Tag Archives: Air America Radio

RFK Jr. Tonight on MSNBC

SOUNDING THE ALARM ON ELECTION FRAUD

Don’t miss Robert F. Kennedy Jr. on “The Rachel Maddow Show” tonight. (Maddow and Kennedy are both Air America radio hosts as well.) He’ll be addressing the urgent issue of rampant election fraud he and investigative reporter Greg Palast have uncovered in their new Rolling Stone article.

9 P.M. Eastern, MSNBC. http://countdown.msnbc.com

Leave a comment

Filed under barack obama, election 2008, media, politics, RFK Jr., robert kennedy jr., the kennedys, Uncategorized

Is Your Vote Safe?

KENNEDY WARNS OF MASSIVE ELECTION FRAUD SCAM IN 2008

RFK Jr. with Sen. Christopher Dodd (D)

RFK Jr. with Sen. Christopher Dodd (D)

 

*This is a transcript from the September 20th broadcast of Ring of Fire, the weekly Air America radio show hosted by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Mike Papantonio.

 

This week, Bobby and Pap outlined many of the tactics already being employed by Republicans to steal this election – and asked why Democrats aren’t doing anything to stop it.

Bobby: “There are about 30 scams the republicans are deliberately using, particularly in the swing states to get democratic voters off the rolls. These scams originate in the so-called Help America Vote Act which was passed after the Florida debacle in the year 2000. It was originally suggested by democrats and republicans but it was passed by a republican congress with a republican senate and a republican president. And instead of reforming what happened in Florida it basically institutionalized all the problems that happened in Florida. And institutionalized a series of impediments that make it very difficult for democrats to register, for democrats to vote and then for democrats to have their vote counted.

“One of these requirements under HAVA is called “the perfect match” and what that does is little known but it is devastating. A quarter of the voters in Colorado have just been removed from the rolls because of this–just this one scam. And what it does is they use a computer system to compare your registration application to all other government records of you in the state. So they’ll look at your social security records, your motor vehicle records and any time you’ve had any interaction with the government and if there is any information on your voter registration that is different than the information on another government record that they find they remove you from the voting rolls.

“For example, if I registered as Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and yet my motor vehicle license said Robert Frances Kennedy Jr. I’d be removed from the rolls. If your initial is different, if you leave an initial out, if you leave a “Jr.” out, if you leave a hyphen out in your name. And what they’ve done is a study in New York that said 80% of the errors are errors that were done by state clerks who are taking down this information. And particularly immigrant communities that people tend to vote democratic, people have names…spell Muhammad with an “o” instead of a “u” (crosstalk)

Pap: “Are the democrats suing to stop this?”

Bobby: “No, the democrats are doing nothing to stop it. In New Jersey, which is a swing state, 300,000 voters in New Jersey were just sent letters saying that they are now ineligible to vote. New jersey is nice enough to actually notify them–most states will not even notify them. And New Jersey intends to send out 870,000 letters so that is three quarters of a million people off the voting rolls in a state that could decide this vote by 50,000 votes. And these are democrats that are being pushed off the rolls.

Bobby: “Let me tell you about one other of these scams people should know about. If you’re a newly registered voter–and of course the democrats have done these gigantic registration drives–12 million people on registration–if you’re a new voter you MUST include your license or some other state I.D. when you come to vote. What that means is that if you’re a college kid (and college kids now–they’re sending in absentee ballots–they’re not going to the voting place, they do everything online or they do everything remotely–they don’t dream of going to the precinct house voting on election day and waiting in a long line) so if they send in the absentee ballot and they don’t include a color copy of their license their vote is going to be thrown into a trash can. And none of these people know this because you have had to read the law in order to know it. So there is no notification for when you fill out your registration form, so all of those 12 million people that the democrats have registered: those ballots are going to be just thrown out.

Pap: “And if democrats won’t talk about this how the hell’s anybody gonna know about it? I’m involved with this kind of thing every day–I didn’t know that until you just told me. The media is not talking about it. How in the hell is somebody gonna find this out? It’s just incredible.

Bobby: “Hopefully–Obama is getting 66 million dollars a month–hopefully somebody in the democratic organization is going to pay some attention to this before election day!”

Leave a comment

Filed under barack obama, election 2008, impeach Bush, media, politics, RFK Jr., robert kennedy jr., the kennedys, Uncategorized

Kennedy for Obama’s VP?

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

OBAMA/KENNEDY?

Well, at least a lot of folks out there seem to think so. In fact, one dedicated RFK Jr. fan is encouraging like-minded Democrats to bombard Senator Obama with letters/emails asking him to consider Robert F. Kennedy Jr. as his Vice Presidential running mate in 2008.

