Category Archives: Human rights violations

Has Julian Assange Been Appointed A Member of the Diplomatic Corps of Ecuador?

It appears that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has finally found a way to escape from his imprisonment at the Ecuadorean embassy in London: he has apparently been made a member of Ecuador’s diplomatic corps, which, if true, will provide him with legally unassailable diplomatic immunity.  If this is the case he will soon be free to leave the Ecuadorean embassy in London and leave England, free to travel to and live in any country where Ecuador maintains an embassy – or to simply establish a new home in Ecuador!

The revelation seems to have been completely missed by all of the world’s press.  We have been following developments in the case via the @wikileaks and @JulianAssange Twitter accounts and we missed the story ourselves.  This past week, as Assange was observing a strange period of Twitter silence, he sent out a series of cryptic messages that had us guessing along with most of the other WikiLeaks supporters as to what was going on.  We found out that Assange had been granted Ecuadorean citizenship on the 10th, but we had no idea what was actually going on until 13 January, when we saw a Twitter reference to  an article published in the British newspaper “The Guardian”: “Julian Assange’s Bid for Diplomatic Status Rejected by UK Government

The article revealed that “The [British – IWPCHI] Foreign Office has turned down a request from the Ecuadorian government to grant the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, diplomatic status as a means of breaking the stalemate over his continued presence in the UK […] An FCO spokesperson, confirming the latest attempt to resolve the impasse, said on Wednesday night: ‘The government of Ecuador recently requested diplomatic status for Mr Assange here in the UK. The UK did not grant that request, nor are we in talks with Ecuador on this matter. Ecuador knows that the way to resolve this issue is for Julian Assange to leave the embassy to face justice.'”

It is not clear if the Guardian’s reporter or editors even understood the meaning hidden in plain sight in their own article; the only reason the Ecuadoreans would have made this approach to the British Foreign Office in the first place would have been if they had, in fact, already made Assange a member of their diplomatic corps.  This is because, under international law, there is no requirement for any nation to request permission from any host country’s government  in order to be allowed to make any person whom they choose to be made a member of their diplomatic corps!  The Foreign Office was asserting – falsely – that it alone had the right to grant, or not to grant Ecuador “permission” to make Julian Assange a member of their diplomatic corps.

Former British Ambassador Craig Murray pointed this out in commentary on his own website:

“It is for the government of Ecuador, not the UK, to determine who is an Ecuadorian citizen. It is for the government of Ecuador, not the UK, to determine who is an Ecuadorian diplomat […] [t]he Foreign and Commonwealth Office appears to be putting out a story that it has refused to accredit Assange as an Ecuadorian diplomat […] [b]ut [Ecuador] has every right to appoint Assange, now an Ecuadorian citizen, as an Ecuadorian diplomat if it so chooses. Ecuador cannot tell the UK who may or may not be a British diplomat, and the converse applies. ”  [Source: craigmurray.org.uk “Ecuador and Assange”, 12 January 2018]

Murray goes on to explain:

The Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations – to which the UK and Ecuador are both party – is the governing international law and determines the obligations to respect diplomatic immunity. It is crystal clear (Article 4,1) that the need to obtain agreement in advance of the receiving state only applies to the Head of Mission – ie the Ecuadorian Ambassador. For other staff of the mission the sending state (in this case, Ecuador) “may freely appoint” the other members of the mission, (Article 7), subject to provisos in Articles 5,8,9 and 11. Plainly the only one of these which applies in the Assange case is Article 9. Julian Assange is persona non grata – unwelcome -to the UK government. That is a legitimate reply to notification, but comes following the appointment; it does not pre-empt the appointment.

“Here is the key point. A member of staff below head of mission can already have entered the country before appointment, and their diplomatic immunity starts from the moment their appointment is notified, and NOT from the moment it is accepted. Article 39 (i) could not be plainer:

1.Every person entitled to privileges and immunities shall enjoy them from the moment he enters
the territory of the receiving State on proceeding to take up his post or, if already in its territory, from
the moment when his appointment is notified to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs or such other ministry
as may be agreed.”

[Source: ibid]

If all of this is true, and if Ecuador has indeed already appointed Assange to its diplomatic corps, then he enjoys full immunity from prosecution as a member of the diplomatic corps and all the UK can do if he leaves the embassy is to declare him “persona non grata” and order him to leave the country!

Of course, as socialists we know full well that when the vital interests of the capitalist classes of imperialist nations are at stake, the capitalists will trample all over the laws of their own nation-states as well as international law.  The United States Government has quite pointedly declared its own personnel to be above international law and not subject to any sanctions under it.  So will the US – or their imperialist pet poodles in the UK government – respect international law in this instance?  We have no idea; we think it is unlikely that they will.  If they were to trample on Ecuador’s rights under the Vienna Convention – ratified by all three countries – they would be creating a major international diplomatic incident quite possibly unparalleled in modern times.

It is clear to us that the Assange case is about to take a very interesting turn, and  sooner than most people seem to think.  We say: US/UK hands off Julian Assange and WikiLeaks!

We have not been able to obtain a clarification from Julian Assange as to his apparent newly granted status as a member of the Ecuadorean diplomatic corps as of the time of publication of this article.

— IWPCHI

 

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CIA’s Outsourcing of Torture: Mitchell, Jessen and Associates and the Murder of Gul Rahman

cia-timeline-of-the-day-gul-rahman-was-murdered-at-a-cia-black-site-prison

We present to our readers a selection of recently released CIA documents relating to the CIA’s outsourcing of torture to a private consulting firm, Mitchell, Jessen and Associates.  The documents were apparently obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) through a Freedom of Information Act request to the CIA.  The full set of 764 pages was uploaded to the “DocumentCloud” website by Charles Savage of the New York Times on 19 January 2017.  This original full set of documents can be obtained from our own website here:  cia-documents-from-aclu

Our selection featured here is

cias-outsourcing-of-torture_-mitchell-jessen-and-assoc_and-killing-of-gul-rahman_from-764pg-aclu-foia-docs

This 20-page document describes the CIA’s outsourcing of torture initially to a pair of US psychologists: James Elmer Mitchell  and  John “Bruce” Jessen.  This dynamic duo later formed a partnership –  the consulting firm of Mitchell, Jessen and Associates.

