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Member since: Mon Oct 8, 2007, 11:23 AM
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April 4, 1968: How RFK saved Indianapolis

IndyStar ‏@indystar: 47 years ago today, Robert F. Kennedy likely saved Indianapolis. http://indy.st/1BYiWi5

Kennedy, who was running for president, was scheduled to make a campaign speech here in the days before the Indiana Democratic primary. He was popular among the black community, and in an effort to get more blacks registered to vote, he wanted to speak in the heart of Indianapolis' inner-city.

Shortly before his speech, as Kennedy's plane landed in Indianapolis, the senator from New York learned that Martin Luther King Jr. had died from an assassin's bullet.

Indianapolis Mayor Richard Lugar, fearing a race riot, told Kennedy's staff that his police could not guarantee Kennedy's safety at 17th and Broadway. Racial violence indeed would later sweep the country, with riots in more than 100 cities, 39 people killed and more than 2,000 injured.

Lugar urged Kennedy to cancel his speech. But Kennedy insisted that he and his people go on and go alone, without police...

Mary Evans, a 16-year-old junior at North Central High School, was in the crowd. She was headstrong and political, and she insisted on seeing Kennedy. She and a friend attended the rally with the friend's nervous father.

Evans was white and from a tony Northside family, but she was progressive and inquisitive and was not uncomfortable in the mostly black crowd. At first.

But as she waited for Kennedy, who was more than an hour late, word suddenly spread that King had been shot. The word was that he had survived after a gunman had tried to kill him. The gunman was presumed to be white.

"The temperature changed," Evans recalls. "I felt people started looking at me. Someone would take a step away, like I was a symbol of racism.

"I felt really white. I was really scared."

She thought about bolting but was in unfamiliar territory and had no idea which way to run...

With practically no time to prepare — he had come straight from the airport — and speaking off the cuff, Kennedy told the news with such compassion and empathy that when he finished many in the crowd departed sad though not hateful and in at least one notable case with renewed resolve to make the world better.

"For those of you who are black and are tempted to be filled with hatred and distrust at the injustice of such an act, against all white people, I can only say that I feel in my own heart the same kind of feeling," Kennedy said. "I had a member of my family killed, but he was killed by a white man. But we have to make an effort in the United States, we have to make an effort to understand, to go beyond these rather difficult times."

William Crawford, a member of the Black Radical Action Project, had stood about 20 feet from Kennedy. "Look at all those other cities," Crawford says today. "I believe it would have gone that way (in Indianapolis) had not Bobby Kennedy given those remarks."

"The sincerity of Bobby Kennedy's words just resonated," Crawford says, "especially when he talked about his brother."

Kennedy had not spoken publicly about President John F. Kennedy's assassination since Nov. 22, 1963, writes Ray E. Boomhower in his 2008 book "Robert F. Kennedy and the 1968 Indiana Primary."

Now he did, to maximum effect. The moment he started speaking the air cleared, the hostility evaporated.

Evans sensed it deep down.

"It was like the feeling some people get in church," she says. "I was scared, and as soon as Kennedy spoke, I wasn't scared. I no longer felt white and isolated. I felt united in sadness with everyone else." ...

Read more: http://indy.st/1BYiWi5

On the Media: Nazanin Boniadi

NPR's on the media had an excellent segment on this ..

LAWRENCE WRIGHT: The Church was always looking for an exemplary figure that would represent Scientology to the world, a shining celebrity that would give credibility and attention to the Church. He's their symbol. He’s the most important Scientologist, except L. Ron Hubbard, there ever has been. He's their main pitch man. It’s his close friend, David Miscavige, who runs the Church. It’s Tom Cruise, who benefits materially from the labor of these impoverished Sea Org workers who have built him an airplane hangar for his airplane collection and handcrafted a limousine for him and surround his household staff and cook his dinners.

BOB GARFIELD: And, if you're right, pimping him a girlfriend.

LAWRENCE WRIGHT: You know, he was breaking up with Penelope Cruz and he let it be known that uh, he wanted another girlfriend, and they auditioned a number of different Scientology women, and they came upon a very attractive Iranian-American. Her name was Nazanin Boniadi, and they told her that they had a mission for her. And they put her in the Celebrity Center, away from her family, and they took her shopping in Beverly Hills for a new wardrobe. They fixed her hair. They fixed her teeth. And then they took her to New York. There she found the object of her mission was Tom Cruise. She moved in with him, lived with him for a while and then went in with him in his hideaway in Telluride. David Miscavige and his wife came, and one night they were talking, and Miscavige speaks in a kind of rapid Philadelphia brogue and she couldn't quite understand him. And so she, a couple of times, asked him to repeat himself.

