Bet you didn't know this (read on, it's a doozie!):
The corporate constitutional "rights" angle to this cell tower story is perhaps more startling than most. For you see, the federal government passed a sweeping new law in 1996 that made it illegal for a city or county government to vote "No" on a cell tower application based on the elected officials' concerns about the human or environmental health impact of the proposed tower. Let me say that again, because it's such a dramatic example of corporate "rights" trumping the rights of We the People.Read the entire essay at the link below. (Yes, it seems to be sarcasm. And yet. Not.)
Back in 1996, Congress passed the Telecommunications Act. It was the very first piece of national legislation ever written entirely by a corporate industry. The telecommunications industry didn't have to lobby to get it passed, they simply wrote it from beginning to end, and our elected legislators overwhelmingly passed it - very few of them even read it because the bill was as thick as the Manhattan phone book!
Buried in the Act was Section 704, that banned local governments from even considering the human or environmental health impact of a proposed cell tower in their decision-making process, because, and this is the best part" because it would violate the corporation's civil rights.
Yes, that's right. The telecommunications industry argued that they were people just like historically oppressed African Americans, and therefore the 1964 Civil Rights Act protected the corporation's civil rights against discrimination by race, religion, or gender. Now I don't know about you, but I'm pretty darn sure that a for-profit business corporation does not have a definable race, religion, or gender. But hey, that's what the industry-written law stated, so it must be true, right?
But it gets even better than that! Even if the local government votes to not approve a cell tower application, and bases its decision on other issues that they are allowed to consider, such as aesthetics, the corporation can still sue the City if their leaders "believe" that the City's decision was partially based on concerns about human health. It doesn't matter if it's true or not. The corporate leaders must simply "believe" it to be true, and they then have the legal right to sue, to overturn a city or county government's decision. So what tends to happen is that local governments approve tower after tower, even when 99% of the neighborhood is adamantly opposed. And they call this democracy!
We the People have to stop acting so obedient, when one unjust law after another is shoved in our faces to silence our opposition. And there actually is much that we can do, once we're prepared to push back on these unjust and illegitimate laws.
Burn Baby Burn?
Or already burned?
Maryland’s governor activated the National Guard on Monday and the city of Baltimore announced a curfew for all residents as a turbulent day that began with the funeral of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, the nation’s latest symbol of police brutality, ended with rioting by rock-throwing youths, arson, looting, and at least 15 police officers injured.
Well, be it contrived provocations by agents as suspected or not, the coming martial law based on racial division appears to be coming true.
The Joy of Looting: Watch As Baltimore Youths Tear Apart 7-ELEVEN Store
These looters shouldn't be seen as representative of protesters in Baltimore, but sadly - they will be.
For a more realistic, slightly more hopeful and way more ideal perspective . . . .
April 28, 2015
The almost daily murders of young black men and women by police in the United States — a crisis undiminished by the protests of groups such as Black Lives Matter and by the empty rhetoric of black political elites — have given birth to a new young black militant.
This militant, rising off the bloody streets of cities such as Ferguson, Mo., understands that the beast is not simply white supremacy, chronic poverty and the many faces of racism but the destructive energy of corporate capitalism. This militant has given up on electoral politics, the courts and legislative reform, loathes the corporate press and rejects established black leaders such as Barack Obama, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and Michael Eric Dyson.
This militant believes it is only in the streets and in acts of civil disobedience that change is possible. And given the refusal of the corporate state to address the mounting suffering of the poor and working poor, draconian state repression and indiscriminate use of lethal state violence against unarmed people of color, I think the new black radical is right. It will be a long, hot and violent summer.
The world’s hundreds of millions of disenfranchised youths — in America this group is dominated by the black and brown underclass — come out of the surplus labor created by our system of corporate neofeudalism. These young men and women have been discarded as human refuse and are preyed upon by a legal system that criminalizes poverty.
In the United States they constitute the bulk of the 2.3 million human beings locked in jails and prisons. The discontent in Ferguson, Athens, Cairo, Madrid and Ayotzinapa is one discontent. And the emerging revolt, although it comes in many colors, speaks many languages and has many belief systems, is united around a common enemy. Bonds of solidarity and consciousness are swiftly uniting the wretched of the earth against our corporate masters.
Corporate power, which knows what is coming, has put in place sophisticated systems of control that include militarized police, elaborate propaganda campaigns that seek to make us fearful and therefore passive, wholesale surveillance of every citizen and a court system that has stripped legal protection from the poor and any who dissent. The masses are to be kept in bondage. But the masses, especially the young, understand the game. There is a word for what is bubbling up from below — revolution. It can’t begin soon enough.
The global leadership for this revolt comes not from the institutions of privilege, elite universities where ambitious and self-centered young men and women jockey to become part of the ruling 1 percent, but from the squalid internal colonies that house the poor and usually people of color. The next great revolutionary in America won’t look like Thomas Jefferson. He or she will look like Lupe Fiasco.
T-Dubb-O is a hip-hop artist from St. Louis. He is one of the founders, along with Tef Poe, Tory Russell, Tara Thompson and Rika Tyler, of Hands Up United. The organization was formed in the wake of the murder of Michael Brown in Ferguson. It has built close alliances with radical organizations in Brazil and elsewhere in Latin American, in Europe and in Palestine.
“I honestly think it’s going to be worse than last year, this summer,” T-Dubb-O said when I met with him and Tyler at Princeton University, where they had gone to speak to students. “People have become more radical,” he said. “They’ve realized the power that they have. They’re no longer afraid of the police, the state, but also you have a police and a military force that’s been training for a year to deal with this type of circumstance. So I honestly think this summer is gonna be worse.
More violence from the police, and this time you won’t have a group of people who is just gonna sit there and let it happen to ’em — you’re gonna have people that are actually gonna fight back instead of just continue to be peaceful protesters. Right now everybody is just on edge. I mean, it’s the same situation we was in before Mike Brown. People that don’t have jobs, there’s crime everywhere, there’s drugs everywhere, there’s predator policing. It’s the same circumstances, it’s just no cameras.”
“In my city every day, police is pulling somebody over, harassing them, extorting them,” he said. “Because that’s what it is — it’s legal extortion. When a government is making 30 to 40 percent of their yearly budget off of tickets, fines and imprisonment, it’s extortion. It’s the same thing the mob did in the ’20s. So we fight. We can’t go back to normal lives.