Of course, we think that’s an excellent idea – and with Bobby’s cousin Caroline Kennedy on Obama’s VP selection committee, it might even be a possibility, however remote at this point. As a longtime Clinton supporter, Kennedy would certainly bring a lot of Hillary voters to the ticket…uh, not to mention all those Kennedy voters!

Here’s a letter we got this week from an RFK Jr. fan who found it on Pearl Jam’s message board and wanted us to pass it on to our readers. If you support this idea, now is the time to take action!

The Democratic party convention starts next month in Denver, so write or call Senator Obama today! Details on how to do it are below:

RFK JR. FOR OBAMA’S VICE PRESIDENT

Hi guys,

Sorry I haven’t posted in a while, but I feel this topic is extremely urgent….

Senator Obama is about to choose a running mate soon. Last I heard it was possibly a Gov. Tim Cain. Personally, I have never heard of him.

It suddenly occured to me that Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. (RFK, JR.) would be the perfect running mate. He is an activist, and environmentalist, Time magazine voted him as one of “Heroes for the Planet” …a Pearl Jam fans’ dream candidate!

Please check out his website. http://robertf.kennedyjr.com/about.html

And a website run by some of Mr. Kennedy’s fans and friends who hope to draft him for President:
http://RFKin2008.com

Last night, I wrote to Senator Obama recommending he choose Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. for his running mate for Vice President.

Today, I wrote Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and FW’d the same letter I wrote Senator Obama….and asking him if it was okay to throw his name in.

Today, I called Obama Campaign Headquarters and actually talked to a real live person! The HQ phone number is 1-866-675-2008…Press “6” to talk to some very nice people.

The lady I spoke with was very surprised at my choice, and also very excited. RFK, Jr’s cousin Caroline Kennedy, is working on the Obama Campaign.

She quickly got my recommendation off to her supervisor, who wrote back almost immediately.

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr, is the son of Robert F. Kennedy, who ran for President in 1968 and Nephew of President John F. Kennedy and Senator Ted Kennedy.

RFK, Jr also hosts a radio show on Air America “Ring of Fire” Sundays.

http://ringoffireradio.com

Then, PLEASE call Obama Headquarters and overwhelm them with phone calls!

This is the first time I have ever got involved in politics….but I feel this strongly about our future.

Watch Emileo Estevez’s movie “Bobby” to find out more about his father.

Peace,
Lona

12 Comments

Filed under barack obama, climate change, election 2008, environment, global warming, hillary clinton, live earth, media, politics, president kennedy, RFK, RFK Jr., robert f. kennedy, robert kennedy jr., senator robert kennedy, the kennedys, Uncategorized

Q&A With RFK Jr.

RFK JR. AT FORECASTLE FEST THIS WEEKEND

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is this year’s keynote speaker at the annual Forecastle Festival in Louisville, Kentucky (happening all weekend, with RFK Jr.’s speech scheduled for Sunday at 2:30 p.m.).

In advance of his appearance at Forecastle, Kennedy gave an interview to Velocity Weekly, in which he discusses green solutions to our energy crisis, the 2008 election, why he’s supporting Senator Obama for president, and hints at his own political plans for the future.

Although the interview is quite good, we did have to wonder, “what’s up with that photo?” As for the cutesy caption, we think what the cutline editor meant to say was “Don’t mess with this Kennedy” rather than “don’t miss with this Kennedy.”

Perhaps Bobby should consider sending one of his hawks over there to demand a correction.

Q&A:

Robert Kennedy Jr.
Sound environmental policy is in our economic and security interest, the Forecastle keynoter says


By Joseph Lord

 

What got you involved in environmental activism?

I’ve been interested in the environment from when I was a little kid. I went hunting and fishing when I was very, very young. I was just involved with animals. I was raising homing pigeons when I was 10 years old, training hawks when I was 9, which I still do today. My father took us to lakes and to see the wildlife in the area, and he was very careful about explaining to us that this is part of our American heritage. The environment was a source of our virtues and our values as a people. I always looked at the environment as a civil rights and human rights issue — the most important one.

You co-host a program on Air America Radio, but what other environmental work do you do?

For 25 years I’ve been working for the Riverkeeper and the National Resources Defense Council. As an attorney, I’ve worked on several hundred public interest cases against polluters on the Hudson River and waterways across North America. Riverkeeper was a group started by a blue-collar coalition of commercial and recreational fishermen to protect their livelihood. And it was very much consistent with the kind of values I’d been raised with, to believe that a clean environment was a democratic right, that the best measure of how a democracy functions is how it distributes the goods of the land: the air, the water, the wildlife, the fish — assets of the community. Does the government allow those to be concentrated in the hands of a few wealthy people, or corporations, or does it maintain it in the hands of all the people?

Are you encouraged by the recent surge of interest in environmental issues?

