WASHINGTON — Esquire magazine published an error-laden piece by Phil Bronstein Monday, and the magazine’s editors are scrambling to excuse glaring factual errors in the 15,000-word profile of the bin Laden shooter — errors exposed by Megan McCloskey of the military publication Stars and Stripes. Esquire has understated medical benefits available to the shooter, and is using ad hominem attacks and appeals to emotion to distract readers from inadequate reporting. Mr. Bronstein is the chair of the Center for Investigative Reporting.
The Esquire piece, “The Shooter,” falsely says that the retiring member of the elite counterterrorism unit will receive “no health care, and no protection for himself.”
This morning, the editors contradicted themselves in this selection responding to Stars and Stripes’ corrections:
There are benefits available to combat veterans via the VA . . . so what does Bronstein mean when he writes, “Nothing. No pension, no health care, and no protection for himself or his family…”? Well, he means precisely that. Because while the Shooter may be eligible for some direct benefits from the VA, his wife and two children are eligible for nothing.
The Esquire editors’ disjointed apologies for a writer surely a powerful, well-connected force in the publishing world — he used to be married to Sharon Stone — would have some coherence had Mr. Bronstein only asked (fair, compassionate) questions about the fate of the shooter’s family, instead of plainly writing about what “he [the shooter] gets from his employer and a grateful nation.” Additionally, “The Shooter” claims that there will be “no protection for himself or his family” [emphasis added].
Having been called out for sloppy reporting, the editors sidestep their readers’ ability to reason, and stoop to sleight-of-hand emotional appeals. Monday morning they wrote: “What good does it do the man if he can go to a government chiropractor for his neck when (heaven forbid) his child could get sick and wipe out the family?” Tacit in this appeal to sympathy with the bin Laden shooter’s family is a mea culpa: Indeed the shooter could go seek out care on the government dime. But pride has overcome the editors’ responsibility to issue accurate, timely corrections. Instead they resort to ad hominem attacks on Megan McCloskey, baselessly insinuating that she had not read the piece. Esquire’s editors condescend: “Now granted, ‘The Shooter’ is a long story, lots of words to sort through.”
The Esquire editors identified this morning Ms. McCloskey’s second “mistake:”
In the Stars & [sic] Stripes piece, she further writes:
“Like every combat veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, the former SEAL…is automatically eligible for five years of free healthcare through the Department of Veterans Affairs. But the story doesn’t mention that.”
[ . . . ] McCloskey is wrong here. We refer her to this paragraph deeper in the piece: “There is a Transition Assistance Program in the military, but it’s largely remedial level, rote advice of marginal value: Wear a tie to interviews, not your Corfam (black shiny service) shoes. Try not to sneeze in anyone’s coffee. There is also a program at MacDill Air Force Base designed to help Special Ops vets navigate various bureaucracies. And the VA does offer five years of benefits for specific service-related claims—but it’s not comprehensive and it offers nothing for the Shooter’s family.”
Esquire throws out some red herring about the Transition Assistance Program, a point that, once again, seeks to sidestep the much more substantive free medical attention available. Stars and Stripes’ second correction is also wrong, they say, not because it points out that medical benefits are available but because veterans have to take the initiative to enroll once they leave.
The editors close with a second type of appeal to readers’ emotions — all the while sporting like a medal their own desire to co-opt the patriotic image of the bin Laden shooter:
So if there are people out there, journalists included, who think that the status quo is hunky dory [Stars and Stripes never said it was -- a strawman], the government’s approach to these extraordinary veterans is just right or even adequate [Another strawman], and who are too quick to incorrectly call another journalist’s work “wrong” [as Esquire has this morning] rather than doing their own work on the profound problems of returning veterans, then, as the cover of the magazine says, the man who killed Osama bin Laden truly is screwed.
Wired’s Spencer Ackerman at the Committee Press Table Thursday
WASHINGTON — Tuesday the public will not have access to the next round of questions to be leveled against CIA Director Nominee John Brennan before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. However conflicting statements and controversial answers from Thursday’s open hearing provide clues as to what committee members, as well as the nominee himself, can expect in closed session.
Ranking Member Saxy Chambliss (R-GA) said Thursday, “We know that the 2009 executive order removed the CIA from the detention business, but the current framework is simply not working to get real-time access to intelligence from terrorist detainees.”
In fact the 2009 executive order to which Sen. Chambliss referred did not totally remove the CIA from the detention business. Despite that executive order’s prohibition on CIA “detention facilities,” it also said, “[t]he terms ‘detention facilities’ and ‘detention facility’ in section 4(a) of this order do not refer to facilities used only to hold people on a short-term, transitory basis.” Biographer for former CIA Director David Petraeus Paula Broadwell said, when publicly addressing the University of Colorado, that the CIA had “had taken a couple of Libyan militia members prisoner” at the attacked Benghazi, Libya facility, and that the attack on the facility was an attempt to free prisoners.