We get followed, harassed, death threats, phones tapped, social media watched, they hack into our emails, hack into our social media account, we all got FBI files. They know we here right now. So I mean it’s not a game, but it’s either continue to deal with not being able to just live like a regular person, and dream, and have an opportunity, or get up and do something about it. And we decided to do something.”
Tyler said she was propelled into the movement by seeing the body of Michael Brown, which the Ferguson police left lying in the street for more than four hours.
“I went to Canfield [Drive, where Brown was killed],” she said when we spoke. “I saw the body. I saw the blood. I just broke down. And ever since then I’ve just been out there [as an activist] every day.”
“They left [Brown] in the street for four and a half hours in the hot sun on concrete, just for display,” she said. “That reminded me of a modern-day lynching. Because you know, they used to lynch slaves and then have it displayed. And that’s basically showing us that this system is not built for us. It made me wake up a little bit more.”
“Just envision a debtor’s prison being run by a collusion between city officials, police and court judges, who treated our community like an ATM machine,” Tyler said. “Because that’s all they did. Ferguson is in St. Louis County. It’s 21,000 people living in 8,100 households. So it’s a small town. Sixty-seven percent of the residents are African-American. Twenty-two percent live below poverty level.
A total of $2.6 million [were paid in fines to city officials, the courts and the police] in 2013. The Ferguson Municipal Court disposed of 24,532 warrants and 12,018 cases. That’s about three warrants per household. One and a half cases for each household. You don’t get $321 in fines and fees and three warrants per household from an average crime rate. You get numbers like this from racist bullshit, arrests from jaywalking, and constant low-level harassment involving traffic stops, court appearances, high fines and the threat of jail for failure to pay.”
“For an example,” she went on, “I got pulled over. I turned a left [illegally] and my car was searched. I was met with three different officers, two detectives. I got a traffic ticket. I had a ticket because I didn’t have my license on me. So I had a ticket for not having my license, and then I got a ticket from turning the wrong way. I did not go to court because I was out of town.
However, I called them and told them I will not appear to court and my lawyer would handle it from there. I got a letter in the mail that said failure to appear to court, and they have a warrant out for my arrest. They’re threatening to take my license and suspend it because I didn’t appear to court. So these are just the things that had happened in St. Louis right now. You can get a ticket from walking across the street, or a ticket from not cutting your grass, and then you’re stuck in this system that they put us in, that is oppressed, and keeps us oppressed.”
“I was arrested when I was pregnant, I was 37 weeks and I was arrested in St. Charles County by four white officers,” she said. “They took me into custody when I had this big-ass stomach. And I’m like, I’m pregnant. I had a traffic ticket for parking in the wrong meter. And they wrote me a ticket and I never paid it, so they took me. I had a warrant out for my arrest. I sat in jail, pregnant, had my baby a week early because I was stressed out and crying my eyes out in jail.”
“No person should have to go through this,” T-Dubb-O said, “whether it’s in America, Palestine, Mexico, Brazil, Canada. Nobody should have to go through this. You look at a bunch of young people [in Ferguson], their age ranges anywhere from 12 to 28 or 29, that went against the most powerful military force in this world. That’s pretty much what happened. … That’s not what’s explained, but that’s what it was. It was tanks on every corner, our phones tapped, they follow us. Every day we was out there we thought we were gonna die.
At one point in time they said they were gonna kill us. ‘We’re not shooting rubber bullets tonight, we’re shooting live ammunition.’ And these are the things that you don’t see on the news. It was just because we was tired of being treated as less than people. Just for opportunity to be able to walk the streets and live and breath and do what everybody else does. And that’s pretty much what we was fighting for.
I mean, the level of oppression, it’s kind of hard to fathom, and believe that it’s actually true in America, especially the middle of America. But it’s real, where you have people that are judged off the neighborhoods they come from and the color of their skin and they’re denied certain opportunities.”
“In St. Louis if you’ve been arrested and you’re facing a misdemeanor or felony charges, you’re not allowed a Pell Grant to go to college,” he said. “So if you can’t afford to pay to go to college you’re just stuck. If you’re on probation and you’re trying to get a job, it’s a right-to-work state, they have the right to deny you employment because of your past. They don’t have to give you an opportunity to work. Where do they leave you, back in the same system that puts you in the same position where you made the first mistake. It’s all set up like this.”
“I’ve been tear-gassed six times,” Tyler said. “I’ve been put on the car, had different guns to my head. I’ve been shot at with rubber bullets, live ammo, wooden bullets, bean bag bullets, sound cannons, everything you can think of. I’ve went up against militarized police, and they did different things like a five-second rule, like I would get arrested if I stood still for longer than five seconds.
I would get arrested if I didn’t walk longer than five seconds. It was just different things. They don’t wear their name badges. They don’t tell us who they are. They’re not transparent at all. They harass us. Women have been hogtied, beaten. I got arrested for standing on the sidewalk, just recording them.”
T-Dubb-O after the murder of Brown and the unrest in Ferguson was invited with other community leaders to meet with President Barack Obama in the White House. The president, he said, spoke “in clichés” about black-on-black crime, the necessity of staying in school, working hard and the importance of voting.
“He asked me did I vote for him,” he said, “I told him no. I didn’t vote for him either time, because I didn’t want to vote for him just because he was black. I felt like that would have been shallow on my end. Because he’s never honestly spoken and touched and said he was going to do anything for my community or the issues that we face on a daily basis, so why would I vote for somebody like that, whether you white, black, male, female, so on and so forth?”
As president he is proof that the system works, Obama told T-Dubb-O. The hip-hop artist said this statement shows how out of touch Obama is with the reality faced by poor people of color.
“When you have an 11-year-old boy whose mother is single, or has a single father who’s working two or three jobs just to put food on the table, he has to wake up at 5:30 in the morning, catch public transportation to school,” T-Dubb-O said. “Everything around him is damnation.
You can’t expect an 11-year-old to have the mental capacity of an adult, to say I’m going to make the mature decisions and not get into trouble. So I don’t care about black-on-black crime. I don’t care about the normal cliché of working hard, you can do anything, you can accomplish, because that’s bullshit. And excuse my language, but I can’t tell a little boy up the street in my neighborhood, where over a hundred murders happened last year, that he can be an astronaut if he wants to be, because that’s not possible.”