SERE training camp at Fort Bragg. Captain Michael Kearns, Psychologist Bruce Jessen (right). SOURCE: Michael Kearns, Truthout.org, via Wikipedia

SERE training camp at Fort Bragg. Captain Michael Kearns, Psychologist Bruce Jessen (right). SOURCE: Michael Kearns, Truthout.org, via Wikipedia

According to the financial statements given by the CIA in the ACLU document trove, between 2001 and 2009, Mitchell and Jessen were paid $74,633,075.75 to teach “enhanced interrogation” methods to CIA operatives as well as, apparently guards and officers from the U.S. Bureau of Prisons.  Mitchell and Associates had, at the time these documents were created, approximately 80 employees all “certified” to provide “expert” torture-enhanced interrogations as well as torture consulting services to the US military and the CIA.

Jessen was involved in the design and execution of the interrogation plan used against suspected  Hezb-i-Islami Gulbuddin operative Gul Rahman.   Hezb-i-Islami Gulbuddin is named after its leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, a deranged Islamic fundamentalist once the darling of the US Government back when he was fighting the USSR-backed moderate Afghan Government in the late 1970s and early ’80s.  Once the Stalinist misleaders of the USSR pulled out of Afghanistan in an attempt to placate an increasingly belligerent US capitalist class, Hekmatyar began to turn on his erstwhile allies in the US.  The US policy of financing the rise of Islamic fundamentalism in order to use it as a battering ram against Soviet Central Asia and western China was a short-term solution that has turned into a long-term disaster for the US and especially for the women workers of the Near and Middle East.  The chickens came home to roost on 9/11 as another darling of Reagan-era anti-Sovietism, Osama Bin Laden, launched the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

Our party is inspired by the work of the International Communist League/Spartacist League whose brilliant analysis and defense of of the Soviet Union’s intervention in Afghanistan stands as one of the greatest political achievements of the Trotskyist movement in history.  When the Sparts said “Hail Red Army in Afghanistan” in defense of the reformist pro-Soviet government that was trying to bring Afghanistan into the 20th century by fighting to end such horrors of Afghan tribal society as the buying and selling of brides and horrific enslavement of women, the entire reformist left howled in unison with the US and world imperialism, which backed the Afghan mullahs like Hekmatyar and Bin Laden.  We urge our readers to check out these brilliant writings of the Spartacist League/ICL on Afghanistan from 1979-80:17 November 1978. Sparts demonstrate what Trotskyist leadership is all about with crystal-clear analysis of Iranian Islamic counter-revolution.

https://www.marxists.org/history/etol/newspape/workersvanguard/1978/0219_17_11_1978.pdf

Trotskyists principled internationalist Leninist defense of USSR intervention in Afghanistan.

Trotskyists of Spartacist League/ICL’s principled internationalist defense of USSR and its intervention in Afghanistan, Winter 1979-80.

 

https://www.marxists.org/history/etol/newspape/spartacist-us/1972-1980/0027-0028_Winter_1979-80.pdf

Though there have been calls from several quarters to have these “war on terror” criminals brought to justice, as of this writing they are walking the streets as free men, enjoying the fruits of their labor in the service of the US capitalist class.  On 13 October 2015, the ACLU filed this lawsuit on behalf of the estate of Gul Rahman against Mitchell and Jessen:  salim_v-_mitchell_-_complaint_10-13-15

With bipartisan support among Democrats and Republicans for the aims and methods of the US “War on Terror” (which has claimed the lives of tens of thousands of people) and a long-standing refusal of either party to bring anyone involved in the CIA torture program up on criminal charges, it seems to us highly unlikely that Mitchell or Jessen – or any of their many US government collaborators – will see the inside of a well-deserved prison cell anytime soon.

The only way that the war criminals in the service of the US capitalist class will ever see justice is if the US working class overthrows this bloodthirsty ruling class and takes power into the workers’ own hands.  This will require a socialist revolution led by a Trotskyist vanguard party that creates an egalitarian socialist workers republic which will see to it that these criminals are brought face to face with a jury of their victims.  Donald Trump – a full-fledged representative of the venal, greed-mad US capitalist class, has repeatedly announced to the world his fondness for torture – a sentiment that would have shocked the “Founding Fathers” of the United States, whose bourgeois-revolutionary founding documents officially denounced “cruel and unusual punishments” like torture as a hideous relic of medieval barbarism and sought to end its practice for all time.  It is a sign of the depth of the degeneracy of the 21st-century heirs of Washington and Jefferson that the topmost representative of their class now threatens to “make torture great again”.

For decades the Trotskyists have warned the workers that if the working classes of the world do not organize themselves and overthrow the capitalist system, the result will be a descent into a barbarism even worse than that created by the world’s capitalist classes in World Wars I and II.  The time for the working class to organize for this final struggle against the last class of exploiters is getting short.  We must build revolutionary socialist workers parties NOW and put an end to the savagery of the capitalist system before it plunges the planet into a nuclear World War III in which the world – and for the first time the continental US – will see total destruction of its major cities and of hundreds of millions of workers.  This does not have to happen!

Workers of the World Unite!  Capitalism must die so that the working class may live!

IWPCHI

 

Cast of ‘Hamilton’ Present Meek Plea to Trump Flunky Pence – Transcript

We publish here our transcription of the post-performance address given on behalf of the cast and writers of ‘Hamilton: An American Musical’ to Vice President-elect Mike Pence on 18 November 2016.  We produced it from the New York Times video copy of the event.  Though it appears that actor Brandon Victor Dixon, who gave the address on behalf of the cast and writers of the show, made somewhat more extensive remarks, the video ends before he appears to finish his statement.  We have been unable to find a copy of the video which shows the entire event through to the cast walking off the stage.

Many people on the Internet are decrying the fact that actors would dare to break the “fourth wall” between the audience and the performers in a stage performance in this manner and act as if this has never been done before.  Actually it has happened on many occasions, particularly before and after performances.  Also there have been commentators who seem to believe that the address to Pence was some kind of rude political attack intended to embarrass or humiliate Pence.  In reality, Mr. Dixon took great pains to stop any booing of Pence at the beginning of the address and delivered the address in a very respectful if direct manner.  The video shows that if anyone objected to the cast addressing Pence so directly they were in the minority: the vast majority of the audience cheers loudly in favor of the political points that are made.

