How Barbara Lee ‘Spoke For Me’ 12 Years Ago in the Aftermath of 9-11

BarbaraLeeofficial-225We can’t talk about the events around 9-11 in 2001 without looking at the historic lone vote taken by Oakland Congresswoman Barbara Lee on September 14 2001 against then President George Bush‘s blank check to fight the War on Terror..Two days after she cast that vote we did an interview with her where she explained why she made her decision.

It came at a time when folks were attacking her, calling her un-Patriotic and threatening her life to the point that she needed Secret Service for protection..

Even the local NAACP chapter head at the time Shannon Reed penned an Op-Ed that ran in newspapers around the country bashing on Lee and basically calling her un-patriotic.. Complicating her situation was her chief of staff at the time Sandre Swanson had lost his cousin on one of the flights en route to San Francisco.. Flight 93..Her voting against Bush was seen as act of treason. The desire for revenge was high, but Lee stood her ground..

Below are her remarks from the floor 3 days after the Attacks

It wasn’t too long after when folks realized that Lee was right.. Below is the interview we did with her that initially ran on KMEL that Sunday Night and later Hard Knock Radio on KPFA that Monday.. as well as Op-Ed piece that ran in Black that talked about the importance of defending Lee

Click the link below to download or listen to the HKR Intv

Click the link below to download or listen to the HKR Intv

HKR-Barbara Lee Interview from 2001

In Defense Of Representative Barbara Lee

by Cedric Muhammad

The more unlikely an event, the more information it yields, the maxim goes. That is our reaction to Rep. Barbara Lee’s (D-Ca.) decision to vote against the resolution authorizing President Bush’s use of “all necessary and appropriate force” – military action plus – in response to last week’s terrorist attack against the U.S.

Unfortunately, Rep. Lee’s vote has not been viewed in a similar light by many political observers, media professionals and American citizens across the country.

But Rep. Lee’s position was not only reasonable, it was appropriate and logical considering the political context out of which Rep. Lee operates.

The Congresswoman sits in the seat of former Black Caucus member Ron Dellums. Dellums, who served California’s 9th district for almost 3 decades, was a pacifist and an outspoken critic of U.S. military action, as were many of his constituents who live in both Oakland and Berkeley. Rep. Lee was Congressman Dellums’ chief of staff and succeeded him.

True to that tradition, Rep. Lee has made a political statement regarding not just her own personal beliefs but the political tradition of her constituency which was both reflected and shaped by Rep. Dellums. The Dellums legacy alone justifies and explains the Congresswoman’s vote, not to mention the fact that Rep. Lee was reelected last year with 85% of the vote.

A source within the Black Caucus told yesterday, “Rep. Lee does have a mandate by sitting in her seat – Congressman Dellums’ old seat. She represents her district well, whose sentiments have traditionally leaned toward diplomacy. Her constituents definitely support her”

But nationally the story has been different. The Congresswoman has received fierce opposition from many across the country. In addition, Rep. Lee has received death threats as a result of her vote and is currently carrying out her legislative duties in Washington D.C. under the watchful eye of a personal bodyguard and police protection.

Those who oppose her action in our estimation are not weighing the context and rationale for her decision but even more importantly, are not considering the enormous value of this Black Congresswoman. At a time when the country is grieving over the tremendous loss of life and angry over the effects of the terrorist attack on this country, Rep. Lee, fully aware of the consequences of her position, decided to vote her conscience and use whatever influence she has in a manner that promotes clear thinking and reasoning at a time when it would be just as easy to jump on a bandwagon without knowing why the majority was correct.

This is not to say that the 420 who voted in the opposite direction of Rep. Lee are necessarily wrong. And that is our point, which also reveals the inestimable value of Rep. Lee’s position. No one in Congress really knows the details of what happened on September 11th or what led up to it. Even the supposed link to Ussama Bin laden, though suspected, has not been proven yet. This is not a mere inconvenience but a critical aspect to the search for justice and peace and the effort to win international support against the perpetrators of the WTC and Pentagon attacks. As the Wall St. Journal wrote yesterday in a front-page article:

By the standards of the Old West, President Bush has good reason to declare Osama bin Laden wanted in last week’s terrorist attacks, “dead or alive.”

But by 21st-century Western standards of law and international relations, how much actual evidence do investigators have of Mr. bin Laden’s involvement? The answer so far — based on what can be gleaned from public statements and U.S. officials willing to discuss the matter — is not enough.

The Congresswoman’s vote represents the most visible symbol of patience, caution, critical thinking, and we dare say, investigation and diplomacy in the U.S. Congress. Her action speaks louder than words; and the statistic of a 420 – 1 vote is more articulate than any speech that Rep. Lee could have made because it causes one to wonder why 1 person out of 421 has decided to lean against the wind.

She is actually a majority of 1 – a tangible factor of power – who really represents a broad but not yet visible coalition of Americans: Liberals, Conservatives, Progressives, Libertarians, Muslims, Christians, Jews, Hindus, Confucianists, Buddhists, and Atheists who privately hold serious reservations about the rapid movement toward war in this country led by the American political, military, economic and cultural establishmentarians.

That Rep. Lee is not alone in the U.S. Congress is no big secret. Privately, we have learned of several members of Congress, including other members of the Congressional Black Caucus who agree with Rep. Lee but were not willing to publicly demonstrate that fact. For various reasons other members of Congress could not muster the courage to rally to Rep. Lee’s side and vote their beliefs.

Had the vote been 421-0 as it easily could have been, the story would have been written that this was another great display of national unity at a time of crisis. The media which has been a patriotic cheerleader as much as it has provided news, would have comfortably tucked the unanimous vote, had it occurred, in its newly-created “unprecedented unity” file and everyone would have gone about their business. But because Rep. Lee placed a comma where a period would have went, we all have had to pause as a result of the fact that someone disagreed with the popular view.

