Commentary By Dan Rather: My Question for Dr. King 1964 and Today

Editor's Note: The following guest column was written by Dan Rather, right, following Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky's address to a Joint Meeting to the U.S. Congress on dan rather steady logoWednesday, Dec. 21, 2022.

dan rather 2017Rather first published the column in his near-daily column "Steady," which he so named to urge readers to stay balanced during our troubled times. This editor is a subscriber to the columns, which are published in collaboration with Elliot Kirschner and benefit from Rather's experience and blunt, colorful style. Rather, whose 91st birthday was Oct. 31, is currently based in his native Texas. The iconic author and journalist worked for many years as the CBS Evening News anchor and managing editor.

-- Andrew Kreig, Justice Integrity Project editor

 

 

The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speaks to thousands during his

The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speaks to thousands during his "I Have a Dream" speech on Aug. 23, 1963, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial (Associated Press Photo)

 

My Question for Dr. King 1964 and Today

By Dan Rather with Elliot Kirschner

The phone rang today from friends and family watching this week’s edition of the CBS News program “Face The Nation” on Jan. 15.

Apparently, I had made an appearance on my former network in the form of archival footage — a flashback to an episode of that same program from nearly 60 years ago. Wow. How time flies. 

The guest on that Sunday’s “Face the Nation” in 1964 was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who was in Washington at the time to lobby for passage of the Civil Rights Act. I remember the moment but didn’t recall what I had asked Dr. King until I recently rewatched the clip. As I reflect today on my question and his answer, I can’t help but ponder the passage of these many years and the winding and far-from-finished journey we as a nation and a people have taken on civil rights. 

The clip was featured in a segment (shared below) about growing diversity among members of Congress. In 2023, most people of color and women in Congress are Democrats. Making note of this political divide echoed the exchange I had with Dr. King way back in 1964. At that time, I was curious what he thought of the direction the Republican Party (the so-called “Party of Lincoln”) had taken on race relations. 

“Do you think there’s a real danger of the Republican Party becoming the ‘white man’s’ party in this country?” I asked. 

“I think this is a real danger,” he answered in his measured voice. “I’ve talked with some Negro Republicans who are very concerned about this. I see trends and developments which will reveal that unless the liberals of the Republican Party take a much more … decisive role in leadership positions, this will become a white man’s party. And I think this will be tragic for that Republican Party as well as tragic for the nation.”

Here’s the “Face the Nation” clip:

The record shows that in the decades that followed, the grim scenario Dr. King lamented in our exchange largely came to pass. In 1968, Richard Nixon used dog whistle appeals to racism in his euphemistic “Southern Strategy” to win the White House. In the ensuing years, what had been a “Solid South” for Democrats tracing back to the Civil War became a wall of red states that helped propel Republicans to power. From Ronald Reagan's demonizing “welfare queens” to George H.W. Bush’s Willie Horton ad, Republicans had concocted a playbook of racist appeals in order to win the white vote. With Trump, dog whistles became bullhorns.

 

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Zelensky Speaks: Historical Commentary by Dan Rather

Editor's Note: The following guest column was written by Dan Rather, right, following Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky's address to a Joint Meeting to the U.S. Congress on dan rather steady logoWednesday, Dec. 21, 2022.

dan rather 2017Rather first published the column in his near-daily column "Steady," which he so named to urge readers to stay balanced during our troubled times. This editor is a subscriber to the columns, which are published in collaboration with Elliot Kirschner and benefit from Rather's experience and blunt, colorful style. Rather, whose 91st birthday was Oct. 31, is currently based in his native Texas. The iconic author and journalist worked for many years as the CBS Evening News anchor and managing editor.

-- Andrew Kreig, Justice Integrity Project editor

 

 Ukraine President Volodymyer Zelensky addresses a Joint Session of the U.S. Congress on Dec. 21, 2022 (Photo by Win McNamee via Getty Images).