There’s a vested interest by powerful people in continuing to pollute — it’s not a battle that you “kind of” win. It’s one you have to keep fighting. But today, there’s much more of a realization that good environmental policy is also 100 percent of the time good economic policy. For individual corporations, governments and nations, we need to start focusing on our environment.

So what is the most serious environmental issue we’re facing?

In the United States, the most critical issue is the way we use energy. We use it in a way that weakens our national security and makes us more prone to entanglement with foreign dictators who hate democracy and who are despised by their own people. We’re more likely to be involved in trillion-dollar wars. And it causes global warming. It also destroys our economy. We’re buying oil mainly from nations that don’t like us, that don’t share our values. Are we going to continue down that path or are we going to look at the alternatives? We have really extraordinary alternatives in this country. Every country that has de-carbonized its economy has experienced immediate prosperity. We’re losing jobs abroad — if we invested in a clean economy, we’d be creating an economy that can’t be outsourced. We’d be building solar and wind and geothermal plants in this country and growing our economy and creating jobs that can’t be sent to other countries.

What one action, if every American took it, could improve the environment?

One small thing: Vote for Barack Obama. That’s the one small thing that’s more important than recycling your garbage or buying a Prius or a compact fluorescent light bulb. There are these politicians who are just indentured servants of Big Coal and Big Oil.

You were an early Hillary Clinton supporter, right?

Yes. I’ve always loved Barack Obama, too. I always thought we had two great candidates. I’m proud to be supporting him and working for him now.

Have you ever considered seeking public office yourself?

You know, I’ve got six kids, and my priorities are there. But if something opened up, I would definitely consider it.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. will give the Forecastle Festival keynote address at 2:30 p.m. Sunday at the Belvedere.

5 Comments

Filed under climate change, election 2008, environment, global warming, hillary clinton, media, politics, RFK, RFK Jr., robert f. kennedy, robert kennedy jr., senator robert kennedy, the kennedys, Uncategorized

The News According to RFK Jr.

ALL THE NEWS THAT’S UNFIT TO PRINT, PT. II

Bobby’s back with another installment of “Unearthed: News the Mainstream Media Forgot to Report” on the Huffington Post this week.

Kennedy and co-blogger Brendan De Melle covered a mind-boggling array of news you won’t hear anywhere else in the latest column. So much news, in fact, it’s all rather difficult to digest in just one sitting…so we’ve decided to break it up into separate shorter stories which will run over the next few days here on this blog.

Here’s the first installment of this week’s “Unearthed” report:

UNEARTHED: NEWS THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA FORGOT TO REPORT

By Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Brendan DeMelle

The Huffington Post

Crimes Against Nature
Junk Science/Wolf Slaughter

At least 37 wolves have been killed in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming since the Bush Administration illegally delisted gray wolves from the Endangered Species Act, on March 28. The death toll could be even higher since kills are not required to be reported immediately. With the abolition of federal protection, the wolves are now being targeted under state laws that still classify wolves as “vermin” and allow unregulated wolf killing anywhere, anytime, for any reason. A dozen conservation groups have asked a federal court to immediately reinstate Endangered Species Act protections and to declare illegal the federal government’s wolf delisting decision which was based on manipulated, outdated and fraudulent science and which threatens the long-term survival of the species.

“Until now the reintroduction of gray wolves to the Northern Rockies was one of our greatest endangered species success stories,” said Louisa Willcox, Director of the Natural Resources Defense Council’s (NRDC) office in Livingston, MT. “Today it’s a national disgrace. The region has become a killing field for wolves, just as we predicted.”

The first casualty in the orgy of lupicide was “Hoppy” the eight-year-old celebrity wolf nicknamed for a limp (caused by an injury from a fight with another wolf pack). A rare black wolf Hoppy was one of the most recognizable members of Yellowstone’s famous Druid Peak pack. People snapped his photograph and shot video as he and his pack mates played, hunted and snoozed. Later, he became the first wolf to step foot into Utah in over 75 years and established his own pack in Grand Teton National Park. He was shot the day after delisting on an elk feeding ground in Wyoming.

“In delisting the wolves, the Bush Administration simply ignored the country’s leading wildlife biologists and two decades of scientific evidence showing that wolf populations are still too fragmented to survive. According to NRDC scientist, Dr. Sylvia Fallon, a minimum population of 2,000 to 5,000 animals is needed to ensure the genetic diversity necessary for the grey wolf’s long-term survival. At the time of delisting there were about 1,500 wolves in the region. All but 300 can be killed under President Bush’s current minimum recovery standard virtually assuring the gray wolf’s ultimate extinction.

