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A Feb. 5 Star Tribune editorial claimed that Ralph Nader “undermines the democratic process” by running as an independent, anti-corporate candidate and refusing to join the Democratic Party.The reality is that it’s the two major parties in this country that undermine the democratic process by excluding all independent voices who seek to challenge their monopoly on power and the corporate domination of our political system. In 2000, the Democrats and Republicans colluded to exclude Ralph Nader from the debates even though a majority of Americans said they wanted him in them. In 2004, the Democratic Party and its supporting organizations spent tens of millions of dollars on lawsuits to keep Nader off the ballot in a vain attempt to ensure that voters would have to vote for their pro-war candidate John Kerry.The editorial also claims that Nader would have been able to have a major influence if he had given a national convention keynote at the Democratic National Convention, like Barack Obama in 2004. There’s no chance that the Democrats would ever, in a million years, allow Nader, who earned his reputation by attacking corporate interests — the very same interests that provide the majority of funding to the Democratic Party — to give a keynote speech at their convention.There’s nothing funny about the prostitution of our political system to big corporations. I sincerely hope that Ralph Nader will again run for president to provide a voice to those fed up with corporate power, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the $500 billion military budget, the criminal injustice system and racist war on drugs, and the enormous gaps between rich and poor in this country. If he doesn’t run, big business and their two-party system will be laughing all the way to the bank.

DAN DIMAGGIO, MINNEAPOLIS;

CHAIRMAN, 2004 NADER FOR PRESIDENT CAMPAIGN AT TUFTS UNIVERSITY

Written by Arroyoribera

February 26, 2008 at 10:07 pm

Posted in Commentary, Elections, Media

“The Karen Boone Incident”

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Do people in Spokane still remember what, according to Spokesman-Review writer Doug Floyd’s 1997 article in the American Journalism Review, “continues to be referred to in Spokane as ‘the Karen Boone incident’ “?

Do people remember the concerns about mistreatment of minority groups and racial profiling in Spokane expressed loudly by Spokane communities of color in 1997 and 2001 and 2003 and as recently as the summer 2007, mistreatment and profiling experienced, felt and discussed on a daily basis up until today?

Does anyone recall in 2001 former Spokesman-Review editor Ken Sands writing: “In Spokane, racial profiling by police is accepted as fact in the small minority population, and greeted with much skepticism by the vast white majority”?

Do you think that the experience of racism described over and over by minority members of this community and the sentiments unleashed in 1997 against courageous community members like Karen Boone simply disappear overnight?

What about the Spokane law enforcement recently referring to a fast gas owner as a “gypsy” and a “Hindu”?

What about Spokane Police illegally strip searching a black man?

What about the police killings of boys and men from diverse Spokane communities — Eagle Michael, Jerome Alford, Otto Zehm, and others?

Is Spokane a racist town?

Can you imagine what would have been the outcome of the incident of Spokane Police Officer Jay Olsen shooting Shonto Pete in the head if Pete had been killed by Olsen rather than having survived as he did having been shot in the back of the head?

I will tell you what the outcome would have been. They would have sobered Olsen up, put him back in his uniform, strapped him into his squad car, and said, “Get back in there white boy, we need ya”.

Does a decade make any difference? How do we know? What is the report from the man and woman and boy and girl in the street? In the classroom? In the welfare office? In the opera house? In the cathedral? In the mall? In the hospital?

Do we know? Do we care? Do we think it matters?

Or would we rather it just all go away?

A Sacrifice for Civic Journalism

American Journalism Review (July/August 1997)

By G. Douglas Floyd
G. Douglas Floyd is an interactive editor at the Spokesman-Review.

Karen Boone agreed to write a column, not pull the pin on a hand grenade. Call it her sacrifice for civic journalism.

A 37-year-old African American in the 92 percent white city of Spokane, Washington, Boone was convinced to voice her opinions about her community’s diversity (or lack thereof) in the local paper, the Spokesman- Review. In a February 26 (1997) column she related a poignant tale of her participation in a community leadership group, an experience that led to her painful realization that even she had become desensitized to the feelings of ethnic invisibility faced by minorities in Spokane.

The paper’s editors felt her story was a perfect fit for the S-R’s “Your Turn” column, a feature created during a February 1994 overhaul of the editorial pages with the intention of providing a forum for Spokane citizens who felt they were being overlooked in the paper’s coverage (see “Climbing Down from the Ivory Tower,” May 1995). Boone was reluctant to contribute at first, fearing her privacy would be at stake. But eventually she decided she owed it to herself and to other minorities in the community who felt, as she did, that the local paper did not accurately represent them.

In her column, Boone described the “psychological loneliness and isolation” she experienced as a teenager growing up in Spokane, and her “diligent attempt” to adapt culturally to life in the city. “I must ultimately find a way to maintain my ethnic authenticity while seeking to find my way of life in Spokane,” Boone wrote.

The end result of Boone’s effort to enlighten Spokane’s mainstream shocked Boone and her editors alike. Her 400 words in the S-R ignited intense community debate about Spokane’s racial attitudes that continues to ripple.

The backlash took the form of an incendiary letter Boone received the day after her column ran. “You niggers really piss me off. Bitch & complain is all you worthless assholes are good for,” it began, going on to suggest Boone go “back to Africa & swing with the baboons.”

