Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS
Photo of Bill Moyers Bill Moyers Journal
Bill Moyers Journal
Bill Moyers Journal
Watch & Listen The Blog Archive Transcripts Buy DVDs

« Organizing the Grassroots | Main | Web Exclusive: More from Mark Danner »

Stripping Bare the Body of America

(Photo by Robin Holland)

In this week’s JOURNAL, Bill Moyers spoke with journalist Mark Danner, who shared his perspective on how decades of American intervention abroad has shaped our nation and its international reputation.

Danner explained the significance of the title of his latest book, STRIPPING BARE THE BODY:

“It comes from a former Haitian President, who survived in office for about four months before being overthrown in a coup d’etat, and he told me and said in speeches subsequently that political violence is like ‘stripping bare the body,’ the better to place the stethoscope and hear what’s going on beneath the skin. He meant that times of revolution, coup d’etat, war, or any kind of social violence going on tend to form a ‘moment of nudity,’ as he put it, in which you can actually see the forces at work within the society stripped bare. It’s like one of those models in biology class, where you see the body, you see all the organs beneath it, and suddenly you see who’s oppressing whom, who has the money, who has the power, how that power is exerted. And that is the time to seize a society and look at it, to x-ray it, and try to understand what exactly is going on in its intimate recesses.”

What do you think?

If 9/11, the ‘war on terror,’ and the economic meltdown can be considered political violence that have stripped bare the body of America, what do they tell us about our nation?


TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.pbs.org/moyers/mt4/mt-tb.cgi/1869

Comments

It's my thing - cherry picking DATA...

There is a nationwide census going on, right?

So there's your freekin' REAL TIME DATA about "unemployment" numbers!

How long did the bog ol' Prez JOBS focus last...?

Long enough for them to come out with "there are going to be a couple more YEARS of pain".

If that's not let them eat cake, then I don't know what is.

It's a JUST WAR to stick THEM with the bill they racked up "securing" their filthy oil and their POWER drug - opium.

LET THEM FEEL THE PAIN FOR THE NEXT COUPLE OF YEARS.

Seriously, enough with the VACUMN HOSE...

Use the census for REAL TIME UNEMPLOYMENT NUMBERS - duration of unemployment and stats on WHO stole the job and where they shipped it.

And ask everyone about the status of their local infrastructure, also....

Qui Tam the Federal Researve Board for CONSPIRACY to destroy the REAL infrastructure of the USA

in order to fund their "safety" against a DELUSIONAL EXISTENTIAL THREAT - HUMAN SANITY!

How "existential is it if that part of the world has been at each other's throats for 5000 years or more...?

PRINT LABOR CURRENCY THAT IS NOT "DEBT"!

If you tea baggers get the balls to do that - print up REAL currency - then, and only then, will you have proven yourselves to be COMPETANT about REALITY.

Otherwise, forget about it that you're gonna get yours via some new enronista "smart" plan.

Klark Mouvinon wrote, in part, "The suffering of women under a patriarchal culture is merely a hostage scenario to garner popular support. Our culture is violent, repressive and fairness- avoiding domestically."

Okay, one more time - the "culture" you are talking about is NOT CULTURE (not shouting but trying to find a way to emphasize...I can't do italics with the word processor on this site).

It's release-the-hooligan, rabble-rousing

or the politically correct, psycho logic astro turf word for it - "anti-insurgency".

Stop with the tea bag crap.

Democracy, the ideal, is not the same thing to all people or countries. Why does the U.S. not realize this? Maybe capitalism and democracy are being confused. Could it be that some countries like the idea of capitalism, while others only want democracy?

Peter Mauss: No matter how hard you beat that hubcap won't fit that wheel.

Afghanistan has a puppet government installed by the United States, not in touch with the people except by bribes, intimidation and corruption, and you suggest that a sham leadership surrender. How puzzling!

By the same token you propose now to disarm police and army paid for with our tax monies. Farfetched!

If you had begun with withdrawal of occupying forces (ours) you might have made more sense.

Our professed purpose there is to impose order and justice on nearly thirty million people using fewer than 200,000 mismatched personnel. "We" continue to massacre civilians. Our real purpose is related to profiteering by corporate contractors, monopolization of strategic energy corridors, and the importation of heroin (here).

This is an occupation and not a war. The suffering of women under a patriarchal culture is merely a hostage scenario to garner popular support. Our culture is violent, repressive and fairness- avoiding domestically. "We" have nothing to teach and little to offer materially. Only on-site institutions and technology would be sustainable. We co-opt a selected elite and addict the country to certain things we provide, just like opium in 19th Century China.

I would not call you delusional, but you do seem ill-informed and wishful. I guess you see what you want to see. Guns and threats and force won't fix problems in one of the most remote and isolated parts of a world that the weakening USA is finding larger and more complex each day. "WE" have over-reached and need to withdraw our carving tools from the free-range turkey. Half-baked!

Terms for Afghanistan's Surrender

Herenow, September 29, 2009 announcing the U.S., Allied terms for
Afghanistan's surrender, with the warning, "We will not deviate from
them. There are no alternatives. We shall brook no delay." For
Afghanistan, the terms of the declaration specify:

The elimination for all time of the authority and influence of those
who have deceived and misled the people of Afghanistan into embarking
on world conquest.

The occupation of points in Afghan territory to be designated by the
Allies.

Afghan sovereignty shall be limited, and to such minor points as we
determine.

The Afghan military forces shall be completely disarmed.

Stern justice shall be meted out to all war criminals, including those
who have visited cruelties upon our prisoners.

This declaration offers that:
We do not intend that the Afghans shall be enslaved as a race or
destroyed as a nation, ... The Afghan Government shall remove all
obstacles to the revival and strengthening of democratic tendencies
among the Afghan people. Freedom of speech, of religion, and of
thought, as well as respect for the fundamental human rights shall be
established.

Afghanistan shall be permitted to maintain such industries as will
sustain her economy and permit the exaction of just reparations in
kind, ... Afghan participation in world trade relations shall be
permitted.

The occupying forces of the Allies shall be withdrawn from Afghanistan
as soon as these objectives have been accomplished and there has been
established in accordance with the freely expressed will of the Afghan
people a peacefully inclined and responsible government.

We call upon the government of Afghanistan to proclaim now the
unconditional surrender of all Afghan armed forces, and to provide
proper and adequate assurances of their good faith in such action. The
alternative for Afghanistan is prompt and utter destruction.

(adapted from Potsdam)

Okay - here's another INIQUITOUS psycho babble manipulation just launched yesterday....

The "war" in Afghanistan is 8 years long already - kinda late to hope that a "thoughtful" USA president being "informed" by body bags at midnight working as a social engineering "softner" for the sending of additional troops....what worked during WWII - body bags firming the resolve to win - can that work in 2009 when we can plant poppies in Utah?

"Nice "Frontline" episode about Brooksley Born and the ETHICS and MORALS of boyz in her 'hood...."

What psycho babble analysis did they do of Ms. Born...?

Peurile crap...

Looks like the Moyer blogblatherers are still at discrediting the few women who DARE to take their personal moral obligation as a REALITY that they have to LIVE.

I will NOT bend my knee in homage to the POWER of freekin' drug pushers.

It's definitely an army gathering time....

Nice "Frontline" episode about Brooksley Born and the ETHICS and MORALS of boyz in her 'hood....

