NORMAN SOLOMON – Yes, the Doomsday Clock keeps ticking — it’s now at 90 seconds to midnight, according to the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists — but the ultimate time bomb never gets the attention that it deserves. Even as the possibility of nuclear annihilation looms, this century’s many warning signs retain the status of Cassandras.
NORMAN SOLOMON – What Martin Luther King Jr. called “the madness of militarism” finds its supreme expression in the routine of nuclear weapons policies, which rely on an extreme shortage of countervailing outcry and activism. The ultimate madness thrives on our daily accommodation to it.
JOHN LAFORGE – Steadfast Noon is not just code language, or public relations. The event is a large-scale, psychological operation intended to teach us to pretend that nuclear attacks can do good. Of course if nuclear firestorms saved lives and ended war — as U.S. mythology goes with Hiroshima and Nagasaki — then the Pentagon would have used them in Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq. People love to be fooled.
RUSSELL VANDENBROUCKE – Daniel Ellsberg, sent to Saigon in 1965 to evaluate civilian pacification programs, would spend 18 months with patrols into towns and villages. His skeptical reports about death and destruction and potential victory by North Vietnam went nowhere. Ellsberg struggled with his knowledge. He was a family man with a brilliant career, all of which would be at risk if he blew the whistle, and he knew it.
NORMAN SOLOMON – With sky-high tensions between the world’s two nuclear superpowers, the chances of ICBMs starting a nuclear conflagration have increased as American and Russian forces face off in close proximity.
NORMAN SOLOMON – At the same time that the atmospheric levels of greenhouse gases have continued to increase, so have the dangers of nuclear war. No imperatives are more crucial than challenging the fossil fuel industry and the nuclear weapons industry as the terrible threats to the climate and humanity that they are.
ROBERT LEVERING – Without the friendships he forged in the antiwar movement, Daniel Ellsberg might not have found the courage and support he needed to help end the Vietnam War.
MARCY WINOGRAD and MEDEA BENJAMIN – “United States Innovation and Competition Act of 2021” would sabotage an opportunity for the U.S. and Chinaâ€”countries responsible for releasing half of the world’s fossil fuel emissions â€” to partner on curbing emissions and sharing strategies for greening the Earth.
ABOLITION 2000 PRESS RELEASE – The Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Abolition 2000 Global Network to Eliminate Nuclear Weapons on May 23 unanimously adopted a statement condemning recent reports of White House discussions to resume nuclear weapons testing.
KATHY KELLY – Many who are working for the abolition of nuclear weapons are deeply disturbed by the madness of maintaining nuclear weapons arsenals and believe such weapons threaten planetary survival. They are joined by people everywhere who worry that, similar to the 1930s, citizens of countries possessing nuclear weapons sleepwalk toward utter disaster.
SAM HUSSEINI – A new film depicting the whistleblower Katherine Gun, who tried to stop the Iraq invasion, is largely accurate, but the story is not over, says Sam Husseini.
KEVIN ZEESE and MARGARET FLOWERS – The arrest of Julian Assange not only puts the free press in the United States at risk, it puts any reporters who expose US crimes anywhere in the world at risk.
LAWRENCE WITTNER – The obsession of the Trump administration with building nuclear weapons and threatening nuclear war underscores its unwillingness to join other governments in developing a sane nuclear policy. Indeed, it seems determined to continue lurching toward unparalleled catastrophe
JESSELYN RADACK – It is the leakiest of times in the Executive Branch. [A little over a week ago], Wikileaks published a massive and, by all accounts genuine, trove of documents revealing that the CIA has been stockpiling, and lost control of, hacking tools it uses against targets. Particularly noteworthy were the revelations that the CIA developed a tool to hack Samsung TVs and turn them into recording devices and that the CIA worked to infiltrate both Apple and Google smart phone operating systems since it could not break encryption. No one in government has challenged the authenticity of the documents disclosed.
REBECCA SOLNIT – I began talking about hope in 2003, in the bleak days after the war in Iraq was launched. Fourteen years later, I use the term hope because it navigates a way forward between the false certainties of optimism and of pessimism, and the complacency or passivity that goes with both. Optimism assumes that all will go well without our effort; pessimism assumes itâ€™s all irredeemable; both let us stay home and do nothing. Hope for me has meant a sense that the future is unpredictable, and that we donâ€™t actually know what will happen, but know we may be able write it ourselves.
GILBERT DOCTOROW, UTE FINCKH-KRAMER, LUDGER VOLMER, ROLF EKEUS and NOAM CHOMSKY – A transatlantic appeal for a new policy of dÃ©tente with Russia has been launched. The declarationâ€™s authors invite the general public to join leading political figures and social activists who have publicly rallied to support the call.
TREVOR TIMM – The sweetheart deal the Justice Department gave to former CIA director David Petraeus for leaking top secret information compared to the stiff jail sentences other low-level leakers have received under the Obama administration has led to renewed calls for leniency for NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. And no one makes the case better than famed whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg.
SHERYL GAY STOLBERG – It has been nearly half a century since a young antiwar protester named Tom Hayden traveled to Hanoi to investigate President Lyndon B. Johnsonâ€™s claims that the United States was not bombing civilians in Vietnam. Mr. Hayden saw destroyed villages and came away, he says, â€œpretty wounded by the pattern of deception.â€ Now the Pentagon â€” run by a Vietnam veteran, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel â€” is planning a 50th anniversary commemoration of the Vietnam War. The effort, which is expected to cost taxpayers nearly $15 million by the end of this fiscal year, is intended to honor veterans and, its website says, â€œprovide the American public with historically accurate materialsâ€ suitable for use in schools. But the extensive website, which has been up for months, largely describes a war of valor and honor that would be unrecognizable to many of the Americans who fought in and against it.
NORMAN SOLOMON – Blowing the whistle on wrongdoing creates a moral frequency that vast numbers of people are eager to hear. We donâ€™t want our lives, communities, country and world continually damaged by the deadening silences of fear and conformity.
NORMAN SOLOMON – The Freedom of the Press Foundation calls the governmentâ€™s effort to force Risen to reveal a source â€œone of the most significant press freedom cases in decades.â€
TOM H. HASTINGS – How culpable is the person who watches a mugger rob someone and does nothing? What is our social psychology as we bystand silently while our government gears up toward yet another war crime? Lies or misleading information that leads to war should be an enforceable war crime and crime against humanity.
SIMON LAUDER — The man behind whistleblower website Wikileaks says he is not in a position to record an interview amid claims his life is in danger. Julian Assange, the Australian-born founder of Wikileaks, is said to be under threat with reports that the site has hundreds of thousands of classified cables containing explosive revelations.