And the next day everybody was inflamed with her, the way she treated the leader of the Church.
And after that, Cruise decided to have nothing more to do with her, and she went off to Clearwater, Florida, the spiritual headquarters. She was made to clean out a garbage dumpster and clean a public toilet with a toothbrush...



5-hour Energy energizes the GOP

Until the Citizens United decision is rectified it may be worthwhile identifying where money buying Judges and Politicians is coming from ..

The founder of 5-hour Energy drinks has quietly made millions in political contributions

Manoj Bhargava isn't a household name, but a report from the Center for Public Integrity says the Michigan-based billionaire’s campaign contributions rival the Koch Brothers'.

Bhargava is the founder of 5-hour Energy drinks. Since 2009, he’s made about $5.3 million in state and national campaign contributions through his Michigan-based companies.

In 2014, Bhargava’s investment firm ETC Capital gave $2.5 million to the Republican Governors Association, a donation that placed him among the group's top five donors.

Ben Wieder is a data reporter at the Center. He said Bhargava has worked hard to keep his political activities under wraps...


Which all helps to explain why Michigan Governor Rick Snyder is putting what little credibility he has on the line to Pardon a Drunk Driver...

Snyder pardons well-connected lawyer that works for maker of 5-hour Energy drinks

Rick Snyder pardons DUI for 5-hour Energy exec/donor

Coming Soon: Ed Snowden the Movie; and Robert Redford as Dan Rather

The '70s were the Golden Era for political thrillers (All the President's Men, Parallax View, The Conversation, Executive Action, Twilight's Last Gleaming, The China Syndrome...).

There are a couple of upcoming movies in that genre to watch for ..

First a movie about Ed Snowden .. Snowden starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Shailene Woodley and Timothy Olyphant.

Also one about Dan Rather and the kerfuffle surrounding the 60 Minutes piece on Dubya (Truth). It just so happens to star the star of 3 Days of the Condor (and All the President's Men .. Robert Redford) as Dan Rather.

Should be interesting.

Richard Helms was an advisor on the film ..

Soon to be a television programme ..
‘Three Days of the Condor’ to Be Remade for TV

Posted on Wednesday, March 11th, 2015 by Russ Fischer

"When someone mentions “paranoid ’70s thrillers” as an inspirational set of films, one of the movies they’re talking about is Three Days of the Condor. (Anthony and Joe Russo, for example, namechecked it often in the runup to Captain America: The Winter Soldier.)

Sydney Pollack’s original film featured Robert Redford as a low-level CIA analyst whose entire office cohort is murdered while he’s out at lunch; he spends the rest of the film eluding his own death while trying to figure out what’s going on. And now David Ellison’s Skydance Productions, which backs the Mission: Impossible and new Star Trek films, is developing a Three Days of the Condor remake for TV...


Bruce Greenwood in 13 Days

Bruce Greenwood as JFK in 13 Days had the line of the movie in that one too ..

General Curtis LeMay: You're in a pretty bad fix, Mr. President.

President Kennedy: What did you say?

General Curtis LeMay: You're in a pretty bad fix.

President Kennedy: Well, maybe you haven't noticed: You're in it with me.



White Paper on El Salvador

Jonathan Kwitny was one of the few, and perhaps the only, mainstream reporter(s) doing any real reporting on this part of the world.

Scott Simon of NPR on the other hand seems to have fallen into the Bill O'Reilly camp here .. along with most of the other mainstream reporters. I recall at the time that it sounded as though Simon was doing mostly solid reporting from that region.

Looking back at it now though and given what we now know really went (goes) on down there it's clear that the reporting from the likes of Jonathan Kwitny was the exception.

Daniel Schorr was fired by CBS over the Richard Welch case too ..

...On January 16, 1975 he held a White House luncheon for the editors of the NY Times. Someone asked why Ford had picked such a conservative and defense minded panel to make up the Rockefeller Commission (e.g. Ronald Reagan was a member). The president said he needed people who would not stray from the straight and narrow. If they did, they could stumble upon matters that might hurt the national interest. The editor asked "Like what?" Ford replied with, "Like assassinations!" (Schorr, p. 144) Ford added that this was off the record. But reporter Daniel Schorr deduced that since the Rockefeller Commission was investigating domestic matters, Ford must have meant American assassinations. (ibid) But later CIA Director William Colby effectively spun Ford's comment . He told Schorr that the CIA had run assassination plots abroad, but not in America. (ibid) This deftly neutralized Ford's slip. The committees would now look at CIA assassination plots against foreign leaders. In regards to the JFK case, the Church Committee would only investigate the performance of the intelligence agencies in investigating Kennedy's murder.