"Evil" got the upper hand because GOOD was targeted for selective elimination out of their DELUSIONAL "process".

Simple.

I do NOT believe that BEING "evil" is the only way to "make money" and neither should anyone else!

That's just crazy talk...

My feeling is that it has exposed the failure of individuals and organizations to which the populace has delegated their personal responsibility. It has also shattered the myth of invincibility or superiority which has permittted the rationalization that personal responsibility is not needed because matters have been placed in better hands. I have in mind particularly the image of Alan Greenspan responding to questions with the answer that he could not understand what had happened. If ever there was a moment of revelation I think that had to be it. Here is an individual who personifies the object of this type of delegation: highly intelligent, educated, in a position of pivotal importance. If he cannot succeed then who can? I raise this incident not to lay blame. I raise it because I think there is a fundamental misunderstanding of the lesson to be learned from this (and other) events. It has been suggested that if he could only be replaced with a 'different set of generals', possibly smarter, possibly with the approriate ideological outlook that we can all resume our complacency. I think this is completely (and frighteningly) wrong. He is a specialist, someone who has devoted much energy and many years of his life to a particular study. (One of the characters in a book written by Isaac Asimov stated that specialists are 'thoroughgoing ignoramuses on everything but a subdivisional sliver of nothingness'). The language may be inflammatory, but it is meant to highlight the limitations of any one individual and/or organization. If that is the case, where does that leave the situation, in some hopeless state? I believe not. In the case of the financial system I think it highlights that the system itself must be structured in a stable way. The rules and regulations at a very low level (where they can be understood by mere mortals and tested aganst real world situations) must remove the necessity for high level intervention in dire circumstances.

I heard about a guy named Max, lost 2 legs and one arm and his Senate seat. He resigned the 9/11 Commission because it was bogus. The little evil of the old lady peering over your fence hardly matters. The Real Big Evil Generator (kind of like a coal-fired plant) requires immense power input, your savings and taxes. Oligarchy is evil, and unlike money it does trickle down. You pass it on in your "jabs" (President Obedient phonetic for jobs/employments) each day.

Note: Why are so many NPR and PBS programs underwritten by that farce: Liberty Responsibility Project? What's your policy?

See, I knew I could write like a Figger! (Going to get Klark Friday.)

What do you think?

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/warning/view/

Clear view of "Rule by Decree of oligarchy," watch the video, prepared by frontline.

Frankenstein is going to bang up aginst 2 BILLION people...

Place your bets - 2 BILLION versus ONE GIANT Heroin HEAD...

A response to John Palmroth

You made a superficial and nescient attempt to criticize the view points and point out the biases in the views of Moyers, Danner, & Obama. These are some of what you said:

“Knowing how Moyer's looks at the world through his dark rose-colored”

“Danner's responses showed that he also looks at the world through pink colored glasses”

“the boy scout in the White House, that 52% of the American public voted for, has got his tit in ringer on this one”…. “In his naivete and shallow understanding of Middle Eastern history”

It is only the lack of reading or extreme naivete (to be polite) that would lead any one to believe that what dictates U.S. foreign policy is or has been any thing but the attempt to promote its imperialistic, selfish, and narrow interests. Even the good things that might have resulted due to our foreign involvement are almost always byproducts and are almost always out weighed by their disastrous outcomes. You’ll be much more informed and your comments much more valuable if you start reading. Start with Danner’s book.

Afghanistan is a school in which foreign meddlers learn lessons. It is an elite school with rather high tuition costs, as noted by Rudyard Kipling in "Arithmetic on the Frontier".

More recently the Former Soviet Union took courses there and graduated with distinction at a time when the United States took correspondence classes, setting up an organization of foreign Jihadists there to work with the local Taliban to oust the Former Soviet Union.

That organization became the nucleus of the Frankenstein monster known as the Al Qaeda.

We then decided to take the courses on campus. And as of late, our military High Command has had some difficulty and wishes to take remedial classes. They have requested the tuition for these classes: another 40,000 troops.

John Palmroth,
You not only have rose colored glasses; you are blind in one eye and can not see out of the other eye...
You and your conservative friends have made a muddled up mess out of any effort to solve the problems in the Middle East. Instead of protecting our interests in the Middle East our country has been torn apart because of Republican incompetence and immoral handling of the situation. Al Qaeda is stonger than ever and The Taliban is still a major threat. Now the republicans are doing everything they can to undermine any solution of the problem. Traitors comes to mind.

Knowing how Moyer's looks at the world through his dark rose-colored, I was not surprised at how he approached the Danner interview, though I was a bit surprised at the number of times he used the word 'evil' (as in America's evil), as if he had caught a bad case of George Bush's 'axis of evil' syndrome!

Danner's responses showed that he also looks at the world through pink colored glasses (or he probably wouldn't have been interviewed in the first place!) as he selectively chose and recited events, mostly during the Bush years, that supported his thesis that America acts primarily to aggrandize and maintain it number one power position in the world.

Now, I'll be the first to admit that the US is not a perfect nation and that, on occasion, it has abused its power but it has not just pursued power just for power's sake as Danner strongly suggests. Yes, we have used our power to keep Middle Eastern oil flowing and abused it by charging into Iraq to topple Saddam Hussein, which I was totally against! And I think we're abusing our power by 'tilting' toward Israel in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.

But I don't know how, in a 28 minute interview, you don't mention some of the 'good' of American power, like throwing Hussein out of Kuwait or how Afghani women were liberated from horrendous oppression when the US and its allies originally deposed the Taliban from Afghanistan, etc, etc, etc.

I was also astounded that in a 28 minute discussion on Afghanistan the word 'Pakistan' was never mentioned once?!!! As if Afghanistan is a self contained situation? Nothing could be further from the truth! A nuke-carrying Jihadist Pakistan is the last things the world needs now. That would make our Iran nuke problem look like a cake walk!

Danner said any number of things with which I agree, like the fact that the West is not going to be able to really 'democratize' Afghanistan, as well as any number of other countries in the world, at any time in the foreseeable future, any more than we're going to get Italians to pay their income taxes! And George Bush's arrogant, messianic attempts to do this was an embarrassment, even to a Republican like me! All we can really ask countries to to do is not to bother their neighbors and to maintain some form of human civility within their own borders.

Having said all of the above, I believe we should be getting out of Afghanistan because history shows that the West, whether the UK, USSR, the US and/or NATO, as outsiders, will never be able stitch together a cohesive State there. The Kabul government is a joke--just another war lord fiefdom. US policy should be to 'contain' what going on in Afghanistan and doing it in such a way that its insidious ways do not spill into other countries around the world. This may have to include the West helping Pakistan patrol its own borders, and not necessarily just from the air!

Unfortunately the boy scout in the White House, that 52% of the American public voted for, has got his tit in ringer on this one. In his naivete and shallow understanding of Middle Eastern history, he campaigned on the plank that Iraq was a bad and unnecessary war (largely to placate the left of his party), while Afghanistan was a good war, a 'war of necessity,' primarily so that the rest of the US electorate would not see him as 'soft on security.' And in March he jumped right into the latter by putting in his own General and sending in an additional 26,000 US troops and a promise of more as the General saw fit. Now that General has for asked for an additional 40,000 US troops.

