February 11, 2010 - The Constantine Report    
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March 5th 2020 12

Are you using the best credit card when ordering food for delivery?

The key to more success is to have a lot of pillows. Always remember in the jungle there’s a lot of they in there, after you will make it to paradise. Egg whites, turkey sausage, wheat toast, water.

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March 5th 2020 12

Are you using the best credit card when ordering food for delivery?

The key to more success is to have a lot of pillows. Always remember in the jungle there’s a lot of they in there, after you will make it to paradise. Egg whites, turkey sausage, wheat toast, water.

Continue reading
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March 5th 2020 12

Are you using the best credit card when ordering food for delivery?

The key to more success is to have a lot of pillows. Always remember in the jungle there’s a lot of they in there, after you will make it to paradise. Egg whites, turkey sausage, wheat toast, water.

Continue reading
Image
March 5th 2020 12

Are you using the best credit card when ordering food for delivery?

The key to more success is to have a lot of pillows. Always remember in the jungle there’s a lot of they in there, after you will make it to paradise. Egg whites, turkey sausage, wheat toast, water.

Continue reading
Image
March 5th 2020 12

Are you using the best credit card when ordering food for delivery?

The key to more success is to have a lot of pillows. Always remember in the jungle there’s a lot of they in there, after you will make it to paradise. Egg whites, turkey sausage, wheat toast, water.

Continue reading
Image
March 5th 2020 12

Are you using the best credit card when ordering food for delivery?

The key to more success is to have a lot of pillows. Always remember in the jungle there’s a lot of they in there, after you will make it to paradise. Egg whites, turkey sausage, wheat toast, water.

Continue reading

Mel Sembler: Behind Liz Cheney’s Group, a Weird Legacy of Torture

This is a modified py-6 that occupies the entire horizontal space of its parent.

Also see: “ARNOLD ANDREWS, OPERATION PAR & CIA MIND CONTROL,” “God, Pestilence & the Roots of Torture at Guantanamo,” “MEL SEMBLER (CIA Mind Control)/CIA Leak Case, ‘Iran Contra II’: DoD, Sembler, Doug Feith, Michael Ledeen & Ghorbanifar Hatch a Plot,” Financing Cheney’s pro-torture front is Melvin Sembler, who once enabled “enhanced interrogation” of American teens By Joe Conason Slate | Feb 9, 2010 The arrest of an Army sergeant (and Iraq veteran) who allegedly waterboarded his 4-year-old daughter for failing to recite the alphabet is sickening. Yet it may be the kind of news we must come to expect if, as a society, the United States determines that torture is an acceptable method of securing information and inducing obedience. Physical abuse of children is nothing new, of course,  in certain right-wing quarters, as Max Blumenthal reminded us by exposing the pedagogical sadism of Focus on the Family in Republican Gomorrah. For a sergeant who tortures his child, however, the relevant model probably comes from somewhere high in the chain of command. At the center of today’s propaganda promoting the torture state are former Vice President Dick Cheney, his family and many of his friends, working through an organization called Keeping America Safe that is run by his daughter Liz Cheney. The financier behind that outfit is one Melvin Sembler, a curious character whose résumé indicates that he is all too familiar with the “enhanced interrogation” of children. Sembler is best known as a Florida shopping center magnate and Republican fundraiser whose success in amassing funds for the Bush family won him two ambassadorial appointments. Such patronage is a sordid aspect of national politics, but seems trivial when compared with the truly dark side of Sembler’s biography. Long before he achieved prominence in national politics, he was the driving force in the “boot camp” movement that popularized the use of psychological and physical abuse of “troubled” children and teenagers. His own creation was a federally funded outfit known as Straight, Inc., which eventually fell apart amid multiple lawsuits and accusations of torture by teenagers abused in its secretive facilities. The  best reporting on Straight’s frightening history in recent years has appeared in Reason, the libertarian magazine, under the byline of Maia Szalavitz. Some of the techniques that eventually brought Sembler’s organization to the attention of law enforcement authorities will be eerily familiar to anyone who remembers what happened at Abu Ghraib:  humiliating punishments, broken bones, starvation, sleep deprivation, stress positions, verbal assaults, eight-hour sessions of questioning, and so on. According to Szalavitz, “Straight’s national clinical director … admitted to authorities in 1982 that he had kept teenagers awake for 72-hour periods, put them on peanut butter-only diets, and forced them to crawl through each other’s legs to be hit in a ‘spanking machine’ …  Straight ultimately paid out millions of dollars in dozens of lawsuits related to abuse and even kidnapping and false imprisonment of adults.” Eventually Straight  crumbled amid those multimillion-dollar settlements,  newspaper exposés and government probes, thanks to the activism of Richard Bradbury, a young man whose experience resembles the stories of innocent Iraqis who were caught up in the torture machine over there. Again according to Szalavitz, Bradbury “was forcibly enrolled in the program in 1983, when he was 17. His sister had had a drug problem, and Straight demanded that he be screened for one as well. After an eight-hour interrogation in a tiny room, Bradbury, who was not an addict, was nonetheless held. He later described beatings and continuous verbal assaults, which for him centered on sexual abuse he’d suffered as a young boy. Staffers and other participants called him a ‘faggot,’ told him he’d led his abusers on, and forced him to admit ‘his part’ in the abuse.” Of course Sembler, like his pal Cheney, will never admit that anything went wrong with his grisly enterprise. When last heard from, as ambassador to Italy, he still listed his affiliation with Straight on his  official State Department profile as a matter of personal pride. Just another exemplar of Cheney family values.

