Monday, March 1, 2021





Compiled by Dick Bennett for a Culture of Peace, Justice, and Ecology.  

(#1, Jan. 1, 2013).


CIA Newsletter #1 at end.

Contents CIA Newsletter  #2

Sweet, Predator CIA Official Honored at Fordham (vs. Ray McGovern)

Rositske, CIA History:Early Post-WWII CIA Secret Ops

Risen,  CIA and Bush Administration

Mazzetti, 21st Century CIA a Killing Machine

Chatterjee, CIA Bungled War on Terror (US War of Terror)

Mazzetti, CIA Secret Detention and Interrogation Challenged in Congress

Rich:, CIA’s Secrecy and Lies

Hedges, Obama




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March 29, 2010

Predator Chief Feted at Fordham

By Debra Sweet  [Read McGovern’s account of this event in The Catholic Worker  (May 2014).   –Dick]

CIA covert operation chief, Michael Sulick was an invited speaker at Fordham University last week. Debra Sweet, national director of World Can't Wait, reports on what transpired when former CIA analyst and Fordham alum Ray McGovern, a harsh critic of CIA abuses, was unexpectedly invited on stage.


I'm not sure what was worse; sitting in an auditorium for a speech by the head of CIA clandestine operations, or having most of the audience give a standing ovation afterward.  There were some low points in between, too.

On Thursday, I went with my friend Ray McGovern, and some current and former Fordham students to a lecture at Fordham University given by Michael Sulick, Director of the National Clandestine Service, the guy in charge of counter-terrorism and covert ops.

Ray and Sulick are both graduates of Fordham, and both worked for the C.I.A.   One difference between them is that Ray quit long ago.

Fordham, a Jesuit school, has a very active Peace and Justice program led by a tenured professor, which just the evening before had held a commemoration of the assassination 30 years ago of Archbishop Oscar Romero in San Salvador. It was noted that Romero was killed by graduates of the School of the Americas, with alleged help from the CIA. [For more on Romero, see "El Salvador: Ghosts at the Polls."]

But Fordham also produces a lot of FBI and CIA agents. For Sulick, the student center was decorated with the kind of puffy, shiny balloon letters junior high schools use for birthday parties, with silvery "C-I-A" floating in the lobby.I felt it was going to be a strange night.

Ray was tipped off about the lecture by anti-war students.  He offered himself as a "respondent" to the lecture, but the administration declined that offer.

Ten or 11 professors protested the CIA lecture, and around noon on Thursday the administration invited one of them to respond to it on stage.   She declined, as she would have no time to prepare.

The lecture was off the radar; not on Fordham's Web site, and a non-event as far as the Public Relations office was concerned.  They wanted no press.

The administration called the student leaders to find out if any protest was planned, with the intimidating implication that they would be held responsible for any disruption.

Ray invited me to meet with about 15 students before the speech. We learned that, for the first time in public lectures at Fordham, questions would only be taken in writing, giving no one the opportunity to speak from the floor.   And you know what that means.   MORE  [This excellent account of saying NO TO ACADEMIA’S PROMOTION OF CRIMINAL CIA is even better from here to its conclusion: ]  

Since the age of 19, when Debra confronted Richard Nixon during a face-to-face meeting and told him to stop the war in Vietnam, she has been a leader in the opposition to U.S. wars and invasions. Debra says, "Stop thinking like an American, and start thinking about humanity!"
You can read Debra's writings at





Cia's Secret Operations: Espionage, Counterespionage, and Covert Action by Harry Rositzke. 



A series of often unfavorable yet generally complacent judgments on the CIA, interspersed with anecdotes, by a 1946-1970 Agency official involved in espionage, counterespionage, and covert operations. Saying that most secret missions have been failures, Rositzke writes that the CIA became ""overstretched"" during the Cold War. First the agency allegedly concentrated on developing a warning capability against Soviet military attack, a focus Rositzke calls unwarranted, but it soon turned into ""an all-purpose action instrument for secretly executing presidential policies"" when, in the early 1950s, the USSR launched an ""open and covert offensive against the US and Europe."" Rositzke and his agents had considerable success recruiting spies, planting and ""turning"" Eastern diplomats and Communist Party functionaries, and redeploying double agents. But the paramilitary side was an ""almost uniform failure"": this includes an attempt to overthrow the Albanian government as well as the agency's involvement in lndochina (a few flat paragraphs). Rositzke simply dismisses the spate of recent charges against the CIA (involvement in JFK's assassination, involvement with domestic police, etc.) as an ""exercise in absurdity"" which can only aid the Soviet KGB; he also insists that, since the CIA always follows executive orders, it is being made a ""fall guy."" His recommendations: end our ""defensive strategy"" of ""containment,"" use ""economic power,"" accommodate to the global ""leftward direction,"" divide innocuous intelligence work from a new, small ""secret service,"" and remember, this is ""not a moral world.""


