Justice Integrity Project

Rare Reunion of Vietnam Protesters Revives Antiwar Message

Written by Andrew Kreig
Published on May 2, 2015

 

Vietnam War protesters convened this weekend in the U.S. capital for what TV talk show pioneer Phil Donahue described as an "unprecedented" gathering of leaders sharing lessons for today's civic problems.

Phil Donahue“There has never been a gathering like this,” Donahue, 79 and shown in a file photo, said in welcoming the 300-person audience gathered in a church near the White House. “We were going in too many different directions. Now, we’re together for the first time.”

The opening keynoter was former California Congresswoman Barbara Lee, the only member of either the House or the Senate in 2001 to oppose the post-9/11 authorization for war in the Mideast. The Oakland Democrat, shown in an official photo, feared the resolution was too open-ended and would allow presidents to create new wars, not simply retaliate against 9/11 perpetrators. A similar debate is preventing congressional approval of force against the Islamic State group, ISIS. The group did not exist during 9/11 but the Obama administration is fighting them anyway.

“True peace,” she quoted the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. as saying in his 1963 Letter from Birmingham Jail, “is not just the ‘absence of tension’ but ‘the presence of justice.’”  She further quoted King as saying during the Vietnam era that America was “a society gone mad on war.”

“Today your country needs you again,” she told the audience at the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church. “During the Vietnam War, you raised your voices in protest and the nation listened.”  
 
Barbara Lee“We know that the billions spent on drone attacks could be used to educate the next generation,” she continued. “We must repeal this blank check for endless war.”

The conference, entitled Vietnam: The Power of Protest, was one of a four this editor attended in downtown Washington during days. Today’s column is intended to survey the range of viewpoints we encountered in that period, not to try to cover any of them in-depth. Video teams filmed most of the proceedings,

Most notable among our other events were the annual Ridenhour Awards luncheon and an lecture organized by the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce featuring GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz, the junior U.S. senator representing Texas.  Both events were at the National Press Club April 30.

The Ridenhour Awards are named for the late Vietnam War veteran, My Lai Massacre whistleblower, and investigative reporter Ron Ridenhour. The awards recognize those who persevere in acts of truth-telling that protect the public interest, promote social justice, or illuminate a more just vision of society.

Those receiving them this year were:

JIP Editor Probes 2016 Race, JFK Murder April 23 at University of Hartford

Written by Andrew Kreig
Published on April 25, 2015


Ancient scrolls and tablets sometimes have missing text called lacunae that create mystery about hard-to-reconstruct messages.

Missing material also thwarts consumers of modern newspapers and broadcasts, whose gaps we must overcome to understand the crises harming so many communities and families.

Andrew Kreig and "POresidential Puppetry" at University of Hartford, April 23, 2015The key evidence in the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy and several other progressive leaders in the 1960s constitute lacunae in modern times, but also a Rosetta Stone to understanding current affairs, including the Obama administration and the 2016 election campaign.

Our media are filled with tributes to Kennedy, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., and other fallen heroes, but with scant context on who killed them, why -- and with what consequence.

That was my message April 23 at a University of Hartford lecture in central Connecticut, along with a cable television interview earlier in the day.

The occasion was gratifying because of dialog with such well-informed moderators and their audience of fellow-researchers finding answers to current public affairs issues by studying the past.

My main goal was to start the discussion by revealing facts the mainstream media are reluctant to share about those deaths.

Also, the audience explored how these gaps in our knowledge prevent an informed public from addressing current events, including selection of candidates for the 2016 presidential election. In a dialog for more than two hours, we focused on front-running (so far) prospective nominees Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush.

Setting the tone were the capable and courageous organizers of the event, Cheryl Curtiss and Mike DeRosa, each a broadcaster focused heavily on otherwise neglected if not suppressed topics.  

My contribution's overall framework was drawn from my book Presidential Puppetry: Obama, Romney and Their Masters and a century-long history of ruthless domestic power plays that include the 1963 assassination of Kennedy.

The lecture tracked part of the column here last month, Why Bill O'Reilly's Lie About JFK's Murder Might Matter To You.

That report showed the how the Fox News host has been caught lying in his best-selling Killing Kennedy book about his presence at the death of George de Mohrenschildt, a friend and likely CIA handler for accused Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald. O'Reilly's lie helps expose a longstanding pattern of CIA-orchestrated media cover-up for the perpetrators of a crime that has shaped American history to the present in ways largely unreported by the corporate media.