 

Ukraine President Volodymyer Zelensky addresses a Joint Session of the U.S. Congress on Dec. 21, 2022 (Photo by Win McNamee via Getty Images).

 

A historic address to Congress and the nation

By Dan Rather

In the history of momentous occasions at the United States Congress, there has not been anything quite like what we witnessed.

A man. A moment. A nation under siege. Freedom on one side. A ruthless autocracy on the other.

By now, we all know the general story of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky — a former comedian who as his nation's leader has had the mantle of greatness thrust upon him. Through steadfast leadership and uncommon courage, against seemingly all odds, he has stared down a murderous tyrant, Russian President Vladimir Putin, on a bloody battlefield. It is not hyperbole to say that the future of freedom in Europe and beyond stands in the balance.

dan rather steady logoIn his speech tonight, Zelensky appealed to America, in the best of our own courageous traditions. He invoked the Battle of Saratoga, in which a plucky band of revolutionaries stood down the mighty British in our war for independence. And he spoke of the Battle of the Bulge, when U.S. forces countering the Nazis in World War II held the line during a brutal Christmas and New Year from 1944 to 1945. Zelensky's message was not subtle, but it was effective. The Ukrainians, like the Americans, are fighting for freedom against a mighty foe and at great sacrifice.

In making the case for Ukrainian resolve, Zelensky quoted from President Franklin Roosevelt’s speech on December 8, 1941, in the wake of the attack on Pearl Harbor, when the United States suddenly entered World War II. Roosevelt said that “the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory.” Zelensky said the Ukrainians would do the same. The allusion to “absolute victory” was certainly not a coincidence when some are calling for the Ukrainians to accede to Russian demands.

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Reporters Beware: CIA's Misleading Talking Points on JFK Files

Editor's Introduction: Guest columnist Jefferson Morley, right, writes a timely and important column about the serious difficulties journalists and their jefferson morley newaudiences must overcome to understand documents about the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy (JFK) mandated for release this month under a 1992 law.

Morley, who has litigated for some two decades to secure release, argues that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) provided misleading explanations to key reporters this month as it sought to minimize how much information it has successfully suppressed in the latest document release on Dec.15 via a Biden White House process coordinated via the National jefferson morley coverArchives and Records Administration (NARA).

Morley knows the process well. A former Washington Post reporter who covered the topic in depth three decades ago, he went on to write several well-received books on the topic. The first was Our Man in Mexico: Winston Scott and the Hidden History of the CIA (University of Kansas Press, 2008), which revealed the shadowy life of the CIA's spymaster chief in Mexico City during the period preceding and during the JFK assassination.

For years, Morley published on the website "JFK Facts" as a free information service for the public. Recently, he relaunched the site on Substack, with this column republished by permission. He is now also vice president of the Mary Ferrell Foundation, which under the direction of President Rex Bradford has digitized, indexed and otherwise archived the world's largest private collection of JFK-related and similar assassination digitized documents.

Appendices to this column provide links to archives plus sample news and commentaries from JFK Facts and other prominent sources regarding the Dec. 15 JFK document disclosures. Some articles, particularly from mainstream news organizations, are included to provide context but they are not necessarily endorsed by the Justice Integrity Project and other serious researchers for their overall themes and specifics. Most mainstream treatments, now as since the days following the assassination, adhere to the controversial view that former Marine Lee Harvey Oswald killed JFK, acting alone. That view, which has prompted generations of expert critics to document evidence discrediting the government's claim, has never been supported by a majority of the American public, according to opinion polls. 

Our Justice Integrity Project (JIP) has published scores of commentaries in a "JFK Assassination Readers Guide" and this editor this month rejoined the board of directors of Citizens Against Political Assassinations (CAPA) to help clarify the facts during the upcoming 60th anniversary year of the JFK assassination.

-- Andrew Kreig / Justice Integrity Project Editor

 

A worker cleans the Central Intelligence Agency logo at an entrance to its headquarters in Langley, Virginia (File photo).