State of War: The Secret History of the C.I.A. and the Bush Administration by James Risen.  Free Press, 2006.

State of War

With relentless media coverage, breathtaking events, and extraordinary congressional and independent investigations, it is hard to believe that we still might not know some of the most significant facts about the presidency of George W. Bush. Yet beneath the surface events of the Bush presidency lies a secret history -- a series of hidden events that makes a mockery of current debate. 

This hidden history involves domestic spying, abuses of power, and outrageous operations. It includes a CIA that became caught in a political cross fire that it could not withstand, and what it did to respond. It includes a Defense Department that made its own foreign policy, even against the wishes of the commander in chief. It features a president who created a... SEE MORE 

“ Domestic spying, demands for political loyalty in the name of national security, investigating a newspaper's sources: With State of War, the Nixonian déjà vu can give a reader whiplash.”   The Dallas Morning News

Killing Machine

The Way of the Knife ’by Mark Mazzetti

Review By FRED KAPLAN   : May 10, 2013

·         PRINT

·         SINGLE PAGE

·         REPRINTS


It’s hard to remember, but for the last quarter of the 20th century, the C.I.A. took no part in assassinating bad guys. How the agency transformed itself into “a killing machine, an organization consumed with manhunting,” is the subject of Mark Mazzetti’s fascinating, trenchant, sometimes tragicomic account, “The Way of the Knife.”

THE WAY OF THE KNIFE:  The CIA, a Secret Army, and a War at the Ends of the Earth.   By Mark Mazzetti

Illustrated. 381 pp. The Penguin Press. $29.95.

The terrorist attacks of 9/11 propelled this shift, but even then, the resistance from within was fierce. Mazzetti — a New York Times reporter who was part of a Pulitzer Prize-winning team — has done much to document the C.I.A.’s use and abuse of its new powers. Here he traces the bitter fights between Langley’s old guard and Young Turks over whether the agency should use the new armed Predator drones to hunt and kill even Osama bin Laden. A few months earlier, there wouldn’t have been so much as a debate. Mazzetti quotes a former counterterrorism chief telling the 9/11 Commission that, before the Twin Towers’ fall, he would have refused a direct order to take out Al Qaeda’s leader. The agency’s motto back then, when it came to such matters: “We’re not Mossad.”

This reticence stemmed from Senator Frank Church’s mid-1970s hearings, which uncovered the C.I.A.’s long, dark history of black-bag jobs and inspired President Ford to sign an executive order barring assassinations of foreign leaders. The probe scarred most of the spies who survived it (“the post-Church generation,” Mazzetti calls them) with a deep reluctance to go down that alley ever again. Mazzetti generally sides with the old-school resisters, but not dogmatically. He notes the absurdity of their position, taken at National Security Council meetings in the final year of Bill Clinton’s presidency, that it would be fine to kill bin Laden with a Tomahawk cruise missile but not with a bullet between the eyes.

After 9/11, President Bush signed his own executive order, restoring the powers that the C.I.A. lost in the wake of the Church hearings. To Mazzetti, a huge drawback of this shift has been a narrowing of the agency’s focus. Pushed by presidents (Obama no less than Bush) to find Qaeda operatives, intelligence officers spend less time on “broader subjects” like the level of support for Al Qaeda in the Muslim world or the possibility that the damage wreaked by American drone strikes might be “radicalizing a new generation of militants.”

In the late summer of 2011, a few days before David Petraeus became C.I.A. director, Michael Hayden, one of his predecessors (and a fellow retired general), warned him of a “real danger” that the manhunting was “consuming” the agency. The C.I.A. is “the nation’s global intelligence service,” Mazzetti quotes Hayden as saying. “And you’ve got to discipline yourself to carve out time to do something else besides counterterrorism.”