In the face of this crime and its cover-up (shown by a 24-part “Readers Guide” to the assassination linked below), Americans face the frightening conclusion that no president can feel safe so long as the news media protect the killers of a president, the patsy Oswald, and witnesses.

The University of Hartford event was part of the monthly series "Progressive Movie Night" held in Hillyer Hall at Auerbach on the campus in West Hartford near its border with the state capital, Hartford.

Although the specific audience is progressive the material and our dialog was drawn from sources across the political spectrum. The lacunae metaphor that began this column, for example, comes from a recent column by Ron Unz, former publisher of The American Conservative and a onetime guest on my radio show, Washington Update.

Siegelman Update On Capitol Hill Streamed Live April 21, Archived

Written by Andrew Kreig
Published on April 21, 2015


The Justice Integrity Project delivered an update on Capitol Hill streamed live April 21 regarding the notorious and continuing imprisonment of former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman for fundraising in 1999.

People Demanding Action Executive Director Andrea Miller introduced this editor to speak about the case to her group during its monthly roundtable held at the Cannon House Office Building. The talk portraying the case was for 15 minutes beginning 36 minutes into the event.

Free Don SiegelmanThe stream will be embedded on PeopleDemandingAction.org for two weeks. The live stream became a YouTube show. Here is a direct link to the roundtable video.

The talk began with thanks to the group conveyed to the group from the state's last Democratic governor, whose term was 1999 to 2003. Siegelman continues to be imprisoned in Louisiana on federal corruption charges primarily stemming from his 1999 request to one of Alabama's then richest businessmen, HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy, to donate to the non-profit Alabama Education Foundation. The purpose was to help retire its debt for its ongoing advocacy campaign for a referendum to improve funding for K-12 schools with proceeds from a proposed state lottery.

To recap, courts have consistently upheld Siegelman's convictions following two trials even though an unprecedented coalition of 113 former state attorneys general -- the chief law enforcers in more than 40 states -- have argued that his actions did not constitute a bribe or other corruption crime.

I summarized his defense at the Capital Hill discussion, and then requested that listeners visit the DonSiegelman.org website to sign a petition for a presidential pardon.

My overview noted the worldwide notoriety of the case in human rights circles and the enormous burden on the state's one-time leading Democrat. I added these updates:

  • Scrushy, shown in a file photo with his son during his seven-year imprisonment on corruption charges from the donation, has underscored following his release that the figure of a $500,000 used at trial and in news accounts since then is completely bogus and needlessly sinister-sounding. Scrushy says the donation was a $250,000 corporate donation, much like other major companies provided to the Alabama Education Foundation and many other causes; and
  • U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) this month has asked the federal appeals court in Atlanta supervising Alabama, Florida and Georgia federal cases for a status update on Siegelman's disgraced trial judge, Mark Fuller of Montgomery. Fuller, chief U.S. district judge during Siegelman's second trial after the first judge pressured prosecutors for more evidence, has been stripped of his caseload after being arrested in Atlanta in August on a misdemeanor charge of beating his wife.

The former governor, now 68, has been continually investigated by political opponents since he took office in 1999. Among other reprisals, authorities have targeted with prosecutions and other reprisals a number of whistleblowers and bloggers who have risen to his defense through the years. Siegelman is not scheduled for release until mid-2018, and would be under court supervision even after that for three years.

Siegelman, given his vulnerable circumstances in prison in the courts as he awaits the results from another appeal to what have proven to be hostile courts, makes merely mainstream requests of his audience, as always: Learn about such cases as his, sign the petition, consider support for a film documentary about his case entitled "Killing Atticus Finch," and support for prison reform efforts affecting others.

DC Experts Hail Historic Nigerian Elections As Success, Note New Challenges

Written by Andrew Kreig
Published on April 11, 2015


 

Nigeria’s first-ever transfer of power between parties via a presidential election marks a great success April 1, according experts at two conferences April 9 in Washington, DC.

Muhammadu Buhari Nigeria“When power alternates between parties the likelihood of coups goes down and confidence in democracy goes up,” said American University Professor Carl LeVan, speaking at a forum organized by former U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria Robin Sanders. “This will be good for competitive democracies and those other issues like security and corruption.”