We have been told by those within the Congressional Black Caucus that no one should expect to see Rep. Lee on Meet The Press, 20/20 or 60 Minutes. Her personality and principles do not encourage her to seek lights, camera and action in order to promote her dissidence. We have been told that she realizes that any mainstream media appearance in the current political atmosphere would lend itself to polarization and her own political “demonization” (she is already being referred to as a communist by many). Some may think that Rep. Lee’s low profile is unfortunate but the more we consider it, we realize the wisdom and benefit from such a disposition.

Rep. Lee’s vote speaks louder than words that could only be diminished by those who would either unintentionally or maliciously misinterpret her vote as a sign of treason or even more ridiculously, as a statement of support for terrorism. By voting and quietly explaining her vote Rep. Lee has ensured that the political establishment of this country did not shut the door on an open, frank and reflective discussion of the who, what, where, when and why of September 11.

We all owe her a debt of gratitude for that, although some may realize it later than others…

Cedric Muhammad
September 20, 2001

12 Years After the 9-11 Attacks Have We Lost Our Way?

Davey-D-brown-frameToday is the 12th anniversary of the 9-11 tragedies (September 11th 2001 )where two planes flew into the World Trade Towers, another flew into the Pentagon and another crashed into a field in Pennsylvania resulting in the loss of over 3000 lives.

I recall the horrors of that day. I recall waking up seeing the first plane stuck near the top of the first tower of the World Trade and like many initially thinking to myself, ‘How did a small two-seater  hit that building?…

I recall how surreal it was to see that second plane hit the other tower and one of the announcers on TV shouting;  ‘I think we’re under attack’..At the time, the gravity of his words didn’t really sink in.. Like many, I thought what I had just saw was another horrific accident.

When I got the news of the two other planes crashing my immediate thoughts were; is there some sort of mechanical failure with all our planes and will each and every one of them would come crashing down from the skies?

9-11areialviewI stayed glued to the TV.. I was in shock and didn’t wanna be by myself. I wanted to do was be around family and friends. I was also concerned about family many of who live in NY. Eventually all would check in but my beloved Godmother who was fortunately out of the country but at the time we had no idea and hence we all wondered if she was one of the victims..Hence we were on pins and needles worried.

I recall how sickening it was hearing about folks who were stuck on those top floors of the tower  who had two choices either get burnt alive or jump 100 stories to their death..Many jumped..The networks didn’t show it while Spanish language TV did.. People jumping from those towers is what has remained on my mind over the past 12 years..

Today folks will do as they have always done for the past 12 years. They’ll gather around the sights of the plane crashes and will listen to all the names read off one at a time. The mood will be somber. For those who were directly impacted the horrors of that day will remain etched forever. For many others I’m not so sure.

The sense of community and compassion that was displayed in the aftermath of those plane crashes is long gone. 12 years after the 9-11 attacks what brought us together and ideally should’ve kept us together is a distant memory.

12 years after the 9-11 attacks Fear and Intolerance are main drivers for political, social and economic actions with the specter of 9-11 being a political prop. The homage paid to it by many of our leaders are empty gestures. It’s a photo-op, where everyone says they wanna honor the dead..but that honor shows up not in us upholding one’s humanity with peace as a first and foremost goal, but in us continuing a never-ending War on Terror with Revenge as a first and foremost goal.

Osama Bin Laden

Osama Bin Laden

12 years after 9-11, the Taliban is gone, Osama Bin Laden is dead, Saddam Hussein who had nothing to do with 9-11, he’s dead as well and we got all sorts of folks lingering in Guantanamo Bay as enemy combatants,  yet we are still seeking revenge. Like many, I’m not sure who else are supposed to be tracking down and at what point in time will we be able to say ‘justice has been served‘.

12 years after 9-11 instead of building community and uplifting humanity, we have been taught to see everyone both here at home and abroad as potential enemies. No one is to be trusted. This has resulted in us putting all sorts of intrusive laws on the books that has led to mass surveillance and mass detainment. It’s resulted in us putting together a Department of Homeland Security that has spent trillions of dollars  fueling the military industrial complex to fight the War on Terror.

Dennis Kucinich pushed for a dept of peace after 9-11

Dennis Kucinich pushed for a Dept of peace after 9-11

12 years later we still don’t have a Department of Peace which was has been proposed in Congress initially by Dennis Kucinich in 2001 as a Cabinet level position. That proposal has been reintroduced every year since the 9-11 attacks.

In the aftermath of 9-11 we were supposed to make solid institutional commitments to think outside the box and explore ways to ease people’s fears, find ways non militaristic ways to end violence and go all out to build bridges and bring people together. That has yet to happen even after 72 co-sponsors came together to push for this in 2009 when there were big majorities of Democrats in both the House and Senate and President Obama had just taken office. Could you imagine there was a vigorous push for that in the same way we had a push to Bomb Syria?

Today there’s a lot for us to think about in terms of what road do we really wanna travel. Shortly after 9-11 there emerged a fork in the road. One for War and Revenge.. the other was for Peace…I think we traveled down the road of War and Revenge looking for Peace. We lost our way and need to come back.. You wanna pay tribute to those who died on 9-11? How about pushing for us to take bold steps in a new direction?

From Cointel-Pro to Gang Injunctions to PRISM & Privatization our HKR Intv w/ Kali Akuno

Kali Akuno

Kali Akuno

Yesterday we on Hard Knock Radio we chopped it up with long time activist and freedom fighter Kali Akuno of the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement.. The subject at hand was the updated report MXGM had done on Police Killings… About a year ago when they started documenting Black people killed by police it was discovered that every 36 hours Law Enforcement guns down someone from our community… With the new data it was discovered that rate has increased to every 28 hours.. You can see the new report titled Operation Ghetto Storm —> HERE

In our conversation with Kali, not only does he break down the specifics of that report but he also connects the terrorism and mass surveillance the Black community has long experienced with law enforcement to what is currently going on now with the PRISM program. Kali outlines the sordid legacy of Cointel-Pro and later sweeping gang injunctions which were pioneered by former LA Police Chief Darryl Gates. He talks about what it was like growing up in LA and the impact mass surveillance (profiling) had on the Black community. For example, by the time the Rodney King Rebellions unfold in 1992, almost half of LA’s Black male population were listed on LAPD’s Gang Database. People were placed on these lists simply for living in a neighborhood. At the time many outside Black and Brown communities ignored this.. Many even suggested that the folks living in South central, Watts, Compton, East LA etc, were deserving a such treatment.  Kali noted that what had become routine in Black and Brown communities in the War on Drugs has now been tweaked and being used to Fight the War on Terror.