Concerned but not frantic, Boone called the paper to tell of what her column had wrought. She faxed in a letter to the editor in response to the hate mail. A local human rights group called Unity in Action got word of what continues to be referred to in Spokane as “the Karen Boone incident,” and challenged the paper to publish not only Boone’s response but the hate letter itself.

On March 11, the Spokesman-Review published both letters, along with an editorial denouncing the hateful act and telling readers how to get involved in local human and civil rights activities.

“Our responsibility was to continue what we’d started,” says S-R Editor Chris Peck. “We were trying to get real voices in the paper talking about what it’s like to be a person of color living in Spokane, and the events that unfolded added another chapter to that story.”

And another and another, it seemed to Boone. As she tried to get beyond the incident and focus her energy on her new job as head of Spokane’s Institute for Neighborhood Leadership, people kept coming to her with their personal stories of wrangling with racial issues. Blacks revealed to her their daily experiences with prejudice. Whites unburdened their long-repressed consciences.

As Spokane citizens mobilized in support of Boone, keeping her story alive by flooding the S-R with letters and calls on her behalf, members of Unity in Action organized a public rally in a downtown park and enlisted Boone as a speaker.

“We wanted to let people know we’re not going to take it,” says Robert Lloyd, one of the rally organizers and publisher of the African American Voice, an alternative paper.

Boone still feels overwhelmed with stress, and her teenage children, one of whom opened the hate letter thinking it was addressed to her, struggle with anxiety.

But the incident galvanized the community, and provided a fitting backdrop for a much-needed public discussion about racism. Lloyd, a 23-year resident of the city, says the Spokesman-Review handled the incident well. The only criticism he’s heard, he says, is the one Boone herself has expressed to the paper: Somebody should have warned her what would happen.

“I probably would have done it anyway,” she now says, “but I would have liked to have been better prepared for what happened.”

Peck says preparing guest writers for unpleasant replies is one of the reasons the paper has “interactive” editors — to serve as allies and mentors and to connect with readers. Another reason is to build bridges to sectors of the community, including minority populations that don’t feel the newspaper reflects their
interests.

Lloyd says the Spokesman-Review has made headway, but not yet enough to be widely embraced by the city’s black community. “The S-R is like a guy whose wife caught him with somebody else,” he says. “It’s going to take a long time to win trust.”

Written by Arroyoribera

February 20, 2008 at 9:26 pm

Posted in Commentary, Media, Racism

Newsroom Diversity Report on the Spokesman-Review — Non-representative but better than its peers

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According to the 2005 Newsroom Diversity report produced by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Spokesman-Review newspaper — the daily newspaper monopoly in Spokane, Washington — is doing better than many of its peers in the industry but still has a minority newsroom staff disproportionately small in relationship to the diversity of its readership.

If the weekly VOX newspaper — a Spokesman-Review production edited and written by Spokane area high school students — is seen as part of the S-R’s efforts to develop the newsroom of the future at the Spokesman-Review, one can see why the Spokesman’s newsroom fails to reflect the diversity of the Spokane region, however small that regional diversity is. And one can see why, unless pro-active measures are taken by Spokesman-Review editor Steve Smith and his staff, the Spokesman will continue to lag in the area of diversity and the ability to see the world from what Spokane homeless and GLBT advocate Dr. John “Gus” Olsen calls “the perspective of other”.

A look at the editorial membership of the VOX is very revealing. A quick look down the left side of The Vox Box blog page reveals the 17 faces — 16 students and one faculty — who make up the VOX editorial staff. A discussion on diversity on the The Vox Box last year resulted in a call from one student for me to be banned from not only that blog but from all Spokesman-Review blogs (“How much of an issue is diversity in Spokane” — part 1 and part 2 at The Vox Box.)

To his credit, Spokesman-Review editor Steve Smith was able to acknowledge and clearly articulate what the overwhelmingly white staff of the VOX could not understand or acknowledge: that diversity in the newsroom is crucial to democratic society and to the ability of a publication to report on, much less understand, the world in which we live. Some of Mr. Smith’s thinking on the matter, including a vow by Smith that in the future the VOX staff will be more diverse, can be found at this post entitled “Diversity in the News” at the S-R’s News is a Conversation blog.

[For those who are unaware, it bears pointing out that Steve Smith is considered a “trailblazer” and a maverick in the journalism business. He is a figure of considerable importance and notice in the world of newspaper publishing for his innovations and explorations of the “transparent newsroom” and “interactive dialogue”, as well as for experimentation in how to integrate the world of the newsprint paper with that of electronic “print” news.]

American Society of Newspaper Editors — Resource on Diversity in Journalism

Freedom ForumFor newspapers to reflect their communities, newsroom staffs and the stories they cover should closely mirror the diversity of the population in the newspapers’ circulation areas. The Freedom Forum is charting an aggressive course to identify, recruit and train people of color for journalism careers.

PBS Online NewsHour — Newspaper editors across the country assert that they’re trying to achieve a better racial balance on their staffs, but many journalists of color say they’re still underrepresented at work.

Written by Arroyoribera

February 6, 2008 at 10:23 pm

Posted in Commentary, Diversity, Media