CIA Spokesperson Preston Golson told CBS News, “Any suggestion that the Agency is still in the detention business is uninformed and baseless,” and despite the executive order’s claims that CIA detention is allowed under certain circumstances, in November CBS News ran with a misleading conclusion:
President Barack Obama issued an executive order in January 2009 stripping the CIA of its authority to take prisoners.
The move means the CIA can no longer operate secret jails across the globe as it had done under the administration of President George W. Bush.
When asked by Senators Carl Levin (D-MI) and Feinstein (D-CA) about waterboarding in connection with 9/11 plotters, Mr. Brennan described the practice as “reprehensible,” saying that as director the practice would “never come back.” But he told the chair that the CIA was still assessing whether it had been effective in helping capture Osama bin Laden, and resisted calling it “torture,” citing his own lack of legal background. That reluctance came despite Mr. Brennan’s noting that Attorney General Eric Holder considered the “enhanced interrogation technique” out of line with the Geneva Conventions.
Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) expressed exasperation at the limited number of senators with whom the CIA had been willing to discuss the Intelligence Committee’s 6,000-page report on the interrogation program, a program that promoted waterboarding.
“Why was it that they were willing to talk to [former Intelligence Committee Chair Senator] Pat Roberts [(R-KS)] and me or [Intelligence Committee Ranking Member] Saxby Chambliss [(R-AL)] and [Intelligence Committee Chair] Dianne Feinstein but not anybody else until we literally bludgeoned them, [former Intelligence Committee Ranking Member] Kit Bond [(R-MO)] and I, into agreeing to include everybody? Like Carl Levin’s not trustworthy? You know, I mean, it’s amazing.”
Sen. Rockefeller would also comment on Mr. Brennan’s statement to popular misconceptions about the number of harmed innocents in drone strikes. The CIA, said Mr. Brennan, seeks to “make sure that we do not have any collateral injuries or deaths.”
“[A]ny collateral damage,” the West Virginia senator told the nominee, “is unacceptable.”
As she initiated the meeting Sen. Feinstein stated the executive branch offered the committee figures of drone strike collateral damage “typically” in the “single digits” each year. These figures stand in heavy contrast to many estimates, particularly one 2009 figure of 119 from The Bureau of Investigative Journalism.
At deadline Thursday Wired’s Spencer Ackerman would attribute these estimates to the CIA, not to another possible “executive branch” entity, again, Sen. Feinstein having only cited in the hearing the “branch” as the committee’s source:
During the hearing, Feinstein forcefully insisted that the CIA’s drone strikes kill only “single digits” of civilians annually . . . She suggested that media reports and nongovernmental organization studies claiming larger percentages of civilian deaths from the highly classified program are ignorant. Feinstein emphasized that the CIA has hosted committee staff over 30 times to conduct oversight over the drone program . . . [I]f the CIA misled Congress about torture, how can the committee be confident it’s not misleading Congress about civilian deaths from drones?
Bemoaning a lack of transparency about the Benghazi attack, Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) would receive from the nominee a saw about the importance of separation of powers. “I want to be mindful of that separation,” said Mr. Brennan, “but at the same time meet your legitimate interests.”
Sen. Chambliss confronted Mr. Brennan with statements from former CIA Executive Director Alvin Krongard and boss to the nominee. The senator followed up on statements Mr. Krongard gave The Wall Street Journal last month:
Mr. Krongard said CIA officials submitted possible techniques to Justice officials for review and approval, without taking a stand on specific tactics.
“John would have been part and parcel of that process,” Mr. Krongard said in an interview. “These are approved techniques done under the limitations that came along with them.”
However, Mr. Brennan wasn’t involved in the day-to-day decisions carrying out the program, Mr. Krongard said. “John, as far as I am concerned, gets a total, clean pass,” he said. He said he didn’t recall Mr. Brennan voicing misgivings about the program, but added “that doesn’t mean that he did or he didn’t” have any.
Media critics such as Media Matters for America and Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) pointed to statements from a 2007 CBS “The Early Show” interview to disparage the nominee for supporting waterboarding or torture. FAIR’s Jim Naureckas, indicting New York Times reporters for what he deemed a morally relativistic brand of objectivity, said last month Mr. Brennan’s support for torture was “a matter of public record.” Mr. Brennan’s citing the effectiveness of waterboarding, wrote Mr. Naureckas, meant that Times reporter Scott Shane terming characterizations of Mr. Brennan as “accusations” was bordering on sophistry. FAIR highlighted this Brennan quote from that interview, with CBS’s Harry Smith:
There have been a lot of information that has come out from these interrogation procedures that the agency has in fact used against the real hard-core terrorists. It has saved lives.
Similarly, Media Matters accused the media, particularly the Los Angeles Times, of “downplaying” Mr. Brennan’s support for enhanced interrogation techniques. Media Matters, unlike FAIR, did acknowledge one contravening Brennan quote from the “Early Show” interview, which claimed waterboarding met “the classic definition of torture.”