By Don C. Reed
Huffington Post | February 2, 2010

What is the connection between Erik Prince, owner of Blackwater/Xe, perhaps the world’s largest private army, and David Prentice, Ph.D, widely-known opponent of embryonic stem cell research?

Money.

Prentice is Senior Fellow for Life Sciences on the Family Research Council (FRC), a right-wing religious lobbying group, founded and funded by the family of Erik Prince.

The FRC mission statement reads, in part:

“…the Family Research Council promotes the Judeo-Christian worldview as the basis for a just, free, and stable society.”

The FRC “Judeo-Christian worldview” apparently includes opposition to: gay rights, abortion, evolution, environmentalism, public health care, the Department of Education, taxes — especially taxes — and embryonic stem cell research.

Erik’s father, Edgar Prince, financially began the Family Research Council, including construction of its six-story building in Washington DC. Others led it: evangelist James Dobson of Focus on the Family, and conservative icon Gary Bauer; but Prince donated the money to make it happen. As Bauer said in a eulogy for the elder Prince, “…without Ed and Elsa and their wonderful children, there simply would not be a Family Research Council.”

Son Erik used inheritance money ($1.35 billion was realized from the sale of his father’s auto parts business) to found Blackwater, recently renamed Xe, currently accused of the unprovoked massacre of Iraqi civilians.

Erik’s sister Betsy famously said “…my family is the largest single contributor of soft money to the national Republican party…” Married to Dick DeVos, of the Amway fortune, she is an active funder of conservative causes, including such gifts as, according to Salon:

“Between July 2003 and July 2006, the (Edgar and Elsa Prince) Foundation gave at least $670,000 to the Family Research Council and $531,000 to Focus on the Family.”

Focus on the Family is currently in the news for funding the $4 million Tim Tebow anti-abortion commercial in this year’s Super Bowl. A branch of that organization also sued unsuccessfully to shut down the California stem cell research program.

And David Prentice, full-time employee of the Family Research Council?

With the possible exception of the Pope, no non-governmental individual has had such an impact on Republican stem cell research policy.

“…Karl Rove, head of the White House’s Office of Political Affairs, has declared that embryonic stem cells aren’t required because there is “far more promise from adult stem cells.”…It seems that the White House received this idea from David Prentice, a senior fellow for life sciences at the Family Research Council and an adviser to Republican members of Congress. In a report of the Presidents Council on Bioethics, Prentice claimed that adult stem cells can effectively treat more than 65 diseases. (emphasis added-dr) Not only is this assertion patently false, but the information purveyed on the Family Research Council’s website is pure hokum,” wrote Robert Schwartz in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2006.

Prentice’s views may be popular in certain ultra-conservative ideological circles, but they are far from mainstream science.