The reintroduction of wolves by the federal government 12 years ago has been widely hailed as a major success story. It has measurably improved the natural balance in the Northern Rockies and benefited bird, antelope and elk populations. Many thousands of visitors flock to Yellowstone National Park each year to see and hear wolves in the wild, contributing at least $35 million to the local economy each year.

Thousands of gray wolves roamed the Rocky Mountains before being slaughtered and eliminated from 95 percent of the lower 48 states by the 1930s. The gray wolf was listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act in 1973. Reintroduction efforts placed 66 wolves in Yellowstone National Park and part of Idaho in 1995-96.

Hundreds of Federal Scientists Ordered to Lie by Bush Administration

Hundreds of Environmental Protection Agency scientists say they have been pressured by superiors to skew their findings, according to a survey conducted by the Center for Survey Statistics & Methodology at Iowa State University, commissioned by the Union of Concerned Scientists.

One half of the nearly 1,600 EPA staff scientists who responded online to a detailed questionnaire reported they had experienced incidents of political interference in their work.

The report said 60 percent of those responding, or 889 scientists, reported personally experiencing political interference in their work over the last five years. Nearly 400 scientists said they had witnessed EPA officials misrepresenting scientific findings, 284 said they had seen the “selective or incomplete use of data to justify a specific regulatory outcome” and 224 scientists said they had been directed to “inappropriately exclude or alter technical information” in an EPA document. Nearly 200 of the respondents said they had been in situations where they or their colleagues actively objected to or resigned from projects “because of pressure to change scientific findings.” The University sent an online questionnaire to 5,500 EPA scientists and received 1,586 responses, a majority of them senior scientists who have worked for the agency for 10 years or more. The survey included chemists, toxicologists, engineers, geologists and experts in the life and environmental sciences.

The highest number of complaints about political interference came from scientists who are directly involved in writing regulations and those who conduct risk assessments such as determining a chemicals cancer risk for humans.

“The investigation shows researchers are generally continuing to do their work, but their scientific findings are tossed aside when it comes time to write regulations,” UCS said.

In the survey, the EPA scientists described an agency suffering from low morale as the agency’s political appointees and the White House Office of Management and Budget frequently second-guess scientific findings and change work conducted by EPA’s scientists.

EPA managers initially instructed employees not to participate in the survey, but the EPA’s general counsel’s office later sent an e-mail to employees saying they could participate in their private time.

White House Gives Industry More Influence over Science Process

Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) chastised the Environmental Protection Agency for giving industry the ability to directly input information into the EPA’s influential database that catalogues chemical risk information, known as the Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS). The new process lets “the White House and federal polluters derail EPA’s scientific assessment of toxic chemicals,” she charged. The new policy, announced April 10 on the agency’s website, will allow industry to contribute its own biased information to the IRIS database, which was previously compiled solely by agency scientists. The new policy also allows for earlier and more extensive involvement by the White House and federal agencies that pollute the environment, such as the Department of Defense and the Department of Energy.

According to the watchdog group Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, the changes mean that:
• Affected corporations will be intimately involved in each step of EPA’s risk assessment and will be able to know what staff are assigned to which work, making the agency “research plan” vulnerable to political manipulation through the appropriations process;
• The Defense and Energy Departments, two of the world’s largest polluters, will have a formal role on how pollutants, such as the chemical perchlorate, are evaluated. In addition, these agencies could declare a particular chemical to be “mission critical” that would allow them to control how “data gaps” are to be filled. All their alterations will be made in secret. All intra-and inter-agency communications on risk assessments are deemed “deliberative” and thus confidential.

The new policy gives polluters power to determine which chemicals get assessed and how those assessments are conducted. It also formalizes a new process to be run by the White House and polluters behind closed doors and exclude the public.

Federal, state and international agencies use these assessments to create public health protections, including drinking water standards, toxic waste cleanup levels, air pollution limits, controls on dangerous chemicals in food and consumer products, worker protections and other safeguards.

Green Building: Applause for Seattle’s Mayor

Seattle is now the nation’s leader in green building with 41 LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified buildings. LEED buildings, which are certified by the U.S. Green Building Council, are designed to use less water, energy and building resources, and often incorporate recycled materials. Besides Seattle, the top five cities with the most LEED certified projects include Portland, Oregon, Chicago, Washington, DC, and Grand Rapids, MI. Ten of Seattle’s LEED certified buildings are owned by the City of Seattle, demonstrating the city’s commitment to lead in this area. In February, Mayor Greg Nickels announced an effort to make Seattle America’s Green Building Capital by improving energy efficiency in all commercial and residential buildings by 20 percent.
RIGHT WING NEWS

Flat Earth Family

Demonstrating that deliberate ignorance may be genetic, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush told a group of several hundred business people in Texas that he is skeptical that humans are causing global warming. Bush accused those who advocate action to fight climate disruption of acting like religious zealots. “I don’t think our policies should be based on emotion; they should be based on sound science.” Bush’s two terms as governor ended in 2007. His successor, Republican governor Charlie Crist has said Florida should become a leader on this issue because its low elevation makes it vulnerable to sea level rise.