A worker cleans the Central Intelligence Agency logo at an entrance to its headquarters in Langley, Virginia (Associated Press photo by J. Scott Applewhite).

Reporters Beware: CIA's Misleading Talking Points on JFK Files 

How the Agency steers journalists away from what it is hiding on Kennedy's assassination

By Jefferson Morley

Below are the CIA’s talking points on the December 15 release of JFK files. They were distributed to select Washington reporters in an effort to blunt the terrible press coverage that the Agency has been getting from mainstream news organizations because of its continuing failure to comply with the JFK Records Act.

Any news reporters, podcasters, tweeters, or commentators tempted to rely on the CIA’s statements about the JFK files should contact JFK Facts or the Mary Ferrell Foundation for comment and fact checking.

The CIA’s talking points are NOT reliable, as our notes show.

 

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Russian Ukraine invasion is Europe’s 9-11

 

Editor's Introduction: Ray Kreig, right, an Alaskan prominent in that state's conservative circles and also the older brother of the undersigned editor of the Justice Ray Kreig 160x160.jpgIntegrity Project, seeks in this guest essay to persuade readers in the column below to support strongly Ukraine's defensive war against Russian invaders.  Must Read Alaska and Alaska Watchman, two conservative Alaska-based publications, first published the column. The author, a consulting engineer and civic activist, was in the Soviet Union during the Soviet coup d’état against Mikhail Gorbachev in August, 1991.

An appendix includes recent news excerpted as part of a daily feature on the Justice Integrity Project's news section.  Shown below at left is one of the world's iconic recent images, which portrays the reaction of Ukraine's president to suggestions from afar last February that he should flee the Russian invasion to try to establish a government-in-exile. This editor had plans, thwarted by travel delays, to meet at a roundtable dinner for 20 on Dec. 5 convened by Semafor with three Ukrainian officials visiting the United States to discuss the current situation there.

-- Andrew Kreig / Justice Integrity Project Editor

 

Russian Ukraine invasion is Europe’s 9-11

Conservatives must not excuse what Putin has unleashed on Ukraine

 

ukraine magnifying glass

 

By Ray Kreig

Recently propagated by Republican members of the Alaska Legislature are two narratives about which they should know better:

• First, that George Soros (Open Society Foundations) helped Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy become president of Ukraine through massive propaganda campaign and he now backs the puppet regime he installed.

• Second, that Ukrainian President Zelenskyy [shown below at left] is tied to Klaus Schwab (World Economic Forum), Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and other global elites.

According to the theory, the enemy (Russian President Vladimir Putin) of my enemy (Soros) is my friend. Therefore, apparently, there should be a hesitation to support Zelenskyy and Ukraine’s resistance of the Russian invasion at this pivotal point in history.

Conservatives are justified for crucifying President Joe Biden for his weakness inviting the invasion itself while he continues to pander to green energy as prices burisma logoskyrocket. Outrage is also warranted as Biden demands defense of Ukraine’s borders while he opens our own to massive illegal immigration. His son Hunter Biden’s sleaze with his suspicious Ukrainian gas company Burisma “no-show job” also is a justifiable cause for outrage.

volodmyer zelinsky graphicBut in pounding away on these points, things go off the rails when the rhetoric turns to, “There is no U.S. interest in Ukraine,” “Ukraine is a corrupt, undemocratic failed state,” concepts espoused by Fox News and Tucker Carlson. 

That is wrong. The U.S. has an essential national interest in a Russia that stands down from authoritarianism, becomes a functioning democracy and reduced military threat.  We would save trillions of dollars and live in a better world. The future of Ukraine is critical to that much larger objective.

Some opine that the West, and America in particular, is responsible for this invasion because the continued expansion of the NATO military alliance eastward to Russia’s borders threatens Russian national security.  Is Ukraine then doomed to remain in a Russian sphere of influence as some sort of vassal state to Moscow, notwithstanding the desires of Ukrainians themselves to look to the West, the EU for their integration into a free market and democracy?  It’s completely understandable that, feeling threatened by Russia, Ukraine would want to be a part of the NATO defense alliance.