Petraeus entered Langley determined to widen its scope, but in his 14 months on the job, the trends that Hayden had warned him about continued. Hayden of course had done much to accelerate those trends during his own tenure. As Mazzetti puts it (with perhaps slight exaggeration), a spy agency that was criticized on 9/11 “as bumbling and risk-averse had, under the watchful eye of four successive C.I.A. directors, gone on a killing spree.”

Mazzetti offers a few persuasive reasons why Obama, to the surprise of many, has embraced this spree with even more gusto than Bush. First is the simple fact that, since Bush left office, the drone program has matured, drone production has spiked and the cadre of drone crews has swelled.

The second reason, one laden with irony, is that, in 2004, a report by the C.I.A.’s inspector general condemned the agency’s program of detaining and interrogating terrorists (at least its harsher aspects) as “unauthorized” and “inhumane.” The fear spread among C.I.A. officers that they might face criminal prosecution and that the agency could be pummeled if the political winds shifted, as they had 30 years earlier. Forced to rethink the war on terror, officials saw that armed drones and targeted killings “offered a new direction,” Mazzetti writes. They seemed “cleaner, less personal” and “risk-free.” And so “the C.I.A. began to see its future: not as the long-term jailers of America’s enemies but as a military organization that could erase them.” Obama, who had long opposed the enhanced interrogations, agreed.

·         1 

·         2 


Fred Kaplan is Slate’s War Stories columnist and the author of “The Insurgents: David Petraeus and the Plot to Change the American Way of War.”

A version of this review appears in print on May 12, 2013, on page BR28 of the Sunday Book Review with the headline: “Killing Machine.”



07 December 13 PM, Reader Supported News

Pratap Chatterjee, How the CIA Bungled the War on Terror 
Chatterjee writes: "Think of it as the CIA's plunge into Hollywood - or into the absurd. As recent revelations have made clear, that Agency's moves couldn't be have been more far-fetched or more real. In its post-9/11 global shadow war, it has employed both private contractors and some of the world's most notorious prisoners in ways that leave the latest episode of the Bourne films in the dust ..."


CIA Employees Face New Inquiry Amid Clashes on Detention Program 
Mark Mazzetti, The New York Times, Reader Supported News, March 5, 2014 
Mazzetti reports: "The Central Intelligence Agency's attempt to keep secret the details of a defunct detention and interrogation program has escalated a battle between the agency and members of Congress." 



Will the Real Traitors Please Stand Up?  By FRANK RICH   May 14, 2006

WHEN America panics, it goes hunting for scapegoats. But from Salem onward, we've more often than not ended up pillorying the innocent. Abe Rosenthal, the legendary Times editor who died last week, and his publisher, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, were denounced as treasonous in 1971 when they defied the Nixon administration to publish the Pentagon Papers, the secret government history of the Vietnam War. Today we know who the real traitors were: the officials who squandered American blood and treasure on an ill-considered war and then tried to cover up their lies and mistakes. It was precisely those lies and mistakes, of course, that were laid bare by the thousands of pages of classified Pentagon documents leaked to both The Times and The Washington Post.

May 14, 0:51 AM

"Do I need to point out the obvious here to you folks? That Rich is accusing not only the people he directly names of incompetence so profound it looks like treason, but also the person who nominated them? ..."

This history is predictably repeating itself now that the public has turned on the war in Iraq. The administration's die-hard defenders are desperate to deflect blame for the fiasco, and, guess what, the traitors once again are The Times and The Post. This time the newspapers committed the crime of exposing warrantless spying on Americans by the National Security Agency (The Times) and the C.I.A.'s secret "black site" Eastern European prisons [torture—Dick] (The Post). Aping the Nixon template, the current White House tried to stop both papers from publishing and when that failed impugned their patriotism.

President Bush, himself a sometime leaker of intelligence, called the leaking of the N.S.A. surveillance program a "shameful act" that is "helping the enemy." Porter Goss, who was then still C.I.A. director, piled on in February with a Times Op-Ed piece denouncing leakers for potentially risking American lives and compromising national security. When reporters at both papers were awarded Pulitzer Prizes last month, administration surrogates, led by bloviator in chief William Bennett, called for them to be charged under the 1917 Espionage Act.

