Jon Utley’s Lifetime Fight for Freedom Recognized With New Award

Jon Utley, one of the most dedicated and principled pro-freedom and antiwar activists in the nation, received a well-earned Lifetime Achievement Award from American Conservative magazine at their Washington dinner last week.    Jon has been in the forefront of the antiwar movement since 1990, when he spearheaded a group to oppose George H.W. Bush’s war against Iraq.  He has been a rare voice of reason and grace in conservative circles, patiently pointing out how foreign warring was destroying American freedom – as well as wreaking pointless havoc abroad.  He has also been a generous supporter of groups ranging from the Future of Freedom Foundation to Antiwar.com, where his columns have trounced bloodthirsty politicians of all stripes.

In his acceptance speech last Thursday, Jon mentioned that his contrarian nature may have started when he arrived on a ship in New York harbor in December 1939.  Jon was only 5 years old and could not see the skyline because of the throng of people.  The ship was tilting slightly, and Jon realized he could get a much better view by going to the higher side of the ship and looking across. Jon has been getting better views than the vast majority of Washingtonians ever since.

Jon was born in the Soviet Union in 1934. His mother was Freda Utley, a bestselling author who helped awaken Americans to the Soviet peril in the 1940s and beyond. Ms. Utley also wrote one of the first books published in America on the horrendous sufferings in postwar Germany – “The High Cost of Vengeance,” published by Regnery in 1949, available at this link. His father, Arcadi Berdichevsky, was murdered in Stalin’s Gulag in 1938. Return to the Gulag, a film on his father’s fate, has been shown on PBS and on other venues around the nation. Reason.com described the movie: “In 2004, Utley embarked upon a search to learn of his father’s fate. This documentary traces Utley’s journey through former labor camps and cities in northern Russia and his final uncovering of the horrible truth at the dreaded camp city of Vorkuta within the Arctic Circle.” You can watch the 28-minute documentary here.

Here is a nine-minute  tribute video – “Jon Utley – A Lifetime of Courage” that was shown on Thursday, featuring Kelley Vlahos, John Henry, Roger Ream, and others.

Jon is broad minded and wise in the his pro-freedom efforts. A few years ago,  I asked him why he was attending an ACLU awards dinner touting a left-wing keynoter who didn’t seem truly concerned with individual liberty.

Jon replied, “So that somebody will care when government agents take us away.”

Hearing that line from someone whose father vanished in the Gulag makes it impossible to forget.  Jon had seen enough repression in his life to recognize the perils of the lockstep atmosphere prevailing in post 9/11 Washington.

That dinner last week was “black tie optional.”  Jon sent me a note a couple weeks ago: “Would you like to come, a comp ticket, to our GALA? I told them you might trim your beard, you really do sometimes  look like an anarchist.”

In honor of Jon, I happily trimmed my beard. I even sported a nice suit. Admittedly, a USA Today editor notified me that the knot in my necktie failed her inspection.

Thanks, Jon, for everything you have done for freedom in your life!

jon utley search for his father

 

Freedom Frauds Chronicles U.S. Atrocities At Home and Abroad: James Bovard’s latest book is free on Amazon on December 14 and 15

Freedom Frauds: Hard Lessons in American Liberty https://www.amazon.com/Freedom-Frauds-Lessons-American-Liberty-ebook/dp/B0765D3GJR

James Bovard’s latest book is free on Amazon on December 14 and 15.

Freedom Frauds is the only political book on Amazon that combines hitchhiking, torture, Syria, Afghanistan, police shootings, & Civil War atrocities. It begins with the story of my antiwar awakening from a long bus ride with a down-and-out veteran who never recovered from killing an innocent south Vietnamese girl. Unfortunately, both Republicans and Democrats have embraced foreign wars on the flimsiest pretexts, usually championed by media coverage that ignores the carnage inflicted on foreign civilians. But the US government remains far more adept at killing foreigners than protecting Americans.

Continue reading “Freedom Frauds Chronicles U.S. Atrocities At Home and Abroad: James Bovard’s latest book is free on Amazon on December 14 and 15”

Jail Guards for Jesus – NYC Vets Parade

I caught the New York City Veterans Day parade yesterday.  Never saw so many cops in one place – I’m glad I don’t have any outstanding warrants in New York state.  There was endless adulation with no questions asked about the politicians who send American men and women to get killed and maimed for no good reason.  Here are a few photos from the event.

Jail Guards for Jesus:

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I avoided getting arrested even though I forgot to bring my press pass.

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Continue reading “Jail Guards for Jesus – NYC Vets Parade”

Talking Govt. Lies, Wars, & 9/11 with Denver’s Peter Boyles

Denver KNUS host Peter Boyles and I had another rattlin’ good chat today about the continuing cover-up of 9/11.  Boyles has made himself an expert on the details of the Saudi involvement and is doing a great job of hammering this issue week after week.  I commented that the Bush administration kept the lid on 28 pages of the congressional report in part so that they could demonize Saddam Hussein and drag the nation to war against Iraq in 2003.

Boyles talked about how key accusations against Iraq were produced by torture. I commented, “Rather than exposing ticking time bombs, torture is a helluva lot more likely to gin up false accusations that the governments uses to go and kill vast numbers of innocent people. I have been appalled that more Americans have not been mortified by the evidence of the U.S. torture after 9/11.”

Boyles asked why I thought Obama has not brought out the 28 pages on the Saudi involvement on 9/11. I said it reminds me of what Lyndon Johnson said about another senator when he was Senate Majority Leader in the 1950s: “I’ve got his pecker in my pocket.” I added, “Presidents get in the habit of covering up the lies of prior administrations – that’s how the government maintains its credibility. It is in the interest of every president for people not to recognize that previous presidents were pathological liars on some issues.” Continue reading “Talking Govt. Lies, Wars, & 9/11 with Denver’s Peter Boyles”

Afghan Twitter Firestorm

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Saturday afternoon, I read about how the U.S. had bombed the only hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, which was being staffed by the French volunteer group, Doctors without Borders.I recalled the 2004 U.S. bombings of a hospital in Fallujah.  So I tossed out a tweet –

Nattie Roman responded with a great quip –

Her tweet got lots of pickup – boosted after I replied, “Close enough for government work.” Continue reading “Afghan Twitter Firestorm”

My Tweets on GOP Prez Debate

Lordie I never expected that “debate” to last more than 3 hours. I almost ran out of beer. I didn’t start tweeting until the second hour but here’s my two cents –    On Twitter @jimbovard   & www.jimbovard.com

https://twitter.com/JimBovard/status/644338997800644608