But President Obama is no dummy: he sees that the public's support for the Afghan war is waning and his left is again screaming for him to get out. So once again he has got himself in a conundrum: placate his left or reopen the question of how tough he is on security?

It'll be interesting to see how he 'orates' his way out of this one? Whatever he decides, I am sure it will be characterized in such a way that it will not hurts his chances of getting an unprecedented second Nobel Peace Prize.

John Palmroth


Good Post Jan,
I had been encouraging Christian people to take an active part in politics so that the teachings of Christ could be applied to our society.
I could not believe it... Instead of adhering to the compassion of Christ, they turned to the selfish ends of materialism. What is even more alarming is that they were sheep to the slaughter ignoring lies and deceit playing to their fears undermining the moral fiber of our nation. Now we are paying the price through a broken economy Based on greed and corruption.
May God have mercy on our soul. Now all we can do is rend our clothes.

As a nation, the United States is fragmented, amnesiac and contemptuous of its own history. When 9/11 struck, instead of examining the reasons why our country was attacked, the republican party used it as a justification to usurp additional powers far and beyond what the presidency bestows. In addition, the Bush administration used fear and scare tactics as a means to silence its critics and in so doing, created a war on terror that has no end. The economic meltdown pointed to the exact perpetrators of this disaster and at the same time, showed how our publicly elected servants are unable to implement any institutional change. The banks and their lobbyists bought off our elected officials who make a feeble effort at resuscitating a financial system that is profoundly undemocratic at its very core.

Wow, Nathaniel Heidenheimer - what a post! You end with, "Yet in 1964, after two and a half days of testimony by George de Mohrenschildt and his wife Jeanne, the commission would conclude that George was essentially an eccentric if well-connceted figure whose life encompassed a series of strange coincidences."

You might want to go to Wikipedia and see where you can stick in a "George" link into the timeline from Kellogg getting the Nobel Peace Prize to the rise of corps such as Agfa and Bayer and the building of concentration camps, and THEN on to then rascally Texas Oil Men.

Oh, and complete the "conspiracy" to today with Russia being just a titch behind the Saudis as Czars/Sheikhs/Alien Invadors/Wha'ever of "Black Gold"....how ever did that happen without the Bush Beans and a "White Russian"...?

Thanks to Ed for the snippets from Orwell - best reminder of the day about "evil"...does anyone check that book out of the prison libraries anymore...? Or in the international libraries?

Great fiction (literature)is how great truth used to be stated...not sure the new genre of conspiracy spinning (is it ahhhrrt?) provides the same service to truth.

This is a post about a journalist, who has written a remarkable book that is quite unusual in terms of books that examine US intelligence. The book links US intervention at a structural level-- i.e. wall street corporations-- to a very specific event, involving very specific individuals, namely the families Bush, de Mohrenschildt, Harriman, Mallon, etc. This books bridges the gap between what is often dismissed as conspiracy theory and structural analysis. Perhaps Bill will recognize the author---

“In an era dominated by corporate journalism and an ideological right-wing media, Russ Baker’s work stands out for its fierce independence, fact-based reporting, and concern for what matters most to our democracy…A lot of us look to Russ to tell us what we didn’t know.” —Bill Moyers, author and host, Bill Moyers’ Journal (PBS)


There is probably nobody more important or laboriously multi-faceted character in all of Kennedy assassination literature than George de Mohrenschildt, the White Russian aristocrat, who met the Oswalds in Dallas, after their return form the USSR, and proceeded to introduce them to a key group of very highly connected oil and intelligence volk in the booming city's ever more influential petroleum circle. It was de Mohrenschildt who introduced to the Oswalds to the Paines, who put up Marina Oswald and her children, and who took such strange and detailed interest in the life of a professed "Marxist" defector to the Soviet Union's repatriation to the single most rightwing metropolis on the face of the earth. (Later it would be discovered that the both Paines had an immediate family history that was inseparable from US intelligence history.)

For much more on the fascinating Ruth Hyde Paine see http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/JFKpaine.htm

(SEE SPARTACUS THREAD ON DE MOHRENSCHILDT FOR MORE ON THIS KEYSTONE FIGURE. THE GREAT THING ABOUT THE SPARTACUS THREADS ARE THE NUMEROUS DIFFERENT SOURCES, WHICH ARE DIRECTLY EXCERPTED AT THE BOTTOM OF EACH PATE. INVALUABLE RESOURCE, PROVIDED BY JOHN SIMKIN http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/JFKdemohrenschildt.htm )

Russ Baker, in his new book Family of Secrets, has discovered a wealth of incredible detail that connects the de Mohrenschildt family with the Bush family on many different levels long before Oswald's #1 CIA handler ever met the returning marine and his Russian wife in Dallas in 1962. Baker traces these direct, high level intelligence and economic relations between the families of Bush and de Mohrenschildt right back to 1917 and shows that they also involved those at the summit of US diplomacy, including, Wilson's Secretary of State Lansing, Allen Dulles, and key Houston Anglophile (and Petrophile) Colonel Edward House, as well as the ancestors
of Bush Uber-aid, James A. Baker III.These ties are described in great detail, were not passing in nature, and are between five and seven closer than the "six degrees" type with which we have been encouraged to glaze over political history in recent years.

Then, barely into his new job as director of the CIA in 1976-- a job that he claimed was his first work for the Agency, but which is proven blatantly false by this book-- George H.W. Bush received this desperate plea for help from his old personal and family acquaintance:

Maybe you will be able to bring a solution into the hopeless
situation I find myself in. My wife and I find ourselves sur-
rounded by some vigilantes; our phone bugged; and we are
being followed everywhere. Either FBI is involved in this or
they do not want to accept my complaints. We are driven to
insanity by this situation... I tried to write, stupidly and un-
successfully , about Lee H. Oswald and must have angered
people... Could you do something to remove this net around
us? THis will be my last request for help and I will not annoy
you any more.

The writer signed himself "G. de Mohrenschildt."(1) p. 67.

The CIA assumed the latter writer to be a crank, Just to be sure, however, they asked their boss: did he by any chance know a man named de Mohrenschildt?

Bush Responded by Memo, seemingly, self-typed: "I do know this man DeMohrenschildt. I first men [sic] him in the early 40'3 [sic]. He was an uncle to my Andover roommate. Later he surfaced in Dallas (50's maybe)... Then he surfaced when Oswald shot to prominence. He knew Oswald before the assassination of Pres. Kennedy. I don't recall his role in all this."