Stay tuned for more of “The news according to RFK Jr.” – and don’t forget to catch his weekly report on Air America radio and GoLeft.tv.

5 Comments

Filed under climate change, election 2008, environment, global warming, hillary clinton, impeach Bush, media, politics, RFK Jr., robert kennedy jr., the kennedys, Uncategorized

The War Against Castro Is NOT Over

AMERICAN TERRORISTS: “THIS IS HEZBOLLAH IN FLORIDA”

Think the U.S.’s secret war against Fidel Castro ended 40 years ago? Think again.

On this week’s Ring of Fire radio show, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. interviewed Joe Conason of the Nation Institute about an explosive investigative report which recently appeared in Salon on the terrorist training camp in South Florida known as Alpha 66.

Conason (also a longtime friend of Bobby’s) explained how Alpha 66 has been allowed to operate and engage in Operation Mongoose-type mischief against Cuba since 1961, even though the U.S. government supposedly abandoned such activities during the Kennedy administration. The truth of the matter, as this article details, is quite another story.

Here is an excerpt from Salon.com:

Alpha 66 training camp

(At the entrance to the Alpha 66 training camp outside Miami. Image by Dando Valle.)

The “Terrorists” of South Florida

Anti-Castro Cuban exiles who have been linked to bombings and assassinations are living free in Miami. Does the U.S. government have a double standard when it comes to terror?

Editor’s note: Research support was provided by the Puffin Foundation Investigative Fund at the Nation Institute.

By Tristram Korten and Kirk Nielsen

Jan. 14, 2008 | OUTSIDE MIAMI, Fla. — On a hot subtropical Sunday, deep in the humid brush bordering the Everglades west of Miami, Osiel Gonzalez squints down the worn barrel of an AK-47 rifle and squeezes the trigger. With a crack and kick the bullet whizzes over a field of neatly trimmed grass and hits a human silhouette on a paper target 40 yards away.

Gonzalez wipes the sweat off his brow and smiles. Perspiration stains the neck and armpits of his camouflage jacket. All around him are men in fatigues, some flat-bellied on the grass shooting rounds, others cleaning their weapons or picking through ammunition boxes. The air is thick with cigar smoke. At age 71, Gonzalez is still one of the best marksmen at this training camp for Alpha 66, the paramilitary Cuban exile group formed in 1961 “with the intention of making commando type attacks on Cuba,” as the organization’s Web site baldly puts it. Gonzalez hopes to put his skills to use when the second revolution comes, the one that will tear his homeland free from the grip of communist dictator Fidel Castro. At that point Gonzalez hopes to have a Cuban soldier in his sights, not a paper silhouette.

Plans to attack Cuba are constantly being hatched in South Florida. Over the years militant exiles have been linked to everything from downing airliners to hit-and-run commando raids on the Cuban coast to hotel bombings in Havana. They’ve killed Cuban diplomats and made numerous attempts on Castro’s life.

But, other than an occasional federal gun charge, nothing much seems to happen to most of these would-be revolutionaries. They are allowed to train nearly unimpeded despite making explicit plans to violate the 70-year-old U.S. Neutrality Act and overthrow a sovereign country’s government. Though separate anti-terror laws passed in 1994 and 1996 would seem to apply directly to their activities, no one has ever been charged for anti-Cuban terrorism under those laws. And 9/11 seems to have changed nothing. In the past few years in South Florida, a newly created local terrorism task force has investigated Jose Padilla and the hapless Seas of David cult, and juries have delivered mixed reviews, but no terrorism charges have been brought against anti-Castro militants. The federal government has even failed to extradite to other countries militants who are credibly accused of acts of murder. Among the most notorious is Luis Posada Carriles, wanted for bombing a Cuban jet in 1976 and Havana hotels in 1997. It is, perhaps, a testament to the power of South Florida’s crucial Cuban-American voting bloc — and the political allegiances of the current president.

In Greater Miami, home to the majority of the nation’s 1.5 million Cuban-Americans, the presence of what could credibly be described as a terrorist training camp has become an accepted norm during the half-century of the anti-Castro Cuban diaspora. Alpha 66 and numerous other paramilitary groups — Comandos F4, Brigade 2506, Accion Cubana — are so common they’ve taken on the benign patina of Rotary Clubs with weapons.