Example: The Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act (HR 8, Castle/DeGette) would have legalized the funding of new embryonic stem cell lines, made from blastocysts otherwise scheduled to be thrown away. Prentice opposes such research, calling the microscopic joinings of sperm and egg “young human life”, and the research “immoral”. His position was echoed by seventeen ideological groups, publicly opposing HR 8. And on the other side, in favor of expanding the research? Five hundred ninety-one patient advocate, science, and medical groups — not to mention strong majorities in both House and Senate.

Apparently influenced by the Prentice prescription, then-President George W. Bush vetoed the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act (twice), and funded adult stem cell research far more heavily than embryonic. In fiscal year 2008, human embryonic stem cell research received $88 million NIH dollars, compared to $381 million for adult.

Prentice’s list of alleged adult stem cell treatments was publicly discredited Science in 2006.

“…adult stem cell treatments fully tested in all required phases of clinical trials and approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are available to treat only nine of the conditions on the Prentice list, not 65….By promoting the falsehood that adult stem cell treatments are already in general use for 65 diseases and injuries, Prentice and those who repeat his claims…cruelly deceive patients.”

Restrict cure research to adult stem cells only? According to Peter Donovan, Director of the Sue and Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center, “It’s like someone in the early 1900’s saying, “Why develop the motor car, when we already have the bicycle… Patients deserve more, a lot more.”

Or Dr. Sean Morrison, Director of the University of Michigan Center for Stem Cell Biology: “David Prentice has been one of the most prolific sources of misinformation on stem cell research. I don’t know any leading stem cell biologists who agree with the claims he has made.”

“…Most of what he says is nonsense,” said Dan Kaufman, M.D., Ph.D. of the University of Minnesota in December of 2009.

With a pro-research president in office, and majority support in both houses of Congress, it might seem that Dr. Prentice has become irrelevant.

Unfortunately, this is not the case. Prentice and his list provide scientific-sounding justification for those who oppose the research at a time when it is desperately needed.

In 2008 America spent an estimated $2.3 trillion dollars on health care costs — roughly equivalent to all federal income tax receipts combined. Seventy-five percent of that mountain of money went to the care of those with chronic (incurable) conditions. We must research ways to heal our loved ones, not just maintain their expensive misery. Embryonic as well as adult stem cell research should be fully explored.

Unfortunately, only seven states actively fund embryonic stem cell research — and more than a dozen are considering legislation which could criminalize it altogether.

The Family Research Council (FRC) recently began a new campaign, modestly titled, “HOW ADULT STEM CELLS SAVED MY LIFE”, featuring Prentice.

According to Catholic News Agency, “David Prentice, Ph.D., who now works fulltime with FRC…estimates that the exact number of conditions that can be successfully treated by adult stem cells ‘is growing weekly. It’s over 70, and soon it will be 80′.”

Will Prentice’s narrow view prevail? According to Dr. Alan Trounson, President of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, “The enemy is the disease or injury that is destroying our friends and families’ quality of life, and that is what we must defeat. The mission is to bring the benefits of pluripotential and progenitor cell therapy to regenerative medicine. That is what we are doing, and neither Dr. Prentice nor any other critic shall deter us from fulfilling this vision”.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/don-c-reed/eric-prince-and-david-pre_b_446709.html

BY STEVEN DUBOIS
Associated Press | February 11, 2010

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — The students stomped their feet, heckled and then stood and turned their backs as the speaker at the University of Oregon defended red-baiting Sen. Joseph McCarthy and called Martin Luther King Jr. a communist dupe.

With more than 30 security officers assigned to keep the peace, the 90-something patriarch of the group sat in a wheelchair next to the speaker, silently observing the spectacle while at times half-asleep.

A campus with a reputation for young, leftist radicals has been roiled in protest in recent weeks as the aging collection of extremists — deemed a hate group by those who track the issue — has intensified its message, including a Hitler salute at an event in December.

Some students say their speech has made the university a dangerous place and want them banned from campus. Administrators now find themselves trapped between the ideal of tolerance and the right to free speech, searching for a way to have both.

