BC Professors Protest Honoring Condoleeza Rice
In Massachusetts, nearly 100 Boston College professors have added their names to a letter protesting their university's decision to award Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice an honorary degree. Rice has been announced as a commencement speaker for graduation ceremonies later this month. The letters' authors, including theology department chair Rev. Kenneth Himes, wrote: "On the levels of both moral principle and practical moral judgment, Secretary Rice's approach to international affairs is in fundamental conflict with Boston College's commitment to the values of the Catholic and Jesuit traditions and is inconsistent with the humanistic values that inspire the university's work."
mike asked me if i could work in a headline from democracy now (they really should put him on the payroll of that show - he's always getting the word out).
kpfa's flashpoints? it has had a great week. i was tempted to note it each day but i was afraid i was setting a pattern. i'm happy to get the word out on the show, it's great, every 1 obviously cares. but i don't want to be tied down to something for every post.
so i thought i might be setting an expectation after last week if i did daily entries on kpfa's flashpoints. i did pass on 1 thing to c.i. and c.i. noted it at the common ills. and i did note janis karpinski being on last night (and i called the blog twins - mike and elaine - to ask them to note it at their sites).
monday, flashpoints did an amazing job covering the protests. it was even more powerful because they had breaking news. they didn't get it by calling up the new york times and asking, 'anything happening?' in bakersfield, california, people gathered at a park to begin their march. the police turned out in full force and they were told they couldn't march. a woman participating (or wanting to) went over to the police and asked 1 officer if they could march or not? the 1 guy said basically, 'sure keep it peaceful.' they start trying to bust people. including the woman who was reporting it for the show. it was nothing but bullying and intimidation. so what they decided was that they would not be defeated. they gathered again that night to march and the woman was reporting to dennis bernstein right before their march to city hall started. tuesday, c.i. noted that the incident wasn't in the new york times biased coverage. when i read that entry, i called c.i. and asked, 'you know kpfa's flashpoints covered this?' c.i. didn't know that but was happy to provide a link later in the day to it. so if you spent a buck for your new york times
tuesday, you need to listen to monday's flashpoints for some of what the paper of record couldn't be bothered with telling you. (and though there is no charge to listen to flashpoints, i'll do the plub here, pacifica is about to go into fundraising and it will last for the month, so if you have money to give and you value free speech and radio that gives you the information you need, the information that the corporate media won't provide you with, you should donate. i won't bother you with a plug again. but if you've got the money, you should give.)
tuesday's show featured an interview with craig murray (former uzbekistan ambassador for great britain). murray's book (he discussed it on democracy now) is coming out in the united states but there's some editing going on (british government). murray talked about how it the wmd claim for war with iraq was not believable. he also talked about how torture was going on and evidence of it was ignored. but probably the most interesting thing for readers will be the fact that bully boy was in bed with uzbekistan when it was known by our state department to have a despotic, abusive leadership. our state department labeled it such. that was under bill clinton's presidency. 'wait!' you say, 'bully boy had his own state department.' yes, but this happened while he was governor of texas. he was in bed with them while he was governor of texas. making deals, etc. which, it seems to me, the then state dept. should have been aware of and should have taken action (legal) against the bully boy.
laila el-haddad was also on the show discussing life for palestinians, something you don't hear about very often. she is a regular on the show and i want to get her name in before i forget it. dennis bernstein's name i knew from ruth. but i've had trouble figuring out the names of others.
so laila el-haddad, dennis bernstein and robert knight are 3 names i know so far.
which brings us to wednesday show. janis karpinski, the brigadier general (like c.i., i will call her that because i disagree that she should have been stripped of her title) who was made the fall guy for abu ghraib was interviewed by dennis bernstein. i'm going to assume most people know her story and just add that she wasn't over military interrogations and the actions taking place in abu ghraib were not under her control.
these are some notes i made. i'm not ruth. i don't do short hand. so consider it a very rough transcript. so if you are interested in what you read of the interview, listen to the show.
1 key point was on the testimony of general sanchez where he told congress he didn't know anything about the photographs. karpinski: 'but nobody asked him the real important question' "did you know anything about the authorizations for the techniques that we saw in the photographs?" because he would have to say yes, if he were telling the truth.'
she added, 'he signed an 8 page memorandun ... authorizing a laundry list of techniques ... to include all of those techniques listed on that rumsfeld list stripping them naked, using unmuzzled dogs ... but nobody asked him that question while he was testifying under oath.'
she was very clear that 'he authorized what was going on.' and she clarified that, 'in those photographs ... there wasn't any interrogation taking place in those photographs.
but they were not, those photographs were not taken in the course of interrogations. in fact, those photographs were going to be used interrogations to get the prisoners, the detainees to start talking.'
she said a laptop would be opened, they'd show the person the photos and tell them to start talking or 'tomorrow, you're on the bottom of the pile.'
dennis bernstein asked about the abuse of women prisoners. karpinksi noted that 'there were photographs of women being abused' and that there were 'several pictures of women directed to raise their shirts and show their breasts.'
but most interesting to me was her comments on november 2003 when an investiagtion occurred over 3 military intelligence soldiers (interrogators) who 'went to cell block 1b where the female prisoners were held and 1 stood guard 'while the other 2 went and abused female prisoners . . . some statements that they actually physically raped female prisoners.'
this got out because the 3 men were bragging about what they did. the 3 were given a written reprimand (general papas did this) and sent the men back to the united states. don't you feel safer knowing that?
chain of command? she said, 'secretary of defense does not operate in a vacuum so everything that he was doing to be crystal clear he would have talked to his boss the vice president ... if you recall during his confirmation hearings ... they just rescinded the memorandum and said "it's been rescinded so it's not"' an issue (i think she said 'an issue' at the end, but i'm not sure so i'm leaving it out of the quote). she then traced the authorization gonzles gave (the 'quaint' memo) which went to gonzales and then to the commanders in the field and you trace it back up to the bully boy.
on rumsfeld, she noted that general miller was giving rumsfeld reports, he was informed. he was interested in knowing which techniques worked quickest, etc.
kpfa's flashpoints is on right now and i want to listen. violence is going on in san salvador, mexico. people in san salvador were attacked by the police. a boy was shot in the head. i want to hear this so i'm posting.
thank you to c.i. and wally and mike and readers who got the word out on yesterday's post. i've gotten a great deal of e-mail on it. also thanks to elaine who tossed aside the peace or reality quote she often ends with to suggest that every 1 instead read my post from yesterday.
by the way, read wally's 'THIS JUST IN! AIN'T EASY TO IMPRESS ALBERTO GONZALES!'
because i'm sure the news he's sending up will be all over the place tomorrow.
oh, i just remembered sherry's comment.