I’ve written many hundreds of columns. The one below has caused me the most uncertainty about going public with it.
I’m accustomed to writing about facts, quotes, documented history, while offering assessments. But this piece extrapolates from the current zeitgeist, going into realms of events that must be speculative and—until too late—unprovable.
So lucky to be here. Tiny island of dreams.
The serenity is unbelievable, except I want to believe it. Bluest waves with silver froth. Sun through the palms is damn near orgasmic. And solitude! If I can’t finish the book here, it’ll be my own fault.
Sort of knew I shouldn’t bring the shortwave. That’ll teach me to donate to NPR. Just can’t resist a “thank you gift.” Will crank it tomorrow.
Wish I hadn’t turned on the radio. BBC World Service all there is. Downbeat.
Swim, then write. Plenty of sunblock. As for writer’s block, perish the thought.
If President Trump is serious in his desire to seal an historic deal with North Korea then his employees are actively working against him. Based on National Security Advisor John Bolton’s bombastic CNN appearance over the weekend, the North Koreans have cancelled a high-level inter-Korea meeting scheduled for today and have suggested that the Trump/Kim summit scheduled for next month might be cancelled. Will warmongering Bolton trump Trump on Korea? Tune in to today’s Liberty Report:
As President Trump’s daughter and son-in-law were celebrating the US embassy’s move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, dozens of Palestinian protesters were being shot dead in Gaza protesting the move. Supporters of the embassy move say it will bring a new era of peace to the longstanding conflict between Israel and Palestine, but it’s hard to see their rosy predictions coming to pass. In fact, yesterday’s violence seems to be a classic case of blowback from a wrong-headed US foreign policy move. Tune in to today’s Ron Paul Liberty Report:
Gina Haspel is a consummate professional who has served the U.S. intelligence community with distinction for more than 30 years.
As the Trump administration’s nominee to head up the Central Intelligence Agency, Haspel has received endorsements from six former CIA directors, three former directors of national intelligence, and two former secretaries of state. It would be hard to find someone with more experience to run the CIA.
And that’s why she’s a terrible choice.
I’m not just talking about her involvement in the torture policy of the George W. Bush administration. I’m talking about her 33 years of quiet service to the Agency.
The CIA needs a Scott Pruitt or a Ben Carson. It needs someone who is dead set against the very nature of the organization, just as Scott Pruitt is anti-environment and Ben Carson could care less about housing and urban development (at least for the people who need it most).
Gina Haspel is just the type of status-quo choice that Donald Trump promised not to make. She’s not a swamp-drainer.
On Saturday afternoon, May 19, at 2pm, a Tribute to Robert Parry, Founder and Editor of Consortium News will be held at Berkeley Fellowship Hall, 1924 Cedar St. in Berkeley, CA. Open to the public. Tickets at Brownpapertickets.com or at the door ($10, $15, $20 – sliding scale).
It is no exaggeration to say that Bob Parry who died last January at the age of 68 was an exemplar of journalistic independence and integrity, and a very talented one. Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) had this to say of him:
Journalism lost one of its most valuable investigators when Robert Parry died from pancreatic cancer on January 27, at the age of 68. He was the first reporter to reveal Oliver North’s operation in the White House basement (AP, 6/10/1985), and the co-author of the first report on Contra drug-smuggling (AP, 12/21/1985). He did some of the most important work investigating the 1980 Reagan campaign’s efforts to delay the return of US hostages held in Iran, a scandal known as the October Surprise.
Will the Senate confirm career CIA officer Gina Haspel to be the Agency’s next director? Sens. McCain and Paul, who don’t often agree, have both vowed to oppose Haspel due to her past involvement in torture and cover-up of torture. They have a good point. But is there a bigger issue in play here? If we are going to have the kind of government agency that the CIA has become – fomenting coups, arming jihadists, paramilitary activities, etc. – maybe, and sadly, she’s just the right person for the job!