In our interview Kali points out that local police and the federal government have long worked together when executing their policies of containment in the hood.  What makes the war on terror so frightening is much of the intel gathering is done by private corporation who stand to make a profit.. Kali gives a thorough breakdown of how private industry has shaped the Military Industrial Complex  and the long term =effects it is having on folks both here and abroad..

This is a very thorough and insightful interview..

Hard Knock Radio logo

The President Needs all that Data to Fight Terrorist-But Which Terrorist is He Fighting?

Brack Obama in San Jose President Obama is in San Jose this morning.. right smack dab in the heart of Silicon Valley which is home to many of the high-tech companies that have been collecting all this data and intel from millions of innocent people… Now I know he’s scheduled to speak on Healthcare today, and Lord knows, we need some decent healthcare with all the stress caused by us learning that a guy who campaigned on being opposite the man who preceded him (George Bush) has doubled down and went far and beyond where Bush has ever gone when it comes to surveillance and violation of our privacy.

We all need some nurturing and good healthcare to recover from this spying crap…but who knows, maybe while he’s here, our beloved President will  head on over to Google or Facebook and personally gather up the data they been collecting so he can continue his valiant, unwavering  fight on the war on terror.

In fighting the War on terror ya gotta wonder if President Obama is gonna look at all that data to fight corporate terrorism.  I know people get uncomfortable when you say things like corporate terrorism but wage theft, wage depressions, increased privatization of public goods, decreased benefits, unsafe and toxic work environments resulting in debt and deaths is something we can’t ignore..

In fighting this war on terror will president Obama look at the phone records of the CEOs of Wal-Mart, JC Penny, Target, Disney and other retailers who are responsible for turning a blind eye to unsafe conditions in factories in places like Bangladesh where they pay $38 dollars month to beleaguered workers while buildings catch fire or outright collapse resulting in hundreds getting killed?

Maybe while examining those phone records our President can find out if there has been any sort of illegal collusion amongst those companies to not pay a living wage and to bust up any attempts by workers to organize. Certainly President Obama, a former community organizer will be putting his best foot forward to fight economic terrorism being waged on people here at home..One out of seven Americans are in poverty.. One out of 4 kids are in poverty. Its a hard pill to swallow, but its true..

Koch Brothers

Maybe Obama will fight these economic terrorist the Koch Brothers

Will President Obama armed with this data crack down on unlawful, unethical and questionable business practices by the likes of  ‘evil’ corporate entities like the Koch Brothers, Monsanto, Wal-Mart, Wall Street banks and the Correction Corporation of America (CCA) who as Kanye West recently pointed out has teamed up with the DEA to make us their ‘new slaves’?

Maybe our President in fighting terrorism will look at the phone records and emails of shady lawmakers who teamed up insidious types to get harmful Stand Your Ground laws passed via ALEC…Or perhaps our President will be looking at those phone records to see what sort of off the book sinister dealings have been going on with the NRA members,  its leadership and gun runners who have flooded our community with cheap easy to get firearms,  while steadfastly refusing to pass gun control legislation, not even background checks..

Yes I’m certain Mr Obama is here in Silicon Valley collecting data to see who exactly is responsible for the sale of illegal guns which if resulting in a reign of terror that has far surpassed the loss of life than 9-11…Or wait.. perhaps our President is here in Silicon Valley to fight the war on terror in the form of Monsanto who has crippled so many with GMOs and has economically tanked lots of farmers in countries all over the world by patenting seeds and contaminating fields with their own trademark crops.. Will he be checking their phone records and see what mischief they and other agribusinesses have caused. Maybe its me but the use being flooded with GMOs is chemical warfare.. and last I checked chemical warfare is terrorism.. So maybe our President is hot on the trail to shut that down..

Or maybe, just maybe our President is here to fight environmental terrorism, like the one waged by Big Oil which have polluted our air resulting in unprecedented cases of asthma amongst our kids.. Now that’s terror for real.

Maybe Mr Obama will be checking to see just how much was known before hand, what warning signs were ignored and what sort of deliberate systemic neglect was going on prior and what our environment ravaged by corporate based disasters like the Gulf Coast oil spill caused by BP.

Maybe the data collected will reveal if there are any underhanded shenanigans going on around the Keystone XL Pipeline.. Y’all know that pipeline, that’s the same pipeline former Ambassador Susan Rice who he just put back in his cabinet has substantial investments in..On a side note,  I wonder if it rude of all those little  kids who came out to protest the president yesterday in Palo Alto.. They were mad at the Pipeline situation.. Those damn rude school kids.. but lets no digress.

Police spyRecently the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement updated their Report on police killings in the Black community.. Its now showing that every 26 Hours law enforcement officers kill a Black person in America. With police brutality at all time highs and the policeman’s bill of rights firmly inplace making it difficult for citizens to know the records of officers patrolling their streets, I wonder if Obama and those looking at the intel will reveal what sort of ugly things are really going on in those departments.

It wasn’t too long ago that pompous, holier than thou pundits were beating their chest yelling USA! USA! USA!, bragging about American Exceptionalism and crowing to the world that we would never ever be like China..But alas here we are, spying on folks, collecting data from millions, keeping people imprisoned indefinitely and turning a blind eye to our President declared the world a perpetual battlefield via NDAA , resulting in him justifying the making of his weekly Kill List..

Well anyway… Go Mr President.. Get that Data Mr President! Black Power Mr President..

