November 25th, 2008

Chris Keeley

Research Center Tied to Drug Company

Research Center Tied to Drug Company

When a Congressional investigation revealed in June that Dr. Joseph Biederman, a world-renowned child psychiatrist, had earned far more money from drug makers than he had reported to his university, he said that his interests were “solely in the advancement of medical treatment through rigorous and objective study.”

But e-mail messages and internal documents from Johnson & Johnson made public in a court filing reveal that Dr. Biederman pushed the company to finance a research center at Massachusetts General Hospital, in Boston, with a goal to “move forward the commercial goals of J.& J.” The documents also show that the company prepared a draft summary of a study that Dr. Biederman, of Harvard, was said to have written.

Dr. Biederman’s work helped to fuel a fortyfold increase from 1994 to 2003 in the diagnosis of pediatric bipolar disorder and a rapid rise in the use of powerful, risky and expensive antipsychotic medicines in children.

Collapse )
Chris Keeley

Here is a quite contrary appreciation of Robert Gates from Ambassador (ret.) Jack Matlock, writing f

Here is a quite contrary appreciation of Robert Gates from Ambassador (ret.) Jack Matlock, writing from personal experience.

Bob -
Goodman's comments are more slander than truth. When Gates was deputy DCI, I was the "action officer" in the NSC on Soviet affairs and thus the funnel through which CIA reporting on the USSR went to the president.  Gates never censored it, though his own judgments at times differed both from those of some analysts and from those of us on the policy-making side.  He always qualified his judgments and presented both sides of the arguments.
Mel was pushed aside not because he refused to "tailor" the intelligence to suit the White House, but because he insisted on making derogatory remarks about U.S. policy--which he clearly did not understand and which, in any case is not supposed to be an intel function--and also because he does not draft very well. (There are passages in his "biography" of Shevardnadze that wouldn't pass muster in a freshman essay in English Composition 101.) He has made a career in his retirement of going after Gates, often quite stupidly.
At times, Gates' views (and those of Bill Casey) differed from mine and Bud McFarlane's and George Shultz's.  For a long time Gates was convinced that Gorbachev was simply trying to make the Soviet Union more powerful in order to carry out its traditional aims.  But he always made clear that not everyone in the agency agreed and he sent forward the interpretations of those who differed from him. As for the president and his "team," we made up our own minds, based more on our direct contacts with Gorbachev, Shevardnadze, et al.  The agency as a whole was not close enough to the situation to be helpful; our embassy in Moscow was spot on regarding every key question--and those were the reports that guided US policy in the latter years of the Reagan presidency--and subsequently with Bush I.
When Gates was on the NSC, he was very level headed and judicious. He is not an ideologue and definitely not a neocon. (You don't see many around the Pentagon these days do you?) He is a good leader who does insist on accountability--as he did with aberrant analysis like Goodman and more recently with the Air Force brass.  Friends who teach at Texas A&M sing his praises as a university leader. 
If Gates is asked to stay on a DOD for a while, I have no doubt he will try to execute the policy the president decides with skill and good judgment. But the president will have to make the really tough decisions. 
Recently Gates has been a stronger voice for building up and funding the Foreign Service adequately than even the Secretary of State. 
Chris Keeley

This is a longish article but well worth reading (obtained from Truthout). It retells some of Gates'

This is a longish article but well worth reading (obtained from Truthout). It retells some of Gates's past history that our media have yet to revive.

Danger of Keeping Robert Gates

Thursday 13 November 2008


by: Robert Parry, Consortium News

   Press reports say Barack Obama may retain George W. Bush's Defense
Secretary    Robert Gates as a gesture to war-time continuity,
bipartisanship and respect    for the Washington insider community,
which has embraced Gates as something    of a new Wise Man.

   However, if Obama does keep Gates on, the new President will be
employing someone    who embodies many of the worst elements of U.S.
national security policy over    the past three decades, including
responsibility for what Obama himself has    fingered as a chief
concern, "politicized intelligence."

   Collapse )
Chris Keeley

letter to obama

Russell Banks, Francine Prose, Mark Kurlansky and I (Chris Hedges) are collecting signatures (and 50 dollars) to put this ad in The New York Review of Books and The Nation calling on Obama not to expand the war in Afghanistan .  Would this be something you would want to sign and support?  Chris
This is the letter:

Dear President-elect Obama,
We congratulate you and wish you the very best of fortune in your great undertaking. As writers, we admire your eloquence and your engagement with ideas. But we are worried because a new beginning will not be possible as long as we continue to spill the blood of the men, women, and children of Afghanistan . The Taliban is not a threat to the United States nor are the people of Afghanistan . There is no victory for those who attempt to occupy Afghanistan , as the Soviets and the British discovered. There will be no progress at home while such an all-consuming war is being waged. If we stay, the situation will get worse, not better, and the toll in American lives and American prestige, as well as the damage to our standing in the Middle East and to the American budget will be staggering and tragic. Wartime presidents accomplish little else. We urge you to negotiate with the Taliban, withdraw all troops from Afghanistan , and begin the moral and physical rebuilding of Afghanistan , as well as that of the United States .

If we don't make the deadline it gets changed to  President Obama
Still needs a headline
We are asking for a minimum of $50 payable to  Summit Study and mailed to:
Summit Study/ 262 Moore St / Princeton , N.J. 08540