Radical media, politics and culture.

"COINTELPRO: The Untold American Story

http://www.derechos.net/paulwolf/cointelpropapers/ coinwcar3.htm

Compilation by Paul Wolf with contributions from Robert Boyle,
Bob Brown, Tom Burghardt, Noam Chomsky, Ward Churchill, Kathleen
Cleaver, Bruce Ellison, Cynthia McKinney, Nkechi Taifa, Laura
Whitehorn, Nicholas Wilson, and Howard Zinn.

Presented to Mary Robinson at the World Conference Against
Racism in Durban, South Africa by Congresswoman Cynthia
McKinney, September 1, 2001.

We're here to talk about the FBI and U.S. democracy because
here we have this peculiar situation that we live in a
democratic country - everybody knows that, everybody says
it, it's repeated, it's dinned into our ears a thousand
times, you grow up, you pledge allegiance, you salute the
flag, you hail democracy, you look at the totalitarian
states, you read the history of tyrannies, and here is the
beacon light of democracy. And, of course, there's some
truth to that. There are things you can do in the United
States that you can't do many other places without being
put in jail.

Anonymous Comrade writes: " ... the following media advisory for Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting appears a useful basis for deeper consideration of the role played by the media in the current context.

October 12, 2001

On October 10, television network executives from ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and CNN held a conference call with national security adviser Condoleeza Rice, and
apparently acceded to her "suggestion" that any future taped statements from Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda group be "abridged," and any potentially "inflammatory"
language removed before broadcast.

The question of how to present the words of bin Laden or representatives of Al Qaeda is certainly a valid one for journalists to consider. The statements require
context and explanation of the kind journalists should use to bracket the remarks of any party in a major news story. But it is inappropriate for the government to
dictate to journalists how to report the news. In the context of recent heavy-handedness on the part of the administration (including White House spokesman Ari
Fleischer's ominous remark that Americans "need to watch what they say"), Rice's request suggests that the White House is actually asking for something other than
simple journalistic judgement.

This is the second installment of a paper by Max Kolskegg. The first section has now been archived in the 'analysis and polemic' section and may be accessed here. Max writes....:

Those Anarchists!

Although the New World Order is presented as a harmonious cross of
Democracy and the Market, its underlying reality is quite the
reverse. An accurate characterization would be something along the
lines of State-Imposed Corporate Oligarchy (SICKO), that is,
tyrannical rule of a tiny elite maintained by the brutal physical
force of states and the total penetration of psychological control
mechanisms. Genoa and its aftermath provide a clear and succinct
snapshot of its operations: ruthless crackdown on dissent,
pathological application of torture, and a continuous blitz of
defamation and denunciation, while behind the scenes the state
planners develop new levels of integration and surveillance to
suppress future resistance. Now let's ask ourselves again, what
exactly do we hope to achieve by pleading with the sickos to let up
on us a bit? One image says it all: helpless people at the Diaz
school raid, raising their empty hands in signal of total submission,
yelling "pacifist, pacifist" as their skulls were mercilessly cracked
open by the Fascist foot-soldiers of capitalism.

hydrarchist writes: ".....check out this interview with Chomsky by Greg Ruggiero of Seven Stories Press .


Q: In order to shape an international alliance, the U.S. has suddenly shifted positions
with a number of countries in the Middle East, Africa and Asia, offering a variety of
political, military and monetary packages in exchange for forms of support. How
might these sudden moves be affecting the political dynamics in those regions?

CHOMSKY: Washington is stepping very delicately. We have to remember what is
at stake: the world’s major energy reserves, primarily in Saudi Arabia but
throughout the Gulf region, along with not-inconsiderable resources in Central Asia.
Though a minor factor, Afghanistan has been discussed for years as a possible site
for pipelines that will aid the U.S. in the complex maneuvering over control of
Central Asian resources. North of Afghanistan, the states are fragile and violent.
Uzbekistan is the most important. It has been condemned by Human Rights Watch
for serious atrocities, and is fighting its own internal Islamic insurgency. Tajikistan is
similar, and is also a major drug trafficking outlet to Europe, primarily in connection
with the Northern Alliance, which controls most of the Afghan-Tajikistan border and
has apparently been the major source of drugs since the Taliban virtually eliminated
poppy production. Flight of Afghans to the north could lead to all sorts of internal
problems. Pakistan, which has been the main supporter of the Taliban, has a strong
internal radical Islamic movement. Its reaction is unpredictable, and potentially
dangerous, if Pakistan is visibly used as a base for U.S. operations in Afghanistan;
and there is much well-advised concern over the fact that Pakistan has nuclear
weapons. The Pakistani military, while eager to obtain military aid from the U.S.
(already promised), is wary, because of stormy past relations, and is also concerned
over a potentially hostile Afghanistan allied with its enemy to the East, India. They
are not pleased that the Northern Alliance is led by Tajiks, Uzbeks, and other
Afghan minorities hostile to Pakistan and supported by India, Iran and Russia, now
the U.S. as well.

New Left Review has posted an essay by Edward Said in which he calls for the departure of Yasser Arafat from the leadership of the Palestinian movement.