-Davey D-

Looking Back on 9-11 Terror Attacks…11 Years Later the Terror Still Continues

photo credit ABC News

Looking back 11 years ago at the 9-11 Terror Attacks, its sad to see the assaults against innocent people in America didn’t stop with those planes crashing into the World Trade & the Pentagon…

I recall that fateful day, how our heart went out to first responders like those brave officers in NYPD who lost their lives.. We embraced them and held them up high and gave them all that they needed to protect the city. 11 years later we have come to see how NYPD took their newly granted powers and use in the most vicious ways against fellow New Yorkers..

We’ve seen NYPD under the guise of ‘fighting terror’ use tactics like Stop and Frisk resulting in them inconveniencing and often times absolutely humiliated close to 700k people last year alone.. Under Stop and Frisk we’ve seen over 85% of those stopped being young Black and Brown males with less than 1% of any weapons found or folks being detained being in violation of any law..

We’ve seen the NYPD do unprecedented amounts of spying on innocent people, mainly Muslim Americans and in particular Muslim students creating a climate of fear, intense Islamaphobia and hatred toward fellow citizens who also lost family and loved ones in those horrific attacks..We seen that play out last year with the proposed building of a mosque near Ground Zero.

Congressional reps like Long island’s  Peter King amped up fears and even held hearings accusing Muslim Americans of being possible terrorists who should be investigated. That same Peter King has been relatively silent during the recent rise of domestic terrorist incidents executed by non-muslims including the recent mass killings of Sikhs in Wisconsin. We now see NYPD ready to unveil a new domestic spying program called Domain Awareness Surveillance that makes Stop and Frisk look tame in comparison.

After the Terror Attacks, NYPD garnered our sympathy only to turn around and become an outfit that was described by Mayor Michael Bloomberg as his own  ‘private army’… We’ve seen NYPD become a private army for Wall Street banks like JP Morgan during the Occupy Wall Street Movement, where it was revealed that NYPD was put on JP Morgan’s payroll. The end result was the entire world bearing witness to the countless beat downs administered by white shirted police  against those who were protesting economic disparities attributed to those Wall st financial giant.

11 years after the 9-11 Attacks we’ve seen NYPD become a terror organization in the lives of African-Americans The recent explosive, Extra Judicial Killings of Black People by Police Report put out by the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement shows every 36 hours an African-American is killed by police all over the United States. New York City, followed by Dallas and Atlanta is leading the charge in cities where Blacks are likely to be killed by police. From the killings of Sean Bell to Ramarley Graham, many have claimed NYPD has sparked more fear in Black and Brown folks than Al Qaeda ever did.

Renaldo Cuevas was shot and ‘accidentally’ killed by NYPD

In spite having intense training and unlimited resources, we’ve seen in the past month NYPD shoot 10 innocent civilians including Bronx Bodega worker Renaldo Cuevas who was killed by NYPD after he fled from robbers inside his store. His killing was the latest in a long line of recent wrong doings by this once lauded law enforcement agency. Among the most glaring involve NYPD officers Michael Pena and Arthur Roland both accused of rape in separate incidents this year. The biggest irony is seeing how former NYPD commissioner  Bernard Kerik who was  deemed a hero during 9-11 was recently sentenced to 4 years in federal prison. Go figure.

11 years after 9-11 we’ve seen the War of Terror turn on people here in the US who dared protest and question the government over a variety of grievances ranging from misguided war efforts in places like Iraq to illegal drone strikes to pre-emptive strikes on foreign soil to renditions, torture and other atrocities we once considered war crimes that needed to be vigorously prosecuted when executed  by others..We’ve even seen the passing of laws like the NDAA which allows American citizens to be stopped and indefinitely detained anywhere in the world. Since 9-11 we’ve seen American citizens killed on foreign soil thanks to our governments secret  ‘kill list‘. We won’t even talk about the rise of private prisons and detention camps throughout the US where many are finding themselves placed.

During the 9-11 Attacks we realized that the World Trade was attacked because it was near Wall Street and it represented the financial arm of this country.. We felt bad for those close to those banking institutions and embraced them in solidarity.

11 years later we’ve come to find that since 9-11 many of those financial institutions went and deliberately crippled the economy, causing 1 out of 7 people to be plunged into poverty while they made record profits and got away with millions of questionable and illegal foreclosures. Many describe what these Wall street bandits did and continue to do to millions of Americans and innocent everyday folks all over the world as ‘economic terrorism‘…Many of those who head up these institutions have acted with reckless abandon, never once showing any remorse and justifying highly unethical behavior as them simply doing ‘good business‘..

After 9-11 the entire world looked at America, embraced us and shared in our pain. Many helped us get back on our feet only to see us turn around and embrace foreign policies resulting in the US being seen as a super power that routinely commits acts of terror all over the planet. Talk to those innocent families in Pakistan, Somalia and other countries who’ve been terrorized by our drone strikes.

Since 9-11 the ‘War on Terror‘ has become a money-making venture for those connected to the military industrial complex vs a defense operation designed to keep us and the rest of the world safe from harm..

9-11 itself has become a political backdrop where all sorts of lawmakers evoke the events of that day to affirm a twisted notion of patriotism resulting in them grandstanding and erecting all sorts of Draconian laws from the Warrantless Wire Taps to the infamous Patriot Act which have put severe restrictions on our freedoms vs opening them up. Thank God during this year’s 9-11 commeroration, politicians will not be allowed to speak.

9-11 has become a rallying cry for loud mouth media pundits to beat the drums of war and question the patriotism of others who dare suggest that we find less combative ways to protect our shores, while never once donning an outfit and volunteering themselves to be on the front line of any other military outfit. Some of those pundits while evoking 9-11 to show their patriotism, were leading the charge to prevent those from getting proper aid and resources from those who suffered and continue to suffer from disease and other illnesses including certain types of cancer caused by the debris of that attacks. They cited austerity measures and ‘less government’ as the rationale. After 11 years of intense political infighting under the recently passed Zadroga Act, 9-11 cancer victims will get some relief.