Half a year later, de Mohrenschildt was dead. It was one of the most suspicious deaths in a very long list associated with the Kennedy assassination and its investigation. The death occurred just two days before de Mohrenschildt was scheduled to testify before the House Select Committee on Assassinations, and only around an hour after an interview with a journalist employed by Time-Life, the single most intelligence connected media company in US history, and a company present at nearly every crucial turn of the investigations long history-- including the purchase and storage of the Zapruder film by top Psychological Warfare expert and Henry Luce's Far Right hand, C.D. Jackson (see Spartacus thread). Here is more from Russ Baker's incredible book. While it is very difficult to capture how the pieces fit together in a book filled with such byzantine detail-- yet also impeccable documentation-- this passage is useful in showing that the assassination was much more than a case of spies and individuals disconnected form clear policy forks in the road. On the contrary, vast structures of political and economic power were involved in such a way as to constantly remind us of the single, vulgar reality: when Allan Dulles plaid midwife to the CIA, the manger was Wall Street.
_____________________________

Cuba Si, Cuba No

During the 1950's, as petroleum reserves in the Southwest declined, oilmen there were looking to the southern hemisphere for new opportunities. George de Mohrenschildt, who always seemed to move at the behest of people of higher rank than himself, turned to Cuba. He later told the Warren Commission that he left the Buckley's [as in William F.] Pantepec Oil back in 1946 after a falling-out with a company vice president. Yet by 1950 he was working with his former boss, Pantepec president Warren Smith, on the latter's new firm called the Cuban-Venezuelan Oil Voting Trust Company (CVOVT). In passing, de Mohrenschildt mentioned to the commission that the CVOVT had managed to obtain leases covering nearly half of Cuba. He appears to have been telling the truth, but Warren Commission counsel Albert E. Jenner Jr. did not find this remarkable fact interesting. (21)

This showed that de Mohrenschildt was no rogue operator or bohemian-- as Jenner repeatedly sought to characterize him. Rather he was at the center of a major corporate effort, involving many of America's largest institutions. Through connections in the Batista regime, the CVOVT had managed to corner exclusive exploration rights to millions of acres on the island. Like all foreign businesses operating in Cuba, it had to work through the dictator's American intermediaries, notably, the mobster Meyer Lansky, who was de facto representative of American "interests" on the island(22).

The CVOVT never amounted to much besides promising reports and modest production(23) Still it became a Wall Street darling. Though now almost completely forgotten, on many days in the mid-1950's, it was one of the four or five most actively traded issue on the American Stock Exchange. By November 30, 1956, the New York Times had this announcement:

The Cuban Stanolind Oil Company, an affiliate of the Standard Oil
Company (Indiana), has signed an agreement with the Cuban Ven-
ezuaelan Oil Voting Trust and Trans-Cuba Oil Company for the
development of an additional 3,000,000 acres in Cuba. This is in
addition to the original agreement covering 12,000,000, acres.
Stanolind has agreed to start drilling within 120 days and maintain
a one-rig continuous drilling program [for] three years (24)


This was apparently a big deal for companies like Stanolind, which had no foreign production at all until it went into Cuba. Affording to its filing, it was formed in Havana in 1950 "to assure continuity of management and stability of policy for shareholders of twenty-four oil companies in South America" (25) That is it was some kind of holding company with a focus on "Stability" in Latin American countries, which could reasonably be assumed to refer to creating conditions of political stability favorable to the exploration activities.

The Empire Trust Company, a New York-based bastion of power and wealth, appears to have played a key role in the financing of the Cuban venture. A short item in the New York Times of May 14, 1956, noted:

Election of Charles LEslie Rice, a vice president of the Empire
Trust Company of New York, as a voting trustee of the Cuban-
Venezuelan Oil Voting Trust, was announced over the week-end.

Empire Trust's John Loeb had a network of associates that amounted to "something very like a private CIA," wrote Stephen Birmingham in Our Crowd: The Great Jewish Families of
New York.(26) Empire worked hard to protect its foreign investments and especially its stake in the defense contractor General Dynamics. Empire entrusted its affairs in Texas to Baker Botts, the law firm of James Baker's family(27) Besides Rice, another Empire Trust director was Lewis MacNaughton, a Dresser Industries board member from 1959 to 1967.

[Dresser industries, as Baker shows earlier in the book, was an oil drilling equipment company with global intelligence connections that in some ways remind one of Howard Hughes Hughes Tool Co. The company connected the Harriman, Bush, Walker and Mallon families, and was a key platform for both H.W. Bush's political career in Taxes and, in the more literal sense, for CIA operations against Fidel Castro's Cuba in the late 1950's and the early (but how late??) 1960s --N.H.]

MacNaughton was the employer of George Bouhe, the Russian emigre who would later introduce George de Mohrenschildt to Lee Harvey Oswald. Perhaps the most curious of the Empire Trust figures was Jack Crichton, a longtime company vice president who joined Empire in August 1953 and remained through 1962. (28)

Crichton, who had been hired soon after leaving the military in 1946 by oil industry wunderkind Everette DeGolyer, quickly, quickly became a go-to guy for numerous powerful interests seeking a foothold in the energy arena. He started and ran a baffling array of companies, which tended to change names frequently. These operated largely bellow the radar, and fronted for some of North America's biggest names, including the Bronfmans (Seagram's liquor), the Du Ponts, and the Kuhn-Loeb family of financiers. According to his former lawyer Crichton traveled to the Middle East on oil-related intelligence business. On behalf of prominent interests, he was involved with George de Mohrenschildt in his oil exploration venture in Pre-Castro Cuba. In a 2001 oral history, Crichton volunteered that he was a friend of George de Mohrenschildt's: "I liked George. He was a nice guy." (29)

By 1956, in addition to his other duties, Crichton started a military intelligence reserve unit on the side. (30) On the day of Kennedy's assassination, as will be elaborated upon in Chapter 7, he would arrange for a member of the Dallas Russian Community to rush to Marina Oswald's side and provide translations for investigators--which were far from literal translations of her Russian words and had the effect of implicating her husband in Kennedy's death. Shortly after the assassination, Crichton would become the GOP nominee for governor of Texas in a race against the incumbent John Connally, who had recovered from his wounds of November 22. On the same ticker was the Republican nominee for the United States Senate, Poppy Bush. Unfortunately for the rich and powerful behind the Cuban oil venture in the 19560s, just as the possibility of extracting vast wealth from that small island drew increasing interest from Wall Street, Fidel Castro's revolution was gaining strength. At the same time, what look to have been intelligence operations under oil industry cover were moving into position, as Poppy Bush began moving his rigs to Howard Hughes's Cay Sal Bank in the Bahamas.

On January 1, 1959, Fulgencio Batista fled Cuba, and the next day Casto's Army marched into Havana.

On November 22, 1959, the New York Times reported that the new Cuban government had approved a law that would reduce the size of private companies. These claims were now limited to twenty thousand acres, a major setback for companies such as CVOVT, with its fifteen million acres. (31).

According to the Times, big foreign oil companies had already spent more than thirty million dollars looking for oil over the preceding twelve years. The article cited petroleum industry sources speculating that nationalization of the refining industry was soon to come. The government also imposed a 60 per cent royalty on oil production believed to be the highest anywhere. Standard Oil of New Jersey had, according to the article invested thirty-five million dollars in a Cuban refinery, and other companies had invested comparable sums. (32)

Among other things, the new law put an end to the go-go days of the Cuban-Venezuelan Oil Voting Trust stock. That story was summed up neatly in William A. Doyle's syndicated advice column, the Daily Investor," on August 14, 1961:

Q.I bought some shares of Cuban-Venezuelan Oil Voting Trust a couple years ago.
This stock was listed on the American Stock Exchange but I never see it quoted
there any more. What's the trouble?