The political points made by Dixon on behalf of the cast simply consist of pathetic appeals to a man who has been appointed Vice-President by the new President-elect Trump who is busy assembling the whitest, most male-dominated Presidential cabinet in almost 40 years!  “We are the diverse America who are alarmed and anxious that your new Administration will not protect us, our planet, our children, our parents – or defend us and uphold our inalienable rights, sir ” said Dixon.

What a fine example of the impotent method of political shucking and jiving (preferred by US liberals) of “speaking truth to power” in the manner of an obedient if somewhat uppity servant who first declares his respect for the person he is addressing and then makes a pathetic plea to the King’s representative for compassion and understanding of the hopes and dreams of the downtrodden and dispossessed – just as it would have been done during the historic period in which ‘Hamilton’ is set!   The US working class is almost 200 million strong… yet once again we see a de facto representative of the US working class approaching his “social betters” – the capitalist class representative Pence, representing a mere 10% of the US population at best! – hat in hand, pathetically begging our “masters” to treat us kindly… rather than taking the revolutionary road of standing up and overthrowing the racist ruling capitalist class of the USA that Trump and Pence represent!  The numerically tiny US capitalist class who fantasize about returning the USA to the “Good Old Days(TM)” of genocide against the Native Americans and the theft of their lands, white supremacy, total subordination of women to “the menfolk”, slavery and child labor and the ruthless crushing of every attempt of the workers and slaves to fight for their “inalienable rights” that existed – then and now – only on paper!   The fact is that the integrated US working class in 2016 and our immigrant sisters and brothers have no rights that the capitalist class is “bound to respect”; and the fact that the US capitalist class has seen fit to allow Donald Trump and his gang of white supremacist scum to occupy the highest office in the land proves this point beyond doubt!  Anyone who can’t see this is either willfully blind or an imbecile.

What the US working class needs is not shameful “representatives” who present shamefully weak petitions to the “rightful rulers” of the capitalist class but heroic revolutionaries like Lenin’s Bolsheviks who presented their petitions to the Tsar and his hangmen on the ends of bayonets!  These scum who want to impose a racist, capitalist, white supremacist pig like Trump as President of the United States are throwing down a gauntlet to the working classes of the US and the world!  “If you don’t like living in our racist, white supremacist, anti-union America you can get the hell out of ‘our’ country!” they declare!  And they are preparing to unleash their fascist shock troops to intimidate and terrorize those who dare to oppose them!  The rising US fascist threat must be crushed in the egg; it will take a militant, Trotskyist-led workers movement to do it – and the US working class have barely begun that tremendous work!  Don’t you think it’s high time you got off your knees and started to fight for your rights, sister and brother workers instead of begging your mortal enemies to love you and respect you?

This is no time for presenting timid petitions to King Drumpf I, but for organizing a revolutionary Trotskyist workers party that will fight for an egalitarian socialist workers republic to replace this deeply corrupt, senile, revanchist, racist dinosaur US capitalist class and its rotten economic system that is threatening to destroy the unity of the world’s working classes and even the entire planet!  You want your rights as citizens to be defended now and forever more?  Then stop begging your enemies to do it for you and prepare to create a revolutionary workers government under which your “inalienable rights” – which exist only on paper under capitalism – to become full and permanent under a workers’ republican government!  When we say that “Capitalism must die so that the working class may live!” we are not just spouting a slogan: we are stating a harsh fact, one which you had better come to understand before it’s too late.  To limit the US working class – 200 million strong – to the pathetic role of merely “speaking truth to power” – the alleged “power” of at most 30 million greedhead capitalists – is to accept the status of loyal slaves and to make it a permanent fact of our political lives!  What could be more cowardly?  We don’t want to petition “King Trump” or merely to “speak truth to power” to his flunky ministers like Pence: we want to overthrow the despotic racist regime itself:  Trump and his entire rotten class and their capitalist system.   If the revolutionaries of 1776 had stupidly limited their struggle to merely “speaking truth to power” we’d still be living under a monarchy!  But they were NOT cowards; they were not content to “keep their place” as loyal subjects of the King, being forced to accede to his every decree and command like stupid slaves!  We need to build a political party of the working class that is energised by the same kind of revolutionary spirit that animated the likes of immigrant political theoretician Thomas Paine, Daniel Shays, John Brown, Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass and the communist men and women who fought to build the US trade unions and the civil rights movement in the 1930s!

“Workers of the World, Unite!”

— IWPCHI

********************************************************

NY Times Video – Cast of ‘Hamilton’ Present Meek Plea to Trump Flunky Pence

Cast of ‘Hamilton’ Addresses VP Elect Mike Pence After Performance – Complete transcript by IWPCHI, with notes in brackets by IWPCHI.

[Transcribed by IWPCHI from NY Times video of event. Speech delivered by actor Brandon Victor Dixon]

[Cast on stage taking final bows. Wild applause and cheering. Pence not visible during video.]

“Ladies and gentlemen, thank you so much for joining us tonight. You know, we had a guest in the audience this evening [light laughter throughout audience] And Vice President-elect Pence, I see you walking out but I hope you will hear us just a few more moments [one or two people boo, and apparently derisive comments anticipating tenor of speech can be heard] … there’s nothing to boo here ladies and gentlemen; there’s nothing to boo here [light applause] we’re all here sharing a story of love. We have a little message for you sir [Dixon reaches for prepared address in his pocket] and we hope that you will hear us out. [Opens up paper with prepared address and prepares to read it] … and I encourage everybody to pull out your phones and Tweet and post because this message needs to be spread far and wide, O.K.? [Reads: audience completely silent] ‘Vice President-elect Pence, we welcome you and we truly thank you for joining us here at “Hamilton: An American Musical”. We really do. We, sir – we – are the diverse America who are alarmed and anxious that your new Administration will not protect us [applause and cheering, some boos] our planet, our children, our parents – or defend us and uphold our inalienable rights, sir. [Audience silent again]. But we truly hope that this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and to work on behalf of *all* of us. [Cheering] *All* of us. [Loud, sustained applause and cheering from audience. No booing. Dixon continues through loud applause:] Again we truly thank you for sharing this show: this wonderful American story told by a diverse group of men and women of different colors, creeds and orientations. [Loud applause and cheering. Video ends.]

