Judi LynnJudi Lynn's Journal
How Roy Cohn Helped Rupert Murdoch
January 28, 2015
Special Report: Through Fox News and a vast media empire, Rupert Murdoch wields enormous political clout in the United States, but his entrée into the world of Washington power came from the notorious McCarthyite Roy Cohn who opened the door into Ronald Reagans Oval Office, reports Robert Parry.
By Robert Parry
Rupert Murdoch, the global media mogul who is now a kingmaker in American politics, was brought into those power circles by the infamous lawyer/activist Roy Cohn who arranged Murdochs first Oval Office meeting with President Ronald Reagan in 1983, according to documents released by Reagans presidential library.
I had one interest when Tom [Bolan] and I first brought Rupert Murdoch and Governor Reagan together and that was that at least one major publisher in this country would become and remain pro-Reagan, Cohn wrote in a Jan. 27, 1983 letter to senior White House aides Edwin Meese, James Baker and Michael Deaver. Mr. Murdoch has performed to the limit up through and including today.
The letter noted that Murdoch then owned the New York Post over one million, third largest and largest afternoon; New York Magazine; Village Voice; San Antonio Express; Houston Ring papers; and now the Boston Herald; and internationally influential London Times, etc. Cohn sent the letter nine days after Murdoch met Reagan in the Oval Office along with Cohn, his legal partner Thomas Bolan, and U.S. Information Agency Director Charles Wick.
In a photograph of the Jan. 18, 1983 meeting, Cohn is shown standing and leaning toward Reagan who is seated next to Murdoch. Following that meeting, Murdoch became involved in a privately funded propaganda project to help sell Reagans hard-line Central American policies, according to other documents. That PR operation was overseen by senior CIA propaganda specialist Walter Raymond Jr. and CIA Director William Casey, but the details of Murdochs role remain sketchy partly because some of the records are still classified more than three decades later.
[center]~ ~ ~
A few lovely photos of "commie" witch-hunt obsessive alcoholic Republican
Senator and his chief legal counsel, Roy Cohn in the height of their failed,
sadist assault on the human race.[/center]
Eight years of progressive politics in Ecuador
Jan 2015 Friday 30th
Eight years ago President Rafael Correa was elected in Ecuador and, as in many Latin American countries in recent years, theres been a tremendous shift in the country.
Today, at a time when we are constantly told about the inevitability of cuts and austerity, spending in Ecuador on healthcare and education has doubled.
On Correas election the rich were forced to pay their taxes for the first time in the countrys history, and as a result government investment has led to economic growth of 4 per cent year by year.
Additionally, for the first time in Ecuadors history, extreme poverty is in single figures.
It is now less than 8 per cent, compared with 16.5 per cent previously.
Ecuador also has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the continent, with the figures for 2014 closing at only 3.8 per cent.
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Yet prior to Correas election as part what has been termed the pink tide in Latin America Ecuador was a very unstable country, perhaps one of the most unstable in the region throughout the 1990s and 2000s.
It had seven presidents in 10 years, accompanied by a series of aggressive neoliberal economic packages, with a resulting sharp increase in inequality.
January 29, 2015
Drop the Label
Take Cuba off the Terrorist List
by MEDEA BENJAMIN
The new US-Cuba talks are a refreshing burst of sunshine in the 54-year dismal relationship between neighbors separated by a mere 90 miles. The nations negotiated a successful swap of prisoners. The onerous travel restrictions the US government placed on just visiting the island are starting to crumble. Embassies in Washington and Havana will soon be opened. Rules designed to ease trade are being written. But despite this long-awaited meltdown of US policies that added to the islands economic woes but never succeeded in tumbling Cubas communist government, a portion of the Cold War edifice remains intact: Cuba is still on the US terrorist list.