But even Colby was too much for Ford. He was deemed too open with congress. After all, when mobster Sam Giancana was murdered before testifying, Colby went out of his way to say the CIA had nothing to do with it. (ibid, p. 155) Colby was later fired for being too forthcoming. Ford picked George Bush to replace him. And as further signal of his new "get tough" policy, Ford made a young Dick Cheney his Chief of Staff, and moved Donald Rumsfeld into the Pentagon.

With all these elements in place, Ford decided to use the 1975 murder of a CIA officer as a way to squelch and smear any further investigation. Richard Welch was the CIA station chief in Athens. The CIA and Ford blamed his death on the fact that his name had been exposed by an American journal called Counterspy. In fact, the leftist rebel group who killed him had issued a communiqué beforehand that revealed they knew his name then. (Schorr, p. 191) In a classic case of political propaganda, Ford and the CIA pulled out all the stops in using Welch's funeral as psychological warfare against the committees. Welch's body was flown into Andrews Air Force Base. But the plane circled the base for 15 minutes to time the landing for the morning news shows. (ibid) Ford attended the chapel service. But the press was barred in order to suggest that they were to blame for Welch's murder. Colby issued a statement saying that Welch's death was the result of a "paranoiac attack on ... Americans serving their country." David Phillips was interviewed by CBS and said, American agents are in less danger today from the KGB than from the "moral primitives" who "condemn my label". (ibid) Welch's body was buried at Arlington with full military honors. His coffin was carried on the same horse-drawn caisson that carried President Kennedy's. Colby gave the flag draped over it to Welch's widow. As Schorr wrote, "This is the CIA's first secret agent to become a pubic national hero." (ibid)

It worked. Henry Kissinger jumped on the committees: "I think they have used classified information in a reckless way ... " (ibid p. 194) Both committees closed up shop shortly after. Ford and the CIA held veto power over what could be published. When Otis Pike defied that agreement, Congress bottled up his report. A copy was smuggled to Daniel Schorr. As he was arranging to have it released, his boss, Bill Paley, lunched with Bush. (ibid, p. 201) The Pike Report was published in a special issue of The Village Voice. Forgetting his own use of classified material for his Oswald book, Ford now proposed an FBI investigation to find out who gave the report to Schorr. (ibid, p. 208) After Paley's meeting with Director Bush, Schorr was taken off the air by CBS. After a two hour impromptu interrogation – during which he was not represented by counsel – Schorr was fired by the network. He was later investigated by the House but refused to reveal his source for the report...


William Colby stipulated to "foreign assassination plots"

Sports legend against the Iraq war and the death penalty and is for gay rights

A Man Of Substance

Which of this country's greatest sports legends is clenched-teeth
against the Iraq war and the death penalty and is for gay rights?

Bill Bradley? Jim Brown? Bill Walton? Try Dean Smith.

In today's scandal-dripping land of college basketball, couldn't
we all use a little Dean Smith? He wasn't just the winningest
coach in history, he was one of the cleanest. In 36 years at
North Carolina, he never had an NCAA violation. He was and is a
man who stands tall for what he believes--fans, talk show hosts
and his accountant be damned.

Smith is Abe Lincoln in a sports world of Stepford Jocks, where
speaking out on social issues is likened to a Class A felony,
where taking a stand is a good way to blow your car dealership
endorsement, where somebody pressed mute on the social
consciences of Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods.

Take the Toni Smith issue. She's the Manhattanville College guard
who turned her back to the flag to protest what she calls the
"inequalities that are embedded into the American system." Dean
Smith would fight to the death to protect her right to do it.

"I'm sure it took a lot of courage," says Smith, who won 879
games at UNC. "Just as it took a lot of courage for Tommie Smith
and John Carlos to in the U.S.] at the '68 Olympics." ...


RIP Dean Smith
Sports Illustrated ‏@SInow: Dean Smith was our 1997 Sportsman of the Year. Read @alexander_wolff's feature story: http://on.si.com/16GJPiy

Nation Newman Nisman

Thanks for the heads up, Octafish.

It's interesting because The Nation has come out with a negative review ..
Tim Shorrock @TimothyS · Feb 5

"How Rory Kennedy’s ‘Last Days in Vietnam’ Distorts History." By @NickTurse in @thenation: http://bit.ly/1C3RHWd

Now this is nothing new for The Nation .. especially with regard to the Kennedys.

Although as that piece mentions The Nation has produced far more good than bad. A current example would be Greg Grandin's excellent piece on the assassination of Alberto Nisman.

BTW an excellent read on the origins of the Vietnam War comes from John Newman ..

James Douglass' book is another good one on Vietnam too.

Looking forward to Rory's film.
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