Meanwhile we still have other pundits like Ann Coulter who still stand by their vicious demonization of 9-11 widows, as illustrated in this infamous quote from her one of her books..

These broads are millionaires, lionized on TV and in articles about them, reveling in their status as celebrities and stalked by grief-arazzies. I have never seen people enjoying their husbands’ death so much.

Today we should take time to reflect on those innocent lives lost 11 years ago and do a bit of soul-searching, questioning the direction this country has taken on our collective watch..Let’s make a commitment to really end terrorism..lets end the terror we are heaping on each other for political and monetary gain.

As you keep in mind some of what was written, I encourage you to read this excellent article from David Rosen that focuses on the growth of what he calls the police-corporate surveillance “complex” You can read that article HERE

written by Davey D

Michael Moore: Why I’m Posting Bail Money for Julian Assange

Filmmaker Michael Moore is putting his money where his mouth is and putting up bail money to help WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange post’s interesting to note the amount of negative information that has been put out about Assange, so much so that many are calling his character into question to the point its hard to know what to believe.

On one hand no one with a conscience wants to dismiss anything like the rape he’s accused of committing, at the same time we know the types of propaganda that is routinely used on folks who have stood up to our government in the past via Cointel_Pro. The Black Panthers, American Indian Movement, Chicano Movement, Anti-War Movement etc..They and so many more were victim to massive disinformation campaigns that have lasted 40 years after the fact. A lot of the dis-information  was so convincing that it led to people being killed , imprisoned and ostracized. Are we seeing that being played out before our very eyes with Julian Assange and Wikileaks?

One thing is certain, his character has become just as much of a conversation as the information he put out. And maybe that’s the plan-create enough of a distractions and doubt that we stop looking at what’s really in those documents. Even more important is noting if it’s happening to Julian Assange  and Wikileaks it can happen to any one of us should we decide to take a firm, public stand on issues that put us in opposition to those in power. That should have us all concerned. Put the words ‘top secret’, ‘national security threat’ or ‘war on terror’ around any activity or document and we seem to allow all sorts suppression without blinking an eye.

In short we better pay close attention to all aspects of Wikileaks and how things unfolds and make sure no one involved suddenly disappears.

Bradley Manning

Lastly, it seems like  hardly anyone is talking about Bradley Manning the soldier who supposedly got Assange the documents in the first place. I know the city of Berkeley, Ca is holding a city council vote tonite to see if Manning should be considered a hero, but other than that we don’t hear too much. If you notice we don’t hear too much about the court proceedings going on at Ft Hood involving Maj. Nidal Hasan who was the gun man in last years massacre.  We should be looking closely to see why we have such egregious acts being committed by our men in uniform.

-Davey D-

Why I’m Posting Bail Money for Julian Assange

Yesterday, in the Westminster Magistrates Court in London, the lawyers for WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange presented to the judge a document from me stating that I have put up $20,000 of my own money to help bail Mr. Assange out of jail.

Furthermore, I am publicly offering the assistance of my website, my servers, my domain names and anything else I can do to keep WikiLeaks alive and thriving as it continues its work to expose the crimes that were concocted in secret and carried out in our name and with our tax dollars.

We were taken to war in Iraq on a lie. Hundreds of thousands are now dead. Just imagine if the men who planned this war crime back in 2002 had had a WikiLeaks to deal with. They might not have been able to pull it off. The only reason they thought they could get away with it was because they had a guaranteed cloak of secrecy. That guarantee has now been ripped from them, and I hope they are never able to operate in secret again.

So why is WikiLeaks, after performing such an important public service, under such vicious attack? Because they have outed and embarrassed those who have covered up the truth. The assault on them has been over the top:

**Sen. Joe Lieberman says WikiLeaks “has violated the Espionage Act.”

**The New Yorker‘s George Packer calls Assange “super-secretive, thin-skinned, [and] megalomaniacal.”

**Sarah Palin claims he’s “an anti-American operative with blood on his hands” whom we should pursue “with the same urgency we pursue al Qaeda and Taliban leaders.”

**Democrat Bob Beckel (Walter Mondale’s 1984 campaign manager) said about Assange on Fox: “A dead man can’t leak stuff … there’s only one way to do it: illegally shoot the son of a bitch.”

**Republican Mary Matalin says “he’s a psychopath, a sociopath … He’s a terrorist.”

**Rep. Peter A. King calls WikiLeaks a “terrorist organization.”

And indeed they are! They exist to terrorize the liars and warmongers who have brought ruin to our nation and to others. Perhaps the next war won’t be so easy because the tables have been turned — and now it’s Big Brother who’s being watched … by us!

Julian Assange

WikiLeaks deserves our thanks for shining a huge spotlight on all this. But some in the corporate-owned press have dismissed the importance of WikiLeaks (“they’ve released little that’s new!”) or have painted them as simple anarchists (“WikiLeaks just releases everything without any editorial control!”). WikiLeaks exists, in part, because the mainstream media has failed to live up to its responsibility. The corporate owners have decimated newsrooms, making it impossible for good journalists to do their job. There’s no time or money anymore for investigative journalism. Simply put, investors don’t want those stories exposed. They like their secrets kept … as secrets.

I ask you to imagine how much different our world would be if WikiLeaks had existed 10 years ago. Take a look at thisphoto. That’s Mr. Bush about to be handed a “secret” document on August 6th, 2001. Its heading read: “Bin Ladin Determined To Strike in US.” And on those pages it said the FBI had discovered “patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings.” Mr. Bush decided to ignore it and went fishing for the next four weeks.

But if that document had been leaked, how would you or I have reacted? What would Congress or the FAA have done? Was there not a greater chance that someone, somewhere would have done something if all of us knew about bin Laden’s impending attack using hijacked planes?

But back then only a few people had access to that document. Because the secret was kept, a flight school instructor in San Diego who noticed that two Saudi students took no interest in takeoffs or landings, did nothing. Had he read about the bin Laden threat in the paper, might he have called the FBI? (Please read this essay by former FBI Agent Coleen Rowley, Time’s 2002 co-Person of the Year, about her belief that had WikiLeaks been around in 2001, 9/11 might have been prevented.)