Waterboarding has critics even among those who claim it is effective. As waterboarding whistleblower and former CIA case officer wrote in his autobiographical The Reluctant Spy:
[E]ven if torture works, it cannot be tolerated — not in one case or a thousand or a million. If their efficacy becomes the measure of abhorrent acts, all sorts of unspeakable crimes somehow become acceptable. Barack Obama got it right when he declassified the [Office of Legal Counsel] memos of 2002 and 2005: “Torture,” the president of the United States said, “corrodes the character of a country.”
Mr. Obama’s opponent in the 2008 election, Senator McCain, also characterized waterboarding as torture, also opposing the practice.
The Swedish Bahnhof facility raided, along with female employees, Friday evening
STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN — A backpack weighed heavily on this reporter, as I stood beside one of 30 men in full riot gear regalia, as he, among others, awaited his raid, Friday night, on the Bahnhof Web hosting facility deep beneath Stockholm, Sweden. Goons from the United Nations World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) prepared to storm the most secure privately owned Web hosting company on earth. Their target: RonPaul.com.
RonPaul.com, after serving as the grassroots hub for libertarian activists eager to see Dr. Paul become president, has recently received scrutiny from the former congressman’s attorneys, who wish to see the server remain safely out of the hands of “the rabble.” After the sovereign hand of the U.S. government proved impotent against the mighty force of the Internet, Dr. Paul decided that appealing — closer to grave than cradle — to the globalist nanny state would be his best bet for real justice.
A man, who would only agree to be identified as “Karl,” made small talk as he swept snow from the barrel of his Heckler & Koch MP5 submachine gun. Nine-term former Representative Ron Paul (R-TX) stepped between us, the elderly man who personally organized the team after the proprietors of RonPaul.com, he said, “sought to capitalize on my legacy.”
Spokesman Jesse Benton — then at my other side, sporting a bulletproof vest emblazoned with the initials “U.N.” — winked at me through a gas mask as the WIPO squad prepared to cut through the Web host’s alloy door. We could expect the door, a U.N. covert paramilitary officer said before the raid, to be over a foot thick. The former Galveston representative stepped to the front of the crowd of men in ski masks and, from brown paper wrapping, unveiled a brick of material.
“This is nano-thermite, boys,” he said with a chuckle. “NIST handed some of this off to me as a congratulatory present on my 2008 New Hampshire primary showing.”
After only a few seconds, the door of the compound glowed and disintegrated under the pressure of the igniting thermite. The WIPO men moved in.
One by one the paramilitary officers removed bags from around their shoulders, each unraveling suctions cups on tubes and ominous black machines roughly the size of a normal desktop’s power unit. They restrained weeping female workers in the facility, ripped their clothes from their bodies and proceeded to fasten the machines to their respective labia minora.
Dr. Paul, salivating, watched as the women screamed and squirmed as their uteruses were sucked cleaned by the elite globalist soldiers. He said to me, as I wrote furiously his words down, “We have to be sure that these anarchists haven’t stored a backup version of the pirate RonPaul.com anywhere in their body cavities. Even their wombs could be offering safe harbor to thumb drives, micro-computers. You know how these namby-fancy Euro-types are.”
“The global government has spoken,” he added. “We can’t allow their offspring to rob or humiliate me or Rand ever again.”
Banhof has been host to numerous controversial Internet projects — everything from 4chan.org/b/ to WikiLeaks to the North American Man-Boy Love Association. Members of the WIPO team seemed earnestly convinced that the gynecologist was a member of the 113th Congress, as he seemed to have identified himself on his WIPO complaint form. Dr. Paul left office last month, after declining to seek another term.
A U.N. stormtrooper rushed up a flight of stairs, elegantly polished in steel and IKEA-esque efficiency. He briskly saluted Dr. Paul, then said, “Sir, we’ve deactivated and transferred to Mr. Benton control of RonPaul.com. We at the training center admire your pro-family agenda. At your discretion, we could also permanently shut down WikiLeaks and NAMBLA, if you’d like.” The WIPO paramilitary officer gestured to a Banhof control screen, at which the duo could swiftly and permanently deactivate the whistleblower and pro-pedophilia activists’ respective Web presences.
“Deactive WikiLeaks. Those rapist hippies beat me to the punch,” said the elfin gynecologist, his hands clasped behind his back. Then, Dr. Paul clenched a fist. “They never did put me on the Intelligence Committee. Leave NAMBLA up, though. Those boys are the new voice of freedom. The rest of it can come down.”
“Yes, sir,” said the dutiful WIPO soldier, dutifully typing commands into the server, shutting down Web dissidents and deviants as perennially despised as the former presidential candidate.
The aging libertarian turned, staring upwards, having had a realization. “Oh, and one more thing,” he said. “Keep Stormfront.org going. I owe Don Black a favor for those campaign donations.”
