October 19th, 2008
This was sent out by Congresswoman McKinney to her supporters today.
Hello! I'm scheduled to appear on thirdpartyticket.com at 7:00 pm
this evening! Tune in! I'm also including my remarks from yesterday.
Enjoy! And don't forget, please visit www.runcynthiarun.org and
donate what you can!
It's About Time
Auburn Avenue Research Library
October 18, 2008
I am extremely pleased to participate in this reunion of some of the
boldest, most idealistic, patriotic, inspiring young people that this
country has ever seen. I celebrate who you are and what you have done
to cause the United States Government and all of its instruments of
power to write one of the most ignominious chapters in this country's
history. I consistently use you as a gauge: if they would do it to
the Black Panther Party, then all of America must know that they
will, without hesitation, also do it to the rest of us. And so, it is
incumbent upon those of us who know and want to know, to share the
information about your experiences, because there were efforts as you
well know, to denigrate your name and neutralize your mission of
self-determination for Black people in this country, and to instill
fear into the populationboth black and whiteat the very mention of
the Black Panther Party for Self Defense.
I begin with this question: If the decision- and policy-makers at
that time would do it when it was "illegal and un-American," as
Senator Frank Church described the actions of those working inside
the COINTELPRO framework, what are individual actors with access to
power and technology within the government today capable of doing
now? You, the members of the Black Panther Party, are living
testament that too many individuals with access to power were willing
to commit the highest crimes and misdemeanors in order to achieve
their objective–and that was clearly stated in the opening document:
to neutralize you. You are also living testament that even though the
actions carried out against you were illegal, they were largely done
with impunity. Who among the actors inside government–the
coordinators, conceivers, managers, approvers–of these activities has
been punished? And what we must never forget is what the U.S.
government means when it uses the word "neutralize." I think you all
know all too well.
Your experience with the Counter-Intelligence Program of yesterday is
instructive today now that the Patriot Acts, the Secret Evidence Act,
the Military Commissions Act, the Funding for the War on Terror Act
are all carved into the law. Kathleen and Natsu and, of course, King
Downing, and others can describe how vastly the legal landscape has
changed. But there is one aspect of the operation to neutralize your
good works and your good name that has not changed. And that's what I
want to talk about today.
How many times has the corporate press used the word "spoiler" in
reference to the 2000 Presidential election and every Presidential
election since then and how many times have they reported accurately
the number of black votes cast and not counted or the way in which
black voters were disfranchised?
How many times did the corporate press use the word "conspiracy," not
in conjunction with the September 11th tragedy, but in conjunction
with those who want to know the truth about what happened on that day?
How many times did the corporate media lie to the people of this
country and the world in the lead-up to the war against Iraq?
In the wake of accounts of torture and prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib,
how many times were prisoner abuse and torture inside this country
mentioned? How many times was Attica, the Angola 3, Chicago's Area 2,
or the San Francisco 8 mentioned?
In this, an election year, how many times have stories on election
integrity been written that inform and warn potential voters of the
problems they might face at the polling place and what their rights
are if they encounter them?
When we read accounts that the CIA stationed psychological operations
agents inside the newsroom at CNN, we must understand that the
Propaganda Matrix is real and the sad fact is that COINTELPRO could
not have been as effective as it was without the cooperation and
complicity of the corporate media, known as the 4th Estate. I read a
very interesting piece recently that asked if the 4th Estate is
really a Fifth Column.
During the 1999 Memphis, Tennessee trial on the murder of Dr. Martin
Luther King, Jr. who joined Black Panther Party members as a target
of COINTELPRO, and was murdered because of it:
On November 30, 1999 testimony in that trial reveals the lengths to
which the government would go to eliminate a problem of conscience
and the extent of cooperation between the government's operatives and
the esteemed members of the journalistic community. The testimony on
that date reveals the presence of the US military operating inside
this country in civilian clothing. Testimony from one such operative
revealed special operations forces charged with assassinations
operating with instructions directly from the White House. The
testimony included information on the role of Jeb Bush who, as
Governor of Florida, saw to it that certain "civilian operations"
went forward from the port of Miami, Florida. Including drug
shipments from Colombia into the U.S.
The testimony in Dr. King's trial starkly portrays the collusion of
the paragons of the press with suppression and omission of important
information, regarding the murder of Dr. King as well as in the
efforts to smear Dr. King and the movement he was leading. The
testimony of Bill Schapp is frightening reading about propaganda and
disinformation in the information lifeline of this country. He
testified that approximately one-third of the entire CIA budget and
hundreds of millions of FBI dollars are dedicated to media propaganda
operations. That the CIA actually owned, at the time of the Church
Committee hearings, about 250 media organizations and employed
thousands of journalists actually on the CIA payroll. Mr. Schapp
testified that the FBI had friendly journalists at AP, Copley News
Service, U.S. News and World Report, and at the Atlanta Constitution,
The New Orleans Times Picayune, The New York Times, The Christian
Science Monitor, even The Washington Post. Schapp testified that
Frank Wisner called control over information flows the "Great Wurlitzer."
And what is to be made of the Brasscheck TV
(http://www.brasschecktv.com/page/439.html) claim that video they
have posted shows the Prime Ministers of Australia and the soon-to-be
Prime Minister of Canada giving the exact same speech in support of
the U.S.-led war in Iraq?
Among the top 25 censored stories for 2009, according to Project
Censored, include "Over One Million Iraqi Deaths Caused by U.S.
Occupation"; "Security and Prosperity Partnership: Militarized
NAFTA"; "InfraGard: the FBI Deputizes Business"; "ILEA: Is the US
Restarting Dirty Wars in Latin America"; "Seizing War Protesters'
Assets"; "Cruelty and Death in Juvenile Detention Centers";
"Marijuana Arrests Set New Record"; and in light of the bailout
blowout, "Bush's Real Problem with Eliot Spitzer." A recent
immigration court case uncovered what is, according to Sibel
Edmondswho is probably the most-gagged woman in the country right
now–an illegal, covert CIA operation involving the intentional
"Islamization" of Central Asia using Turkey as its front for the
purpose of establishing US control over the vast energy resources of
the region. All of this is to say that the corporate press do not
inform us of the activities of our own government. Indeed, on
Valentine's Day in 2003, a Florida Appeals Court ruled that the media
can legally lie.
So, if it's the truth or real information we want, we have to go
elsewherenot the corporate press. In this election year, don't
expect talk about civil liberties or human rights, don't expect
discussion of a full employment economy or even of a single payer
health care system, recently described by 5,000 physicians as the
only morally and fiscally responsible way to deliver health care in
Now we learn that special surveillance units have been formed to
track our hip hop icons as was done with our cultural icons of the
past, including Paul Robeson and Bob Marley. No wonder. We get more
straight talk from political hip hop than we do from today's
journalists charged with informing the people of their voting choices
and policy options. Artists like Immortal Technique, who writes in
his song on the media entitled "Fourth Branch:"
"It's like MK Ultra controlling your brain . . . "
Michael Franti writes:
"We can bomb the world to pieces, but we can't bomb it into peace."
Finally, Paris speaks to the character of our country when he asks:
"If you saw all the things that's wrong, would you stand tall and
strong, or would you turn and walk away?"
You, members of the Black Panther Party saw all the things that's
wrong, you stood tall and strong.