A. The trouble is spelled C-a-s-t-r-o.When that bearded dictator took over the
government in Cuba, he started kicking American investors smack in the pocket-
book. The Cuban-Venezuelan Oil Voting Trust story is somewhat involved. But
its chief cause of grief came when the Communist-oriented Cuban government
refused to explore its concession to explore for oil. That just about wrecked this
outfit. The stock's price dropped. You won't find the shares quoted on the
American Stock Exchange, because this stock was de-listed from that exchange,
as of Dec. 1, 1960. Technically, it is still possible to buy and sell these shares in
the over-the-counter market. But you'll be lucky if you can get 10 cents a share.(33)

Brown Brothers Harriman [very very close Bush-Malon ties discussed earlier in book] also had a stake in Cuban affairs that went back at least to the 1920's. ITs affiliate, the Punta Alegre Sugar Corporation, controlled more than two hundred thousand acres in the province of Cameguey (34). Officials of the firm served on the board of Punta Alegre up to the moment that Castro expropriated its land-- and even afterward, as the sugar company began moving its remaining assets to the United States.

The CIA's Allen Dulles responded quickly to developments on the island. He created the Cuban Task Force, with teams in charge of clandestine operations, psychological warfare, and economic and diplomatic pressure. Out of these emerged Operation 40, an elite group of Cuban exiles who, after specialized training, were to infiltrate Cuba and deal a mortal blow to the revolution, including the assassination of its principal leaders.

The chief of the task force was Tracy Barnes, a Yale graduate and Dulles's wartime OSS comrade who was related to the Rockefeller clan by marriage. More than a decade earlier, Barnes's first CIA job had been as deputy director of the Psychological Strategy Board, a little-known entity that explored everything from the use of psychotropic drugs as truth serum to the possibility of engineering unwitting assassins, i.e. Manchurian Candidates. Later, he worked on the successful 1954 operation to overthrow the democratically elected president of Guatemala, Jacobo Arbenz. Barnes had received propaganda support form David Atlee Phillips and E. Howard Hunt, including the distribution of faked photographs
purporting to show the mutilated bodies of Arbenz opponents.

Phillips and Hunt would be hounded by allegations that they had been present in Dallas on November 22, 1963. Both men consistently denied it. But according to his son St. John Hunt, E. Howard began confessing knowledge of a plot against Kennedy near the end of his life and named Phillips as one of the participants.(35)

Hunt and Phillips attended the first meeting of the Cuba Task Force, held January 18, 1960 in Barnes office. Barnes spoke at length on the objectives. He explained that Air Force General Charles Cabell, a Texan (and brother of Dallas's mayor), would be in charge of air cover for an invasion, and that VIce President Richard Nixon, whose brief included some national security areas, was the administration's Cuba "case officer."

In his memoirs, former Cuban intelligence official Fabian Escalante asserted that Nixon had met with an important group of Texas businessmen to arrange outside funding for the operation. Escalente, whose service was vaunted for its U.S. spy network, claimed that the Texas group was headed by George H.W. Bush and Jack Crichton. Escalente's assertion cannot be easily dismissed: Crichton's role in covert operations, about which extensive new information is provided in chapter 7 was little understood at the time Escalante published his memoirs. (36)

In March 1960, the Eisenhower administration signed off on a plan to equip and train Cuban exiles, and drills soon began in Florida and Guatemala. One of Dulles's top three aides, the covert operations chief Richard M. Bissell (Yale '32), was made director. Around this time, George de Mohrenschildt happened to take a business trip to Mexico City , where the CIA station was deeply involved in the coming attractions.

By the fall of 1962, when de Mohrehschildt was devoting much of his time to squiring Lee Harvey Oswald, he had gained entree to the creme de la creme of the petroleum world. One longtime buddy of his and of Poppy Bush's, offshore drilling expert George Kitchel, would tell the FBI in 1964 that de Mohrenschildt counted among his good fiends the oil tycoons Clint Murchison, H.L. Hunt, John Mecom, and Sid Richardson. Other commission testimony revealed that in the couple of years prior to the Kennedy assassination, de Mohrenschildt had traveled frequently from Dallas to Houston, where he visited with figures such as George Brown of Brown and Root, the construction and military contracting giant that helped launch LBJ's career, and Jean de Menil of Schlumberger, the huge oil services firm.

Several of these men had even sent de Mohrenschild abroad on business; one could be forgiven for wondering if these trips were in fact what the CIA calls "commercial cover." George Brown had dispatched him to Mexico, where his mission seemed to be heading off a Mexican government oil deal with the Soviet deputy premier Anastas Mikoyan, who arrived at the same time. (37) Murchison dispatched him to Haiti on several occasions. In 1958, he went to Yugoslavia on what was said to be business for Mecom--whose foundation, the San Jacinto Fund, was later identified as a CIA funding conduit.

The Warren Commission knew at least pieces of all this. Yet in 1964, after two and a half days of testimony by George de Mohrenschildt and his wife Jeanne, the commission would conclude that George was essentially an eccentric if well-connceted figure whose life encompassed a series of strange coincidences. (Family of Secrets: The Bush Dynasty, The Powerful Forces That Put It Into the White House, and What Their Influence Means For America) p. 79-84)

It was a pleasure to hear Danner. I'll have to get the book to get a better idea of what he thinks lies deeper in that bared body of America.

Peach and others here have it right: Evil emanates from misunderstood or simply unrecognized fear, a fear that has grown rampant in America the last 15 or so years. We hear the the tones and undertones of this unchecked fear in 90 percent of mainstream media programming.


In America there is fear of losing what security one THINKS one ostensibly possesses. If you're living on slave wages, you are fearful of losing a single work shift. If you are a politician, you are fearful of losing your seat. If you are a Wall Street investor, you are fearful of losing out on the next great option your peers might beat you to. If you are America, you are fearful that you might just not be what you have been blown to believe you are.

I thought Danner was going to take us to Orwell.

The following is excerpted from _1984_, passages that rarely get cited:

****The primary aim of modern warfare (in accordance with the principles of
doublethink, this aim is simultaneously recognized and not recognized by the
directing brains of the Inner Party) is to use up the products of the machine
without raising the general standard of living. ****

Ever since the end of the nineteenth
century, the problem of what to do with the surplus of consumption goods
has been latent in industrial society. At present, when few human beings even
have enough to eat, this problem is obviously not urgent, and it might not have
become so, even if no artificial processes of destruction had been at work. The
world of today is a bare, hungry, dilapidated place compared with the world that
existed before 1914, and still more so if compared with the imaginary future to
which the people of that period looked forward.

[....]
As a whole the world
is more primitive today than it was fifty years ago. Certain backward areas
have advanced, and various devices, always in some way connected with warfare
and police espionage, have been developed, but experiment and invention have
largely stopped, and the ravages of the atomic war of the nineteen-fifties have
never been fully repaired. Nevertheless the dangers inherent in the machine are
still there. From the moment when the machine first made its appearance it was
clear to all thinking people that the need for human drudgery, and therefore to
a great extent for human inequality, had disappeared. If the machine were used
deliberately for that end, hunger, overwork, dirt, illiteracy, and disease could be
eliminated within a few generations. And in fact, without being used for any
such purpose, but by a sort of automatic process — by producing wealth which
it was sometimes impossible not to distribute — the machine did raise the living
standards of the average human being very greatly over a period of about fifty
years at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth centuries.