INTERNET — Well under 9.000 files (a paltry 4,000) representing the IP addresses, logins, and personal home addresses of small-time employees at local banks were allegedly released on Monday by “Anonymous” hackers. This information was posted on alabama.gov, along with a message claiming the data was obtained from the Federal Reserve. Some early reporting claims this information was posted on Pastebin.com. However, the only Pastebin link traded publicly by members of #OpLastResort contains only the insane rants of Aaron Bale. Anonymous also repeated the claim that they have long-term footholds in government computer systems. This release was coordinated with cooperation from advocacy journalist ”Violet Blue,” perhaps to beat more skeptical coverage to the punch.
We support your narrative because it is ours. Now that is quality reporting!
“The hacktivist entity dropped enough technical details to make it clear that its tracks were covered and that Anonymous still had access to .gov websites,” said Violet Blue’s article published on ZDNET. Exemplary of what not to do when covering statements issued by hacking groups, the mere mention of “technical details” has reinforced an extraordinary narrative. Certainly these profoundly extraordinary claims from Anonymous require extraordinary evidence. However, this evidence is not mentioned or cited in any depth beyond this short sentence, dangling on its own mere absurd assertion. Even more, it is a dangerous and apparently unfounded endorsement of a terroristic threat designed to drain the government of resources.
This action has drawn strong comparisons to a past Anonymous operation manufactured by federal agents. “Anonymous,” led by FBI agent Sabu, hacked the open-source intelligence publication Stratfor, mischaracterizing it as a “Shadow CIA.” Using this information on Christmas eve, Sabu led “Anonymous” to target low-level journalists, raiding their bank accounts to make donations that would later be returned to the journalists after the charities were penalized.
Investigators at Chronicle.SU have been unable to find any proof that the information on 4,000 bank employees exists, as the alabama.gov website on which it was allegedly posted has since been taken offline. However, Violet Blue has reported on it (citing broken hyperlinks to alabama.gov), so therefore it must be true. Aaron Bale, spokesperson for the operation, refused to provide a link to the information for Chronicle.SU, accusing the glorious and infallible publication of cooperation with the US government, “[N]o one knows what [yo]ur talking about. At least sabu was lulzy and relevant. Fed money doesn’t buy what it used to.”
Chronicle.SU is wholly owned and operated by Lebal Drocer, Inc., a subsidiary of the United Soviet Socialist Democratic Republic of Cuthbert, Georgia, a sovereign entity and economic powerhouse leading the South to Rise Again in the name of its Dear Islamic Leader, the Loyal and Moral Raghubir Goyal.
Air Force Global Strike Command Image Celebrating Martin King’s 83rd Birthday
WASHINGTON — Monday the Air Force Global Strike Command Programming Division published commentary claiming that slain civil rights leader and proponent of nonviolence Martin Luther King would be proud of a team commandeering the military’s nuclear-capable assets. The command’s ethnic, religious and socioeconomic diversity, presumably deduces commentary author Mr. Warren Ward, would outweigh any concerns by Mr. King that the vast technological enterprise could capably end the lives of all people on earth.
Dr. King would be proud to see our Global Strike team — comprised of Airmen, civilians and contractors from every race, creed, background and religion — standing side-by-side ensuring the most powerful weapons in the U.S. arsenal remain the credible bedrock of our national defense. . . [ellipses AFGSC's] Our team must overlook our differences to ensure perfection as we maintain and operate our weapon systems. . . Maintaining our commitment to our Global Strike team, our families and our nation is a fitting tribute to Dr. King as we celebrate his legacy.
This is not the first time that Defense Department officials have tried to co-opt the legacy of the slain civil rights activist to forward the cause of military operations following his death. At a press conference January 13, 2011, then Defense Department General Counsel Jeh Johnson, who heard Mr. King speak in person, said, “I believe that if Dr. King were alive today, he would recognize that we live in a complicated world, and that our nation’s military should not and cannot lay down its arms and leave the American people vulnerable to terrorist attack.” Mr. Johnson acknowledged Mr. King’s opposition to America’s involvement in Vietnam but claimed that contemporary military theaters constitute involvements with which Mr. King would have had special sympathy.
In analysis of Mr. Johnson’s remarks, Terri Moon Cronk for American Forces Press Service wrote, “[Mr.] Johnson said today’s service members might wonder whether the mission they serve is consistent with King’s message and beliefs.”
Quoting pieces of Mr. Johnson’s remarks, Ms. Cronk continued:
“The question is not, ‘If I stop to help this man in need, what will happen to me?’ The question is, ‘If I do not stop to help the sanitation workers, what will happen to them?’”
Johnson compared today’s troops to the Samaritan, who chose to help instead of taking an easier path.
“I draw the parallel to our own servicemen and women deployed in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere, away from the comfort of conventional jobs, their families and their homes,” Johnson said.”
