ROBERT C. KOEHLER – The scariest part about the legacy of Columbus, and Europeâ€™s â€œAge of Discoveryâ€ â€” ah, the white men break out of their cage and find the rest of the world â€” is that itâ€™s still alive. And while thereâ€™s a growing demand that we should dump Columbus Day as a national holiday and replace it with Indigenous Peoplesâ€™ Day, I think something else is necessary as well: We need to look deeply at the legacy of Columbus and begin to own it. No more whitewash!
JACK MATLOCK – Did the U.S. â€œIntelligence Communityâ€ judge that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election?
Most commentators seem to think so, but this understanding does not hold up under careful analysis.
DAVID SWANSON – Back before Donald Trump was inaugurated, I wrote an article called â€œFantasies About Russia Could Doom Opposition to Trump.â€ Perhaps it is less quixotic, or perhaps it is more, to hope that, after more than two years of being barraged with those fantasies, but with their main focus having publicly flopped, more people will now be open to trying something else. That pre-inauguration article read: â€œTrump should be impeached on Day 1, but the same Democrats who found the one nominee who could lose to Trump will find the one argument for impeachment that can explode in their own faces. . . . Meanwhile, we have a man planning to be president later this month whose business dealings clearly violate . . .
ROBERT WEISSMAN – Our democracy is in a double crisis. We face the immediate threat posed every day by Donald Trump, with his combination of unprecedented corruption, disdain for the rule of law and autocratic governance. We also face the deeper rooted problems of Big Money dominance of our elections, shocking voter suppression, extreme gerrymandering and outrageous corporate influence over the policymaking process. After the 2018 election, we have the chance to do something about this double crisis
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.
CONGRESSMAN ALAN GRAYSON (D, FL) – Members of Congress do not trust that the House Intelligence Committee is providing the necessary oversight. On the contrary, “oversight” has become “overlook.” Despite being a member of Congress possessing security clearance, I’ve learned far more about government spying on me and my fellow citizens from reading media reports than I have from “intelligence” briefings.
MICHAEL NAGLER – Until today I didnâ€™t even know there was such a thing as white supremacist music. Wade Michael Page knew; the â€œdomestic terroristâ€ who killed six people at the Oak Creek Sikh temple in Wisconsin a week ago Sunday had played in a neo-Nazi band called â€œDefinite Hateâ€ and started one called “End Apathy” in 2005. So Page, when you think of it, has something in common with his immediate predecessor in mass murder, James Holmes, who perpetrated the Aurora, CO shooting two weeks earlier. Despite their differences, in his case also a form of contemporary â€œart,â€ namely the Batman film, played some role in the buildup to his murderous violence.
TOM CARTER – Over the last month, heavily armed â€œdomestic terrorismâ€ units of the FBI used battering rams and stun grenades to conduct early-morning raids on the homes of political protesters in Seattle and Olympia, Washington and Portland, Oregon. On July 25, three homes were raided in Portland alone and, since July 10, as many as six homes have been raided.
These raids are only the latest in an emerging pattern of similar raids conducted by the Obama administration in order to terrorize, suppress and chill political dissent, in flagrant violation of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights.
CHRIS HEDGES – Attorneys Carl J. Mayer and Bruce I. Afran filed a complaint Friday in the Southern U.S. District Court in New York City on my behalf as a plaintiff against Barack Obama and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta to challenge the legality of the Authorization for Use of Military Force as embedded in the latest version of the National Defense Authorization Act, signed by the president Dec. 31.
JOSH HEALEY – Over the last two weeks, mayors across the country (apparently coordinated by the FBI) shut down many of the largest Occupy encampments, including in New York, Oakland, Portland, Salt Lake City, Atlanta, and more. Police arrested hundreds of peaceful activists, inevitably leaving clouds of pepper spray and millions of dollars in their wake. While I fully condemn the police raids, I also think they offer us an opportunity to move to the next stage: itâ€™s time to Occupy more than just tents.
COMMITTEE TO STOP FBI REPRESSION – The Committee to Stop FBI Repression is pleased to circulate the following letter from Congressman Kucinich, addressed to Attorney General Holder. Rep. Kucinich is the tenth Congressional representative to raise concerns about the FBI’s repression of anti-war and solidarity activists.
BILL SOREM – A press conference at the offices of the Anti-War Committee office last week revealed an interesting remnant of the FBI raids on peace activists in Minneapolis and Chicago on September 24, 2010. They left a copy of the FBI SWAT team operational plan and the set of questions that was to be asked of the targets if any had agreed to talk to the FBI agents.
JACKIE OROZCO – It’s just a “misunderstanding.” That’s the F.B.I. explanation about what happened at the Mid-South Peace and Justice Center in Memphis, TN last week. Agents went to the center and the Memphis Police Tactical Squad surrounded the place last night for what they are calling “safety” reasons. F.B.I. agents said they showed up because they thought there was going to be an anti-war protest. They described it as a “courtesy” call and standard procedure to send agents in case things got out of hand.
ACTIVIST SOURCES — The FBI initiated a raid on six houses in Chicago and Minneapolis on Friday, October 24, 2010, at 7 a.m. central time. About a dozen activists in Illinois, Minnesota, and Michigan were handed subpoenas to testify before a federal grand jury. They also attempted to intimidate activists in California and North Carolina.