****But it was also clear that an all-round increase in wealth threatened the
destruction — indeed, in some sense was the destruction — of a hierarchical
society. In a world in which everyone worked short hours, had enough to eat,
lived in a house with a bathroom and a refrigerator, and possessed a motor-car
or even an aeroplane, the most obvious and perhaps the most important form
of inequality would already have disappeared. If it once became general, wealth
would confer no distinction. It was possible, no doubt, to imagine a society
in which wealth, in the sense of personal possessions and luxuries, should be
evenly distributed, while power remained in the hands of a small privileged
caste. But in practice such a society could not long remain stable. For if leisure
and security were enjoyed by all alike, the great mass of human beings who
are normally stupefied by poverty would become literate and would learn to

think for themselves; and when once they had done this, they would sooner
or later realize that the privileged minority had no function, and they would
sweep it away. In the long run, a hierarchical society was only possible on
a basis of poverty and ignorance. ****

**** [....]
The problem was how to keep the wheels of industry turning without
increasing the real wealth of the world. Goods must be produced, but they
must not be distributed. And in practice the only way of achieving this was by
continuous warfare.
The essential act of war is destruction, not necessarily of human lives, but of
the products of human labour. War is a way of shattering to pieces, or pouring
into the stratosphere, or sinking in the depths of the sea, materials which might
otherwise be used to make the masses too comfortable, and hence, in the long
run, too intelligent. ****

Even when weapons of war are not actually destroyed,
their manufacture is still a convenient way of expending labour power without
producing anything that can be consumed. A Floating Fortress, for example,
has locked up in it the labour that would build several hundred cargo-ships.
Ultimately it is scrapped as obsolete, never having brought any material benefit
to anybody, and with further enormous labours another Floating Fortress is
built. In principle the war effort is always so planned as to eat up any surplus
that might exist after meeting the bare needs of the population. In practice the
needs of the population are always underestimated, with the result that there
is a chronic shortage of half the necessities of life; but this is looked on as an
advantage. ****It is deliberate policy to keep even the favoured groups somewhere
near the brink of hardship, because a general state of scarcity increases the
importance of small privileges and thus magnifies the distinction between one
group and another.**** By the standards of the early twentieth century, even a
member of the Inner Party lives an austere, laborious kind of life. Nevertheless,
the few luxuries that he does enjoy his large, well-appointed flat, the better
texture of his clothes, the better quality of his food and drink and tobacco, his
two or three servants, his private motor-car or helicopter—set him in a different
world from a member of the Outer Party, and the members of the Outer Party
have a similar advantage in comparison with the submerged masses whom we
call ’the proles’.

[....]
War, it will be seen, accomplishes the necessary destruction, but accomplishes
it in a psychologically acceptable way. In principle it would be quite
simple to waste the surplus labour of the world by building temples and pyramids,
by digging holes and filling them up again, or even by producing vast
quantities of goods and then setting fire to them. But this would provide only
the economic and not the emotional basis for a hierarchical society. What is
concerned here is not the morale of masses, whose attitude is unimportant so
long as they are kept steadily at work, but the morale of the Party itself. Even
the humblest Party member is expected to be competent, industrious, and even
intelligent within narrow limits, but it is also necessary that he should be a
credulous and ignorant fanatic whose prevailing moods are fear, hatred, adulation,
and orgiastic triumph. In other words it is necessary that he should have
the mentality appropriate to a state of war. It does not matter whether the
war is actually happening, and, since no decisive victory is possible, it does not
matter whether the war is going well or badly. All that is needed is that a state
of war should exist.


As Whitman would say, "Wake up, slaves!"

You want to talk about evil?

Evil is the creation of a torture policy and the people who proposed and created it.

Evil is attacking a nation that had no connection with 9/11 even though you knew they had no connection.

Evil is devising ways to take money away from people while giving it to the wealthy and accusing the poor of being lazy.

Evil is collaborating with big industry to poison the environment in the pursuit of money.

Evil is the "church" that aligns with a political party based on the money they can get from them later if they can persuade the members that the party they favor is on the side of God. Hint: There is a reason our forefathers created a wall between church and state. Its an invitation to corruption.

Evil is saying you're a christian while doing all the above and implying that God will wink as you devise those and other policies that kill other people that he made for no real reason other than the fact that they don't believe like you, don't do something you like, or don't have enough money to be considered human beings by the faux christian crowd. Either talk about the topic or go somewhere else to proselytize.

Evil comes from Satan, agreed. And the Moslems in the Near East claim WE are the Satans. I hope, they're not correct.
Failing to place scads of more troops in the war zone would be disastrous. We need to pay soldiers to give our young people jobs. The country does not need a bunch of unemployed youngsters coming home so soon. They pay taxes too.

Remember that Satan is the Prince of Deception ... sometimes he is so successful that we think he IS God. Good question to ask one is " Is God on our side, or are we on God's side".

Where does evil come from?

Jude 1:11 Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.

The question was posed, where does evil come from? From my reading (the scriptures) God says evil is from Satan & his cohorts. God is on the opposite side representing good. I am sure this post will probably be scoffed at. I didn't write the Book, the Bible.

I looked at the transcript. He's right about several things. I disagree with several more. I think what I disagree with the most is his blythe assumptions that 1. our occupation is somehow less disagreeable to the Afghans than the Soviet occupation was (a very myopic assessment) and 2. we need to be in Afghanistan simply because that was where they were when they planned their attack. I'm still trying to fathom the logic of attacking a geographic area because an evil person once lived there a few years. Do we also launch an attack on Saudi Arabia? After all, that's where bin Laden was born and surely that makes the Saudis a desirable target given the criteria apparently in use. Apparently the fact that they are no longer there doesn't register with him but then again, as a "senior fellow at Brookings Institute" that's not surprising. I don't think we're facing a minority of pashtuns. I think most of the Afghans want us out today.

The Brookings Institute has a close relationship with the republican party, the Heritage Foundation, and the Cato Institute; all far right wing organizations.

Everything considered, I was not that impressed with that interview.

Please watch the Friday, Oct 16, News Hours segment with Margaret Warner and Bruce Riedel. I cheered when Mr. Riedel stated that Afghanistan is not "the graveyard of empires." Alexander did conquer Bactria (eastern Afghanistan) and he did cross the Hindu Kush in triumph, which is still considered one of the most spectacular military feats. Mr. Riedel says the Bristish won a protectorate, which was their goal. The Soviets lost because the CIA provided weapons to the Afghans. A huge difference between the US/NATO forces and the USSR is that the latter was intent on colonizing Afghanistan. It drives me crazy when pundits don't know what they are talking about. They can cause great damage in doing so. I greatly admire Bill Moyers and appreciate his contributions. But he didn't ask Mr. Danner about Pakistan's nuclear weapons and that cannot be left out of any conversation regarding Afghanistan. The last time I heard, Somolia doesn't have nuclear weapons.

Two well-to-do US white male professionals sit in an air-conditioned television studio discussing "where does evil come from" and NEITHER of them has the courage or decency to ask "does the US Government practice evil" or "which parts of 'all the evil in the world' [Moyers] originate in United States foreign policy and the economic system that determines that policy?" or "Is a U.S. economic empire enforced by a military garrisoning the globe an evil of itself?"

Mr. Moyers, wasn't the US War on Vietnam evil? Where did that evil come from? You have all the data available to answer your own question sitting in your own files and on your own bookshelves.

Danner starts toward those more honest questions in juxtaposing the civilian deaths built into US military/terror "interventions" [euphemism alert] into other people's countries with "terrorists who deliberately kill civilians." But then he stops with just "we don't like to look at that question and we forget it quickly"-- as in this interview. Disappointing.

Missing in action throughout this US television program: any historical context that would make any real answers or conclusions possible.