This list, reserved for countries that have repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism, is a very short one. It doesnt include Saudi Arabia, the country that accounted for 15 of the 19 hijackers on 9/11 and has been responsible for spreading extremist Wahhabi ideology throughout the Middle East. It doesnt include Pakistan, a country that has long been a staging ground for Islamic terrorists and on the receiving end of US drone strikes for the past decade. It certainly doesnt include Israel, a country Amnesty International called trigger happy for using unnecessary, arbitrary and brutal force against Palestinians. It doesnt even include North Korea, a country that recently threatened to bomb the White House, the Pentagon and the whole US mainland.
Of the worlds 196 countries, only four are included: Iran, Sudan, Syria .and Cuba.
The US government first put Cuba on the list three decades ago, in 1982, accusing the island of providing a safe haven for members of the Basque separatist group ETA and Colombias FARC rebels. It also accused Cuba of providing political asylum to Americans facing criminal and terrorism charges. In 2006, the State Department added that Cuba opposed the US-led war on terror and made no attempt to track, block, or seize terrorist assets.
Over the years, these accusations have faded as Latin American dictatorships were overthrown and leftist groups started using the ballot instead of bullets to gain power. In Columbia, where decades-long fighting between government and guerrilla groups persists, Cuba has become an internationally recognized and appreciated mediator hosting peace talks. The ETA called a ceasefire in 2011 and said it would disarm. And despite US accusations, after 9/11 Fidel Castro roundly condemned terrorism, refused to harbor individuals wanted for terrorism, and signed onto all UN-sanctioned anti-terrorism treaties.
Former paramilitary leaders apologize to Colombias conflict victims
Jan 29, 2015 posted by Rebecca Florey
Three former heads of paramilitary organization AUC on Wednesday offered apologies to the victims of hundreds of their crimes.
The physical, emotional and psychological pain caused to victims compels me to express remorse, forgiveness, deep sorrow and undeniable moral shame for everything we did in this fratricidal war. Gone are the pride and delusions of grandeur. Rest assured that this page of shame has already turned and we can say with certainty: Never again!
Those were the words Rodrigo Perez, alias Julian Bolivar, who spoke Wednesday at a Bogota court.
Perez, who was the top commander of the Central Bolivar Bloc (BCB) currently being held in prison, led a request for forgiveness offered by the various units that operated under his command. The apology was directed not only to the victims but also to the state institutions and society in general.
The BCB was a Colombian right-wing paramilitary organization and one of the largest members of the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC). Tens of thousands of cases of kidnappings, rape, massacres, extortion, drug trafficking and displacement, among other crimes, have been attributed to the AUC during its existence between 1997 and 2006.
Source: International Business Times
Cuban President Raul Castro: US Must Lift Embargo And Give Back Guantanamo To Normalize Relations
By Dennis Lynch @neato_itsdennis on January 28 2015 4:04 PM
Cuban President Raul Castro said Wednesday the U.S. must return the land at Guantanamo Bay, lift the crippling U.S. trade embargo and compensate Cuba for damages in order to reestablish a political and economic relationship between the two nations. Speaking at the opening of the Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) summit in Belén, Costa Rica, Castro said the diplomatic rapprochement wouldnt make any sense, if the U.S. did not agree to those terms, according to the Associated Press. The 83-year-old president added that talks would fall apart if Washington tried to interfere in Cuban politics.
Everything appears to indicate that the aim is to foment an artificial political opposition via economic, political and communicational means, he said, according to Reuters. If these problems are not resolved, this diplomatic rapprochement between Cuba and the United States would be meaningless.
U.S. President Barack Obama announced he would seek to normalize relations in December. Castro agreed and was optimistic about the prospect. U.S. and Cuban officials held high-level talks last week in Havana.
The U.S. placed Cuba under an almost complete embargo in 1960 shortly after Cuban rebels led by Rauls brother Fidel Castro overthrew a U.S.-backed regime led by Fulgencio Batista. It is the longest embargo in modern history and has devastated the Cuban economy. The Cuban Missile Crisis and dozens of other diplomatic rows nearly completely eroded relations between the nations.
Read more: http://www.ibtimes.com/cuban-president-raul-castro-us-must-lift-embargo-give-back-guantanamo-normalize-1798254
Exporting Fascism: US Imperialism in Latin America
by Mike Kuhlenbeck January 24, 2015
The United States will try to provoke anti-government sentiment and encourage the leaders of the right-wing opposition to lead a coup in Caracas.