IWPCHI

 

Standing Bear vs. Crook: the Landmark 1879 U.S. Court Decision that Recognized Native Americans as Human Beings

Native American Ponca Chief Standing Bear (photographer, date unknown)

Ponca Chief Standing Bear (photographer, date unknown)

Below, we publish a corrected text of the landmark 1879 US Federal Court ruling in “Standing Bear vs. Crook”, in which, for the first time, it was held by a US court of law that “[a]n Indian is a person within the meaning of the habeas corpus act, and as such is entitled to sue out a writ of habeas corpus in the federal courts when it is shown that the petitioner is deprived of liberty under color of authority of the United States, or is in custody of an officer in violation of the constitution or a law of the United States, or in violation of a treaty made in pursuance thereof.”  It is considered by historians to have been the very first time that a Native American had sued the US Government in a US court and emerged a winner.

The ruling also noted that Native Americans also had the right to declare their expatriation from their tribes, as provided by a Reconstruction-era (1868) law that provided that right to anyone temporarily or permanently residing in the United States.  Additionally, it asserted that it was declared that if Federal troops were to arrest anyone illegally residing on an Indian Reservation (including Native Americans of a different tribe), they must “convey the persons so removed, by the most convenient route, to the civil authorities of the judicial district in which the offense may be committed to be proceeded against in due course of law. In time of peace, no authority civil or military exists for
transporting Indians from one section of the country to, another, without the consent of the Indians, nor to confine then to any particular reservation against their will”.

A key player in bringing this case to trial was Thomas Henry Tibbles – one of the many unsung heroes of US history.  Tibbles – originally from Ohio – was  an ardent abolitionist in his youth and served under the command of fellow abolitionists James Lane and John Brown in Kansas before the Civil War.  Tibbles was once captured by pro-slavery racists in Kansas who planned to lynch him; he escaped from their hands and lived to serve as a scout for the Union Army.  After the war, he moved to Nebraska where he became involved in the fight for the rights of Native Americans.  As an assistant editor of the Omaha Daily Herald, he was made aware of the plight of Standing Bear and his small tribe of Poncas and began to publicize the case, eventually obtaining the legal services of two lawyers who agreed to represent the Poncas pro bono.  Later in life, Tibbles was witness to the aftermath and informed the world of the the hideous massacre of 200-300 men, women and children by US troops at that took place at the “Battle” of Wounded Knee, South Dakota on 29 December 1890.

Sadly, Tibbles’ anti-racist fervor seems to have degenerated over time; he was the Vice-Presidential candidate of the Populist Party in 1904, on the ticket with white supremacist Thomas Watson of Georgia.  He died, in his late eighties, in 1928.

History as written by the

History as written by the “victors”: “Bureal of the Dead at the Battle of Wounded Knee, S.D.” Photo by NorthWestern Photo Co., Chadron, Nebraska, 1891.

Standing Bear was a chief of the agrarian Ponca tribe which had undergone its own “Trail of Tears”, having been wrenched by the US Government from lands in Nebraska they had worked for more than 150 years and driven across country to a reservation in Oklahoma where the land was unsuitable for farming.  The Ponca chiefs refused to accept these poor agricultural lands as their new home and fought to return to Nebraska.  During the journey to the Oklahoma reservation as many as 1 in 4 members of the tribe – including Standing Bear’s oldest son Bear Shield – died in their first year since being driven from their homes.  Standing Bear and his 30 or so followers decided to return but were captured on the way and jailed at Ft. Omaha by soldiers under the command of US General George Crook.  Urged on by Tibbles’ reports in the Daily Herald which had been picked up and broadcast by telegraph from coast to coast, many citizens throughout the US protested the harsh treatment of the Poncas and the case was brought to trial.  During the two-day trial Standing Bear, through an interpreter, eloquently defended his and his tribe’s actions and fought for their freedom.  Outrageously, one of the principles Standing Bear had to fight for was the fundamental right for a Native American to be considered a human being:

“This hand is not the color of yours, but if I pierce it, I shall feel pain. If you pierce your hand, you also feel pain. The blood that will flow from mine will be of the same color as yours. I am a man. The same God made us both.”

— Chief Standing Bear, addressing the court – Standing Bear v. Crook (May, 1879)

Ponca Chief Standing Bear with his wife and son (photographer, date unknown)

Ponca Chief Standing Bear with his wife and son (photographer, date unknown)

Chief Standing Bear traveled across Europe and the US on the lecture circuit, in tours sponsored by abolitionist and Native American rights advocate Wendell Phillips.  In his lectures Standing Bear fought for the rights of all Native Americans.  He returned to farm on his tribe’s original lands on the Niobrara River in Nebraska where he died in 1908 not far from where he had been born some 70 years earlier.  The Ponca are divided into two tribal groups to this day – one based in Nebraska and the other in Oklahoma.

— IWPCHI

United States ex. rel. Standing Bear v. Crook (12 May 1879)

[NOTE: The text of the ruling we used was originally available online on the website of the Yale Law School, but has since been removed.  We found a copy of it on the Internet Archive, but upon reading it we discovered a number of errors and typos and so have produced this corrected version.  If anyone has access to a copy of the trial transcript we would be very happy to link to it or republish it here.  —- IWPCHI]

“To A Certain Class of Citizens” (with apologies to Walt Whitman)

[This is a slightly edited version of Walt Whitman’s poem “To a Certain Civilian”, which we would address to all those who denigrate the idea of workers socialist revolution and our project, however modest, to create revolutionary socialist Marxist/Leninist/Trotskyist vanguard parties of the working class from Chicago to Kolkata.  We read this today and thought it perfectly captured our attitude to those who sneer at the efforts of those who seek to emancipate the working class from capitalist wage- and debt-slavery worldwide, and also our attitude towards those who attempt to trick the workers into adopting every half-assed form of struggle they can imagine, all the while denigrating and slandering the only method that has ever led to a successful seizure of power and lasting victory by the working class: the Leninist vanguard party.  –  IWPCHI]

“To a Certain Class of Citizens”

Did you ask dulcet rhymes from us?