“I think D.C. is a perfect example of what America is,” he said. “You have this big white house representing the government, that was built by slaves, that’s beautiful, excellent manicured lawns, and right outside the gate you have 50 homeless people sleeping in a park. Right outside of the gate of the White House. That perfectly describes America.”
“The difference between us and those leaders is that we aren’t doing it for fame, we aren’t doing it for political gain, we aren’t doing it for money,” he said, speaking of Obama, Sharpton, Jackson, Dyson and the other establishment black leaders. “We’re doing it because every day that we’ve lived we’ve been denied normal human rights, and we could have lost our life. We don’t believe those leaders are properly representing our community.
Because they are no longer a part of the community, they don’t speak for the community, and honestly they don’t do much for it. They do some things, because they have to, being 501(c)3's, but they don’t speak for the people.”
Jackson and Sharpton have been heckled by crowds in Ferguson and told to leave, along with crews from CNN. Tyler described CNN and other major news outlets, which steadfastly parrot back the official narrative, as “worse than politicians, worse than police.”
“So people in Ferguson is basically like, fuck Al Sharpton, and fuck Jesse Jackson, for real,” Tyler said. “And that’s the best way I can put it, for real, because they are co-opted, first off. They had their own movement. They were co-opted. Their movement got destroyed. Now they want to come to the new leaders and try to come in our movement and give guidance and stuff, but it’s a totally different generation. They marched with suits and ties and sung ‘Kumbaya’ and stuff. It’s people out there that look like him,” she said, motioning to T-Dubb-O, “shirtless, tattoos, like Bloods, Crips, whatever, out there just mad, because they was pissed off and they was passionate about it.”
“Jesse Jackson came, actually we were in the middle of a prayer for Michael Brown’s mother, and we were at the memorial site in Canfield Apartments, where he was killed and laid down in the street for four and a half hours,” Tyler said. “Everyone has their heads bowed and he comes over and starts shouting ‘No justice, no peace’ in the middle of a prayer. So instantly the community is pissed the fuck off — like who the hell is this?
I finally recognized his face. I went over to him, because the guys were ready to fight him. Like, you don’t come over here and, this mother’s grieving, we’re all upset, and break up our prayer. And he’s all like ‘No justice, no peace!’ He has his bullhorn, and his sign and everything, just for a photo op. So I went over and I said to him, you probably should leave, because they’re really angry and they’re gonna get you out of here. And he was like ‘No justice, no peace!’ and he just kept chanting. So I moved out of the way, and the dudes told him, like ‘Hey bro, if you don’t back the fuck up we’re gonna make you leave.’
And he’s like, ‘This is what’s wrong with us!’ and ‘generational divide!’ and everything like that. And you know the community wasn’t taking for it, so he got scared, and him and the people he came with, like his best-dressed suit on and everything, and everybody was out there shirtless, or tank tops, or just in their normal clothes. And he came out there with a cameraman and everything, like this is just a frenzy or a freaking parade or something to film.
So people were pissed off and he instantly left, and he hasn’t really been back since.”
“Every national organization you can think of is in St. Louis, Mo.,” T-Dubb-O said. “We have Urban League. We have the NAACP. We have all these different organizations. But yet for the last two decades we’ve always had one of the three top murder rates, one of the three highest crime rates. Poverty level is crazy, unemployment, you have all these mission statements on your website saying you do this and you do that, yet those programs aren’t available in our city. But you have offices here. You’re getting grants. But you’re not doing anything. And the community sees that now. So it’s gonna come a point in time to where all 501(c)3s, and all organizations, have to actually be active in the communities that they’re representing.”
The young Ferguson activists respect only the few national black leaders who do not try to speak for the movement or use the unrest as a media backdrop to promote themselves. Among those they admire is Cornel West.
“He was kind of like a big brother or father of the movement,” Tyler said of West. “Instead of stepping up, he always brought me with him. He always uplifted us. They’ll try to put him in front of the camera, he’d always bring somebody with him. He would say, ‘These are the people, these are the new leaders of the world, and you guys need to talk to them.’ He’s very transparent. He always voices and uplifts our name.”
The activists are preparing for increased unrest. And they are preparing for increased state repression and violence.
“As far as politics,” T-Dubb-O said, “it’s going to go either one of two ways. Right now we have a window that’s closing pretty fast, to where we can either re-create this system for something that’s going to actually be equal for all people, or they’re going to re-create the system to where we’ll never be able to punch it in the mouth like we did in Ferguson again.”
“We don’t know what it’s gonna look like, honestly,” he said of the coming unrest. “It’s been legal to kill a black man in this country. Just since Mike Brown, 11 more people has been killed by police in St. Louis alone, one being a woman who was raped then hung in jail. But none of the other murders got national coverage. It was just two standoffs with police yesterday. So I mean, we don’t know what that’s going to look like. We know we’re dedicated. We’re going to continue to fight. It’s going to take full-fledged revolution to make a change. The worst of the worst would be civil war. That’s just where my mind is.”
“I don’t see them pulling back,” he said of the state and its security forces. “They have no problem killing people. They have no problem shooting gas at babies, pregnant people, old people. They don’t have an issue with it. And our politicians are just standing around with their arms folded.”
“As long as the powers that be are in control, the oppression isn’t going to go anywhere,” he said. “It’s really going to take people to unite worldwide, not just in America, not just in St. Louis, not just in one particular city or state. It’s gonna have to be people identifying their struggles with each other worldwide, internationally, and say enough is enough. That’s the only way oppression will ever leave.”
Speaking of civil rights not being enforced for everyone (although always for corporations that own inconsequential stuff like cell towers on (formerly) private property):
Though the core documents are lengthy, this argument is really worth following because it highlights how ideals of free speech, and the Charlie Hebdo attack itself, were crassly exploited by governments around the world to promote all sorts of agendas having nothing to do with free expression.
Indeed, some of the most repressive regimes on the planet sent officials to participate in the Paris “Free Speech” rally, and France itself began almost immediately arresting and prosecuting people for expressing unpopular, verboten political viewpoints and then undertaking a series of official censorship acts, including the blocking of websites disliked by its government. The French government perpetrated these acts of censorship, and continues to do so, with almost no objections from those who flamboyantly paraded around as free speech fanatics during Charlie Hebdo Week.
Under the guise of the “War on Terror,” there has indeed been a systematic assault on free speech: though it’s been one waged by western governments primarily against their Muslim citizens. For that reason, it has provoked almost no objections from those who dressed up as free speech crusaders that week. That’s because, as I wrote in the aftermath of that rally, the incident was used to manipulatively exploit, not celebrate and protect, free expression. Celebrating Charlie Hebdo was largely about glorifying anti-Muslim sentiment; free expression was the pretext.