Charles Martinez, the university’s vice president for institutional equity and diversity, said administrators have been meeting to decide whether to change school policy on the use of space by outside groups. “They haven’t been easy discussions,” he said. “They shouldn’t be easy.”

Pacifica Forum was founded more than 15 years ago by Orval Etter, a 94-year-old retired professor and self-described “Quaker at heart” who resides in an assisted-living facility.

According to its Web site, the forum’s mission is to “provide information and perspective on the issues of war and peace, militarism and pacifism, violence and non-violence.” The group includes a furious anti-communist, a kilt-wearing Nazi sympathizer and perhaps not a single person born later than 1960.

The group met off campus for years until, according to Etter, Jewish groups unhappy with what they considered an anti-Israel slant pressured a local church to drop them. Etter then took advantage of a university policy in which retired faculty can book rooms on campus for free.

Pacifica has fewer than 10 core members and no firm rules for deciding who delivers a free lecture. “The forum has been, in a quite genuine way, an expression of free speech,” Etter said.

Many topics have been tackled, but the group has gained attention for hosting speakers who question the Holocaust. In 2008, for example, Pacifica invited David Irving, who served time in an Austrian prison for violating the country’s law against denying the Nazis exterminated 6 million Jews during War World II.

Paul Bessemer, director of Hillel, a campus Jewish organization, has monitored Pacifica for years. He said Pacifica members have long had sympathy for the Palestinian cause, but the current batch has taken it in a darker direction.

“It’s got a much nastier tone than it used to,” Bessemer said. “Those people that were really pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel — on the principal that Israel doesn’t have a right to exist — have left over the anti-Semitism.”

Since the Hitler salute at a Pacifica presentation in December, scores of protesters — some silent, some not — have attended meetings once largely ignored. Mercedes White Calf, a junior, said she initially thought Pacifica should remain on campus as a free speech issue. She now believes the hostility is creating a dangerous situation and the group must go.

The tension escalated last week when someone spray-painted a 4-foot-by-4-foot swastika in the office of the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Trans Queer Alliance. Though no Pacifica members are suspected, one of its January lectures focused on the symbolism of the swastika.

April-Kay Williams said the vandalism prompted her decision to leave the university. “It may be common to you but I’ve never experienced hate like this before,” Williams said in an e-mail. She added: “I do not want to be on a campus where the president talks about diversity and inclusiveness but still allows a hate group on campus.”

Roughly 100 students rallied Friday before Pacifica’s most recent gathering. Holding signs such as “Pacifica Forum Nazi Dupes,” and “Smash Fascism,” the students urged the group to leave campus — voluntarily or by university edict.

The students marched to the edge of campus, where Valdas Anelauskas, a Lithuanian immigrant and racial separatist, lectured for more than hour, partly on the role of Jews in the Bolshevik Revolution. Protesters regularly challenged him.

“Filtered and twisted facts,” shouted Joseph Newton, 51, of Eugene.

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/wire/sns-ap-us-extremists-on-campus,0,5583675.story

by Larry Keller
SPLC HateWatch | February 10, 2010

How’s this for white supremacist irony? Derek Black, son of Stormfront.org founder Don Black and friend of ex-Klansman David Duke, began broadcasting a twice-weekly program on Tuesday on a South Florida news/talk radio station with a large Haitian audience.

Derek Black, who turns 21 this month, is hosting a one-hour show on Tuesday and Thursday mornings at WPBR, an AM station in Lake Worth, a racially diverse city in Palm Beach County, Florida. He’s paying $275 a week for the air time.

WPBR’s programs are in French from 1 p.m. to 6 a.m. — 17 straight hours — mostly for the benefit of Haitian listeners, station manager Marcus Pierrelouis told Hatewatch. Seven hours of programming, between 6 a.m. and 1 p.m., are in English. Black has the 10-11 a.m. slot for his two days.

For his debut program on Tuesday, Black was scheduled to have Gordon Baum as his guest. Baum, an attorney, is co-founder and CEO of the racist Council of Conservative Citizens, which has routinely denigrated blacks as “genetically inferior” and once accused non-white immigrants of turning America into a “slimy brown mass of glop.” After an earthquake pulverized portions of Haiti last month, the CCC’s website illustrated a report on the event with an engraving of a white man being hanged by blacks, presumably in Haiti. Derek Black has attended some of the CCC’s national conferences.