But Alpha 66 members are eager to remind you that even if they are graying and prosperous they are not toothless old tigers. Their Web site boasts that “in recent years” they’ve sabotaged Cuba’s tourist economy by attacking hotels in the beach resort of Caya Coco. At the group’s headquarters in the Little Havana neighborhood of Miami, the walls are hung with the portraits of dozens of men who have died on Alpha 66 missions.

To reach Alpha 66’s South Florida camp you have to drive to the farmlands west of Miami’s sprawl, then wait for a guide. You follow the guide down a winding, pitted dirt road for a few miles until you get to a gate and a yellow watchtower hung with an old-fashioned school bell. Behind a wall of trees and shrubs is a compound that looks like a hunting lodge. A low-slung wood-plank bunker with a deck and awning provides refuge from the sun.

Before hitting the range, the men — there are no women here today — had done maneuvers, marching in double file around the field, while a short, barrel-chested former Cuban army officer named Ivan Ayala barked directions: “Columna izquierda!” Many of the aging, uniformed men laboring to make it around the field are veterans of the failed CIA-backed Bay of Pigs invasion of 1961 and alumni of Castro’s jails. Some, like Osiel Gonzalez, even fought alongside Castro against Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista, before Castro’s turn toward communism. Most, if you believe them, have a “commando” mission or two with Alpha under their belts — landing on a remote beach and burning sugar cane fields, or strafing a shoreline with machine-gun fire. In other words, they’ve walked the walk of counterrevolutionary violence, even if it’s now reduced to a shuffle.

They deny they have anything in common with the militants hiding in the caves of Afghanistan and Pakistan. “No, we are not terrorists,” says Gonzalez, the second-in-command and a co-founder of the group who, when he is not donning fatigues and shouldering a rifle, is a financial consultant. “We don’t want to kill civilians.”

“Our goal is to free our country for our children and grandchildren,” drawls Al Bacallao, who has already retreated to the porch’s shade behind Gonzalez and the shooting range. The 61-year-old Bacallao was raised in Georgia after arriving from Cuba at age 8, and is the rare Cuban exile with a Southern twang. “The United States fought for its liberty, why can’t we?”

But Alpha members may have a fluid definition of what a civilian is. Raking the coast with .50-caliber machine-gun fire certainly does not exclude civilian casualties, nor does attacking tourist spots. By his own admission, Bacallao, who joined Alpha 66 23 years ago, has gone on several missions to Cuba. In 1993 U.S. authorities arrested him and a boatload of other men setting out for the island.

…”Let me tell you, we were treated like animals,” he says. “And all we were trying to do was liberate our country.”

But if he was treated like an animal, he is not in a cage. Federal prosecutors charged him and his companions with illegal weapons possession but a judge dismissed the case against most of the men, and a jury found the rest not guilty. Like other anti-Castro exiles before him, despite violent acts he is free to continue reporting to the training camp, and free to continue preparing for counter-revolution.

…Judy Orihuela, spokeswoman for the FBI’s Miami office, insists the agency will investigate any group that intends to violate U.S. law and poses a violent threat. At the Department of Justice in Washington, Dean Boyd, a spokesman for the national security division, rejects the notion that federal law enforcement shows leniency toward exile militants. Boyd maintains the DOJ would never attempt to influence a local case for political reasons and is blind to community or political pressure. “We pursue charges based on the evidence, not on other considerations,” he says.

“That’s sheer bullshit,” counters Wayne Smith, who was chief of mission at the U.S. Interests Section in Cuba under Presidents Carter and Reagan from 1979 to 1982, making him the de facto U.S. ambassador to Havana. Smith, who now runs the Cuba Program at the D.C.-based Center for International Policy, invokes the names of two of the most notorious Cuban exiles to argue that the U.S. does, in fact, play favorites. “We are certainly not applying these laws objectively in the case of Luis Posada Carriles, Orlando Bosch and a whole lot of others who have been involved in terrorist activities. We say that countries must take action against terrorists, but we’re clearly not. And I think it’s because we’re sympathetic to their actions.”

At the beginning of Castro’s reign, the U.S. was more than sympathetic to the militant exiles. In the 1960s, the U.S. government actively encouraged and supported anti-Castro violence, including the ill-fated Bay of Pigs invasion. “Throughout most of the 1960s, rolling back the Cuban revolution through violent exile surrogates remained a top U.S. priority,” says Peter Kornbluh, director of the Cuba Documentation Project at the National Security Archive and a specialist on U.S. policy toward Cuba. With exile involvement, the U.S. government made numerous attempts to assassinate Fidel Castro between 1961 and 1975, though the number cited in the title of the British documentary “638 Ways to Kill Castro” may be an exaggeration. Many anti-Castro Cubans went to work for U.S. intelligence and compiled long résumés of covert activity. In the 1980s, some assisted with the Reagan administration’s covert effort to arm the Contra rebels in Nicaragua.