This is all quite redolent of how the U.S. government and its acolytes quite adeptly exploit social issues to advance imperial aims. U.S. officials, for instance, gin up anger toward Putin or Iran by highlighting the maltreatment of those countries’ LGBT citizens – as though that’s why the U.S. Government is hostile – while at the same time showering arms and money on allied regimes in Saudi Arabia and Egypt whose treatment of gays is at least as bad (while LGBT groups in the U.S. say nothing because those are Obama’s policies).
Or American and British officials will denounce free press attacks by governments they want to demonize while cozying up to regimes that allow no press freedoms at all. It’s also similar to how neocons tried to persuade feminists to support the war in Afghanistan because the Taliban is heinous to women or justified the invasions of Iraq because Saddam violated human rights – at the very same time that the regimes neocons love the most are at least as bad if not worse on those issues (to say nothing of the human rights records of neocons themselves and the U.S. Government).
This is now a common, and quite potent, tactic: inducing support for highly illiberal western government policy by dressing it up as support for liberal principles. And it highlights the fraud of pretending that celebrations of Charlie Hebdo cartoonists are independent of the fact that the particular group they most prominently mock are Muslims, a marginalized, targeted, and largely powerless group in France and the west generally.
As I wrote after the Paris rally, it is simply inconceivable that Charlie Hebdo would have been depicted as heroes had their primary targets been groups more favored and powerful in the west (indeed, a Charlie Hebdo cartoonist was fired by the magazine in 2009 for mocking Judaism: where were all the newfound free speech crusaders then?). As the objecting PEN writers note, one can regard the murders of the Charle Hebdo cartoonists as repugnant, vile and dangerous (as any decent person does) while simultaneously scorning the Muslim-bashing focus of their “satire.”
What, pray tell, is remotely admirable about sitting in the west – which has been invading, bombing, and otherwise dominating Muslim countries around the world for decades, and has spent the last decade depicting Islam as the Gravest Threat – and echoing that prevailing sentiment by bashing Muslims? Nothing is easier than mocking and maligning the group in your society most marginalized and oppressed. People in the west have their careers destroyed when they’re accused of sympathizing with Islam, not for opposing it. Bashing Muslims and Islam is orthodoxy in the west, both on the level of official policy and political culture.
The controversy provoked by the PEN writers raises an ancillary though important issue: the role played by former Obama officials in human rights and other organizations designed to function as adversaries to the government. Human Rights Watch has come under fire because key officials served in the U.S. State Department and critics claim the group thus echoes the U.S. Government line.
NYU students are currently protesting the appointment to the faculty of former Yale Law School dean Harold Koh, who as a legal adviser in Obama’s State Department acted as an advocate of drone killings and Obama’s right to wage war in Libya in the face of a Congressional vote against that war. And now PEN is led by Nossel, a former Obama State Department official who faced serious criticisms after she left for using Amnesty USA’s credibility to advance Obama’s foreign policy.
Nobody suggests that working as an official of the U.S. Government should be permanently disqualifying. But there have to be groups that act as genuine adversaries to the most powerful government on the planet – especially ones claiming to be human rights organizations or those who oppose state censorship – and when those groups are led by the very people who defended and implemented the policies of that government, those groups’ credibility to act in that capacity is seriously compromised. That’s how supposedly dissident groups become co-opted and converted into the opposite of what they claim. The writer Wallace Shawn, who is a member of PEN and protests the Charlie Hebdo award, told me:
The “boards” of every non-profit organization, university, theatre, etc., no matter what the organization’s original goals were, are made up of the same tiny group of people, and they choose the organization’s leaders, presidents, artistic directors on the basis that those individuals would be good at “fund-raising,” i.e., getting money out of a few more people from that same group . . . . Then even the once serious people in the organization begin to internalize the in-born belief of the corporate-minded board members that the most important thing for the organization is to grow, raise more money, get more members . . . the trend points in the same direction for every organization . . . . (ellipses in original)Whatever else is true, PEN America has always existed to defend unorthodox and marginalized views from attack, and there is absolutely nothing unorthodox or marginalized in the west about the views expressed by Charlie Hebdo cartoonists or in showering them with courage awards. As Eisneberg put it in her original letter, the Charlie Hebdo award appears to be “an opportunistic exploitation of the horrible murders in Paris to justify and glorify
offensive material expressing anti-Islamic and nationalistic sentiments already widely shared in the Western world.”
The letters and other documents giving rise to this controversy, which I really encourage you to read, can be found here.
I'm sure the following can't be true (aren't you?).
I mean, really. (We are not conspiracists!)
This documentation, including a video of a former head of the FBI (Ted Gunderson) saying that these false flag operations, which took years of advanced planning and had to have the knowledge of the CIA, FBI, MI6 in England, and the President, were done in order to pass through the Congress all the legislation restricting Americans' freedom (in favor of those who benefit from the U.S. citizenry no longer being able to have free flow of information about what was being done to them economically/financially and freedom-wise) says exactly the opposite of what we hear every day on our mainstream media (MSM).
YouTube has even more videos of this knowledgeable (and unafraid) ex-FBI chief.
I personally have never been interested in gossip or loose-lipped talk from poorly-sourced essays, however, the one appearing below is pledged to be of the highest integrity. After all, he's a "serious" candidate for the Presidency.
But this can't be true. Right?
From Washington's blog:
April 17, 2015
filed a federal whistleblower lawsuit calling the entire FBI investigation bullsh!t:
In the fall of 2001, following the 9/11 attacks, a series of anthrax mailings occurred which killed five Americans and sickened 17 others. Four anthrax-laden envelopes were recovered which were addressed to two news media outlets in New York City (the New York Post and Tom Brokaw at NBC) and two senators in Washington D.C. (Patrick Leahy and Tom Daschle).
The anthrax letters addressed to New York were mailed on September 18, 2001, just seven days after the 9/11 attacks. The letters addressed to the senators were mailed 21 days later on October 9, 2001. A fifth mailing of anthrax is believed to have been directed to American Media, Inc. (AMI) in Boca Raton, Florida based upon the death of one AMI employee from anthrax poisoning and heavy spore contamination in the building.Executive management at FBI Headquarters assigned responsibility for the anthrax investigation (code named “AMERITHRAX”) to the Washington Field Office (WFO), dubbing it the single most important case in the FBI at that time.