Yes, Russia and Putin have been consistent for over two decades in saying NATO and Ukraine pose an unacceptable threat to Russia and regional security. They use the missiles in Cuba analogy. Maybe the West did push NATO too hard and too far East to the borders of Russia, but these expansions were popular and were wanted by the people in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland.  

Maybe this invasion was avoidable with better, more adroit diplomacy that sought to probe the limits of Russia’s security concerns while not conceding our own principles. Maybe Russia President Putin and his proud countryman in mourning for the loss of the Soviet Empire should not have been insulted and embarrassed by a triumphant West after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

By no means does any of this excuse what Putin has unleashed. Thousands of innocent people have perished.  All thinking and feeling people around the world are shocked and disgusted by the devastation and carnage being unleashed on that poor country. The sight of rows of apartment buildings, cars, factories, hospitals, schools, bridges, and public buildings being rocketed and bombed is disgusting and unacceptable for all civilized people. 

Continued below

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Analysis: Pro-Trump US Prosecutor loses ‘Russiagate’ Jury Verdicts but PR Battles Loom

 

 

U.S. Justice Department Special Counsel John Durham, right, is shown in a file photo with international consultant Igor Danchenko, defendant in a false statement prosecution that represents in a trial scheduled to begin Tuesday the culmination of a Durham probe began with his Trump administration appointment in 2019 to investigate Trump allegations that the president was being smeared by suspicions that Trump and his campaign team acted in cooperation with Russian interests and entities in the 2016 era.  U.S. Justice Department Special Counsel John Durham, right, is shown in a file photo with international consultant Igor Danchenko, defendant in a false statement prosecution that represents in a trial scheduled to begin Tuesday the culmination of a Durham probe began with his Trump administration appointment in 2019 to investigate Trump allegations that the president was being smeared by suspicions that Trump and his campaign team acted in cooperation with Russian interests and entities before the 2016 presidential election.

 U.S. Justice Department Special Counsel John Durham, above right, is shown in a file photo with international consultant Igor Danchenko, who was acquitted this October of false statements in the likely end of a Durham probe that began with his 2019 appointment by the Trump administration. Durham has sought to prove that Trrump was unfairly smeared by opponents, operatives and FBI personnel claiming that Trump and his campaign team had acted in cooperation with Russian interests and entities.

 

By Andrew Kreig

Excerpted from Global Strat View

A Virginia jury verdict in October probably thwarted the last hope of Trump supporters to use a special counsel’s investigation of “Russiagate” to prove criminally in court that rogue members of the FBI conspired with Democrats to make false allegations of Russian help for the 2016 Trump presidential campaign.

Trump supporters in Congress and the media are predicting, however, that they can use Justice Department Special Counsel John Durham’s final report to keep conspiracy allegations alive despite his losses in court.

william barr new oTrump Attorney General William Barr, right, named Durham in 2019 to investigate Trump’s allegations that Democrats working with FBI personnel smeared his 2016 campaign and several advisors with false theories of “collusion” with Russians.

“The special counsel’s looming report is the only chance the American people will ever get to hold the Clinton campaign and the FBI accountable for Russiagate,” according to a National Review article by conservative pundit Andrew McCarthy on Oct. 22, four days after the jury verdict.

donald trump for president button nice smileMeanwhile, Newsweek published “Durham Blasted by Experts After New Acquittal: ‘Laughed Out of Court Twice'” by Aila Slisco, who reported mockery of Durham elsewhere in the legal community for not fulfilling Trump’s prediction that the prosecutor would prove “the crime of the century” in a massive conspiracy. Below is a sample of comments from that article:

FBI logoLaurence Tribe, professor emeritus of constitutional law at Harvard University, told Newsweek that the acquittal was evidence Durham’s “groundless mission has now failed yet again, putting yet another dismal marker on William Barr’s shameful record as Trump’s henchman and the worst Attorney General in our nation’s history.”