Cuban-American entanglement with the CIA eventually bled into U.S. politics; two of the five “plumbers” who broke into the Democratic Party’s national headquarters at the Watergate in 1972 were Cuban-American. Tolerance for anti-Castro militancy, meanwhile, also had domestic consequences. Throughout the ’60s and ’70s and into the ’80s, exiles carried out dozens of bombings and assassinations in Miami and other American cities, targeting people they deemed too accommodating to the Castro government.

…Still, however, the militants continued to train within the borders of the U.S., and to amass weaponry. Retired Army Col. Larry Wilkerson remembers attending briefings during Caribbean war game exercises from 1992 to 1997 where he learned of the exiles’ capabilities. “We would always be fed this intelligence and I was astounded at how many suspected caches of arms they had access to not just in Florida, but in California, New Jersey and other places; light machine guns, grenades, C4, dynamite, all manner of side arms and long arms,” recalls Wilkerson, who was former Secretary of State Colin Powell’s chief of staff from 2002 to 2005. “It was a veritable terrorist haven. This is Hezbollah in Florida, if you’re looking at it through Havana’s eyes.”

Story continues here. Read it and forward the link to your friends.

Copyright 2008 Salon.com.

 

2 Comments

Filed under impeach Bush, JFK, John F. Kennedy, media, politics, president kennedy, RFK, RFK Jr., robert f. kennedy, robert kennedy jr., senator robert kennedy, the kennedys, Uncategorized

“This is the World Eisenhower Warned Us About” – RFK Jr.

Bobby Kennedy Jr.

THE FIRE STILL BURNS

Several emails have recently come in asking “what the hell got into Bobby this week on Ring of Fire?” (His Saturday Air America radio show) I don’t know, but whatever set him ablaze, I will say that the man was in rare form. This was one of the best broadcasts I’ve heard from him in quite awhile.

In the opening minutes of the show, Bobby launched into a particularly passionate rant about our arms-happy economic foreign policy that left even his longtime co-host Mike “Pap” Papantonio (who has heard it all by now) speechless. Hearing him talk, one couldn’t help but be reminded of President Kennedy’s disdain for “a Pax Americana, enforced on the world by American weapons of war” in his 1963 American University commencement address.

RFK Jr. also invoked another famous presidential speech: “This is exactly the world that General Dwight Eisenhower warned us about in his farewell address to the nation in which he cautioned against the domination of our democracy by the Military-Industrial Complex.

“The U.S. traditionally was an isolationist nation.” He explained further. “We focused on our own hemisphere, we focused on developing our economy, not policing the world. We were Anti-Imperialist, that was part of our tradition. “That was not just Jefferson, but it was Madison, Adams, Hamilton and all of them…This was an Anti-Imperialist nation!

“Well now, we spend $500 billion a year on arms.” Kennedy said. “That’s more than the entire world put together! This is not something that is good for the American people.”

He also encouraged every American to do a little independent thinking and ask themselves “who benefits?” from the waging of eternal war.

Kennedy talked on at some length about how we can bring a balance of power to the Mideast and restore our standing as a nation of goodwill in the eyes of the world. He also put forward some solid ideas on how to break our oil addiction with an “Apollo project” which would bring with it a prosperous domestic economy invested in green energy technologies, and spelled out exactly how it could be done within just a few years.

With a plan like that, people ask, it sounds like this Kennedy guy should be running for president, already.

* Listen to the Ring Of Fire radio show segment. (Jan. 19, 2008, Hour 1)

AND THAT WAS JUST THE FIRST HOUR…

Kennedy was just getting warmed up. In the second hour of the program, he spoke with Joseph Cirincione (Senior Fellow and Director for Nuclear Policy at the Center for American Policy) about how the Bush administration hyped a recent incident at sea between our Navy and the Iranian National Guard.

Had this “Filipino Monkey” thing actually been taken more seriously, we very easily could have had another Gulf of Tonkin on our hands or accidentally fired the first shot of WWIII.

And that’s enough to get anybody hopping mad. Especially someone named Kennedy whose father and uncle JFK diplomatically averted nuclear holocaust during the Cuban Missle Crisis. Those thirteen days in October 1962 were without question the most intense in world history; a moment when one false move, one slight misunderstanding or miscommunication could have meant The End of Everything.

Playing a dangerous game of chicken with Iran now inevitably results in close calls like this one, which Kennedy referred to as “classic American gunboat diplomacy in the 19th century sense.” Was this just another “Remember the Maine!” type incident “where we used American propaganda to hype a conflict with another nation?”

THE HOAX OF HORMUZ

“It appears that the Navy tapes that we all saw last week that allegedly showed Iranian Revolutionary Guard gunboats buzzing and harassing a convoy of American battleships were faked.” Kennedy said incredulously.