In October 2002, in the wake of surging media criticism, White House impatience with a seeming lack of investigative progress by WFO, and a concerned Congress that was considering revoking the FBI’s charter to investigate terrorism cases, Defendant FBI Director Mueller reassigned Plaintiff from the FBI’s San Diego Field Office to the Inspection Division at FBI Headquarters and placed Plaintiff in charge of the AMERITHRAX case as an “Inspector.”
While leading the investigation for the next four years, Plaintiff’s efforts to advance the case met with intransigence from WFO’s executive management, apathy and error from the FBI Laboratory, politically motivated communication embargos from FBI Headquarters, and yet another preceding and equally erroneous legal opinion from Defendant Kelley – all of which greatly obstructed and impeded the investigation.On July 6, 2006, Plaintiff provided a whistleblower report of mismanagement to the FBI’s Deputy Director pursuant to Title 5, United States Code, Section 2303. Reports of mismanagement conveyed in writing and orally included: (a) WFO’s persistent understaffing of the AMERITHRAX investigation; (b) the threat of WFO’s Agent in charge to retaliate if Plaintiff disclosed the understaffing to FBI Headquarters; (c) WFO’s insistence on staffing the AMERITHRAX investigation principally with new Agents recently graduated from the FBI Academy resulting in an average investigative tenure of 18 months with 12 of 20 Agents assigned to the case having no prior investigative experience at all; (d) WFO’s eviction of the AMERITHRAX Task Force from the WFO building in downtown Washington and its relegation to Tysons Corner, Virginia to free up space for Attorney General Ashcroft’s new pornography squads; (e) FBI Director’s Mueller’s mandate to Plaintiff to “compartmentalize” the AMERITHRAX investigation by stove piping the flow of case information and walling off task force members from those aspects of the case not specifically assigned to them – a move intended to stem the tide of anonymous media leaks by government officials regarding details of the investigation. [Lambert complained about compartmentalizing and stovepiping of the investigation in a 2006 declaration. See this, this and this]This sequestration edict decimated morale and proved unnecessary in light of subsequent civil litigation which established that the media leaks were attributable to the United States Attorney for the District of the District of Columbia and to a Supervisory Special Agent in the FBI’s National Press Office, not to investigators on the AMERITHRAX Task Force; (f) WFO’s diversion and transfer of two Ph.D. Microbiologist Special Agents from their key roles in the investigation to fill billets for an 18 month Arabic language training program in Israel; (g) the FBI Laboratory’s deliberate concealment from the Task Force of its discovery of human DNA on the anthrax-laden envelope addressed to Senator Leahy and the Lab’s initial refusal to perform comparison testing; (h) the FBI Laboratory’s refusal to provide timely and adequate scientific analyses and forensic examinations in support of the investigation; (i) Defendant Kelley’s erroneous and subsequently quashed legal opinion that regulations of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) precluded the Task Force’s collection of evidence in overseas venues; (j) the FBI’s fingering of Bruce Ivins as the anthrax mailer; and, (k) the FBI’s subsequent efforts to railroad the prosecution of Ivins in the face of daunting exculpatory evidence.Following the announcement of its circumstantial case against Ivins, Defendants DOJ and FBI crafted an elaborate perception management campaign to bolster their assertion of Ivins’ guilt. These efforts included press conferences and highly selective evidentiary presentations which were replete with material omissions. Plaintiff further objected to the FBI’s ordering of Plaintiff not to speak with the staff of the CBS television news magazine 60 Minutes or investigative journalist David Willman, after both requested authorization to interview Plaintiff.In April 2008, some of Plaintiff’s foregoing whistleblower reports were profiled on the CBS television show 60 Minutes. This 60 Minutes segment was critical of FBI executive management’s handling of the AMERITHRAX investigation, resulting in the agency’s embarrassment and the introduction of legislative bills calling for the establishment of congressional inquiries and special commissions to examine these issues – a level of scrutiny the FBI’s Ivins attribution could not withstand.After leaving the AMERITHRAX investigation in 2006, Plaintiff continued to publicly opine that the quantum of circumstantial evidence against Bruce Ivins was not adequate to satisfy the proof-beyond-a-reasonable doubt threshold required to secure a criminal conviction in federal court. Plaintiff continued to advocate that while Bruce Ivins may have been the anthrax mailer, there is a wealth of exculpatory evidence to the contrary which the FBI continues to conceal from Congress and the American people.
Exonerating Evidence for Ivins
Agent Lambert won’t publicly disclose the exculpatory evidence against Ivins. As the New York Times reports:
[Lambert] declined to be specific, saying that most of the information was protected by the Privacy Act and was unlikely to become public unless Congress carried out its own inquiry.But there is already plenty of exculpatory evidence in the public record.
- Handwriting analysis failed to link the anthrax letters to known writing samples from Ivins
- No textile fibers were found in Ivins’ office, residence or vehicles matching fibers found on the scotch tape used to seal the envelopes
- No pens were found matching the ink used to address the envelopes
- Samples of his hair failed to match hair follicles found inside the Princeton, N.J., mailbox used to mail the letters
- No souvenirs of the crime, such as newspaper clippings, were found in his possession as commonly seen in serial murder cases
- The FBI could not place Ivins at the crime scene with evidence, such as gas station or other receipts, at the time the letters were mailed in September and October 2001
As noted above, the FBI didn’t want to test the DNA sample found on the anthrax letter to Senator Leahy. In addition, McClatchy points out:
- Lab records show the number of late nights Ivins put in at the lab first spiked in August 2001, weeks before the 9/11 attacks
After locking in on Ivins in 2007, the bureau stopped searching for a match to a unique genetic bacterial strain scientists had found in the anthrax that was mailed to the Post and to NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw, although a senior bureau official had characterized it as the hottest clue to date.Anthrax vaccine expert Meryl Nass. M.D., notes:
The FBI’s alleged motive is bogus. In 2001, Bioport’s anthrax vaccine could not be (legally) relicensed due to potency failures, and its impending demise provided room for Ivins’ newer anthrax vaccines to fill the gap. Ivins had nothing to do with developing Bioport’s vaccine, although in addition to his duties working on newer vaccines, he was charged with assisting Bioport to get through licensure.***
The FBI report claims the anthrax letters envelopes were sold in Frederick, Md. Later it admits that millions of indistinguishable envelopes were made, with sales in Maryland and Virginia.***
FBI emphasizes Ivins’ access to a photocopy machine, but fails to mention it was not the machine from which the notes that accompanied the spores were printed.