The US sanctions against Venezuela, signed into law by President Barack Obama on December 18, 2014, resulted from charges of protestors rights being violated by the socialist government of President Nicolás Maduro.
The sanctions allow the Obama administration to deny visas and freeze the assets of Venezuelan officials accused of violating the rights of anti-government groups. These groups, comprised mainly of the right-wing opposition, have been leading violent protests in Caracas since last February. US leaders blame the Venezuelan leadership, headed by the United Socialist Party of Venezuela, for the deaths of 43 people during such demonstrations, which included both government supporters and opponents.
This charge has been widely disputed as an attempt for the American Eagle of Imperialism to dig its talons into Venezuela. As reported by Al-Jazeera, Despite the widely accepted and facile media narrative about the governments culpability for the origins of the protests and the ensuing violence, there is convincing evidence that Venezuelas right-wing antagonists bear much of the blame.
It is no secret that right-wing antagonists in Venezuela have been receiving US support. In New Eastern Outlook, journalist Caleb Maupin reported, The so-called Venezuelan opposition, which includes many open admirers of fascist dictators Francisco Franco and Augusto Pinochet, has received over $100 million in funding from the United States over the last twelve years.
The US has been heavily invested in Venezuela for many years, financially and politically. By 1928, Venezuela became one of the worlds leading oil exporters. Today, it is a member of Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and is third largest oil supplier for the US. For several decades, the nations corrupt leadership plunged the majority of the population into poverty. By 1998, that all would change with the election of Bolivarian presidential candidate of Hugo Chávez.
Weekend Edition January 23-25, 2015
In the Pocket of Big Meat
How the USDA and Big Food Keep the Public in the Dark
by MARTHA ROSENBERG
January brought implementation of the California law mandating more room for egg laying chickens. But larger cages do nothing for the suffering of hatchery chickens which are ground up alive at birth. Yes, you read that right. Until the egg industry ceases to buy its layers from hatcheries which the industry admits kills 200 million male chicks a year, there is no such thing as an ethical egg. Hatcheries also risk human health by injecting the eggs of future egg layers with antibiotics. Yum.
Earlier this month, video obtained from a Whole Foods egg supplier, Petaluma Farms in Petaluma, CA, shows just how bad the situation is on commercial egg farms. Hens are depicted in disturbing states of sickness and suffering, despite the operation hewing to Humane Farm Animal Care standards, reports the New York Times.
While the U.S.D.A. is in charge of farm regulation it recently announced new standards to reduce bacteria in poultry including better inspectionsit shamelessly plays both sides of the food street. According to an expose recent in the New York Times, it uses tax dollars to help private industry develop more profitable animals in a semi-clandestine operation called the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center. The experiments often cause the death of mothers and offspring, reports the Times and veterinarians have objected for years.
The U.S. governments allegiance to the meat industry at the price of consumers is also seen in its handling of mad cow scares. Four mad cows have been found in the United States in the last ten years and the government protected the identities of the Alabama and Texas ranches that produced two of them.
Weekend Edition January 23-25, 2015
"As Long as I am Alive, I will Continue Struggling"
Lopez Obrador Back on the Battlefield
by KENT PATERSON
Like an old warhorse that wont surrender, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is back on the battlefield. On a national tour connected to the 2015 mid-term elections, the two-time presidential candidate (2006 and 2012) is once again criss-crossing Mexico with his message of hope and change. This year, however, Lopez Obrador is on the campaign stump as the chief of a new political party, the National Movement for the Regeneration of Mexico (Morena), that is competing in the polls for the first time.
In a Puerto Vallarta appearance this weekend, Lopez Obrador delivered strident denunciations of the administration of President Enrique Pena Nieto, lashed out against corruption and excessive government spending, lamented the economic fortunes of common Mexicans, and criticized the leaderships of other political parties.