Did you seek the citizen’s peaceful and languishing rhymes?

Did you find what we sang erewhile so hard to follow?

We were not singing erewhile for you to follow, to

understand – nor are we now;

What to such as you anyhow, such poets as us?  therefore leave

our works,

And go lull yourself with what you can understand, and with

pop-tunes,

For we lull nobody, and you will never understand us.

— (With apologies to and deep respect for Walt Whitman),

IWPCHI

At NRA Convention, “Former” CIA Operative Pushes ‘Islamists Taking Over US Cities’ Big Lie

[Editorial note: we prematurely published this article before we had checked out the assertions made by “ThinkProgress” in their series of articles on the subject.  We regret to say that we hit the “publish” button too soon on this story, and so had to edit it significantly before formally “releasing” it as we usually do via an announcement on “Twitter”.  We apologise to any of our readers who read the earlier, hastily released and inaccurate version.  – IWPCHI]

Last week we read with marginal interest a ThinkProgress’ article by Kira Lerner entitled “Islamic Extremists Have Seized Control Of U.S. Cities, Says NRA Seminar“.

The article’s implication that “the NRA” had endorsed the speaker’s viewpoint, we thought, was perhaps taking things a bit far; obviously, the NRA’s conventions will have many people giving presentations at them, and it’s doubtful whether the NRA has the opportunity to scrutinize every speaker’s remarks before that person gives their presentation (if the speakers even submit their prepared speeches – if such even exist – in advance).  Nor can the NRA (or any other organization in the world, for that matter) control every crazy utterance that comes out of every speaker’s mouth at a public forum – even one they are hosting.  So we quickly scanned the article and put it aside for later reading.

There have been a series of reports in the US news media asserting that there are certain areas of European and American cities, “controlled” by citizens who happen to be Muslims, where Sharia Law reigns and the cops are afraid to go.  Fox News has spread these lies, and ThinkProgress describes Fox News’ repudiation of its own story on the subject dealing with the European “no-go” zones.  Fox had hardly finished apologising for the fabricated story about “no-go” zones in Europe, when they forged ahead with another claiming not only, falsely, that there were “hundreds of Muslim-controlled areas outside Paris that outsiders and cops don’t dare to explore – they chose just to give it up” but also that “we have them here in the United States, too – I bet you did not know that.  Nearly two dozen enclaves, popping up across nine different states”:

http://video.foxnews.com/v/3988810478001/how-muslim-enclaves-are-spreading-across-the-us/?#sp=show-clips

The cretin Fox News uses to spread their lies about Muslim “no-go” zones here in the USA (known as “private property” to the rest of us) is a Christian lunatic and former editor of Jerry Falwell’s Moral Majority Report, one Martin Mawyer.  Mawyer’s organization, “Christian Action Network” is, like the Falwell operation, based out of the aptly-named Lynchburg, Virginia.  Mawyer’s idea of “What Would Jesus Do” is perhaps exemplified by his attacks on gays, as described by the Southern Poverty Law Center in 2005:

“In his ‘dirty and dangerous’ battle against ‘militant homosexual groups,’ Mawyer has not held back. In 1997, after Ellen Degeneres came out as a lesbian on her TV sitcom, Mawyer accused her of ‘DUMPING HER FILTHY LESBIAN LIFESTYLE RIGHT IN THE CENTER OF YOUR LIVING ROOM!! … If we allow the tidal wave of gay and lesbian smut to continue to pour into our homes, it will utterly consume us in no time at all!’

[…]

“CAN caused a national stir when TV stations refused to air its inflammatory ad attacking Hillary Clinton, who was then running for U.S. Senate.

“Over ominous drumbeats, the narrator intoned: ‘It is rumored that Hillary Clinton is a lesbian. It is rumored that Hillary Clinton supported homosexual marriage. It is rumored that Hillary Clinton will leave her husband upon taking office. … Sometimes, rumors are true. Shouldn’t you know the truth? For more information on traditional family values, please contact the Christian Action Network.'”

[Source: Southern Poverty Law Center, “Intelligence Report, Spring 2005,
A Dozen Major Groups Help Drive the Religious Right’s Anti-Gay Crusade”]

After spreading these “Big Lies” about Muslim “no-go zones” in a manner that Goebbels himself would have been proud of, which even caused the disgusting British Prime Minister David Cameron to protest against the Fox broadcasts (to his credit he called out the Fox “terrorism expert” Steven Emerson as “a complete idiot”, proving once again that even a stopped clock, etc. etc.), Fox put its bushy, self-soiled tail between its legs and quietly repudiated in soundbites what they had previously asserted in screaming feature stories.  The Fox then slunk off back to its den to work on a new plan of action.  Almost immediately, they came right back with their “new” allegations, with a new “expert” to sell almost the exact same garbage.  Mawyer, not incidentally, is selling videos of his most recent “exposes” of Muslim “enclaves in the US – at $20 a pop.

They say “god works in mysterious ways”.  There’s nothing mysterious about how Martin Mawyer works: he’s out to make a lot of money, and he doesn’t care how he gets it.  Apparently finally aware that “the gays” have triumphed in the US over his kind of rabid homophobia, he’s now trying to push a scaremongering anti-ISIS video that berates them – for their attacks on gays.

This is what Fox calls “fair and balanced” news coverage.

All well and good, ThinkProgress.  But in your own otherwise decent story on the subject regarding the NRA convention, why do you egregiously mischaracterize the man who, at that convention, retailed the very same lies?

“Author Steve Tarani said during a presentation in Nashville on Sunday that he has witnessed the alleged ‘no-go zones’ — areas where police cannot enter — while shadowing a friend who serves on the Detroit Metro SWAT Police on a drive in Dearborn, MI.”