FBI Fudged the Science
16 government labs had access to the same strain of anthrax as used in the anthrax letters.
The FBI admitted that up to 400 people had access to flask of anthrax in Dr. Ivins’ lab. In other words, even if the killer anthrax came from there, 399 other people might have done it.
Moreover, even the FBI’s claim that the killer anthrax came from Ivins’ flask has completely fallen apart. Specifically, both the National Academy of Science and the Government Accountability Office – both extremely prestigious, nonpartisan agencies – found that FBI’s methodology and procedures for purportedly linking the anthrax flask maintained by Dr. Ivins with the anthrax letters was sloppy, inconclusive and full of holes. They found that the alleged link wasn’t very strong … and that there was no firm link. Indeed, the National Academy of Sciences found that the anthrax mailed to Congressmen and the media could have come from a different source altogether than the flask maintained by Ivins.
Additionally, the Ft. Detrick facility – where Ivins worked – only handled liquid anthrax. But the killer anthrax was a hard-to-make dry powder form of anthrax. Ft. Detrick doesn’t produce dry anthrax; but other government labs – for example Dugway (in Utah) and Batelle (in Ohio) – do.
The anthrax in the letters was also incredibly finely ground; and the FBI’s explanation for how the anthrax became so finely ground doesn’t even pass the smell test.
Further, the killer anthrax in the letters had a very high-tech anti-static coating so that the anthrax sample “floated off the glass slide and was lost” when scientists tried to examine it. Specifically, the killer anthrax was coated with polyglass and each anthrax spore given an electrostatic charge, so that it would repel other spores and “float”. This was very advanced bio-weapons technology to which even Ivins’ bosses said he didn’t have access.
Top anthrax experts like Richard Spertzel say that Ivins didn’t do it. Spertzel also says that only 4 or 5 people in the entire country knew how to make anthrax of the “quality” used in the letters, that Spertzel was one of them, and it would have taken him a year with a full lab and a staff of helpers to do it. As such, the FBI’s claim that Ivins did it alone working a few nights is ludicrous.
Moreover, the killer anthrax contained silicon … but the anthrax in Ivins’ flask did not. The FBI claimed the silicon present in the anthrax letters was absorbed from its surroundings … but Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories completely debunked that theory. In other words, silicon was intentionally added to the killer anthrax to make it more potent. Ivins and Ft. Detrick didn’t have that capability … but other government labs did.
Similarly, Sandia National Lab found the presence of iron and tin in the killer anthrax … but NOT in Ivins’ flask of anthrax.
Sandia also found that there was a strain of bacteria in one of the anthrax letters not present in Ivins’ flask. (The bacteria, iron, tin and silicon were all additives which made the anthrax in the letters more deadly.)
The Anthrax Frame UpIvins wasn’t the first person framed for the anthrax attacks …
Although the FBI now admits that the 2001 anthrax attacks were carried out by one or more U.S. government scientists, a senior FBI official says that the FBI was actually told to blame the Anthrax attacks on Al Qaeda by White House officials (remember what the anthrax letters looked like). Government officials also confirm that the white House tried to link the anthrax to Iraq as a justification for regime change in that country. And see this.
People don’t remember now, but the “war on terror” and Iraq war were largely based on the claim that Saddam and Muslim extremists were behind the anthrax attacks (and see this and this)
And the anthrax letters pushed a terrified Congress into approving the Patriot Act without even reading it. Coincidentally, the only Congressmen who received anthrax letters were the ones who were likely to oppose the Patriot Act.
And – between the bogus Al Qaeda/Iraq claims and the FBI’s fingering of Ivins as the killer – the FBI was convinced that another U.S. government scientist, Steven Hatfill, did it. The government had to pay Hatfill $4.6 million to settle his lawsuit for being falsely accused.
Ivins’ Convenient Death
It is convenient for the FBI that Ivins died.
The "Wall Street Journal" points out:
No autopsy was performed [on Ivins], and there was no suicide note.Dr. Nass points out:
FBI fails to provide any discussion of why no autopsy was performed, nor why, with Ivins under 24/7 surveillance from the house next door, with even his garbage being combed through, the FBI failed to notice that he overdosed and went into a coma.Indeed, one of Ivins’ colleagues at Ft. Deitrich thinks he was murdered.
Nor is there any discussion of why the FBI didn’t immediately identify Tylenol as the overdose substance, and notify the hospital, so that a well-known antidote for tylenol toxicity could be given (N-acetyl cysteine, or alternatively glutathione).
These omissions support the suggestion that Ivins’ suicide was a convenience for the FBI. It enabled them to conclude the anthrax case, in the absence of evidence that would satisfy the courts.
Whether murder or suicide, Ivins’ death was very convenient for the FBI, as dead men can’t easily defend themselves.
Paul Craig Roberts
April 18, 2015
Graeme MacQueen’s 2014 book, The 2001 Anthrax Deception: The Case for a Domestic Conspiracy, has been vindicated by the head of the FBI’s Anthrax Investigation.
Four and one-half months ago I posted a review of MacQueen’s book at
The hired government apologists, the despicable presstitute media, and the usual gullible patriots greeted the book with screams of “conspiracy theory.” In fact, MacQueen’s book was a carefully researched project that established that there indeed was a conspiracy –a conspiracy inside the government.
MacQueen’s conclusion stands vindicated by Richard Lambert, the agent in charge of the FBI anthrax investigation who has turned whistleblower (http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2015/04/head-fbis-anthrax-investigation-calls-b-s.html).
It was obvious to any person familiar with the techniques that governments use to erode liberty by destroying the protection given to citizens by law that the purpose of the anthrax letters, especially the letters to senators Patrick Leahy and Tom Daschle, was to raise the fear level in order to guarantee the passage of the tyrannical PATRIOT Act.
The PATRIOT Act was a decisive blow against American liberty. The act has served to negate the US Constitution in the 21st century and to endow the federal government with unaccountable and tyrannical powers.
In a court filing, Richard Lambert says that as the agent in charge of the investigation he was obstructed and impeded in his investigation for four years by the FBI’s Washington Field Office, by apathy and error from the FBI Laboratory, by erroneous legal decisions, and by politically motivated communication embargoes from FBI Headquarters.