“Every day, our servicemen and women practice the dangerousness — the dangerous unselfishness Dr. King preached on April 3, 1968.”
Mr. Johnson further said that day, “Those in today’s volunteer Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps have made the conscious decision to travel a dangerous road, and personally stop and administer aid to those who want peace, freedom and a better place in Iraq, in Afghanistan, and in defense of the American people. Every day our servicemen and women practice that ‘dangerous unselfishness’ Dr. King preached on April 3, 1968.”
That evening in 1968, while giving his famous “Mountaintop” speech, Mr. King allowed his imagination to expand on the text of Luke and ponder the motivations of those two Hebrews who ignore the victim of robbers.
Mr. King said:
It’s possible that the priest and the Levite looked over that man on the ground and wondered if the robbers were still around. Or it’s possible that they felt that the man on the ground was merely faking. And he was acting like he had been robbed and hurt, in order to seize them over there, lure them there for quick and easy seizure.
If we expand on Mr. Johnson’s take on the “Moutaintop” address, and the former general counsel’s drawing a parallel between the robbers, Pashtun and dissident militias; U.S. service people and the Good Samaritan, Mr. King would have intended the Samaritan to search nearby hills to capture or kill the robbers so that they did not trouble another traveler. If Mr. Johnson’s metaphor for the Afghan and Iraqi conflicts is naturally expanded in light of Mr. King’s speech, whether apparent Afghan and Iraqi victims are genuinely seeking “peace, freedom and a better place” should have remained suspect to American service men and women.
Of course Martin King’s legacy borders on an intensely critical eye towards U.S. military involvement overseas, repeatedly denouncing those who would decry a role for America as the world’s “police men.” His actual statements reveal a man who talked in absolute terms about violence and nonviolence, not in relationship just to the Vietnam War but to humanity’s longer-term plight and condition. Also in the “Mountaintop” speech Mr. Johnson referenced was this claim by Mr. King:
Men, for years now, have been talking about war and peace. But now, no longer can they just talk about it. It is no longer a choice between violence and nonviolence in this world; it’s nonviolence or nonexistence. That is where we are today.
A year before that speech, on April 30, at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia, Mr. King would lay out his specific rationalization for opposing the war in Vietnam, the conditions of which stand in the face of the conflict in Afghanistan and a global annihilation strike force, whose technological prowess dwarfs any of the late 1960s.
I knew that America would never invest the necessary funds or energies in rehabilitation of its poor so long as adventures like Vietnam continued to draw men and skills and money, like some demonic, destructive suction tube. And you may not know it, my friends, but it is estimated that we spend $500,000 to kill each enemy soldier, while we spend only $53 for each person classified as poor, and much of that $53 goes for salaries to people that are not poor. So I was increasingly compelled to see the war as an enemy of the poor, and attack it as such.
Mr. King wrote that the violence pervading America’s inner cities drew ferocity from the death tolls the U.S. government threatened or did visit on millions of people in Vietnam. Today the U.S. government has legislatively enshrined the practice of killing minor citizens without trial, and a tolerance for murdering children reigns in the new, glorified technological wonder of drones, which have since replaced the vast carpet bombings of Vietnamese civilians. Mr. King rejected those bombings as evil.
Mr. King further said:
As I have walked among the desperate, rejected, and angry young [American] men, I have told them that Molotov cocktails and rifles would not solve their problems. I have tried to offer them my deepest compassion while maintaining my conviction that social change comes most meaningfully through nonviolent action; for they ask and write me, “So what about Vietnam?” They ask if our nation wasn’t using massive doses of violence to solve its problems to bring about the changes it wanted. Their questions hit home, and I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without first having spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today: my own government. For the sake of those boys, for the sake of this government, for the sake of the hundreds of thousands trembling under our violence I cannot be silent.
He added, “[T]he Vietcong, or to Castro, or to Mao, as a faithful minister to Jesus Christ . . . [,] can I threaten them with death, or must I not share with them my life?” What Mao Zedong, Fidel Castro and South Vietnam’s National Liberation Front had in common were much larger threats and actualizations of democide. Yet in the face of disenfranchised Islamist extremists, the Air Force Global Strike Command and Jeh Johnson would have the American people believe that Mr. King would have celebrated the maintenance and deployment of nuclear weapons, in addition to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
How could the legacy of a man, who leaned quite nearly into pacifism, be thought of as pro-interventionist war? How has his legacy been co-opted by the huge defense establishment of the United States? How has this symbol of defiance and subversion become understood as an enemy of a state’s enemies?
To this end Internet Chronicle readers should look to 20th century French philosopher Roland Barthes’ and his dissection in Mythologies of a piece of 1950s nationalistic propaganda, a cover of Paris-Match, a publication incidentally still in print.