Or what if the public in 2003 had been able to read “secret” memos from Dick Cheney as he pressured the CIA to give him the “facts” he wanted in order to build his false case for war? If a WikiLeaks had revealed at that time that there were, in fact, no weapons of mass destruction, do you think that the war would have been launched — or rather, wouldn’t there have been calls for Cheney’s arrest?

Openness, transparency — these are among the few weapons the citizenry has to protect itself from the powerful and the corrupt. What if within days of August 4th, 1964 — after the Pentagon had made up the lie that our ship was attacked by the North Vietnamese in the Gulf of Tonkin — there had been a WikiLeaks to tell the American people that the whole thing was made up? I guess 58,000 of our soldiers (and 2 million Vietnamese) might be alive today.

Instead, secrets killed them.

For those of you who think it’s wrong to support Julian Assange because of the sexual assault allegations he’s being held for, all I ask is that you not be naive about how the government works when it decides to go after its prey. Please — never, ever believe the “official story.” And regardless of Assange’s guilt or innocence (see the strange nature of the allegations here), this man has the right to have bail posted and to defend himself. I have joined with filmmakers Ken Loach and John Pilger and writer Jemima Khan in putting up the bail money — and we hope the judge will accept this and grant his release today.

Might WikiLeaks cause some unintended harm to diplomatic negotiations and U.S. interests around the world? Perhaps. But that’s the price you pay when you and your government take us into a war based on a lie. Your punishment for misbehaving is that someone has to turn on all the lights in the room so that we can see what you’re up to. You simply can’t be trusted. So every cable, every email you write is now fair game. Sorry, but you brought this upon yourself. No one can hide from the truth now. No one can plot the next Big Lie if they know that they might be exposed.

And that is the best thing that WikiLeaks has done. WikiLeaks, God bless them, will save lives as a result of their actions. And any of you who join me in supporting them are committing a true act of patriotism. Period.

I stand today in absentia with Julian Assange in London and I ask the judge to grant him his release. I am willing to guarantee his return to court with the bail money I have wired to said court. I will not allow this injustice to continue unchallenged.

P.S. You can read the statement I filed today in the London court here.

P.P.S. If you’re reading this in London, please go support Julian Assange and WikiLeaks at a demonstration at 1 PM today, Tuesday the 14th, in front of the Westminster court.

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Why is the Mainstream Media Giving ‘Pastor’ Terry Jones So Much Exposure to Burn the Quran?? by Davey D

So called Pastor Terry Jones is determined to burn copies of the Quran this Saturday, September 11th in Gainesville, Florida at his Dove Outreach Church. He’s doing this in spite receiving strong condemnations from some very power people like: Attorney General Eric Holder, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton White House senior advisor David Axelrod and General David Petraeus who says such an act would put our troops in grave danger. This is all probably true. Such an act would undoubtedly fuel the flames in War on Terror and further embolden outfits like Al Qaueda who would use Terry Jone’s action as a recruiting tool.

With all that being said,  let’s be honest and let’s be clear  Terry Jones is a small fry in all this. Nobody in their right mind cares about a two-bit preacher who has a congregation of 50 people. They could be the most fundamental amongst hardcore fundamentalist and Terry Jones would not be on their radar except for one small detail,  he and his proposed actions are and will not be viewed in a vacuum.

Far too many of us here in the US sees things from the lens of  individualism. For many of us we have long written Terry Jones off as just one ‘nutcase’ from Florida. However, the rest of the world sees him as the tip of the iceberg of loud and raucous protests against buildings a Mosque near Ground Zero. The rest of the world sees Terry Jones alongside sitting Senators like Harry Reid and sitting Congressman like Peter King who have all but told Muslim-Americans that the constitutional amendment that grants freedom of religion really doesn’t apply to them.

While many Americans see Terry Jones a lone wolf, the rest of the world sees him as part of the loud chorus of American citizens to the tune of 20% who mistakenly believe that President Obama is a Muslim  us collectively saying there’s something wrong if he was.

Why has Pastor Terry Jones has been granted a world wide audience by mainstream media to spew his hatred for Islam

Terry Jones epitomizes the strong anti-muslim sentiment that has been allowed to be seen and heard all over the world, coming from loud, cantankerous anti-muslim pundits who are backed by large media conglomerates and given a global platform to speak hate and intolerance in our name.

Terry Jones is a problem only because mainstream news outlets decided to give him air time and blow him up. They made him the problem. They decided to show him acting a fool  versus showing the thousands of instances where American Christians and American muslims, work, eat, play and build with each other everyday. Unfortunately us getting along is a boring narrative as far as mainstream media is concerned.

In spite dwindling resources and shrinking budgets,  many news outlets have already found ways to fly reporters down to Florida, pay for hotels and equipment and have folks staked out to watch Doves Outreach Church like hawks. From Matt Lauer of the Today Show on down to the right-wing agitators at Fox News, all of them have been gleeful as they wait for the first Quran to burn..Thats when it’ll be on. That’s when the TV ratings are anticipated to rise.. For those who don’t know, our news media seems to thrive on crisis and chaos.  So if our troops suffer any harmful repercussions because a knucklehead Pastor in Florida burns a Quran, don’t just blame him, blame the mainstream outlets for making him a story too big to ignore and showing his foolishness sans true balance and countering images.

I recall the painful days and weeks after 9-11, when those of us in media, if we dared not carry the party line advocated by former President George Bush and spoke out against his call to fight a War on Terror, you paid a price. Many of us including myself and TV host Bill Maher lost our jobs. Others got death threats. For the most part much of the media fell in line and didn’t vary to far from the script that eventually led us into war.

During the weeks after 9-11, I recall watching a TV show called Like It Is which airs in NY where host Gil Noble had some Black preachers on who talked about their 9-11 experiences and thoughts. It was refreshing and counter to the constant arguments justifying our aggressive behavior. It was noted that their voices had been shut out and that many did not believe we should go to war.