And this program is what passes for liberal or even "left" in the United States today? Disappointing.


On my way to the book store to get a copy. Terrific interview.

Mankind stripped bare to the truth most could not bare to see.

=
MJA

Question: When does persistency become stupidity.

Answer: When the cost outweighs the advantage, when there is no clear advantage and when the quest is immoral.

Just my opinion. We went to Afghanistan to get bin Laden. Bush went haring off to Iraq where bin Laden was not. Eight years later we return with a new president to Afghanistan to hunt bin Laden. Unfortunately bin Laden moved to Pakistan during the interim.

So... We're spending major amounts of money overseas and losing people on a daily basis while in Afghanistan hunting someone who we know has already moved elsewhere but who (Pakistan) is supposedly our ally and who we don't want to upset with a declaration of war. At home the infrastructure is falling apart and in order to finance this "war" vital services are being cut to Americans. Some might call this folly. Others might call it stupidity worthy of Dubya.

We need to get out of Afghanistan. What should have been accomplished while Bush was in office was not. Eight years have passed and to put it simply, too much time has passed to be able to correct Bush's mistakes. Time to let his mistakes stand and Obama to stop the war so that he can reach out to the arab leaders and countries that are willing to listen. You can't make peace and war simultaneously. Obama's going to have to choose which path he intends to take.

this afghan entanglement grows increasingly unpopular with the cilvilians in the m.e. as well as at home. yet, rather than easing our way out, we are envolved in an increased military presence.
why?
well, because chenney threatens IF the u.s suffers another 9-11 type attack that would be as a "shoe-in" for the recently "shoed-off" the stage republican party.
so? what we know to be the right thing cannot be accomplished because of a "what if" that might make the dems look ineffective.
gee, as long as "appearances" and conjecture are more important than doing the right thing, our nation will not, cannot act from ethical resolve.
what a shame!

I was surprised that a discussion about Afghanistan did not include discussion about TAPI and the competitive pipeline IPI. The advoidance of that important issue made the entire conversation appear artificial and cryptic.

What is evil and where does it come from?

Evil is an expression of incongruancy with good, an aspect of human expression that perpetuates destruction, ilth, corruption and dis-ease. The source of evil is imbalance. The reason we are living this imbalanced expression is because we are struggling under a mass delusion. The delusion that, just because we are individual entities with unique personal experiences, we are somehow separate and unaffected by each others lives. This makes our individuality a source of isolation and loneliness.

We are A COLLECTIVE of INDIVIDUAL HUMANS. We're approaching our own existence as if we are either fiercely individual or some collective Borg thing. This is part of our collective neurosis. We are both individuals and a collective at the same time. We are all having personal experiences as Humans and we're doing it together, right beside and in front of each other.

So, our great shared DIS-ilussionment is this, we are NOT SEPARATE and isolated from each other, we are a GROUP of individual persons that together are called, people. We are a group of "I's" that can be called the Human-WE.

When we examine ourselves as a whole to see why we are utilizing the expression of evil and what the source of our continued choice for ilth is, we find the solution in our connectivity.

Because we are all human, we can examine the imbalance of the whole by observing the whole as a SINGLE Human Being.

When an individual human is acting out evil we aprroach with the question, "What is the cause of this?" We see first if the individuals needs are being met because, it is a fact that when a humans needs are not met, imbalance occurs.
Poverty is the obvious neglect of human need that is perpetuating the imbalance of the Human-WE.
Since we are living in IMBALANCE we are experiencing our collective and individual IMBALANCED expressions. We are demonstrating our "warped" nature under the very real pressure of poverty. This pressure is not just on the homeless and starving, it is a psychological stress that we ALL share because we are living this life together.
If one human is under threat of homelessness and starvation then, the whole Human-WE is under that threat. If it exists for one, it exists for us all.
Evil is part of our warped expression. Evil emerges when the imbalance is perpetuated and escalates directly according to our level of indulgence in the imbalance.
The way to eradicate evil and stop using it , is to eradicate poverty and to ensure that ALL human needs are being met.
The Human-WE has reached a point of disease that requires a total CHANGE in lifestyle or we will succumb to the imbalance. We are already wasting away as poverty and disease spread almost virtually unchecked.
We have to wake up now and stop acting like we're not affected by the quality of each others life. We have to stop acting as if it's okay that SOME people are homeless and SOME people are starving.
The collective stress of the neglect and correlating constant threat of violence and struggle are putting real pressure on our individual and collective psyche. We are in a depressed state and we have reached a point of urgency in which the patient can only live if we quckly change our WAYS.

It is our fate and our destiny, if we choose, to eradicate poverty together. Is it possible to make home and food for all and the psychological security and spiritual sanctity of human life a priority? OF COURSE IT IS!
When we eradicate poverty we will begin to heal and live our BALANCED expressions. Our balanced expressions are life enhancing and peaceful. These balanced expressions are our own HEALTHY expressions speaking to us now from the core of our being. We are not rotten to the core as it maight be percieved. We are currently imbalanced but, our core is still goodness. In our collective goodness we all know that, ALL HUMANS NEED A HOME, WITHOUT EXCEPTION and ALL HUMANS NEED FOOD EVERYDAY, WITHOUT
EXCEPTION. To meet these needs together would be US living in CONGRUANCY with our own GOODNESS and thus, no evil would be expressed. CAN we do this? Can we humans accomplish the tasks of getting our basic physical, phsychological and spiritual needs met? You bet we can!!
We are starting a PEACEFUL revolution called, "The 250BOYCOTT" and we've launched the revolution with a series of videos on Youtube called, "Max Trinitys Trickle Up Global Economics and the 250BOYCOTT".
Go to the address below to watch part 6, which illustrates the answer to the question; What can WE do to stop the "evil" in our world?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oMGqXJdEYLg

Or type 250boycott (all one word) in the Youtube search bar.
Join the revolution to end poverty in our lifetime and...
peace to you my friends, 'til we meet again.

Fear causes irrational behavior in the form of deviant coping. It is the old story about kicking the dog because the bully is too big or the enemy is too evasive. Another big reason is because it was our own foolish mistake and we do not want to kick ourselves.
Torture by definition is evil. It is the willful causing of pain and suffering. The killing of people innocent of any crime is also evil.
Sociopathic behavior is also evil because it dehumanizes people so that they can be abused.
The most glaring evil is knowing what is evil and doing it anyway then being unrepentant.
We must first forgive ourselves and then repent. Then, it is necessary to do those things which will undo the damage done.
Evil is a tool that opens the door to hell on earth.


I refused to accept orders or UCMJ in the US Navy during 1968. I was placed in the brig at Long Beach, holding over 300 people, tho' it was intended for no more than 100. I remained there for 3 weeks until my lawyer finally got me a hearing with impartial officers who also opposed the Viet Nam "police action."
During that time, Marines monitored the brig. There were numerous occasions where I was spat at, subjected to loud _white noise_, and frequently was told I did not, "deserve to live. Coward!" I was held against a hard concrete wall by at least 3 Marines on too many times to count before rescued. Young testosterone endoctrinated Marines *tortured* me, appropriate to the time. It is no surprise, therefore, that these revalations have led down this all too familiar practice.

Thank you.

Lee Ferrell

I am grateful for the time spent with Danner. I read him regularly at NYROB. I was left wondering why the issue of our interest in protecting the nuclear nation of Pakistan from Al Qiada is not mentioned.