The CCC is the successor to the pro-segregation White Citizens Councils or Citizens Councils of America that had chapters throughout the South. Politicians including former Georgia congressman Bob Barr, former Mississippi senator Trent Lott and current Mississippi governor Haley Barbour have addressed the CCC in recent years.

Black is not a broadcasting novice. He hosted four one-hour weekly shows on his father’s Stormfront Internet radio site, where he also was a webmaster. Stormfront is the leading white supremacist forum. Don Black, himself a onetime Klan leader in Duke’s organization, lives in West Palm Beach. His son created a Stormfront children’s page when he was 12 that included anti-Martin Luther King Jr. bedtime stories. Derek Black is Stormfront’s “Renaissance Man,” his father wrote on Stormfront his week. Don Black’s wife, Chloe Black — Derek Black’s mother — is divorced from David Duke.

Like his father and Duke, Derek Black eschews the white supremacist label, preferring to describe himself as fighting discrimination against white people, or a white civil rights activist. He spoke in November 2008 at a conference of EURO — European-American Unity and Rights Organization — headed by Duke. A number of prominent white supremacists attended the conference, at which Black spoke about the desirability of infiltrating the Republican Party to advocate pro-white views.

Derek Black won election to one of 111 the Palm Beach County Republican Executive Committee seats in August 2008. The committee members elect the county party chairman and promote voter turnout. But the local GOP chief refused to seat Black after learning of his background, saying that Black failed to sign a GOP loyalty oath by the deadline. Nine other candidates also were denied seats on that basis. Duke has spoken out in support of Derek Black’s bid to be seated on the committee.

The WPBR manager said he knew nothing of Derek Black’s background, and added that another station employee worked out a contract with Black. Meanwhile, at Stormfront, members have posted comments about Black’s radio gig, calling the news “fantastic,” “excellent” and “great.”

http://www.splcenter.org/blog/2010/02/10/haitian-oriented-radio-station-has-surprising-new-host/#more-3643

Also see: “Police investigate MI5 officer who interrogated Binyam Mohamed,” The Guardian, 11 February 2010

It’s a convenient argument for both governments, but the Binyam Mohamed ruling will not harm UK-US intelligence co-operation

By Matthew Harwood
guardian.co.uk | 11 February 2010

The UK court ruling in the case of Binyam Mohamed demonstrates once more that judges on both sides of the Atlantic have had enough of governments hiding behind national security “secrets” to shield themselves from their many trespasses in the “war on terror”.

The court’s decision to publish a seven-paragraph summary of intelligence given to MI5 by the CIA has been met by the convenient, and wholly unbelievable, argument from British and American officials that the release could damage intelligence co-operation and sharing between the two allies.

The British foreign secretary, David Miliband, has argued that keeping the summary secret was vital to ensuring that the US continues to share vital intelligence with the British security services. The White House only played up this threat after the decision was handed down.

“We’re deeply disappointed with the court’s judgment because we shared this information in confidence and with certain expectations,” White House spokesman Ben LaBolt said. “As we warned, the court’s judgment will complicate the confidentiality of our intelligence-sharing relationship with the UK, and it will have to factor into our decision-making going forward.”

There are two important things to remember when analysing Miliband and the White House’s arguments concerning the “intelligence” released on the treatment of Ethiopian-born British resident Binyam Mohamed while he was in US custody.

First, the seven-paragraph summary details that the interrogation practices endured by Mohamed while in American custody during 2002 constituted “at the very least cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment”. It reveals nothing besides the fact the US and its proxies resorted to barbarous methods to extract information from captives they believed were al-Qaida terrorists.

Second, far more damning information on Mohamed’s torture was published last year by a US court. In November 2009, US District Judge Gladys Kessler granted the habeus corpus petition of Gitmo detainee Farhi Saeed Bin Mohammed – another indicator of the cross-Atlantic return of the rule of law. The prisoner had been held indefinitely without charge at Guantánamo Bay since 2002, based partly on Mohamed’s confessions to US interrogators. There was one problem, however: US interrogators coerced Mohamed’s allegations against Mohammed through torture. “The government does not challenge Petitioner’s evidence of Binyam Mohamed’s abuse,” Kessler wrote in her decision. It’s important to note that the “abuse” Mohamed says he endured during his detention included having his genitals slashed by a razor.