[Source: ThinkProgress, “Islamic Extremists Have Seized Control of U.S. Cities, Says NRA Seminar” by Kira Lerner, 14 April 2015]

“Author”?  Is that all you have to say about Tarani?  At the NRA convention, according to ThinkProgress, “author” “Tarani’s comments were part of an hour-long seminar in which he discussed what he claims are the threats Americans face on a daily basis […] ‘mass murders, beheadings and suicide bombings’ are increasing […] [the USA’s] ‘porous borders’ are letting extremists and terrorists into the United States. ‘It’s possible that at least 20 percent of what comes over that border — that’s a big number, guys — is Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood, the Ethiopian al shabaab, known gang members and supports of the cartel'” Tarani asserted.  Strong stuff!  The stuff from which legends – and lynch mobs – are created!

So who is this “author” Tarani?  Checking out the NRA convention website, where their list of speakers can be found, we easily found the listing for the “author” in question:

Description of

Description of “author” Steve Tarani’s presentation to NRA Convention in Nashville, April 2015

Exciting stuff!  But wait: what’s this? “Ex-CIA personal protection expert?”  How fascinating! Always these scum are “EX”- this or that.  How very convenient.

What more can we find out about this “ex-CIA” man who goes to right-wing gun-nut conventions spreading lies about how “the Moozlims are comin’ after us! Grab yer gunz, white folks!”?

The NRA’s own website gives us more.  Isn’t it strange that ThinkProgress’ intrepid “non-partisan” reporters stopped reporting right where the story actually begins?

Steve Tarani's bio from the same NRA Nashville 2015 website.

Steve Tarani’s bio from the same NRA Nashville 2015 website: “ex”-CIA, “ex”-Dept. of Energy, “ex”- Defense Department, “ex”- this, “ex”- that. What bullshit.

We see “ex”- National Security State scum like him all over the bourgeois press.  From the repulsive “ex”-CIA agent Robert Baer to the tag-team of “ex”-Pentagon brass CNN and all the major news organizations used to “analyze” all the reasons why destroying Iraq was “in the national interest”, these “ex”- es will not stay in Texas.   We charge that Tarani and his kind are being used by the CIA to spread deadly propaganda to some of the most heavily armed and unhinged human beings in the US in a way that will not get the CIA in trouble under the laws that expressly prohibit organizations like the CIA from undertaking disinformation campaigns inside the USA.  So these CIA assets just pretend to retire, and then, as “ex”- CIA, they are free to spread their lies as “loose cannons”.  Of course they are also free, on top of their not-at-all insignificant federal pensions, to go around collecting fat paychecks from the news agencies and right-wing conventions like the NRA’s – scaring the shit out of the NRA yahoos who are already so frightened of their own neighbors that they have amassed home arsenals in order to “prepare for the day” that cretins like “terrorism experts” and “ex”-CIA men like Steve Tarani give them the green light to pick up their torches, strap on their weapons and head out to the Big Red Herring-Shoot.  These rat-bastard “ex”- CIA scum are dangerous, indeed!

So why did ThinkProgress omit the intriguing details of Tarani’s curriculum vitae?  Is that how the “non-partisan” “friends of labor” warn “labor” about its mortal enemies?  Not very nice at all.  Trust “ThinkProgress” as far as you can  throw a punch.  And watch your back when you’re around them – because they’re nothing but a gang of Democratic party wolves in sheep’s clothing, as you’ll see in our next article.

Workers of the World, Unite!

Independent Workers Party of Chicago

240th Anniversary of the ‘Shot Heard ‘Round the World’ – Start of the New American Revolution – Patriot’s Day

In honor of the 240th anniversary of the beginning of the American Revolution – which began on this day, April 19, 1775 at the Battles of Lexington and Concord – we present a newspaper article that appeared in the Essex (Massachusetts) Gazette of 25 April 1775 – a compendium made by the Gazette’s editor of the events that took place on that day.

It might seem strange that our organization, which is dedicated to the overthrow of the US capitalist class of 2015 (many of whom have ancestors who fought and died in the American Revolution) would celebrate the victory of the then-emerging US capitalist class over the British royalists.  But we recognize that the American Revolution was a major step forward on the road to the emancipation of the working class internationally.  Even though the US revolution was led by a coalition of rather conservative mercantile capitalists and slave-owning aristocrats, the principles that were promulgated by the US revolutionaries broke new legal and philosophical ground that would lead inevitably to the development of the theory of the class struggle and the socialist ideas of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.  In other words, the socialist movement owes a great debt to the revolutionary thinkers – and actors – of the US revolution – men and women like John Parker, Prince Estabrook, Mercy Otis Warren, Thomas Paine, Deborah Sampson, Tadeusz Kosciuszko, and the thousands of unsung heroic brave working men and women.  They risked their lives and their fortunes in what, at the time, seemed as impossible a struggle against what was then the world’s most powerful military as does our fight today to topple the ruling class of the USA, whose military juggernaut frightens the most cowardly among us.  In fact, it is the audacity and the boldness of the American revolutionaries of 1775 who we look to for proof that “for brave men and women, there is always a remedy for oppression”.  No military, no King, no ruling class is too powerful to be brought down by the united power of the working class!  The British found this out in 1775; time and again the modern US capitalist class has been forced to submit to the strength of the insurrectionary working class as they took on the most powerful military in the world – that of the United States – and won.  In the USSR, China, Korea, Vietnam, and Cuba, the United States was unable to prevail against the united forces of the workers and peasants of countries who no one believed could ever win against the military might of the USA.  The US working class, too, will someday prove the naysayers wrong, following the trail blazed by the heroes of 1776, 1789, 1871, 1917, 1949, 1953, 1959 and 1975.
Today’s US capitalist class, by  re-legalizing torture and legalizing the assassination of U.S. citizens, has forever and irrevocably forfeited its “right” to rule over the working class of the USA.  It is the duty of every decent member of the US working class to dedicate their lives and fortunes to the overthrow of this savage ruling class, responsible for the deaths of tens of millions of our sister and brother workers all across the globe and the continuing torture and murder of our brothers and sisters right here in the US via the US national security police state and its prison-industrial system.

