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Obama drone wars

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    Crawling contradictions…

    by BAR poet-in-residence Raymond Nat Turner

    Tuesday he’s renaming

    Children “Collateral Damage,”

    Reducing family trees to charcoal

    Obama Supports the Racial Surveillance That Killed Trayvon

    by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

    In his effort to “put the angry Black genie back in the bottle” following George Zimmerman’s acquittal, President Obama once again claimed to oppose racial profiling. He’s lying. Obama has endorsed the most prolific racial profiler in the country as a potential head of Homeland Security. The president is a bulwark of the system that targets millions of Trayvon Martins.

    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 7/22/13

    Blacks Preyed Upon by For-Profit Colleges

    Education corporations like Phoenix University have entrapped record numbers of African Americans in high debt and poor quality college course with no jobs at the end of the process, said journalist Kai Wright, author of an article titled “Young, Black and Buried in Debt: How For-Profit Colleges Prey on African American Ambitions.” Black college enrollment increased 35 percent between 2003 and 2009, twice the rate of white increase, according to Wright. However, most of the increase was in pursuit of “subprime degrees” from for-profit schools “that play on people’s ambitions and trick them into a terrible deal, because they’re desperate.”

    Preventive Detention a Counter to Social Unrest

    A federal appeals court last week upheld preventive military detention of U.S. citizens without charges or trial, ruling that the plaintiffs could not prove they were actually in danger of being detained. “It would be extremely simple for the executive and the legislative branch” to exempt U.S. citizens from the provisions, said former New York Times foreign correspondent Chris Hedges, one of the plaintiffs. “But they won’t do that, because they consciously want, in the event of social unrest, the capacity to use the military to carry out domestic policing.”

    Cornel West: Zimmerman Verdict Reveals Nature of System

    The “legal lynching” of Trayvon Martin “allows us to see what is systemic and what is chronic throughout the criminal justice system and its connection to the larger capitalist society,” said activist and academic Dr. Cornel West, of Union Theological Seminary. “We have to make the connection between the killing of our innocent brother Trayvon and the killing of innocent children by U.S. drones in Pakistan and Yemen and Somalia.

    California Hunger Strike is “Call of Desperation”

    Ever Florez, a former inmate on solitary confinement in California’s notorious Pelican Bay prison, said the current hunger strike is more widespread than previous actions because prisoners are more desperate. “People get tired,” said Florez, a member of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network. “You live in a little cell for an enormous amount of years, and it makes you sick in your mind. If you feel that you’re on the brink of going insane, you have to make a call. It’s a call of desperation.”

    Vigil at White House for Lynne Stewart

    Ralph Poynter, husband and comrade of people’s lawyer Lynne Stewart, resumed his daily vigil outside the White House, demanding her compassionate release from prison. “They turned a cold ear to us and said, ‘See us in six months,’” said Poynter. “Psychologically, Lynne is fantastic,” he said. “Physically, she is dying a little each day.” Stewart is suffering from Stage Four breast cancer. Her lawyers are seeking a hearing with the judge that sentenced her to prison for ten years for zealously defending her client in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

    Why the U.S. Arms Islamic Jihadists

    “U.S. imperialism feels that it can use the jihadists to depose a particular regime,” such as in Syria, “and then pivot and isolate and marginalize the jihadists and put in neoliberal forces,” said Dr. Gerald Horne, professor of history and African American studies at the University of Houston. “That strategy has not been working – look at Libya, for example – and I think that perhaps that may lead to a rethink on the part of Washington.”

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    Racist Verdicts Are About the Future Not the Past: A Perfect Symmetry

    by Randy Shields

    Barack Obama calls the murder of Trayvon Martin an incident of gun violence, as if the victim “was caught in some random crossfire of bullets instead of being caught in hundreds of years of calculated racist state-sanctioned murder.” The courts have spoken, and so has the president: “Forget about justice, you fucking slaves.”