We can see this charade for what it is: a Hail Mary pass by the leaders who bungled a war and want to change the subject to the journalists who caught them in the act. What really angers the White House and its defenders about both the Post and Times scoops are not the legal questions the stories raise about unregulated gulags and unconstitutional domestic snooping, but the unmasking of yet more administration failures in a war effort riddled with ineptitude. It's the recklessness at the top of our government, not the press's exposure of it, that has truly aided the enemy, put American lives at risk and potentially sabotaged national security. That's where the buck stops, and if there's to be a witch hunt for traitors, that's where it should begin.

Well before Dana Priest of The Post uncovered the secret prisons last November, the C.I.A. had failed to keep its detention "secrets" secret. Having obtained flight logs, The Sunday Times of London first reported in November 2004 that the United States was flying detainees "to countries that routinely use torture." Six months later, The New York Times added many details, noting that "plane-spotting hobbyists, activists and journalists in a dozen countries have tracked the mysterious planes' movements." These articles, capped by Ms. Priest's, do not impede our ability to detain terrorists. But they do show how the administration, by condoning torture, has surrendered the moral high ground to anti-American jihadists and botched the war of ideas that we can't afford to lose.  MORE

If Democrats — and, for that matter, Republicans — let a president with a Nixonesque approval rating install yet another second-rate sycophant at yet another security agency, even one as diminished as the C.I.A., someone should charge those senators with treason, too.


Chris Hedges, What Obama Really Meant Was... 

Chris Hedges, TruthDig, RSN,  20 January 14, Reader Supported News
Hedges writes: "Throughout American history, intelligence services often did little more than advance and protect corporate profits and solidify state repression and imperialist expansion."   READ MORE


My blog:   War Department/Peace Department 

My Newsletters:


Peace, Justice, Ecology Birthdays

See OMNI’s Weekly Bulletin

Visit OMNI’s Library.







CIA NEWSLETTER Contents #1, Jan. 1, 2013

No Charges for Brutality

Weiner, FBI History

Zepazauer, CIA History

Scahill, Petraeus and Militarized CIA

McCoy, History of US Torture

Jaffer and Wessler, Drone Killing Then PR

Engelhardt, Assassin in Chief

Targeted Killings Are War Crimes

Patriot Act Abuses

Film: Secrets of CIA

Kucinich, CIA Killings Unaccountable

Hendricks, CIA Kidnapping in Milan

Prouty, Mistreatment of Arab-American in CIA

Soufan, CIA Would Censor Agent on 9-11

CIA Torture: Film Five Fingers

Call for Arrest of CIA Legal Chief for Drone Killings

On Gary Webb

CIA Mind Control Experiments (several books)

Risen fights Subpoena

Who Runs CIA?

CIA Illegal Domestic Operations

CIA and Drug Trade

Melley, Cultural Consequences of National Security State




Climate Memo Mondays #12


12.  Climate Memo Mondays 

Wallace Wells

The OMNI Center for Peace, Justice, and Ecology held its monthly Climate Book Forum at 1:30 p.m., Sunday, September 1, FPL on two books, The Uninhabitable Earth by David Wallace-Wells and Losing Earth by Nathaniel Rich.   Wallace-Wells has written a summative book on the climate catastrophe, its consequences for humans, and possible human responses.  It is based upon a large and wide reading of recently published scholarship.  Rich’s short book recounts ways during the 1980s and 90s the science of warming was suppressed by corporate and government officials.  Closely related is Democracy in Chains, how the Koch brothers and others have taken over the Republican party to defend the fossil fuels industry, doubt climate change,  and increase industry profits.. 


Opener of Battistoni’s review of the 2 books

Alyssa Battistoni.  “Everything to Lose: The struggle to save the planet.”  The Nation (6- 3-10, 2019).
At this point, we all know that climate change is happening (or at least most of us do). But do we really know what it will mean to live on a planet transformed by it? We know the seas will rise, but have we truly reckoned with the fact that they are on track to be four to eight feet higher by the end of the century, at which point they will drown the Maldives, the White House, St. Mark’s Basilica, and the Bengal tiger’s habitat? We know that Earth is getting hotter, but have we actually come to terms with what it would mean if half the world were so hot that it would essentially cook the human body to death, as would be the case with a temperature rise of 5 or 6 degrees Celsius?