As in the US Revolution, where the Sons of Liberty, the Committees of Correspondence and the Provincial Congresses constituted the leading vanguard of the revolution in their day, today we need to create political parties capable of taking power from the ruling class and of taking the responsibility of running this country in the interests of the working class.  A Leninist-Trotskyist vanguard workers party is the modern-day equivalent – for the workers – that the Sons of Liberty and the Montagnards were for the emerging bourgeoisie.  Without a revolutionary socialist vanguard party to lead the working class in struggle, there can be no victory for the workers.  EVERY successful revolution, from 1776 to today, has been led by a vanguard party of some kind.  Those activists who oppose the formation of revolutionary vanguard parties are not revolutionaries but mere reformists, who seek to saddle the workers to the political dead-end of begging our “rightful rulers” to toss us a few crumbs from time to time to keep us happy.  This form of struggle that relegates itself to “speaking truth to power” does not believe that it can prevail against the “oh so powerful” ruling capitalist class – so it settles for the position of “disloyal opposition”.  By doing so, rather than putting a final end to capitalism, which is a system by which a tiny minority of wealthy people exploit the working class of the whole world, ends up keeping this decrepit system on life support.  We say: PULL THE PLUG ON CAPITALISM NOW!  We don’t want to SAVE it; we do not wish to prolong its existence for another minute!: we want to DESTROY it!  In its place we will build an egalitarian, democratic workers government where the exploitation of man by man will cease to exist.  It’s up to todays workers to make the new American Workers Revolution happen!  Join us!

Workers of the World, Unite!

Independent Workers Party of Chicago

[Editor’s Note: The article below was transcribed by us from the copy of the newspaper available on line at the Massachusetts Historical Society.  We have kept the original spellings and punctuation as well as the original newspaper column format of the text; we have for ease of reading replaced the “f”s used in place of “s”s. – IWPCHI]

DeCosta_English_Lexington_Concord_Siege_of_Boston_1775

Essex (Massachusetts) Gazette, 25 April, 1775

Page 3, Column 2

SALEM, April 25.

Last Wednesday, the 19th of April, the Troops
of his Brittanick Majesty commenced Hostilities
upon the People of this Province, attended with
Circumstances of Cruelty not less brutal than
what our venerable Ancestors received from the
vilest Savages of the Wilderness. The Particu-
lars relative to this interesting Event, by which
we are involved in all the Horrors of a civil War,
we have endeavoured to collect as well as the pre-
sent confused State of Affairs will admit.
On Tuesday Evening a Detachment from the
Army, consisting, it is said, of 8 or 900 Men,
commanded by Lieut. Col. Smith, embarked at
the Bottom of the Common in Boston, on board
a Number of Boats, and landed at Phips’s Farm,
a little Way up Charles River, from whence they
proceeded with Silence and Expedition, on their
Way to Concord, about 18 Miles from Boston.
The People were soon alarmed, and began to as-
semble, in several Towns, before Day-Light, in
order to watch the Motion of the Troops. At
Lexington, 6 Miles below Concord, a Company
of Militia, of about 100 Men, mustered near the
Meeting House ; the Troops came in Sight of
them just before Sun-rise ; and running within
few Rods of them, the Commanding Officer ac-
costed the Militia in Words to this Effect :——
Disperse you Rebels—-Damn you, throw down your
Arms and disperse
:” Upon which the Troops
huzza’d, and immediately one or two Officers dis-
charged their Pistols, which were instantaneously
followed by the Firing of 4 or 5 of the Soldiers,
and then there seemed to be a general Discharge
from the whole Body : Eight of our Men were
killed, and nine wounded. In a few Minutes
after this Action the Enemy renewed their March
for Concord ; at which Place they destroyed se-
veral Carriages, Carriage Wheels, and about 20
Barrels of Flour, all belonging to the Province.
Here about 150 Men going towards a Bridge, of
which the Enemy were in Possession, the latter
fired, and killed 2 of our Men, who then returned
the Fire, and obliged the Enemy to retreat back to
Lexington, where they met Lord Percy, with a
large Reinforcement, with two Pieces of Can-
non. The Enemy now having a Body of about
1800 Men, made a Halt, picked up many of their
Dead, and took Care of their Wounded. At
Menotomy, a few of our Men attacked a Party of
twelve of the Enemy, (carrying Stores and Pro-
visions to the Troops) killed one of them,
wounded several, made the Rest Prisoners, and
took Possession of all their Arms, Stores, Provi-
sions, &c. without any Loss on our Side.—–The
Enemy having halted one or two Hours at Lex-
ington, found it necessary to make a second Re-
treat, carrying with them many of their Dead
and Wounded, who they put into Chaises and
on Horses that they found standing in the Road.
They continued their Retreat from Lexington to
Charlestown with great Precipitation ; and not-
withstanding their Field Pieces, our People con-
tinued the Pursuit, firing at them till they got to
Charlestown Neck, (which they reached a little
after Sunset) over which the Enemy passed, pro-
ceeded up Bunker’s Hill, and soon afterwards
went into the Town, under the Protection of the
Somerset Man of War of 64 Guns.
In Lexington the Enemy set Fire to Deacon
Joseph Loring’s House and Barn, Mrs. Mulliken’s
House and Shop, and Mr. Joshua Bond’s House
and Shop, which were all consumed. They also
set Fire to several other Houses, but our People
extinguished the Flames. They pillaged almost
every House they passed by, breaking and destroy-
ing Doors, Windows, Glasses, &c. and carrying
off Cloathing and other valuable Effects. It ap-
peared to be their Design to burn and destroy all
before them ; and nothing but our vigorous Pur-
suit prevented their infernal Purposes from being
put in Execution. But the savage Barbarity
exercised upon the Bodies of our unfortunate
Brethren who fell, is almost incredible : Not
content with shooting down the unarmed, aged
and infirm, they disregarded the Cries of the
wounded, killing them without Mercy, and
mangling their Bodies in the most shocking
Manner.
We have the Pleasure to say, that notwith-
standing the highest Provocations given by the
Enemy, not one Instance of Cruelty, that we
have heard of, was committed by our victorious
Militia ; but, listening to the merciful Dictates
of the Christian Religion, they “breathed higher
Sentiments of Humanity.”
The Consternation of the People of Charles-
town, when our Enemies were entering the
Town, is inexpressible ; the Troops however be-
haved tolerably civil, and the People have since
nearly all left the Town.
The following is a List of the Provincials who
were killed and wounded.
KILLED.      Messirs. *Robert Munroe, *Jonas
Parker, *Samuel Hadley, *Jonathan Harrington,
*Caleb Harrington, *Isaac Muzzy, *John Brown,
John Raymond, Nathaniel Wyman, and Jedidiah
Munroe, of
Lexington.—-Messirs. Jason Russell,
Jabez Wyman, and Jason Winship, of
Menotomy.
—-Deacon Haynes, and Mr.—— Reed, of Sud-
bury.—-
Capt. James Miles of Concord.—-Captain
Jonathan Willson, of
Bedford.—-Capt. Davis, Mr.
——- Horsmer, and Mr. James Howard, of
Acton.
—-* Mr. Azael Porter, and Mr. Daniel Thompson,
of
Woborn.—-Mr. James Miller, and Capt. Wil-
liam Barber’s Son, aged 14, of
Charlestown.—Isaac
Gardner, Esq of
Brookline.—-Mr John Hicks, of
Cambridge.—-Mr. Henry Putnam of Medford.—-
Messrs. Abednego Ramsdell, Daniel Townsend, Wil-
liam Flint, and Thomas Hadley, of
Lynn.—-Messrs.
Henry Jacobs, Samuel Cook, Ebenezer Goldthwait,
George Southwick, Benjamin Daland, jun. Jotham
Webb, and Perley Putnam, of
Danvers.—-Mr. Ben-
jamin Peirce, of
Salem.
WOUNDED.      Messirs. John Robbins, John Tidd,
Solomon Peirce, Thomas Winship, Nathaniel Farmer,
and Prince Easterbrooks (a Negro-Man) of
Lex-
ington.—-Mr.——– Hemmenway, of Framingham.
—-Mr. John Lane, of Bedford.—-Mr. George Reed,
and Mr. Jacob Bacon, of
Woborn.—-Mr. William
Polly, of
Medford.—-Mr. Joshua Felt, and Mr.
Timothy Munroe, of Lynn.—-Mr. Nathan Putnam,
and Mr. Dennis Wallis, of
Danvers.—-Mr. Na-
thaniel Cleaves,of
Beverly.