    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 6/3/13

    Philly Cops on Killing Spree

    A rash of police shootings of Blacks has prompted Philadelphia police commissioner Charles Ramsey to call for a federal investigation of his own department. “This is not a few rogue cops,” said Dr. Tony Monteiro, professor of African American studies at Temple University. “I think Ramsey recognizes that this is institutional and structural.” Mayor Michael Nutter’s political rhetoric “gives sanction to this type of behavior,” said Monteiro, “and there is also the sense that the DA is not going to rigorously pursue killer cops.” All three officials are Black.

    Obama = Bush on Secret War Guidelines

    Just like his predecessor, President Obama wages illegal wars behind a screen of secret “guidances” and classified interpretations of the law, said Coleen Rowley, a former FBI agent and noted whistleblower. If Obama is serious about eventually ending America’s perpetual wars, he must begin by making his war-making guidelines public. Otherwise, said Rowley, “he doesn’t have a leg to stand on, after giving that speech, for why he’s so secretive,” said Crowley.

    Obama Big Liar

    Barack Obama’s portrayal of himself as a morally conflicted commander is pure play-acting, said Chris Hedges, the former war correspondent and complainant in a suit against Obama’s preventive detention legislation. “It’s called the Big Lie,” said Hedges. “It worked pretty well in Nazi Germany and it’s working pretty well, here.” U.S. culture “is utterly awash in lies and very sophisticated forms of propaganda,” said Hedges. “The snuffing out of the First Amendment is pretty far advanced, if we are not already there.”

    Obama’s Killing Touch

    Black America’s long legacy of opposition to U.S. military adventures abroad “has been destroyed under Obama,” said Black Agenda Report senior columnist Margaret Kimberley. African Americans “see everything through a prism of protecting him. There are now 30 million Secret Service agents in the Black community who think they have to throw themselves in front of Obama and defend him from his critics,” Kimberley told Solomon Comissiong, producer of the documentary film The More Effective Evil: The Impact of Barack Obama on the Black Community and Humanity. “It’s killed Black politics.”

    McKinney Book Details Black Caucus Subservience to Pelosi

    In her new book, Ain’t Nothing Like Freedom, former Georgia congresswoman Cynthia McKinney says she was “shocked” to discover that “my friend, my buddy, my brother” Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. was “an FBI informant.” The veteran lawmaker, who ran for president in 2008 on the Green Party ticket, recalled the Congressional Black Caucus’s subservience to House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi. When orders came down to avoid ANSWER Coalition anti-war demonstrations, McKinney was “the only one who showed up.” Democrats were forbidden to take part in Republican hearings on Katrina – and all but McKinney complied.

    Cuban Five Trial “Rigged,” Says Gonzalez

    Rene Gonzalez, the Cuban Five member who served his prison sentence and was allowed to return to Cuba for his father’s funeral, said he and his comrades were convicted in “a rigged trial, which took place in an atmosphere of fear.” The five Cuban intelligence agents infiltrated Cuban exile groups that were launching terror attacks from southern Florida. Instead of arresting the exiles, the U.S. charged the Cuban Five with spying. Four remain behind bars. “The American people, who are supposed to have been the victims of our ‘crimes,’ are not aware of the details of the trial,” said Gonzalez.

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    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 2/25/13

    Obama’s Drone Wars are “Evil,” Says Black Church Group

    President Obama’s drone assassination policy is “evil” and should be condemned by all Christian clergy, said Rev. Anthony Evans, executive director of the Washington-based National Black Church Initiative. Black political figures such as Reverends Jesse Jackson Sr. and Al Sharpton and NAACP chief Ben Jealous “have replaced their loyalty to God and serving the African American people with serving President Obama, who can do no wrong.” Al Sharpton, said Rev. Evans, has become the White House “gatekeeper,” and “you can buy the NAACP, these days.”

    Suit Against UN was Doomed from Start, says Haiti Lawyer

    We were not surprised” that the United Nations claimed immunity from liability for the cholera deaths of thousands of Haitians, said Ezili Danto, head of the Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network. “Asking the UN to find itself guilty is like asking the rapist, Tell us if you actually raped this woman,” said Atty. Danto. She favored naming the United States as liable for the epidemic, “because they call the shots, and we name the UN because their soldiers brought it in.” The unsuccessful action was brought by the Boston-based Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti.