A local preacher and former San Francisco supervisor here in the Bay Area named Amos Brown was vilified and shut down when he asked the question publicly, ‘What is it about our foreign policy that we need to look at and perhaps change that led to the 9-11 attacks’?

Brown had his name drugged through the coals. They said he was being insensitive and stirring up a hornets nest and even inviting more attacks.

I recall hearing him go on a local ABC affiliate  KGO to explain his remarks to host Ron Owens . Brown was not allowed to elaborate on any of the answers he gave to Owen’s one-sided questions. If i recall Owens actually said it was against his better judgement to bring Brown on the air and that he would not allow his radio show to be used as a platform to spew remarks he considered insensitive and divisive. Owens went on and on about how America had come together  in the wake of 9-11 and there was no room for remarks like Browns.

The former supervisor tried in vain to explain that as a Baptist Preacher the tradition is to always ask what you could learn from and what role you may have played in any mishap. Owens kept cutting him off and finally let him go. Brown was not allowed to fully explain himself as he bore the full brunt of a media shut down. Where’s the media shut down with this so-called Pastor Terry Jones? Brown made remarks at a funeral.. Jones wants to burn Qurans even though we had Muslim victims on 9-11..

Rev Jesse Jackson was shut down by both the government and our media when he attempted to broker peace around 9-11. Why is Pastor Jones allowed a platform to broker war? credit: Eric Guo

I recall doing an interview with Jesse Jackson a few days before we launched our attack on the Taliban when he got a phone call from when then Secretary of State Colin Powell. It happened right in the middle of our interview. Jesse had to drop our call to talk to Powell.. When we resumed, Jesse noted that he was asked to fall back with his anti-war remarks and abandon his proposed actions.  Jesse wanted to do something dramatic that would bring attention and hopefully result in Peace and Healing..If memory serves me correctly  I think he actually wanted to go and speak with the heads of the Taliban.. The Bush administration wasn’t trying to hear that and Jesse was shut down cut off from most of the media.

Pastor Jones is teaching us a lot in the days leading up to his protest. He’s exposing the blatant hypocrisy within many sectors of our media. He’s also exposing the timidness within many sectors of  our government. Of course a guy like Pastor Terry should be condemned, but where’s the chin checking of all those news outlets who time and time again with sensational, over-the-top coverage have painted America as being this intolerant country when it comes to Muslims?

If Bush could ban media pictures of dead coffins returning because it would be harmful in demoralizing the troops, maybe we should ban media outlets from showing any Qurans burning. After all aren’t we trying to protect our troops? Is this not about national security?  This question is being asked not to have a fast and hard policy where the government comes in enacts censorship but instead to make sure we are not giving lip service to the brave men and women we say on the battle field who we say we wanna protect.. Are we trying to unite or trying to divide?

something to ponder

written by Davey D

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The Ground Zero Debate: Islam Did Not Knock Down the Towers…Immortal Technique, Mos Def & Paris Remind Us Who Did

As we continue this senseless debate about the building of an Islamic Cultural Center near Ground Zero, we should keep a few important points in mind..

1-Islam did not knock down the towers…If it did then we best be prepared to shoulder the blame for ‘Christianity’ burning crosses and lynching thousands of Black people throughout the South. If Islam knocked down the towers, then we’re gonna have to accept the fact that ‘Catholics’ raped hundreds of little altar boys and we’re gonna have to accept that ‘Jews’ killed Jesus. I’m sure if we sit back and think for a minute we can find all sorts of evil things done in the name of God, Jehovah, Allah etc and conclude that an entire religion was responsible for the wrong doing..Obviously that would be wrong-headed, so lets not be selective in what we want to demonize.

2-This country was founded on Freedom of Religion.. It doesn’t matter if you wanna pray to Frosty the Snowman or Barney the Dinosaur, you have that right and no one should be allowed to prevent you from practicing especially when the worship is being done on private property and other people are not being physically harmed.

I realize being tolerant is hard for many to stomach, but too bad.  Feelings may be hurt and that’s understandable, we all have our feelings and opinions and we’re entitled to them.. However, that does not give anyone the right to stop someone from enjoying the main tenets this country was founded on. If someone doesn’t like the Islamic Center near Ground Zero being built because they feel the land around it is somehow sacred, then those folks with hurt feelings can walk right past it. You don’t have to visit it. You can go to the strip club that’s nearby and drown your sorrows in a healthy offering a naked dancers and porn.

3-Many Muslims died on 9-11 as did people of all races and religion. No one group gets to claim moral high ground or some sort of ultimate victim status. Many people lost family members on 9-11 and in the weeks, months and now years afterwards. Today we have first responders who are dying because of health issues related to 9-11 that wasn’t disclosed while they were doing clean up. There are thousands more who volunteered and joined the military and later perished on the battle fields of Iraq and Afghanistan. Those two wars were and are being fought under the guise of what took place on 9-11.

4-If folks really want to fight a battle about what should be built on and around Ground Zero, then do some homework. Initially many of the family members who lost loved ones came together and asked that the World Trade space be devoid of buildings and that space be made into a memorial park.

Sadly, that idea was shot down and ultimately rejected by developers and politicians who insisted that the best testament to America’s strength would be to replace those towers with new ones and essentially let the world know that America was back in business and would not compromise on her ideals..We didn’t hear one peep from anyone who is up in arms today. If people were so gung-ho they should’ve been riding for the family when they said lets have a ‘real sacred’ space. But since we decided to show the world America will rebuild and showcase her Freedom loving philosophy, its a shame to see that being shoved away by intolerance.  All these people crying and whining about the Islamic Center is not a good look for America.

5-Islam did not knock down the towers. The incompetence and political turf battles within important divisions of our Intelligence community led to 19 men with box cutters taking 3000 lives, damaging the Pentagon and creating Ground Zero. Maybe if Bush and his croonies had a better handle on things the warning signs and intelligence of Osama Bin Laden striking us would’ve been heeded.. but alas it wasn’t. Who knocked down the towers?