Clearly the problem of the Taliban remains the most difficult, but it is they who provide protection for Al Qiada.

Does Danner cover the quagmire that Israel has become for the USA, since it helped the United Nations take land from the Palestine People and give it to the Terrorists that rose up against the British Mandate of Palestine. Since this uprising took place during the Nurnberg Trials which were the end result of taking land from another people and giving it to the Nazi Terrorists you would think that this one mistake would have been enough. Will the United States ever learn?

"Evil becomes a tool." Bill! What a thing to say! Evil is shown to be banal. Again. (Remember?)

Psychopaths exist in small numbers as a fact of nature. Certain social circumstances open pathways for them to gather unusually enduring influence. (In more stable times, their impulsivity undermines them, or their conditioned inhibitions continue to keep them under conventional wraps.)

This is what is being discussed as evil. I don't mean to reduce your attempt at a discussion of human morality, but in these instances, this is what it reduces to.


As to the mistreatment of the people of Santa Ana - you will remember that during the years you worked in The White House, Orange County was a seedbed of the John Birch Society. Their paranoid version of evil went on holding sway in those parts well after their name slipped into obscurity. They've sort of been outnumbered in recent years, but they still pull some of the strings, especially those regarding the rights of nonwhite and poor people.

Speaking of evil, this is the All-American stripe, from whence ever it may derive. (Maybe the reality shows are the extra banal version of lingering evil, in all their selfish wealth. They certainly seem despicable enough.)

On Danner--Athens had Syracusa, we have Afghanistan?When will they ever learn...

I nearly leapt out of my seat when Mr. Danner raised "The Athenian Problem" - how does a political body based on democracy handle issues of empire? What do you do when stable political relationships become unstable?

By coincidence, I have been reading The Pelopponesian War by Donald Kagan.

Maybe you remember being bored and mystified by school lectures about this and other ancient wars. I know I was, at the age of 14.

No longer.

If you've forgotten the history lessons that were taught too soon for us to understand them, you might revisit them - and get a whole new perspective and understanding of current events.

I know I have, and I suspect Mr. Danner has too.

I think our troops should all be brought home from all over the world. They need to protect our borders that one of our Houston news reporters had a story about the drug lords are charging people to come across the border. This is pretty sad that they are in charge of our borders while our troops are all over the world fighting for people who for the most part don't like us and don't want us there.

I think Danner gave a fair-minded commentary on the "quagmire" that Af-stan has become for the US, as it was for the USSR. He was wise enough to recognize that he couldn't prescribe to President Obama a program that would "succeed"; indeed, Danner probably thinks that "success", defined as a functioning Afghan democracy, is highly unlikely in the foreseeable future, no matter what the USA does. As Henry Ford said, "Failure is an opportunity to begin again, more intelligently." Whether our body politic has the intelligence to admit failure (and to begin again to deal with the terrorism issue) is problematic.

Thank you for the excellent program.

I have faith in intelligent dialog to make a difference. If the members of congress and the president could engage in the adult dialog like Mark Danner, we would be able to work through our problems much easier.

In fact, our political structure has for years avoided the hard problems of governance. We no longer have the excess reserves to make poor decisions. It is time to face up to who we are, and think about how to change the system. We are an imperial power, but a "democracy" at home. We and the world cannot keep this going much longer.

Listening to Frontline the other night ("Obama's War"), I watched the young soldiers carrying their weapons and listening to rock and roll, and thought about how I just couldn't relate to them. (I'm a middle-aged peace-loving woman who enjoys classical music.) Then I heard that a large part of the mission in Afghanistan involves the soldiers walking around "getting to know" the locals, and trying to relate to them. Wow, I thought. If someone in their own country, who speaks their own language, can't relate, then it's almost ludicrous to think that the Afghan people could relate! And the whole strategy of counterinsurgency relies heavily upon this awkward relationship. (That isn't good.)

Mark Danner said that now what to do about Af-stan is a difficult question for the President.

I say there is altogether too much sympathy and consideration for Barack Obama. He deserves neither. He dug his own hole when, with no experience, he declared in 2002 that Af-stan was the "right" war. Why did he go out on a limb? Ans. He wanted to oppose the Iraq invasion and not appear a dove.

Obama has no concern but his own political future. He cares not about the poor, sick, unemployed, foreclosed or the victims of war. Barack Obama is 100% narcissist and deserves nothing but contempt.

Yes, Mr. Danner. The morals of the whole story belie the revolving door of our changing war policies into a morass that Americans themselves cannot accept. We went to war to protect from further aggression, not to win land people or wealth. But, perhaps calm between opposites?
Looking forward to your book.

Mr. Moyers asked his guest about evil? The motivation behind evil is and always has been fear. Greed, anger, hate and more are all based on fear of some sort of lack or loss whether real or imagined. Acting out of fear is different than being cautious or prudent. Everywhere you turn in our country, people are increasingly fearful and it's gotten worse since Jan. 20th in some segments of our society. Fear is a natural reaction when some type of loss is suffered or anticipated, but the difference between fear and prudence is that fear clouds reason and creates a climate where people are more prone to make stupid and evil decisions while prudence, on the other hand doesn't cloud our ability to reason, resolve and reconcile.

If we really thought about it, we could identify an almost unlimited number of things to be fearful of in this life that would probably shut down the brain completely if we dwelt upon those fears for any length of time. Evil, IMO can never be effectively contained until fear can be effectively addressed.

Mr Danner has some interesting thoughts about the differences between our invasion/occupation of Afghanistan & that of Iraq. He suggests one is justified & the other not.

His reasoning is based on the politically incorrect truth about Saddam's non-existent plans to use non-existent WMD against the US was finally revealed by journalists like Bill Moyers, therefor the Invasion/Occupation of Iraq is no longer justified.

What if the story we were first told about Afghanistan's involvement in the events of 9/11 was equally fabricated? Why have no fair minded investigative journalists like Mr Moyers investigated that possibility?

"Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me."

Blatant shameless lies resulted in the invasion of Iraq so the oil could flow again. Why would anyone believe these same politicians,who had a vested interest in the natural gas pipeline that needs to cross Taliban controlled Afghanistan, did not first blatantly lie about he events of 9/11?

Patriots question 911 dot com would be a good beginning point for a committed, fair minded investigative journalist to get started.

Mr Danner should look into this 9/11 Truth grassroots movement. What he discovers has the potential to show what the politically powerful in this nation really look like naked.

This was good.

Post a comment

THE MOYERS BLOG is our forum for viewers' comments intended for discussing and debating ideas and issues raised on BILL MOYERS JOURNAL. THE MOYERS BLOG invites you to share your thoughts. We are committed to keeping an open discussion; in order to preserve a civil, respectful dialogue, our editors reserve the right to remove or alter any comments that we find unacceptable, for any reason. For more information, please click here.

THE MOYERS BLOG
A Companion Blog to Bill Moyers Journal

Your Comments

Podcasts

THE JOURNAL offers a free podcast and vodcast of all weekly episodes. (help)

Click to subscribe in iTunes

Subscribe with another reader

Get the vodcast (help)

For Educators    About the Series    Bill Moyers on PBS   

© Public Affairs Television 2008    Privacy Policy    DVD/VHS    Terms of Use    FAQ