An excerpt: 'We have to say clearly that with Arafat and
company in command, there is no hope. What kind of a leader is this, who has spent the last year
grotesquely fetching up in the Vatican and Lagos and other miscellaneous places, pleading without dignity
or even intelligence for imaginary observers, Arab aid, international support, instead of staying with his
people, and trying to aid them with medical supplies, practical organization and real leadership? What the
Palestinians need are leaders who are really with and of their people, who are actually doing the resisting
on the ground, not fat cigar-chomping bureaucrats bent on preserving their business deals and renewing
their VIP passes, who have lost all trace of decency or credibility. '

Max Kolskegg writes: "It would be hard to deny that the events in Genoa were, as
Starhawk has said, a major watershed in the history of the movement
to create a livable world. The repressive forces of capitalism were
in full display, so that even the most pacific of pacifists received
a salutary shock and have been forced to reevaluate the rationality,
if not the righteousness, of their strategy for social change. The
near-murderous assault on the sleeping place of the Genoa Social
Forum and the Independent Media Center on the 21st of July will go
down in infamy. The skulls cracked there may change more than a few
minds about who and what we're dealing with, and how best to

Micz Flor writes: "Agreeing on Standards as a Strategy for Independence

New economic models of collaboration such as the Digital
Artisan are still built on a conventional understanding
of the product. If we move attention away from the
product and towards the spaces in-between, literally
nothing seems to stand in our way. It is the interfacing
of products which best describes the new reality. This,
not collaboration per se, holds the strategic key for
independent development.

Micz Flor, Berlin Aug2001 (written for ASU 2)

A few years ago, the sudden surge of a revolutionary scent took hold of
the developed world. The 'Digital' had arrived and melted into all kinds
of discourse. The 'Digital' seemed to bring together the social and the
economic, the information and the product, the communicative and the
competitive. Enthused by the digital era's utopian powers and its free
floating potential of the shockingly new, many alternative economic and
social models were formulated.

Willard Uncapher writes: "I must admit that reading Naomi Klein or even Edward Said's comments, I
feel that they over-emphasize the US wardrums and ideological control
aspect of the media coverage. The truth, at least up here in Northern
California, has seemed more complex. As the public becomes more aware, or
rather concerned with the fact that we, as planetary citizens (and where
appropriate, as US citizens) are all inter-connected in complex global
socio-cultural-economic- political- technological webs or networks, the
more difficult it has becomes to posit problems (and 'enemies' as belonging
'over there').

This makes for an almost hitherto unique (at least in the US), but newly
emerging "network polity." Social-cultural attitudes and institutions can
change. This can be hard to see in networks. When you represent 'things'
that are networked together, a politics of approximation becomes more
important, a politics by which approximate processes are turned into
deliminated 'things' or categories seen or argued about from a 'higher
level' above the process. We move between levels, whether by means of
digital technology, social scientific investigations, cultural
interpretations, semiotic systemics, natural evolution, using mechanisms
'approximation.' Naomi Klein might be right about some of the edges, but
what does this imply about the bulk of activities it contends these events
represent? I think network epistemologies (and their associated politics
and arts) will deal with this issue more and more. In my view,
approximation is part of the process of representation, part of the pattern
of moving from one level to another. I would invoke von Neumann, G.
Bateson, or Anthony Wilden who look at the 'digital' as a mode of
approximation, of a necessary metonymy, as a perspective about a network,
but from a position that claims to be outside of it. Accepting an
approximation as a whole fact is part and parcel of the politics of
epistemology. Older dialectical logical forms, with their assumptions of
'ontology' over process cannot find a hold. At the same time 'systems
views' need a more realistic approach to the emerging dynamics of power and
surveillance. We are becoming a verb that needs a new focus. This is an
element of an emerging network epistemology and politics.

Of lapel pins and buttoned lips


St. Petersburg Times, published October 4, 2001

Noam Chomsky, a brilliantly iconoclastic, leftist social
critic and linguist, calls them the limits of "thinkable

They're the invisible boundaries he says encircle every
mainstream U.S. journalist or commentator, ensuring they
don't say anything too subversive.

WFLA-Ch. 8 news director Forrest Carr ran into those
boundaries Sept. 20, after I reported his decision to take a
stand in his newsroom and say something controversial:
Objective TV journalists shouldn't wear red, white and blue
ribbons on their lapels on air.

hydrarchist writes: "Robert Fisk's latest, from the London Independent 10/09/2001

'The Taliban have kept reporters out; does that mean we have to
balance this distorted picture with our own half-truths?'

09 October 2001

A few months ago, my old friend Tom Friedman set off for the small
Gulf emirate of Qatar, from where, in one of his messianic columns for The New York Times, he informed us that the tiny state's Al-Jazeera satellite channel was a welcome sign that democracy might be coming to the Middle East. Al-Jazeera had been upsetting some of the local Arab dictators – President Mubarak of Egypt for one – and Tom thought this a good idea. So do I. But hold everything. The story is being rewritten. Last week, US Secretary of
State Colin Powell rapped the Emir of Qatar over the knuckles
because – so he claimed – Al-Jazeera was "inciting