African Soldier Boy on Cover of mid-’50s Imperial French Periodical
Wrote Mr. Barthes (see Page 116) in 1955, “On the cover, a young Negro in a French uniform is saluting, with his eyes uplifted, probably fixed on a fold of the tricolour [French flag]. All this is the meaning of the picture. But, whether naively or not, I see very well what it signifies to me: that France is a great Empire, that all her sons, without any colour discrimination, faithfully serve under her flag, and that there is no better answer to the detractors of an alleged colonialism than the zeal shown by this Negro in serving his so-called oppressors. I am therefore again faced with a greater semiological system: there is a signifier, itself already formed with a previous system (a black soldier is giving the French salute); there is a signified (it is here a purposeful mixture of Frenchness and militariness); finally, there is a presence of the signified through the signifier.”
This week the Air Force has tried to contrast its organization’s relatively sexist and (internally) racist practices from the ’60s, Mr. King’s world, with that of today. Mr. King signified equality in a sense in the ’60s and in the modern ’10s. However, it is by forwarding this image of Mr. King as a symbol of equality that the Air Force’s article seeks to whitewash his image as a proponent of nonviolence, as an enemy of militarism, as an advocate against a philosophy of retaliation.
As Mr. King said in an April 30 1967 speech at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia, “When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, militarism and economic exploitation are incapable of being conquered.”
Indeed, maintaining a commitment to one’s nation, to the exclusion of other nations, touted by Mr. Ward flies in the face of the Ebenezer speech’s “call for a worldwide fellowship that lifts neighborly concern beyond one’s tribe, race, class, and nation” and “call for an all-embracing, unconditional love for all men.”
Anecdotes evincing the inappropriateness of the Air Force’s most recent appropriation of Mr. King’s legacy flow freely, including this example from Riverside Church, New York City on April 4, 1967, in which he unequivocally said, “War is not the answer,” speaking not just of the Vietnam conflict but war in general. He added. “Communism will never be defeated by the use of atomic bombs or nuclear weapons.” It was in that same speech that the southern reverend saw a fork in the road for human beings between “nonviolent coexistence or violent co-annihilation.” Violence and coexistence have no apparent ready place in the rhetoric of Mr. King.
Barthes, again in Mythologies, wrote: “[T]he signifier already postulates a reading, I grasp it through my eyes, it has a sensory reality (unlike the linguistic signifier, which is purely mental), there is a richness in it . . . the Negro’s salute” is a credible whole, at its disposal “a sufficient rationality. As a total of linguistic signs, the meaning of the myth has its own value, it belongs to a history, that of . . . the Negro: in the meaning, a signification is already built, and could very well be self-sufficient if myth did not take hold of it and did not turn it suddenly into an empty, parasitical form. The meaning is already complete, it postulates a kind of knowledge, a past, a memory, a comparative order of facts, ideas, decisions. When it becomes form, the meaning leaves its contingency behind; it empties itself, it becomes impoverished, history evaporates, only the letter remains. [emphasis, mine]”
With respect to the Paris-Match cover Mr. Barthes adds: “[O]ne must put the biography of the Negro in parentheses if one wants to free the picture, and prepare it to receive its signified.”
1/21/2013 - BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s 83rd birthday was Jan. 15. . . His courageous crusade for equality was first nationally recognized on Jan. 20, 1986, when President Reagan established the third Monday in January as an official federal government holiday.
Our country, our Air Force and Air Force Global Strike Command can learn much from Dr. King’s drive for America to be a nation of equals. . . During his “I Have a Dream” speech given at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. on Aug. 28, 1963, King told a gathering of more than 200,000 Americans, “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the meaning of its creed, ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal.’”
Dr. King completed his moving presentation with an emphasis on the freedom that equality brings, “…from every mountainside, let freedom ring. . . And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men, white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing the words of the old Negro spiritual: Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty we are free at last!”
The Department of Defense is a leader in equal opportunity for all patriots seeking to serve this great nation. . . The vigilant warriors in AFGSC understand they are all equal and unified in purpose to provide a safe, secure and effective deterrent force for the United States. . .
Dr. King would be proud to see our Global Strike team – comprised of Airmen, civilians and contractors from every race, creed, background and religion – standing side-by-side ensuring the most powerful weapons in the U.S. arsenal remain the credible bedrock of our national defense. . . Our team must overlook our differences to ensure perfection as we maintain and operate our weapon systems. . . Maintaining our commitment to our Global Strike team, our families and our nation is a fitting tribute to Dr. King as we celebrate his legacy.
WASHINGTON — Returning to the 113th Congress, for the first time since the late ’90s, is conservative iconoclast Steve Stockman (R-TX), who was one of only 10 Republican representatives this month to oppose the reappointment of John Boehner to the speakership.
Rep. Stockman’s uncompromising conservative position on the gamut of issues made him the subject of a mocking editorial by The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank, who led with the thesis that the House’s being more conservative than ever puts the former “radical’ into a modern mainstream. Mr. Milbank’s partisanship became more pronounced after he was lifted from straightforward reporting for having referred to President George W. Bush in a pool report as “our protagonist.”