     That we do not really grasp what climate change will bring is the central premise of David Wallace-Wells’s The Uninhabitable Earth. An editor at New York magazine, Wallace-Wells describes in chilling detail the possibility of year-round fires scorching the planet; latent plagues revived as the ice that harbors these frozen pathogens melts; growing numbers of people left homeless by climate-fueled disasters, rising sea levels, increasingly scarce resources, and the toxic effects of pollution. Very little of what he reports here is new, as Wallace-Wells notes; most of it has been predicted in scientific studies for years. This is part of his point: For decades, we have avoided thinking about the catastrophe on the horizon. His gambit is that, by offering this information in the form of a taut, evocative, and frequently terrifying view of the future that awaits, he might make the reality hit home in a way that scattered headlines do not. . . . The daunting challenge of saying something about climate change that will break through where other warnings have not is at the heart of both The Uninhabitable Earth and Losing Earth, the new book by Nathaniel Rich. Both writers try to understand why it is that we have known about climate change for nearly four decades and yet seem to go through the same cycle of discovery time after time. Both try their best to force us out of this pattern.

(The review is brilliant, identifying precisely not only the uninhabitable and the loss surveyed by the authors, but where and how they fell short in their quite different analyses.  –Dick)




Friday, February 26, 2021





February 26, 2021

Compiled by Dick Bennett for a Culture of Peace, Justice, and Ecology



Dead Epidemiologists

Capitalism on a Ventilator

Propaganda Pandemic

Capitalism Is the Problem

Fight Poverty


Disaster Capitalism

Politics of the Pandemic

Socialist Spectre




March 5th Book Talk: "Dead Epidemiologists," co-hosted by Science for the People  2-27-21

Monthly Review Press via 

9:08 AM (4 hours ago)

to me

New from Monthly Review Press: Dead Epidemiologists + Book Launch 

Is this email not displaying correctly?
View it in your browser.


MARCH 5TH, 3:00-4:30 EST

with Science for the People Pilsen Community Books


Take a deep dive into the socio-political and economic origins of the Covid-19 disaster, and the disproportionate effects of infectious diseases on BIPOC, as Rob Wallace talks about his book Dead Epidemiologists with Joseph Graves of Science for the People

The COVID-19 pandemic shocked the world. It shouldn’t have. Dead Epidemiologists reveals the hidden-in-plain-sight truth behind the pandemic: Global capital drove the deforestation and development that exposed us to new pathogens. From deepest Yunnan to the boardrooms of New York City, this book offers a compelling diagnosis of the roots of COVID-19, and a stark prognosis of what—without further intervention—may come.

Join Rob Wallace and Joseph Graves Jr. as they help us make sense of the Covid crisis:

Monthly Review logoROB WALLACE is an evolutionary epidemiologist with the Agroecology and Rural Economics Research Corps. He is author of Big Farms Make Big Flu and coauthor of Clear-Cutting Disease Control: Capital-Led Deforestation, Public Health Austerity, and Vector-Borne Infection. He has consulted with the Food and Agriculture Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. GRAVES JR. studies the genomics of adaptation, focusing on life history evolution and antimicrobial resistance. He has authored numerous works on biological and social conceptions of race and is a leader in redressing the underrepresentation of racially subordinated people in science careers. He has been a member of Science for the People since 1980.

Spanish interpretation will be available at this event

260 pages | $17 pbk
Order here


What people are saying about Dead Epidemiologists:


“Read this book as if your life depended on it, because it does.”

- Mindy Thompson Fullilove, author, Main Street: How a City’s Heart Connects Us All


“Crafting in real time a political-economic ecology of pandemics in the age of climate change and agribusiness.”

- Edgar Rivera Colón, coauthor, Principles and Practice of Narrative Medicine


“Makes sense of the COVID-19 pandemic like no other work I’ve encountered anywhere. This is radical thinking in the very best sense. Written in perfect, pissed-off, punk-rock eloquence and fury.”

- Ben Ehrenreich, author, Desert Notebooks: A Road Map for the End of Time


Capitalism on a Ventilator: A new book analyzes the impact of COVID-19 on the U.S. and China. (1-9-21).

While China contained COVID-19 and preserved its economy, the U.S. spins lies while hundreds of thousands of its people die for lack of even a semblance of a national health system.  | more…

share on Twitter Like Capitalism on a Ventilator: A new book analyzes the impact of COVID-19 on the U.S. and China on Facebook



Propaganda pandemic: The craziest COVID claims of the year. (12-25-20).