MISSING.     Mr. Samuel Frost, and Mr. Seth
Russell of Menotomy.

Those distinguished with this Mark [*]were killed by the first
Fire of the Enemy.

We have seen an Account of the Loss of the
Enemy, said to have come from an Officer of one
of the Men of War ; by which it appears that
63 of the Regulars, and 49 Marines were killed,
and 103 of both wounded : in all 215. Lieut.
Gould of the 4th Regiment, who is wounded, and
Lieut. Potter of the Marines, and about twelve
Soldiers, are Prisoners.
Mr. James Howard and one of the Regulars
discharged their Pieces at the same Instant, and
each killed the other.
Our late Brethren of Danvers, who fell fight-
ing for their Country, were interred, with great
Solemnity and Respect, on Friday last.
The Public most sincerely sympathize with
the Friends and Relations of our deceased Bre-
thren, who gloriously sacrificed their Lives in
fighting for the Liberties of their Country. By
their noble, intrepid Conduct, in helping to de-
feat the Forces of an ungrateful Tyrant, they
have endeared their Memories to the present Ge-
neration, who will transmit their Names to Pos-
terity with the highest Honour.

We suppose a circumstantial Account will be prepared and pub-
lished by Authority. The above is the best we have been able
to obtain. We can only add, that the Town of Boston is now
invested by a vast Army of our brave Countrymen, who have
flown to our Assistance from all Quarters. GOD grant them
Assistance in the Extirpation of our cruel and unnatural Enemies.
Marblehead Harbour is now blocked up by the Lively Man of War.

[END – IWPCHI]

Chelsea Manning Letter Acknowledges Her Authorization of @xychelsea Twitter Account

We are publishing – as a service to our readers and all supporters of heroic whistleblower and US political prisoner Chelsea Manning (this is not authorized by her or anything) – a text version of the handwritten letter released on 16 April 2015.  We just want to help disseminate this information as far and wide as possible.

The letter is legible but for some people difficult to read as it is in cursive handwriting, so we’ve made our own transcription of it.  It’s in two pages, on “official” Chelsea Manning Fort Leavenworth stationery and is signed by her. Here’s a .pdf of the two-page letter: Manning _4apr2015_Twitter account letter

The official Chelsea Manning Support Group is here.   The Chelsea Manning Legal Defense Fund is here.  And the new Chelsea Manning Twitter account can be found here.  We encourage all our readers to give generously to this most worthy cause!  We say: FREE CHELSEA MANNING NOW!

IWPCHI

Chelsea E. Manning
89289
1300 North Warehouse Road
Fort Leavenworth, Kansas 66027-2304

                                                            2015.04.04

STATEMENT FOR: PUBLIC RELEASE

SUBJECT: @XYCHELSEA TWITTER ACCOUNT

Everyone,

  I want to thank all of those of you who are now
following my new Twitter account. It was pretty amazing
to get so many followers so quickly! It’s only possible
because of you all, out there, who care about the
things and people that I do.

  I wanted to set up this account awhile ago, but
I didn’t really have the time or energy to until I
began to start taking hormones a few months ago. So a few
weeks ago I asked my friend Trevor Fitzgibbon if he would
set up an account that I reserved in 2013, and he
agreed to help for no cost.

   This is a temporary arrangement until I can find
a way to either access my account more easily, or find
someone else willing to put in the labor of managing
the account, like Courage to Resist or another volunteer.

   The tweets, except for retweets, are verbatim dictated
over the phone to someone that I can call from here in Kansas.

(1)

[Page 2: IWPCHI]

                                                                                                    2014.04.04 [sic – IWPCHI]

SUBJECT: @XYCHELSEA TWITTER ACCOUNT

  I think this arrangement is the best way for me
to be able to stay in as much contact with all
of you who are out there and wanting to help me
and support me!

  And, again, I want to thank all of you for
your support and funding throughout my court-martial
and now my appeal! We’re working very hard and
I am hopeful that we can be successful if we
can keep funding the Chelsea Manning Support
Network’s Legal Defense Fund!

                         With Warm Regards,
Chelsea Manning

P.S. #itsreallyme =P

(2)

[End of letter – IWPCHI]