The left opposition leader was preceded in his remarks by words from local and state Morena activists. Lupita Joya, Morena elections promoter, asked a crowd of about 300 people gathered on Puerto Vallartas famous Malecon if they had lived stable and content lives in recent years. I dont believe any of us has had this. On the contrary, our well-being has suffered blows, she said.
Joya decried Mexicos international reputation for corruption as a shameful stigma for a hard-working people, adding that Morena intends to give life to the 1917 Constitution and its ideals of social rights. Morenas goal, she declared, is nothing less than to rescue and to regenerate Mexico.
El Salvador: UN rights office welcomes ground-breaking pardon of woman in abortion case
23 January 2015 The United Nations human rights office today welcomed the ground-breaking decision of the Salvadorian Legislative Assembly to pardon a young womens 30-year sentence in an abortion case.
Carmen Guadalupe Vásquez Aldana, who suffered a miscarriage at the age of 18 after reportedly being raped, was convicted of aggravated homicide after her crime was reclassified from abortion to aggravated homicide during her trial. She had already served seven years of her 30-year sentence.
The pardon was granted on 21 January following a complex judicial review by the Supreme Court of Justice, which also required a majority plenary vote by the Legislative Assembly. Guadalupe had served seven years of her 30 year sentence, a spokesman for the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said in Geneva today.
Rupert Colville said Ms. Vásquezs petition was one of 17 cases presented before the Supreme Court in 2014 requesting pardons for women who are imprisoned on similar charges. El Salvador has a complete ban on and criminalizes abortion, even when the woman's life or health is at risk or in cases of rape or incest.
We are encouraged by the decision to pardon Guadalupe and welcome the steps taken to review each case in line with due process standards, Mr. Colville said, reminding that several human rights mechanisms, including treaty bodies and special procedures, have regularly expressed serious concern about the total ban and criminalization of abortion in El Salvador.
January 21, 2015
Militarization and the Failed State
Honduras: the Failings of Neoliberalism
by GREG McCAIN
Robando is Spanish for stealing. Juan Robando is the not-at-all-affectionate moniker given to the President of Honduras, Juan Orlando Hernandez (JOH). January 27th marks the end of the first year of his presidency. His theft of the elections of November 2013 ensured the continuance of Honduras neoliberal trajectory. A trajectory previously boosted by the Agricultural Modernization Law of 1992. This law jettisoned any agrarian reforms attempted beforehand. Neoliberalism took a further leap in 2009. Thats when the ruling elite instigated the coup détat which ousted President Manuel Zelaya. Thirteen oligarchic families led the coup with the assistance of the US State Department, at the time headed by Hilary Clinton. The Honduran Military kidnapped Zelaya using the private plane of Miguel Facussé Barjum, President of the Dinant Corporation and the richest man in Honduras. They refueled at the USs Palmerola Military Base before whisking the deposed President to Panama.
Even though Zelayas administration ratified and supported CAFTA-DR in 2006 (free trade agreements being the neo-liberals favorite bludgeoning tool for maintaining the wealth of the ruling elite) he was seen as an impediment to the neoliberal agenda. This was due in part to his making several pragmatic economic decisions. For example, he raised the minimum wage and entered into agreements with peasant farmers to help them obtain land titles (which enraged Facussé). Mostly, though, it was because he was friendly to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and worked for Honduras entry into ALBA (Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America).
The sham election of 2013 was simply an extension of the coup. Overwhelming evidence showed that JOH and his National Party (NP) stole the elections. His party engaged in various means of vote tampering, outright threats, and murders of opposition candidates and supporters. Nevertheless, his presidency was legitimized.
JOHs campaign promised a mano duro, or iron fist approach, to ending the crime that ranks Honduras as the murder capital of the world. His plan to put Military Police (MP) on every street corner across the country has thus far been implemented in Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula and incrementally elsewhere. But, homicides continue unabated along with the impunity enjoyed by the perpetrators. Despite JOHs and the US State Dept.s attempts to fudge the numbers, the World Health Organization reports that homicides have increased in the past year to 103.9/100,000 people. In addition, the MP have been involved in numerous cases of intimidation, brutality, kidnapping, sexual assault, and murder.
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