No matter how many Americans die, corporate media is desperate to shore up support at home and attempt to discredit foreign countries for handling the pandemic properly. Behind The Headlines’ Dan Cohen reviews the most absurd COVID propaganda of the year..  | more…

share on Twitter Like Propaganda pandemic: The craziest COVID claims of the year on Facebook


The Cocoon Sessions Episode 2: People aren’t the problem, capitalism is.  Popular Resistance (3-22-21).

Snuggle in with us for another Cocoon Session where we give you a really cool and easy trick to hack your anxiety, talk about the way the quarantine is changing the world good and bad, and finally Caitlin has her proof that humans are not the problem after all.    Source  share on Twitter Like The Cocoon Sessions Episode 2: People aren’t the problem, capitalism is on Facebook


To Fight Coronavirus, Fight Poverty.  Popular Resistance (3-22-20). By Kait Ziegler, As Americans do everything they can to stay safe and limit their exposure to COVID-19, we are seeing more clearly the great divides in our society. While the virus doesn’t discriminate, we are seeing that its impacts certainly do. In a pandemic, there’s a huge difference between having health care and not having it, between getting paid sick time off work and not, and having access to clean water and housing and lacking it. -more-







Cuba's Contribution to  Combatting COVID-19 by HELEN YAFFE..  March 17, 2020 Counterpunch 

COVID-19 surged in the Chinese city of Wuhan in late December 2019 and by January 2020 it had hit Hubei province like a tidal wave, swirling over China and rippling out overseas. The Chinese state rolled into action to combat the spread and care for those infected. Among the 30 medicines the Chinese National Health Commission selected to fight the virus was a Cuban anti-viral drug Interferon Alpha 2b. This drug has been produced in China since 2003, by the enterprise ChangHeber, a Cuban-Chinese joint venture.

Cuban Interferon Alpha 2b has proven effective for viruses with characteristics similar to those of COVID-19. Cuban biotech specialist, Dr Luis Herrera Martinez explained that 'its use prevents aggravation and complications in patients, reaching that stage that ultimately can result in death.' Cuba first developed and used interferons to arrest a deadly outbreak of the dengue virus in 1981, and the experience catalysed the development of the island's now world-leading biotech industry. world's first biotechnology enterprise, Genetech, was founded in San Francisco in 1976, followed by AMGen in Los Angeles in 1980. One year later, the Biological Front, a professional interdisciplinary forum, was set up to develop the industry in Cuba. While most developing countries had little access to the new technologies (recombinant DNA, human gene therapy, biosafety), Cuban biotechnology expanded and took on an increasingly strategic role in both the public health sector and the national economic development plan. It did so despite the US blockade obstructing access to technologies, equipment, materials, finance and even knowledge exchange. Driven by public health demand, it has been characterised by the fast track from research and innovation to trials and application, as the story of Cuban interferon shows.



This article draws on material in my new book, We Are Cuba! How a revolutionary people have survived in a post-Soviet world. Chapter 5 deals with 'The curious case of Cuba's biotech revolutionary'. Available here.

About Helen Yaffe

Helen Yaffe is a lecturer in Economic and Social History at the University of Glasgow, specialising in Cuban and Latin American development. She is the author of Che Guevara: The Economics of Revolution and co-author with Gavin Brown of Youth Activism and Solidarity: the Non-Stop Picket against Apartheid. Her forthcoming book We Are Cuba! How a Revolutionary People have survived in a Post-Soviet World will be published in spring 2020.


Coronavirus Is the Perfect Disaster for ‘Disaster Capitalism’.  16 Mar 2020.  Marie Solis, TRANSCEND Media Service.

Naomi Klein explains how governments and the global elite will exploit a pandemic.

13 Mar 2020 – The coronavirus is officially a global pandemic that has so far infected 10 times more people than SARS did. Schools, university systems, museums, and theaters across the U.S. are shutting down, and soon, entire cities may be too. Experts warn that some people who suspect they may be sick with the virus, also known as COVID-19, are going about their daily routines, either because their jobs do not provide paid time off because of systemic failures in our privatized health care system.

Most of us aren’t exactly sure what to do or who to listen to. President Donald Trump has contradicted recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and these mixed messages have narrowed our window of time to mitigate harm from the highly contagious virus.