“John Durham racks up another acquittal, this time on a case he tried personally,” legal analyst and former federal prosecutor Elie Honig tweeted. “His investigation will go down as a shameful abuse of prosecutorial power in service of political vengeance. Juries — our most basic civilian bulwark — have firmly rebuked this abuse of power.”

Read the rest of this Global Strat View story at: https://www.globalstratview.com/analysis-pro-trump-us-prosecutor-loses-russiagate-jury-verdicts-but-pr-battles-loom.

About the Author: Andrew Kreig, a Global Strat View (GSV) advisory board member, edits the non-partisan Justice Integrity Project in Washington, DC, following a long career in law, journalism, and business. He covered the US Justice Department full-time for five years while working for the Hartford Courant in Connecticut and holds law degrees from both Yale and the University of Chicago. In "On Eve of ‘RussiaGate’ Trial, Questions Loom About Special Counsel Durham," he previewed in May for GSV the DOJ’s major “Russiagate” trials and he is now shaping several years of his research about the investigation into a book.

 

Click below to see a sampling of recent news clips about this much-reported case from other news and opinion outlets.

 

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Steady, Commentary by Dan Rather: Breaking the Republic

 

Editor's Note: The following guest column was written by Dan Rather, right, following revelations on Thursday, Oct. 13, 2022 about former President Donald dan rather 2017Trump during what is expected to be the final House Jan. 6 dan rather steady logoCommittee hearing investigating the pro-Trump insurrection of Jan. 6, 2020 at the U.S. Capitol.

This was first published in Rather's near-daily column "Steady," which he so named to urge readers to stay balanced during our troubled times. This editor is a subscriber to the columns, which are published in collaboration with Elliot Kirschner and benefit from Rather's experience and blunt, colorful style. Rather, whose 91st birthday is Oct. 31 and who is currently based in his native Texas, is the iconic author and journalist who worked for many years as the CBS Evening News anchor and managing editor.

-- Andrew Kreig, Justice Integrity Project editor

 

 

Jan. 6, 2020 Capitol Riot (Photo by Brent Stirton via Getty Images).

Jan. 6, 2020 Capitol Riot (Photo by Brent Stirton via Getty Images).

Steady, Commentary: Breaking The Republic, January 6 wasn’t an accident, Dan Rather, Oct. 14, 2022. “That, my fellow citizens, breaks the republic.”

dan rather 2017This was the chilling conclusion of Liz Cheney today at the January 6 hearings over what would have happened if the guardrails of our democracy, exposed for their frailty in 2020, had buckled to an autocrat determined to hold onto power.

And the danger remains. “Without accountability, it all becomes normal, and it will recur,” Cheney warned.

dan rather steady logoCheney’s statement is striking in its simplicity and its power. Her audience is her “fellow citizens,” the ones who will be going to the polls in less than a month to decide who should lead this nation going forward. Her fellow Republicans have cast Cheney as a pariah for having the courage to state the truth: that their leader wanted to destroy America as we know it.

What the committee presented today shed a spotlight on the authorship of this historic tragedy. It is Trump who is the playwright, conjuring and casting the roles of those who would act out his destructive intentions. It was he who dreamt up and directed a frontal attack on American democracy. But he couldn’t have done it without his willing accomplices.

Today, we saw footage of members of Congress grappling in real time with a deteriorating situation on January 6 that could have ended with more bloodshed and the decimation of governmental order. We could feel a visceral fear in their actions and words, not only for their own personal safety but for the safety of the nation they had sworn an oath to serve. Those who could have intervened, starting with the president but including his top aides inside the White House, were absent. And that is just as the president wanted it. We heard today evidence that Trump knew he had lost, and he didn’t care what it would take to retain power.

Or are we now so divided that we can no longer be sure? This is the overriding question as our beloved America evolves in the first quarter of the 21st century.

 

djt flag

President Donald J. Trump is introduced on stage Saturday, March 2, 2019, at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in Oxon Hill, MD. 

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