    Baby Doc” Duvalier Avoids Haiti Court Appearance

    Former Haitian dictator Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier failed to personally appear in a Port-au-Prince court in connection with allegations of human rights violations. Duvalier is also facing corruption charges for taking millions in public funds with him into exile in 1986. If Duvalier finally does show up to answer human rights charges, “it would be the first time that he is actually in court with some of his victims,” said Dan Beeton, of the Center for Economic and Policy Research.

    Modern-Day “Robber Barons” Looting Postal Service Properties

    U.S. Postal Service real estate and art is being sold off to private developers through a firm controlled by the husband of California Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein. “It really is a bank heist,” said Gray Brechlin, of the Living New Deal Project. The sell-off “is something like the great land frauds in the 19th century, when the railroads and the various other robber barons got hold of the public domain.”

    Give Me That Old Time Hoodoo Religion

    Although nowadays associated with items like “hotfoot powder” and “money-drawing oil,” Hoodoo was once a “full-fledged religion” among African Americans, said Dr. Katrina Hazzard-Donald, director of the Africana Studies and Research Program at Rutgers University in Camden, New Jersey. Hazzard-Donald is author of the new book Mojo Workin’: The Old African American Hoodoo System. “What we are looking at today,” she said, “are the remnants of what was once a fully functioning religion, just as you find in Voodoo and Santaria and the other African manifestations of traditional religion on this side of the Atlantic.”

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    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of Feb 18, 2013

    Blacks rally to save Camden NJ police department
    Obama claims that “war is peace”
    The “rule of law” is a thing of the past
    Blowback” coming after Dorner demise
    Resolved: Corporations are NOT citizens
    Blacks Rally to Save Camden NJ Police Department

    This is a public safety issue, it’s a labor issue, and it’s a political issue,” said Larry Hamm, chairman of the People’s Organization for Progress and featured speaker at a rally to prevent the shutdown of the police department in mostly Black and Latino Camden, New Jersey. The financially distressed town would be patrolled by police from the surrounding, mostly white county. It’s a matter of self-determination, said Hamm. “They’re not going to stop with taking over the finance department; they’re not going to stop with taking over the schools; they’re not going to stop with the police force.”

    Obama’s Orwellian Peace

    President Obama’s claim that he will end the U.S. war in Afghanistan in 2014 makes sense only in the language of George Orwell’s 1984, said David Swanson, publisher of the influential website WarIsACrime.org. The president is actually planning to take U.S. troop strength “down to almost what it was when he moved into the White House, and calling it ‘peace,’” said Swanson. “And we’re calling drone wars ‘peace.’”

    R.I.P. Rule of Law

    There’s been a very steady dismantling of the rule of law, both domestically and internationally, begun by the Bush administration and furthered by the Obama administration,” said veteran journalist Chris Hedges, one of the plaintiffs challenging the law allowing preventive detention of American citizens. U.S. lawlessness abroad “has been accompanied by a savage assault on our most basic constitutional rights,” said Hedges, “giving the executive branch the right to kill Americans.”

    Blowback” Coming After Dorner’s Demise

    Chris Dorner, the former Los Angeles policeman and NAVY special operations officer who died in a fiery shootout, last week, was a “universal soldier,” said investigative journalist Mike Rupert. “I don’t think the LAPD or any police department will now so cavalierly terminate any combat veteran, for any reason,” said Rupert, who is also a former LAPD cop.

    A friend and former athletic teammate of Dorner, identified only as “Ben,” told KPFA radio’s Davey D: “We watched this brother be assassinated on TV. There will be a blowback from this.”

    Resolved: Corporations are Not Citizens

    Move to Amend activist George Friday appeared with Rep. Rick Nolan (D-MN) at a press conference following Nolan’s introduction of a constitutional amendment to deny corporations the rights of citizens. Many millions of Americans, said Friday, “are ready to stand up against the inappropriate, illegitimate use of corporate power and corporate constitutional rights.”

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