As Lambert has filed a case in US District Court, it will be difficult for Washington to have him assassinated. However, Washington can still use its presstitutes against him.
Lambert says that there was far more exculpatory evidence in Bruce Ivins behalf than there was orchestrated circumstantial evidence against him. Ivins was Washington’s scapegoat after the orchestrated case against Steven Hatfill fell apart and Washington had to pay Hatfill $4.6 million for defamation. Lambert says the evidence was not sufficient for a court conviction of Ivins, who conveniently died or was murdered, and thus could be blamed without conviction.
Scientists have conclusively proven that the anthrax in the letters was advanced bio-weapons technology to which Ivins had no access.
Lambert’s accusations filed in federal court have the capability of exposing the entire 9/11 deception. It will be interesting to see if Washington can again prevail over law and truth and whether the American public will remain insouciant and content in their Matrix existence.
December 2, 2014
By Prof. Edward Curtin
Global Research, December 01, 2014
The anthrax attacks that followed those of 9/11 have disappeared from public memory in ways analogous to the pulverization of the Twin Towers and World Trade Center Building 7.
For the towers, at least, ghostly afterimages persist, albeit fading like last night’s nightmare. But the anthrax attacks, clearly linked to 9/11 and the Patriot Act, are like lost letters, sent, but long forgotten. Such disappearing acts are a staple of American life these days. Memory has come upon hard times.
With The 2001 Anthrax Deception, Professor Graeme MacQueen, founding Director of the Center for Peace Studies at McMaster University, calls us back to a careful reconsideration of the anthrax attacks. It is an eloquent and pellucid lesson in inductive reasoning and deserves to stand with David Ray Griffin’s brilliant multi-volume dissection of the truth of that tragic September 11th.
MacQueen makes a powerful case for the linkage of both events, a tie that binds both to insider elements deep within the U.S. government, perhaps in coordination with foreign elements.
MacQueen’s thesis is as follows: The criminal anthrax attacks were conducted by a group of conspirators deep within the U.S. government who are linked to, or identical with, the 9/11 perpetrators. Their purpose was to redefine the Cold War into the Global War on Terror and in doing so weaken civil liberties in the United States and attack other nations.
Obviously these are explosive charges that demand substantial evidence connected logically in a compelling thesis.
MacQueen, in countering anti-conspiratorial thinkers of the left and right who approach such issues with minds like beds already made up, explains his method thus: “The tools of investigation are no different from those used to test other proposals. We use evidence and reason. In some cases we will be able to make confident assertions and in other cases we shall have to acknowledge that we are speculating, but even in this second case we will do our best to ground our speculation in evidence. Ideology, national loyalty, outrage and ‘common sense’ will not do the job.”
There is no doubt that his thesis, backed up by abundant evidence and some intriguing speculation, is a conspiracy theory, just like the 9/11 Commission Report’s explanation of 9/11 and the Bush administration’s neo-con and media assisted conspiratorial tying of Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda to 9/11 and the anthrax attacks.
“We would have to look very hard to find anyone who does not hold a conspiracy theory about 9/11,” he writes. “And for this reason it is silly to denigrate people for holding a conspiracy theory about this event.”
But good theory of any kind necessitates facts to make it credible, and MacQueen provides a plethora of these, while the Bush administration made allegations and promises of evidence that was never delivered. He aptly quotes researcher Elias Davidsson's evidentiary points concerning the 9/11 hijackers:
‘The following five classes of evidence should have been produced by U.S. authorities in September 2001 or shortly thereafter.
1. Authenticated flight lists;
2. Authenticated boarding cards;
3. Authenticated security videos from the airports;
4. Sworn testimonies of personnel who attended boarding of the aircraft;
5. Formal identification of the bodies or bodily remains from the crash sites, including chain-of-custody reports.”
Not only does MacQueen provide copious documented facts to support his case, but he does it in a systematically logical way that leaves the official story in shambles. If a crime were being prosecuted (as it should, but war was waged instead), MacQueen marshals a case for conviction beyond a reasonable doubt.
The anthrax letter attacks began on September 18, 2001 when the first letters were mailed from Princeton, New Jersey. Between October 3 and November 20 twenty-two people were infected with dried anthrax spores and five died.
Between October 6 and October 8 especially highly refined and aerosolized anthrax letters were sent to two key Democratic Senators, Thomas Daschle and Patrick Leahy. Before October 3 when the first case, that of Robert Stevens who died two days later, was diagnosed, the FBI claimed that “no one except the perpetrators knew…that the attacks were in progress.”
Yet "The New York Times," between September 12 and October 3, made reference to the possibility of biological or chemical terrorist attacks 76 times, 27 references specifically to anthrax. Many of these warnings came from government leaders.
Of course the "Times" was home to Judith Miller, notorious for her deceptions regarding Iraq’s WMD, and whose book Germs: Biological Weapons and America’s Secret War, was about to be published in the first few days in October. In that book Miller, et al., assert that Iraq might use a terrorist group to unleash a bioweapon against the United States.
Just coincidentally, throughout the month of October as the anthrax attacks became public, the Bush administration and the mainstream media pushed the claim that Al Qaeda (already accused of 9/11) and Saddam Hussein (slyly implicated by innuendo) were responsible for the anthrax attacks.
Once the U.S. started bombing Afghanistan on October 7, alleged Al Qaeda retaliation enhanced the claim. No evidence was presented. The "Washington Post," vying with "The New York Times" for Cassadran bragging rights, had published a September 27 article “Al Qaeda May Have Crude Chemical Capabilities.” This double foreign group suggestion – that Bin Laden’s group, state-sponsored by Iraq, sent the anthrax spores – was promoted vigorously throughout October.
The crude anthrax letters written to Tom Brokaw of NBC News and Senator Daschle with their 09-11-01 headings and Muslim extremist language, released to the public on October 23, seemed to clinch the case.
“Much evidence suggests that this option was meant to carry the day and was central to the original plan. An attack on the U.S. by groups of foreign Muslims using weapons of mass destruction could clearly serve to legitimize internal repression, external aggression, and a host of ancillary transformations. This scenario was established in advance of the anthrax attacks and pushed hard in October 2001 as citizens got sick and died of anthrax, as the Patriot Act was pushed through Congress and the large scale NSA domestic spying was launched, as the invasion of Afghanistan began, and as preparations were made to invade Iraq.”