In short order, the information the British court ordered released yesterday was neither intelligence nor secret. What it did show, however, was what we already knew. The US had systematically tortured detainees it deemed terrorists without due process, and British intelligence was complicit.

Therefore the probability the United States would jeopardise its intelligence-sharing relationship with the United Kingdom over the Mohamed release is remote. It would demonstrate that the United States values protecting its lawless practices overseas more than the national security of its greatest ally. Imagine the public relations disaster if the British public learned the United States did not share intelligence of an imminent terrorist attack because of this judicial decision. Fortunately, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the head of the US intelligence community, has already played down any break in the cross-Atlantic alliance. “This court decision creates additional challenges, but our two countries will remain united in our efforts to fight against violent extremist groups,” yesterday’s statement read.

So when the Milibands and White House apparatchiks of this world claim that exposing state crimes jeopardises the government’s ability to protect its citizens from terrorist atrocities, it’s important to remember the words of the radical political philosopher Michael Bakunin:

“There is no horror, no cruelty, sacrilege, or perjury, no imposture, no infamous transaction, no cynical robbery, no bold plunder or shabby betrayal that has not been or is not daily being perpetrated by the representatives of the states, under no other pretext than those elastic words, so convenient and yet so terrible: ‘for reasons of state’.”

Torture is a crime; it is not a state secret.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2010/feb/11/binyam-mohamed-torture

Also see: “Scholarly Flaws in Jonah Goldberg’s ‘Liberal Fascism’/Poor Scholarship, Wrong Conclusions”

” … It would be one thing if Goldberg’s fraud were limited in scope. But it has spread – to the Tea Parties, to the TV talk shows, to the blogs. … “