Immortal Technique and Mos Def got it right with their landmark song ‘Bin Laden

Immortal is not one to limit his thoughts to a record and not back up what he rapped about. He recently did an interview for Russia Today where he sheds further light on what thinks about 9-11.

Bay Area rapper Paris also spoke out forcefully about what took place on 9-11. He was probably the first of over 200 rap artists who eventually did songs on the incident. His opinion like many was and is starkly different then what was being pushed by George Bush and the White House.

Below is his song What Would YOu Do? and a link to an article he put forth with a challenge to debate anyone on the facts surrounding 9-11. He went on Fox News and a bunch of other places and handled business in terms of backing up his words and shutting folks down. He followed up his song with written responses to the questions folks had about  ‘What Would You Do?

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Are Boys In The Hood Really The New Terrorists? Pt II

The Demonstrations in Pompano Beach Against Moooslims And The Growing Divide Influenced By The War on Terror

By Bro. Tony Muhammad

tony muhammed In late June, seven Black men (nick-named The Liberty Seven) were seized and arrested by Federal Agents (6 of them in Miamis Liberty City section) on the grounds of what the community believes to be a case of entrapment led on by an FBI agent who reportedly had the men swear allegiance to Al-Qaeda and commit to the bombing of several FBI offices and the Sears building in Chicago. Partly considering what was making nation-wide headlines at that very moment (The New York Times breaking the story that the Bush Administration has been unconstitutionally spying on millions of peoples financial records), the community regarded the incident as a Weapon of Mass Distractions.

Weeks later, in Broward Countys Pompano Beach, pastor of the Worldwide Christian Center, Rev. O’Neal Dozier, led his congregation to demonstrate in front of City Hall against ”Moooslims” (Muslims expressed in a derogatory manner) that are in the process of building a new mosque in the Black community. The demonstrations came after Dozier made comments against Islam in a news release and on a radio talk show; prompting Governor Jeb Bushs office to ask the minister/lawyer to resign from his post on the Broward Judicial Nominating Committee which he had held since 2001. Dozier, who as a Black Republican has worked closely with Governor Jeb Bush and Attorney General Charlie Crist in recruiting Blacks into the GOP, submitted his letter of resignation on Sunday, June 9th.

Dozier commented to Urban America Newspaper, We can not allow a mosque to be built in a Black Christian community, which would turn our young Black men, who are angry at white people, towards a dangerous religion. When questioned why he regarded Islam a dangerous religion, the pastor asserted that he holds a bachelors degree in religion and philosophy and argued that Islam has a violent history. He argued that the religion itself breeds terrorism. The Pastor was asked if he did not feel Christianity has had its share of violence being committed under its name, especially towards African peoples who were brought into this country against their will and for centuries lynched by their white Christian brothers. Opposing the hard realities of history, Dozier firmly said No, making a distinction that lynchings were not committed under Christianity despite the Ku Klux Klan historically using the burning cross as a traditional trademark symbol. He denied that his concerns have come in response to the arrest of the Liberty City Seven, but made it more apparent by his high emotionalism that he was upset that Islam is in fact the fastest growing religion among Black males in the United States. When asked if he has sat down to talk with Altaf Ali, the executive director the Florida chapter the Council on American-Islamic Relations, and others responsible for the building of the new mosque, Dozier responded in an restless tone, Why should I sit down with them? I know how they feel! I know their religion! I know its origins! They want to kill everyone! Dozier, who has made recommendations to the Bush administration about combining faith-based initiatives with combating HIV/AIDS in Africa, ended the interview by expressing awkwardly, I love the Muslim people. They are victims because they are misguided. They need to receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Dozier affirmed that his opposing the creation of the new mosque has not ended; stressing, We will fight until we get results, including the courts if we have to go that rout.

Concerned about the conflicts and misinformation that could potentially spawn as a result of Doziers message regarding the effect of Islam on young Black men, the Fort Lauderdale based Muhammads Mosque #82 of the Nation of Islam has sought to inform the Black community in Pompano the truth behind the religion and its principles. Minister Ronald Muhammad commented to Urban America Newspaper, The Nation of Islam is definitely comprised of Muslims and have many mosques in the Black community, just as our Arab brothers who also have many mosques in the Black community. Muhammad adds, There is no record of violence or negative effect in the Black community as of consequence. Islam is a reforming religion, Muhammad asserts, I dont know where he (Dozier) is basing his argument but history does not support his argument. Critical of Doziers actions while involved in the Broward Judicial Nominating Committee and currently as a pastor, Muhammad argues, Social, civic and religious leaders have a moral responsibility to take a position that represents the general well being and edification of the people that they serve as it relates to the laws and rules that they serve. Muhammad concludes, In any civil society, freedom, justice and equality for all overrides any personal disposition that a public figure may have.

Urban America Newspaper contacted the Pompano Islamic Center for commentary. After greeting a representative on the phone with the traditional salutation of peace for the Muslim world, As-Salaam-Alaikum, and explaining the purpose of the call, the representative who remained unidentified responded with an emotional rant, WHO IS THIS? WHAT IS THIS?

The response is symbolically reflective of the level of distrust that many Muslims and conscientious people have developed for each other since President George W. Bushs War on Terror began in September 2001. Since it has been clear that the Bush administration has been (both legally and illegally) investigating the phone conversations and financial records of millions of people in America, many such people have been limiting the type of conversations they would have over the phone, through e-mail or even in person. Even more obvious, soon after the seizure of the Liberty Seven, various Sunni Muslim organizations nation-wide issued public statements about how those who were involved in the group were not really Muslims and were in no way related to them or their religion, an act that violates the principles of the Islam. Instead of working to gain justice for those are very obviously victims of the system, they step away in fear that one day they will possibly become victims in a similar manner. What is clear is that The War on Terror has played a strong part in increasingly dividing up segments of America who suffer from the same problems; both between communities and within the same community.

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