By October 26, once Bush had signed the Patriot Act, that case began falling apart, but not before the two Democratic Senators, Daschle and Leahy, who had resisted ramrodding the bill into law, had received their own lethal anthrax letters as possible reminders.
When R. W. Apple Jr. wrote a "New York Times" front page article on October 18, “City of Power, City of Fears,” and said, “the government has been caught completely by surprise by the anthrax attacks,” he may not have known about the exercise termed Dark Winter, conducted four months earlier on June 22-23, though one would think he might have known of the plethora of references to anthrax in his own paper in the few weeks before the attacks became known. Maybe he thought the Bush administration didn’t read the "New York Times" for intelligence.
MacQueen, in a greatly significant piece of sleuthing, however, lets us know about Dark Winter, a biological warfare simulation planned and conducted by Johns Hopkins Center for Civilian Biodefense Strategies/Center for Strategic and International Studies at Andrews Air Force Base with uncanny parallels to the actual anthrax attacks.
Some oddities follow. Dark Winter had anonymous letters sent to the mainstream media with threats of anthrax. Dark Winter claimed that the perpetrators are probably state-sponsored international terrorists. Dark Winter claimed that “a prominent Iraqi defector is claiming Iraq arranged the bioweapons attacks on the U.S. through intermediaries.”
Dark Winter concludes that the attacks necessitate harsh restrictions on civil liberties, possibly Martial Rule.
Dark Winter has a fictional television anchor announce that “still no group claims responsibility for unleashing the smallpox virus, but NCR has learned that Iraq may have provided the technology behind the attack to terrorist groups based in Afghanistan.”
And yes, not to be missed, we learn that Dark Winter’s simulation’s actors included Apple’s "New York Times"’ colleague Judith Miller, soon to be the "New York Times" best-selling author of Germs, playing a reporter for the "New York Times;" James Woolsey, former CIA Director and supporter of "The Project for the New America Century" (we’ll "need a new Pearl Harbor," folks); and Jerome Hauer, a member of the "Committee on the Present Danger," and “an important figure in the linking of the 9/11 attacks and the anthrax attacks,” who played the FEMA director.
Once the government’s accusations against Al Qaeda and Iraq fell apart but the Patriot Act had become law, NSA spying commenced, and the war in Afghanistan proceeded apace, the FBI changed its tune and pursued the lone wolf perpetrator theory, first accusing a scientist named Steven Hatfill and then, after he sued and eventually received $5.82 million in compensation, they accused Bruce Ivins, a scientist working on an anthrax vaccine at Fort Derrick in Maryland. MacQueen shows in detail how that claim came apart and resulted in a case without credibility but with Ivins committing suicide. But, he concludes, the Ivins accusation served its purpose of diverting attention from the real reason for the anthrax attacks and its culprits.
Finally, MacQueen details how the anthrax evidence leads to some of the alleged 9/11 hijackers in Florida as they lay down a trail of incriminating “evidence” we were meant to follow, linking crop-dusters/anthrax to 9/11. Mohamed Atta, the alleged 9/11 ringleader, supposedly went into a U.S. Department of Agriculture office seeking a $650,000 loan to buy and enlarge a crop-duster. He made sure the agent knew and could spell his name, and when she balked at the loan, “he asked what would stop him from going around her desk, cutting her throat, and taking the money from the large safe in the office.” He then admired a photo of Washington, D.C., asked to buy it, inquired about security at the World Trade Center, implied he was associated with Al Qaeda, and told her that Bin Laden “ ‘would someday be known as the world’s greatest leader.’ “
MacQueen sardonically comments, “And that is the story of how a terrorist leader, engaged in a top-secret operation, sought a government loan to help him with his plan.”
For one familiar with Lee Harvey Oswald’s (or his double’s) antics to make himself unforgettable on visits to a car dealership and a rifle range before JFK’s assassination, the Atta charade should ring a bell. MacQueen makes a powerful case that the various crop-duster incidents were “disinformation” and that their purpose was to link 9/11 to the anthrax attacks and, notably, to Iraq.
He notes that it was also at this time that the fictitious story of Atta meeting with an Iraqi intelligence agent in Prague was widely circulated to “solidify this connection.” He argues that once the FBI admitted that the anthrax attacks were not a foreign operation but the claim had served its purpose, the crop-duster stories vanished into obscurity. However, he concludes, “Given that the anthrax attacks were a domestic operation, and given that the alleged hijackers were implicated in that operation prior to its occurrence, the conclusion cannot be avoided: the 9/11 attacks were also a domestic operation.”
But as few can forget, on February 5, 2003 at the UN Security Council, the Iraq/anthrax/crop-duster claim arose from its sleep in the infamous, fraudulent presentation by Colin Powell as he slyly tied Iraq back to the anthrax attacks and shilled for war against Iraq. That feat of propaganda was but one of at least 532 occasions when eight top members of the Bush administration made at least 936 false statements on Iraq’s possession of weapons of mass destruction and its links to Al Qaeda, according to a study conducted by The Center for Public Integrity and the Fund for Independence in Journalism and released in 2008.
Anyone concerned about the truth behind 9/11 and the anthrax attacks should read this profoundly important book. It is filled with tight argumentation backed by solid evidence, and even the speculative parts ring true.
In closing I will mention MacQueen’s fascinating penultimate chapter wherein he speculates about the significance of the repeated word “unthinkable” by the media and government officials following George W. Bush’s use of the term “rethink the unthinkable” in a May 1, 2001 speech at the National Defense University. The mainstream media used the word “unthinkable” repetitively throughout October 2001 when referring to the anthrax attacks. And one of the early anthrax threatening letters sent to Tom Brokaw, begins: “The Unthinkabel” (sic) – showing, of course, how Muslim terrorists can’t spell English. “There is a pattern here,” MacQueen writes.
“The pattern may not signify a grand plan, or, indeed, conscious intent at all – there may be no conspiracy – but, whatever the origins of the ‘unthinkable’ discourse, it deserves investigation and contemplation.”
Words matter, and those repeated enough matter more, words such as ground zero, homeland, and unthinkable. “He who wants to persuade should not put his trust in the right argument,” Joseph Conrad wrote in Lord Jim. “The power of sound has always been greater than the power of sense.”
MacQueen has chosen sense through argument, and rather than dismissing his as unthinkable, thinking people everywhere should engage it.