Rep. Stockman joined a former Reagan attorney general this week in calling for the impeach of President Barack Obama over concerns that the executive branch may so too far in limiting access to weapons that it may run roughshod over ideals embodied in the Second Amendment.
The representative’s comments about the Waco law enforcement failure received additional attention this week as President Obama released 23 executive orders, as he unveiled his intention to seek the reinstatement the ’90s and ’00s’ assault weapons ban. With the House still under GOP control, the odds of reinstating remain tenuous at best of reinstating the ban, which included a limit of 10 rounds in a magazine. Both the Aurora, Colorado and Newtown, Connecticut shooters used 30-round magazines. Legislators like Rep. Stockman will be leading the charge against limitations placed on gun buyers, who last month made record purchases.
Rep. Stockman gained special attention in his first congressional term for a June 1995 Guns & Ammo article in which he implied that the Clinton administration murdered members of the
Representative Steve Stockman (R-TX, 36)
religious group not out of a concern about child sexual abuse or David Koresh’s cult’s gun cache but because of a desire to see Americans’ semiautomatic firearms taken away from law-abiding citizens. Rep Stockman’s press secretary would later walk back those writings to The New York Times, saying, “The Congressman said he has no conspiracy theories about that,” adding, “He phrased it badly.”
Despite his walking back his original print claims, the congressman’s concerns about government provocation of massacres were very much alike many individuals today, including a Florida public college professor, who seek to promulgate the view that many recent mass shootings were false-flag operations intended to intimidate the public into giving up gun rights. Rep. Stockman has introduced legislation, the Safe Schools Act, intended to deter what the bill calls a “tragic” set of shootings. This act forwards an idea about reducing mass shootings much like the NRA’s, particularly armed police officers in schools.
Tuesday Rep. Stockman took to Fox News Channel’s “On the Record” to compare President Obama to former Iraq President Saddam Hussein for what he said was their mutual willingness to use children to forward government action. As President Obama signed his executive orders, several children stood by his side, as the 44th president urged Americans to listen to the “voices of children” when considering further gun-control measures.
This month a brilliant artist at The Wall Street Journal has broken new ground in the flourishing investigative journalism market by going where cameras could not. You can click here to see these images in their original context, alongside a breathtaking column by Laura Saunders. Witness the pain of these Americans’ faces, as the fruits of their brow sweat are ripped away by the useless, degenerate masses and their fanatical, usurper ringleader.
‘Retired couple’ – Tim Foley, WSJ
First in Tim Foley’s slideshow of unbridled pain is a retired couple, who is just breaking even as socialist fascists have taken over their country. Social Security income is capped at roughly $40,000 annually for each of them — presuming each of them made only a meager $120,000 per annum since the age of 18 — and so in order to get by on $180,000 with their deductions in investment income in tow, their aging bodies will have to scrap together $23,000 this year. And what incentive do they have to even do that in the Nancy Pelosi/Barack Hussein Obama II economy? In the crossed arms of the man — whom we will call “Carlton” — and “Carlton’s” world-weary stare, we see a bold entrepreneur degraded into being a simple welfare slave on the Democrat retirement plantation. He has just told his partner in Christ they will face the belt-tightening prospect of having to switch from Perrier to the utter swill San Pellegrino. We can see from his lean that the heat of South Carolina’s merciless golf courses have caused spinal degeneration. His wife has a raised eyebrow, characteristic of these stark sketches of the toil and misery of 21st century America. We can sense she knows that “Carlton’s” days to be numbered. And without his brave, beating heart, the Social Security Administration will be cutting off a hefty $40,000 a year.
‘Married couple, four children’ – Tim Foley, WSJ
Mr. Foley’s next portrait of insurmountable anguish shows a nuclear family taxed nearly $22,000 more in 2013 by a society thankless for the parents’ willingness to put up with each other after 40. Clinging like a Ritalin addiction to the father’s body is two of the children, the one in front of him cowering into his shoulder, staring upwards at a towering, dream-crushing IRS. At $650,000 a year, these surely above-average children face a dark future, one in which they may have to take on some degree of debt for every single one of them to attend Kenyon, Amherst, or some other liberal arts institution that may by and large be bought into. The married, upstanding professional “businessess” faces forward more than her righteous husband to symbolize how liberals have electorally plotted to divide his Godly household. She like “Carlton’s” wife raises a single eyebrow. But the pre-menopausal woman’s eyebrow raises as if to say: “Should I really have to pay this much more this year to stave off my de facto execution for having to carry an ectopic pregnancy?”