Never mind that Germany’s paramilitary Black Reichswehr stood leftists against the wall in the 1930s and shot them in cold blood – leftists are the true “Nazis,”  according to some “conservative” revisionists .  In fact, liberals are the new Jews. Whereas, a few generations ago, Hitler railed against the “international Jewish conspiracy,” contemporary fascists sputter about devious liberal plots: liberal Hollywood blacklists, liberal control of the media, liberals in the universities, liberal schoolbooks, liberal global warming, liberal evolution, a liberal affinity with “Islamo-Fascists,” liberal big government, liberal mind control, even liberal concentration camps for, ah, swastika-waving tea-baggers. John Gibson at Fox News discovered a “liberal plot” to convince the world that GW Bush was the worst president in American history.  In a recent book, Senator Jim DeMint claimed that Nazi Germany was a liberal “social democracy.” And liberals, according to the CIA-subsidized National Review’s Jonah Goldberg, were even responsible for the Holocaust. The steady assault on liberalism in the media is intended to urge the country further to the right, and in time, if “conservatives” have their way, may even find expression in mass firings, blacklists, social exclusion, possibly even mass violence. It has happened before.  Germany has provided Goldberg and his  fellow travellers with a blueprint for imposing open fascist rule. One can imagine a book called “Jewish Fascism” selling out in Nazi Germany. After all, Henry Ford’s The International Jew was a best-seller – 11-million copies were snatched up by Hitler’s “good Germans.” Today, Good Americans are reading Jonah Goldberg. The animus toward liberalism is growing, stoked by a constant onslaught of distortions from the media. Goldberg’s fraud is a red flag signalling the end of democratic values … IF the left continues to do nothing and allows lies to reign supreme as they did under Germany’s far-right regime. – AC Adolf Hitler has been accused of being in bed with the left more than once, but is Nazi revisionism in America revolving around the idea that anyone you don’t like gets to be a fascist? Was Hitler a Man of the Left? By: Michael Scott Moore www.miller-mccune.com | February 10, 2010 When Jonah Goldberg published his book Liberal Fascism in 2007, George W. Bush was still president, and no one had yet compared Barack Obama to Hitler. Goldberg’s ambition for his book, if you boil it down, was small. He wanted to clarify the word “fascism” for a popular audience and defend himself, as an American conservative, against the knee-jerk label “fascist.” Fair enough. “To suggest that Hitler was a conservative in any sense related to American conservatism,” he wrote, “is lunacy.” That’s true. Hitler hated almost everything about America, from its messy democratic system to its mingling races, from its seductive freedoms and modern jazz to Wall Street’s rise as a center of international (Jewish) finance. But Goldberg tries to argue that Hitler’s statist solutions to Germany’s woes — his whole “National Socialist” platform — was essentially a left-wing, revolutionary movement of workers. Being called “left-wing” would have horrified Hitler, but never mind. “The ‘social space’ the Nazis were fighting to control,” Goldberg writes, “was on the left.” … What’s true is that Hitler took a ragtag, socialist-minded workers’ party in the 1920s and built it up with nationalist, militarist and racist rhetoric, until the Nazis appeared to be something new under the sun. With a baffling mixture of idealism and torchlight parades, he seized absolute control of a wounded Germany. The Nazi party made socialist noises while it cozied up to German industrialists. “The party had to play both sides of the tracks,” writes William Shirer in The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. “It had to allow Goebbels [and other propagandists] to beguile the masses with the cry that the National Socialists were truly socialists and against the money barons. On the other hand, money to keep the party going had to be wheedled out of those who had an ample supply of it.” Goldberg prefers to focus on Nazi big-government policies toward everything from banking and gun control to health care, but he downplays the freakish rants against foreigners, homosexuals and modern art, against weak-kneed liberals, intellectuals and “urban cosmopolitans” — all in favor of German farms, German family values and German workers just struggling to get along. Hitler cleared at least as much “social space” on the right as on the left. He was no doubt a revolutionary. Hitler wanted to clear off German aristocrats as well as the German bourgeoisie, and this fierce populist anger against the comfortable middle classes and their weak-looking Weimar Republic is part of what makes Hitler seem “left-wing” when you begin to read about him. But the same anger animated loads of Germans back then; parties across the political spectrum wanted to tear down Berlin’s wobbling experiment with Anglo-American democracy and replace it with something glorious, uncompromised and pure, as long as it would bring swift prosperity to the suffering unemployed. It was political romanticism, and in this sense German Communists helped the Nazis along, even if Nazis and Communists held gang fights in the streets. Hitler hijacked their romanticism. The sticky question for Goldberg and his fans, particularly since the book came out, is whether this romanticism really is just a province of the left. Or is it possible to imagine a grassroots revolutionary movement from the right that dreams of patriotic renewal, resents Wall Street for trashing the economy, hates the lazy liberalism of the latté-drinking middle class, bashes homosexuals and immigrants, mistrusts intellectuals and “cosmopolitans,” loathes dissent, resorts to vicious name-calling and has been known to call for war when no war is needed? Most Germans can’t figure out what some Americans mean when they compare Obama to Hitler. Goldberg bears a lot of responsibility for this lunacy. He’s also begged people not to go quite so far, though the plea may sound disingenuous from the author of Liberal Fascism. “Some have taken