Sanders, warned, however, that the newly elected President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) (shown in a file photo), “has a relatively short honeymoon” following his defeat March 31 of incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan of the long-dominant Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). “People are going to want to see how these elections Nigeria voting Flickr Photo Courtesy of Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung [including regional elections Saturday, April 11) translate on the ground.”

Concurring with such views were four other experts convened at a separate forum, entitled, “Nigeria's Milestone Election: Assessing the Presidential Polls” and hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).

The panelists agreed that Buhari clearly won the election according to both official results (54%) and a “quick count” of polling (59%) by a coalition of more than 400 civic groups called the Transition Monitoring Group (TGG). A photo of voting courtesy of Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung via Flickr is shown, via CSIS.

"However, the TMG's Quick Count Estimates strongly suggest that turnout was inflated during the collation process in the South South, according to a post-election statement by TMG Chairman Ibrahim Zikirullahi distributed at the CSIS conference, which featured experts from two U.S.-sponsored democracy-building groups, the International Republican Institute and the National Democratic Institute.

Conflict of Interest In Clinton Foundation Funding? Hillary's Email, Part III

Written by Andrew Kreig
Published on April 2, 2015

 

Introduction: Hillary Clinton’s secret personal email system continued last week to prompt heavy news coverage but with scant scrutiny of the most sinister implications for the public. This is the third part of a series examining  Hillary Clintonissues that are almost entirely overlooked, except occasionally in the alternative media. The focus of today's column is in red:

  • Arms Smuggling: The Obama-Clinton-Petraeus 'Iran-Contra' Scandal: Part I here
  • GOP Pre-Election 2012 Benghazi Plot With Petraeus? Hillary's Email, Part II here
  • Conflict of Interest In Clinton Foundation Funding? Hillary's Email, Part III here

Before examining those findings, we summarize recent general developments previously covered. The New York Times reported here that Clinton devised a private email system to communicate with government and personal contacts in apparent violation of federal policy that officials must use government systems for work-related emails. Critics have described it as illegal and urged that a congressional and civil court reviews be expanded to a criminal investigation.

Update: National Press Club, Clinton's use of personal email violated public record rules, panel says, Jennifer Ejim, April 9, 2015.

We next examine one of the areas the mainstream are overlooking, for the most part, in their treatment of the situation:

Bill O'Reilly's JFK Murder Lies Linked To Current Events: April 1 Press Club Lecture

Written by Andrew Kreig
Published on March 31, 2015

 

The continuing importance of President Kennedy's assassination is the topic of an April 1 lecture at the National Press Club that will underscore also practical strategies for enlisting media coverage into civic reform efforts.

The McClendon News Group has invited this editor to speak on these topics at a dinner in the nation's capital that starts at 6:30 p.m. A lecture begins at 7 p.m. EDT followed by Q&A. 

Bill O'Reilly Killing Kennedy Cover (High definition)The press and other members of the public are welcome to the event, which includes an optional Dutch-treat dinner that guests may order from the Club's menu.

The topic is my column "Why Bill O'Reilly's Lie About JFK's Murder Might Matter To You" published here March 17 and my lecture "The JFK Murder Cover-up Still Matters" broadcast last fall by C-SPAN. The C-SPAN coverage was from the opening of a major conference on new evidence as of the 50th anniversary of the Warren Commission report on the 1963 assassination.

The purpose of this week's discussion is to use the recent revelation of Bill O'Reilly's lie in his best-selling book Killing Kennedy to expose a longstanding pattern of CIA-orchestrated media cover-up for  a crime that has shaped American history to the present in ways largely unreported by the corporate media.

The key questions for discussion are:

What did the killers in 1963 want? What do their successors want today?

Regarding recent specifics: George de Mohrenschildt, a CIA-asset and key figure in JFK's killing, is back in the news following his mysterious shooting death in 1977. Fox News host Bill O'Reilly has lied about being present at the death.

More important than O'Reilly's credibility on that narrow issue is that he and virtually all other significant mainstream commentators — including some of the most famous journalists from that era — continue to mislead the public with their news outlets' claims that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone to kill Kennedy by firing from behind.

The lecture will discuss emerging evidence and tips on how to assess false leads regarding the main perpetrators and their protectors.

As a previiew of the talk: Many of the specifics about the killing are trivial debates compared to the larger and more frightening conclusion that no president can feel safe so long as the news media protect the killers of a President, of Oswald, and of other witnesses.

That conclusion is drawn from our Project's so-far 24-part "Readers Guide" to the assassination, which is linked below.

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