“That’s exactly right, Robert.” Cirincione concurred. “What we basically have here is The Hoax of Hormuz. We have a very misleading tape and storyline coming out last Monday, on the eve of the President’s trip to the Middle East. And it appears that the administration has once again exaggerated a threat for political purposes.”

“Clearly, the object of the United States propaganda campaign, which we all saw on television, was to inflame this situation rather than try to contain it.” Kennedy said. “In my view…that’s what our policy should be in that part of the world: to contain these incidents rather than to manufacture provocations.

“The voice we hear on the tape is clearly not a voice coming from those little Iranian speedboats. There was this phony, fake Arnold Schwarzenegger imitation voice that was just spliced in as a way to frighten the American people and hype the case for conflict.”

SPEAKING OF CONFLICT, WHAT ABOUT PAKISTAN?

Kennedy brings a unique and very personal insight to the current chaos in Pakistan. The Bhutto dynasty has drawn many comparisons to the Kennedys over the years, mainly because these two families have seen more than their share of political power struggles, coups, and violent, untimely deaths. The many similarities are indeed striking, if not even a little spooky.

Benazir Bhutto

The late Benazir Bhutto, Harvard classmate of the Kennedys

Most recently, the assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto (by a “lone nut” sniper in a motorcade, no less) brought up the obvious comparisons to JFK and Dallas. Incidentally and by sheer coincidence, it seems, JFK’s nephew Rep. Patrick Kennedy and Sen. Arlen Specter (Warren Commission counsel and mastermind of the “Single Bullet Theory”) were in Pakistan at the time, scheduled to meet with Bhutto that very night.

THE KENNEDY-BHUTTO CONNECTION

But Bhutto shared some similarities with Bobby Jr. as well. Being the same age, they attended Harvard together and were friendly with each other’s siblings.  She inherited her father’s political legacy as the eldest daughter of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, who founded the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP).

Bhutto led the country as president and then as prime minister between 1971 and 1977, when he was arrested on murder charges following a military coup. At first a reluctant political player, Benazir Bhutto vowed to carry on her father’s work, taking over after her father was hanged by the government of General Mohammed Zia-Ul-Haq.

But the somewhat eerie connections don’t end there. During her Harvard years, Benazir (known as “Pinky” on campus) Bhutto roomed with Bobby’s sister Kathleen Kennedy, class of `73. Meanwhile, Bobby Jr. and his younger brother David (who died of a tragic drug overdose in 1984) shared rooms and good times with Benazir’s younger brother Mir Murtaza Bhutto (who was shot to death in 1996).

Bobby’s late friend Mir Bhutto’s death has been described as a politically-motivated murder by his daughter Fatima and the way this horrible event unfolded is strangely reminiscent of the assassination of Robert Kennedy Sr. in 1968. The Bhuttos, like the Kennedys, have lost far too many family members in the midst of national political upheavals — and that’s not to mention the various intrigues within the family circle itself.

The murder of Mir Bhutto, it is often rumored, was ordered from the highest levels of the Pakistani government, which at the time was run by his estranged sister, Benazir Bhutto. Then there is the troubling tale of their brother Shah, who died violently in 1985 under circumstances which can only be described as curious. As Bobby told the story on this week’s radio show:

“They (Shah and Mir) married twin sisters who were the daughters of the Soviet puppet president of Kabul. One of the sisters then murdered Shah – poisoned him in France – and Mir divorced the sister, probably prudently.

“But then Mir was involved in a hijacking which put a price on his head in Pakistan. He finally came back to Pakistan and ran for Parliament, and then was murdered in a hail of gunfire that many people believe was orchestrated by his own sister, by his elder sister (Benazir) and her husband. We don’t know…but there is strong evidence of that.”

This amazing story, with all its’ bizarre twists and turns, has to be heard to be believed. (Even then, you might have to listen a few times to fully wrap your mind around it).

Near the end of this interview, Kennedy expressed his belief that it is Pakistan, not Iran or Iraq, which is “the principal threat to all of the globe in terms of proliferation of nuclear materials to terrorist groups who may actually use them.”

“Exactly.” Cirincione agreed. “Pakistan is the most dangerous country on earth.” 

* Check out the entire interview on Ring of Fire here. (January 19, 2008 show, Hour 2. The Joseph Cirincione interview starts about 18 minutes into the program.)

Copyright RFKin2008.com

 

 

 

4 Comments

Filed under climate change, election 2008, environment, global warming, impeach Bush, JFK, John F. Kennedy, LBJ, lyndon b. johnson, media, politics, president kennedy, RFK, RFK Jr., robert f. kennedy, robert kennedy jr., Uncategorized