to calling liberals fascists,” he laments in a new afterword to his book from 2009. “That isn’t what I wanted.” Oh, dang. http://www.miller-mccune.com/politics/was-hitler-a-man-of-the-left-8542/ —————————– 2-02-10 Definitions and Double Standards – A Rebuttal By Roger Griffin Roger Griffin is Professor in Modern History at Oxford Brookes University and lectures principally on aspects of the History of Ideas relating to ideologies and values that have shaped the modern world. His latest book is Modernism and Fascism: The Sense of a Beginning under Mussolini and Hitler (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007). “If you’re catching flak, you must be over the target.” That Jonah Goldberg spontaneously uses a metaphor drawn from the Anglo-American bombing campaigns on Nazi Germany is, if nothing else, indicative of his mindset about the subject at hand. The fact is that he does NOT conceive his book as a reasoned, empirically grounded, original contribution to comparative fascist studies, but rather has executed a thinly disguised propaganda attack on “liberals.” Genuine academics use reasoned arguments that do not wilfully distort their sources to rhetorical ends. They do not use footnoted polemics without destroying their own credibility among their peers. That has been Goldberg’s approach. I wrote NOT as a “liberal”‘ engaged in fending off attacks on the freedom to think. I wrote as an academic concerned that the tools of the specialism to which I contribute are being abused by a neoconservative with no academic track record in fascist studies that qualifies him to denigrate, by association, a form of social democracy or liberal socialist agenda that is generically different from fascism. I did not set out to discredit Liberal Fascism in the spirit of a type of political Star Wars, but as a university lecturer professionally offended by Goldberg’s impersonation of a historian whose publishing success is in inverse proportion to its merits and significance as a scholarly monograph. Genuine academics target truth, conceived as a complex, multifactorial, contested reality reconstructed through collaborative effort. They do not “target” particular groups of people defined by their affiliations or beliefs. In strictly academic terms, Jonah Goldberg does not understand fascism. Perhaps he should also brush up on his liberalism. (HISTORICALLY, that is, not politically). As for the tone of Jonah’s self defense: its slanderous, offensive tone reminds me of the way bad drivers react when other motorists hoot them for dangerous maneuvers. Their insulting behaviour smacks of bad faith: they know they are in the wrong, but have not the honesty or moral courage to admit it. All the book sales, chat shows, and plaudits from the anti-Obama clique cannot compensate for Goldberg’s intellectual and moral vacuity. Incidentally, my point about parallels between Goldberg’s technique of discrediting liberalism by tarring it with connotations of fascism, and the way Nazi propaganda associated Jews with Communists – and even Negroes with Jews – is a sober reference to a familiar technique for discrediting the targets of persecution by association – cf. the equation of social liberals with Bolshevism and Stalinism in the McCarthy era. It was NOT an ad hominem argument as Goldberg alleges. I, at least, can make a distinction between chalk and cheese, or in this case tell radical anti-Democrats out to malign and discredit the sort of welfare policies commonplace in all advanced liberal democracies in Europe, apart from the rantings of neo-Nazis and Christian fundamentalists (loosely called by some of their opponents “Christian fascists,” a term I also have problems with on academic grounds). By misrepresenting my critique as a personalized, “ad hominem” attack, neoconservative partisans like Goldberg give themselves license to dismiss every word I write. After all, even if I am, at least on paper, an internationally known professor of modern history who has devoted several decades of specialist research and writing to probing into the nature of fascism, I am “actually” simply “unhinged,” cannot marshal evidence or arguments to support a position, and can only “hyperventilate.” It’s true that Goldberg’s book made me angry, and no doubt my review reflected that. But the anger is not partisan – it’s professional and ethical. Frauds, after all, have that effect on the people watching as they’re perpetrated if they understand the subterfuge. It would be one thing if Goldberg’s fraud were limited in scope. But it has spread – to the Tea Parties, to the TV talk shows, to the blogs. And try as Goldberg might to complain that liberals misunderstand his thesis – he insists he’s not identifying liberals with fascism – the problem is hardly limited to liberals. Many of his sign-carrying acolytes at the Tea Parties, and his TV friend Glenn Beck, explicitly identify liberals and President Obama with fascism. Here is a revealing sample of the support garnered by Jonah’s book, from fellow neoconservative Mark Noonan:

My view: Goldberg gets it exactly right. This is especially true in light of my own assertion that all non-conservative views ultimately stem from the same, flawed source. Liberalism, as I’ve said, rests upon the falsehood that Man is perfectible by men. That our problems stem not from our fallen nature, but from the unjust systems and that if we can just change the system, we’ll change ourselves. Heaven on earth will result. From that initial folly has stemmed all the rest – and thus liberalism, socialism, communism, fascism and Nazism are branches of the same, poisoned tree. Of course, to point any of this out – especially in a best-selling book – is to irk the liberals to no end. They insist that things like Nazism and fascism have nothing to do with liberalism – in spite of the obviousness of the relationship.

I rest my case, satisfied that I, at least, am trying to water the oak of liberal humanism and democracy through disinterested intellectual labour in the pursuit of historical truth — always complex, always contested — not poison it with a version of history genetically modified to achieve thinly veiled political ends. http://www.hnn.us/articles/122872.html