‘Single person’ – Tim Foley, WSJ
‘Single person’ features yet another pearl-clad responsibility-ite, her face tilted slightly to her left in cynicism, her hair diligently parted, her arms crossed in indignation. As yet unbruised by years of toil and her holy, as yet unfulfilled, duty of childbirth, one eyebrow is not raised more than another, as with the retired woman and married mother. She still possesses the idealism of youth, and so is surprised to see our newly totalitarian government demanding so much of her, three years out of Wharton. She has purchased fine pearls to attract a suitable mate. She uses a watch, despite its being old-fashioned; checking her smartphone’s email app every five minutes to look out for any possible, more lucrative opportunities from one of her firm’s ruthlessly job-creating competitors. But now that she will be paying so much more on her taxes in 2013, what’s the point? she says to herself. Any more income will just mean moving into a higher tax bracket. And this is the way that in the New World Order’s America, a job creator is effectively murdered in public by a raging lynch mob. The mob, she understands well, is just jealous of the superior productivity genes that the American Enterprise Institute’s own Charles Murray has proven with science her to have.
‘Single parent, two children’ – Tim Foley, WSJ
The most heartbreaking of Mr. Foley’s portraits is that of the ‘Single parent,’ a subject with whom The Wall Street Journal’s editorials have famously long sympathized. The subscriber can immediately derive additional sympathy because her children look sufficiently alike to allay any suspicion that she might be single by a decadent choice. In the foreground, we see that she must console her child about her peasant family’s additional 2013 tax liability of just over $3,000. She places a loving hand over his shoulder, as she has probably just told him that — upon hearing the results of the treasonous fiscal-cliff congressional package — they will not be able to purchase for him a Hanson Robotics “Zeno.” The boy has his mother’s job-creator genes, but he knows with this year’s inability to afford that multithousand-dollar toy, his hopes of becoming an undergraduate in MIT’s robotics labs may very well be crushed. As with any of the parents or married people in this sketch essay, in his signature Foley-ian style, the woman’s eyebrow is raised at a new, decadent culture so willing to punish any American unworthy of the very gutter. This final, masterful sketch is the single greatest representation of economic repression since (original, lesser) Depression documentarian Dorothea Lange’s “Migrant Mother,” below.
In the Shadows of Tim Foley: ‘Migrant Mother’ – Dorothea Lange
WASHINGTON — Monday a D.C. Public Library representative contacted The Internet Chronicle’s Washington Bureau for a second time to explain that lawsuit-bait The Human Factor: Inside the CIA’s Dysfunctional Intelligence Culture had been “lost” in transit from the Virginia- and D.C.-based Defense Intelligence Agency. The representative offered what to her seemed to be an unusual failure to account for a book, one which The Internet Chronicle had requested on inter-library loan but which she now says will be purchased for the edification of D.C. Public Library patrons.
The book, written under the pseudonym Ishmael Jones, is by a CIA case officer, specializing in human intelligence, or HUMINT, who was subsequently sued by “the company” in 2010 after the book’s publication.
“Although ‘Jones’ submitted his manuscript to the Agency’s Publications Review Board as his secrecy agreement requires,” the CIA said in an October, 19, 2010 statement, “he did not let that review process run its course and instead published in defiance of the Board’s initial disapproval. He chose to violate a contract that he, and every other Agency employee, signs voluntarily as a condition of service with the CIA.”
“CIA officers are duty-bound to observe the terms of their secrecy agreement with the Agency,” Director Leon Panetta said, adding, “This lawsuit clearly reinforces that message.”
This reporter has requested The Human Factor in order to conduct background research on the greed and incompetence, its author says, that defines the CIA. The two phone calls weeks apart from the same library representative from the Martin Luther King Memorial Library in Chinatown indicate the book’s loss in transit is unusual.
FBI Confidential Informant: “We’re busy with other things, Chronicle, so here’s th3j35t3r.”
WASHINGTON — Tuesday morning The Internet Chronicle’s press release email list slowed to a crawl, as an internal FBI source said it wished to step forward and finger to the Washington Bureau neoconservative and militant zionist criminal hacker “th3j35t3r” once and for all.
However, as The Internet Chronicle has noted, “th3” j35t3r is in fact a collective. Here are the members of that collective, in no particular order:
Tom Ryan (an interview with Mr. Ryan here)
U.K. Resident Mark Walker
In coordination throughout 2011 targeting Islamic fundamentalists’ sites, journalists at WikiLeaks, and various others among the American cybersecurity press, including The Internet Chronicle. Now they do not hack anything at all, says the Internet Chronicle confidential informant, but engage in never-ending self-congratulations.
The internal FBI source seemed to find a personal breaking point in the group’s willingness to try to financially exploit the hacker’s “patriot” image, as tons of Special Forces operators seemed all too happy to imagine that there was one among their numbers, a SEAL, retired and fighting the good fight against Islamic extremists. Unfortunately these service peoples’ golden calf was just that. Now a confidential informant from within the FBI has confirmed that th3j35t3r is a group of civilians who have never shed a drop or blood or urea fighting Pashtuns in the high mountains of Southwest Asia.