These are the perfect conditions for governments and the global elite to implement political agendas that would otherwise be met with great opposition if we weren’t all so disoriented. This chain of events isn’t unique to the crisis sparked by the coronavirus; it’s the blueprint politicians and governments have been following for decades known as the “shock doctrine,” a term coined by activist and author Naomi Klein in a 2007 book of the same name.

History is a chronicle of “shocks”—the shocks of wars, natural disasters, and economic crises—and their aftermath. This aftermath is characterized by “disaster capitalism,” calculated, free-market “solutions” to crises that exploit and exacerbate existing inequalities.

Klein says we’re already seeing disaster capitalism play out on the national stage: In response to the coronavirus, Trump has proposed a $700 billion stimulus package that would include cuts to payroll taxes (which would devastate Social Security) and provide assistance to industries that will lose business as a result of the pandemic.

“They’re not doing this because they think it’s the most effective way to alleviate suffering during a pandemic—they have these ideas lying around that they now see an opportunity to implement,” Klein said.

VICE spoke to Klein about how the “shock” of coronavirus is giving way to the chain of events she outlined more than a decade ago in The Shock Doctrine.

This interview has been lightly edited for length and clarity.

Naomi Klein is the award-winning author of the international bestseller, No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies, translated into 28 languages. She writes an internationally syndicated column for The Nation magazine and the Guardian newspaper. She is a former Miliband Fellow at the London School of Economics and holds an honorary Doctor of Civil Laws from the University of King’s College, Nova Scotia. Her book The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism was published worldwide in 2007.  And This Changes Everything, No Is Not Enough, and On Fire


BreakThrough News launches: special episode on Coronavirus pandemic

ANSWER Coalition via 

Mar 21, 2020, 11:35 AM (1 day ago)

to James


Video: Coronavirus exposes
morbid symptoms of U.S. system

Special Episode from the new video platform BreakThrough

The inaugural episode of BreakThrough News has just been released, focusing on the politics of the Coronavirus pandemic and the government's criminally negligent response.

Watch it here: on Youtube and Facebook

Stories include:

·  Gov't must act so no one is homeless, hungry or without health care

·  ICU beds and ventilators needed: why is it taking so long?

·  Amid social distancing, grassroots relief offers social solidarity

·  How did China keep Wuhan grocery stores stocked during crisis?

·  Interview with doctor: pandemic reveals cruelty of health care system

·  Cuba provides Coronavirus help despite criminal U.S. sanctions 

Watch it here: on Youtube and Facebook

About BreakThrough

BreakThrough is a new video platform for the movements challenging the military-industrial complex and Wall Street capitalism. Several long-time ANSWER activists are working with other allies in creating BreakThrough and we want to share it with you, as an ANSWER supporter, to get in on the ground floor.

BreakThrough is being constructed as a media arm of the broad movement, soliciting active participation and submissions from the grassroots to help uncover and lift up the untold struggles of poor and working people. Check out the promo video on the Patreon site.

Become a ground-floor supporter of this media project today!

Mission statement

BreakThrough will feature in-depth interviews with movement leaders, weekly news, field coverage of protests and rallies of grassroots campaigns, and explainer videos that will be of immediate educational value to those engaged in movements for change.

At present, five mega-corporations dominate the media landscape — controlling 90% of what we read, watch and listen to. They control the news cycle, to which social media and even most “alternative” media is forced to respond. 

We are breaking through that cycle — to tell the untold stories of resistance from poor and working-class communities. Out of these stories we will construct a different narrative of the world, as it is and in real time. 

People’s movements in every corner of the globe are changing history and shifting consciousness. But these movements barely receive any coverage from the corporate media. They need visibility. They need amplification. They need a media arm to break through!

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The Socialist Specter In Present-Day US Politics.  Popular Resistance (3-21-20). Victor Wallis, The US political scene is haunted by talk of socialism. The basis for this has been developing now for some years, especially since the financial meltdown of 2008, which many came to see as decisive proof that a capitalist economy does not serve the majority. But how does this new mass perception express itself? On the one hand, there is wide recognition of the grotesque level of inequality, as expressed in the slogan... -more-






Dick's Wars and Warming KPSQ Radio Editorials (#1-48)

Dick's Wars and Warming KPSQ Radio Editorials (#1-48)