December 24th, 2008

Chris Keeley

Harpers Index

AMY GOODMAN: Harper’s Magazine is marking the twenty-fifth anniversary of its popular monthly feature, the Harper’s Index. The Index reports sometimes funny, often sobering, political realities through statistics and unusual figures.

 

Turn to this month’s edition, and you’ll find out things like how much the Bush campaign paid Enron and Halliburton for use of corporate jets during the 2000 recount, or the estimated total calories members of Congress burned giving President Bush’s 2002 State of the Union standing ovations. You can find the answers to these and many more in the special three-page, twenty-fifth anniversary Harper’s Index in the latest issue of Harper’s Magazine.
 

I’m joined right now by Harper’s Magazine publisher Rick MacArthur. Welcome to Democracy Now!
 

RICK MacARTHUR: Delighted to be here, Amy.
 

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Chris Keeley

Parts of Tennessee remain buried under toxic sludge today after a major disaster at a coal plant. A

AMY GOODMAN: Greenpeace is calling for a criminal investigation into a major environmental disaster at a coal plant outside Knoxville, Tennessee. Early Monday morning, a forty-acre pond containing toxic coal ash collapsed. 2.6 million cubic yards of coal ash spilled out of the retention pond, burying homes and roads. Over 400 acres of land are now under as much as six feet of sludge. Environmentalists say the spill is more than thirty times larger than the Exxon Valdez oil spill.

 

The sludge has flowed into the Emory River, a tributary of the Tennessee River, which provides drinking water to millions of people downstream in Tennessee, Alabama and Kentucky.

 

Environmentalists say the disaster could take months, if not years, to clean up. The Environmental Protection Agency staff member has arrived at the scene to test the ash for toxic metals and mercury, a neurotoxin that concentrates in coal ash. Greenpeace warned that coal ash typically contains high concentrations of toxic chemicals like mercury, cadmium and other heavy metals.
 

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Chris Keeley

A top Republican internet strategist who was set to testify in a case alleging election tampering in

A top Republican internet strategist who was set to testify in a case alleging election tampering in 2004 in Ohio has died in a plane crash. Michael Connell was the chief IT consultant to Karl Rove and created websites for the Bush and McCain electoral campaigns. Michael Connell was deposed one day before the election this year by attorneys Cliff Arnebeck and Bob Fitrakis about his actions during the 2004 vote count in Ohio and his access to Karl Rove’s email files and how they went missing.

http://markcrispinmiller.com/

AMY GOODMAN: A top Republican internet strategist who was set to testify in a case alleging election tampering in 2004 in Ohio has died in a plane crash. Mike Connell was the chief IT consultant to Karl Rove and created websites for the Bush and McCain electoral campaigns. He also set up the official Ohio state election website reporting the 2004 presidential election returns.

 

Connell was reportedly an experienced pilot. He died instantly Friday night when his private plane crashed in a residential neighborhood near Akron, Ohio.

 

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Chris Keeley

Kissinger relayed Nixon's order to expand the bombing of Cambodia, saying, "A massive bombing campai

Kissinger relayed Nixon's order to expand the bombing of Cambodia, saying, "A massive bombing campaign in Cambodia. Anything that flies on anything that moves."
 
 
 
 

Nixon to Kissinger: "Just Bomb the Hell Out of Them"

And the National Security Archive has released an online volume of transcripts from some 15,000 phone calls made by former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. The transcripts date from 1969 to 1977. Kissinger played a pivotal role in the escalation of the US attack on Vietnam, the bombing of Cambodia and Laos, the backing of the genocidal Indonesian invasion of East Timor, and the overthrow of the democratically elected government of Chilean President Salvador Allende.

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Chris Keeley

War Criminal Kissinger Part 2

Document 1: "You Can't Write History After You've Seen a Thing Like That"
With Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, U. Alexis Johnson, 19 January 1970 10:40 a.m.
One of the most complex negotiations during the first year of the Nixon negotiations involved a textiles agreement that was linked to the U.S. reversion of Okinawa to Japan.  Under pressure from southern states to protect the textile industry from Japanese competition, Nixon and Kissinger found it difficult to get Tokyo to follow through on an understanding that they believed had been reached with Japanese Prime Minister Sato during his November 1969 visit.  While they thought that Sato had agreed to a "comprehensive" solution to be reached by the end of December, the Prime Minister did not have the same understanding.  This telcon with Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs U. Alexis Johnson (himself a former ambassador to Japan) conveys some of the confusion caused by the fact that key Japanese officials as well as U.S. ambassador Armin Meyer did not know about the secret  Nixon-Sato understanding ("piece of paper").  At the end of the conversation, Kissinger observed that "you can't write history after you've seen a thing like that. Documents have nothing to do with it."

Document 2: "Some of the Stories Are Awful … I Don't Think the Public Likes It"
With President Nixon, 17 March 1970 8:07 p.m.
The collection of Kissinger telcons

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Chris Keeley

The collection covers many serious policy matters, like Vietnam strategy, but includes a few calls m

The collection covers many serious policy matters, like Vietnam strategy, but includes a few calls memorable because they are so bizarre.

In April 1971, Mr. Kissinger accepted a call from the beat poet Allen Ginsberg, who hoped to arrange a meeting between top Nixon administration officials and antiwar activists.

“Perhaps you don’t know how to get out of the war,” Ginsberg ventured.

Mr. Kissinger said he was open to a meeting. “I like to do this,” he said, “not just for the enlightenment of the people I talk to, but to at least give me a feel of what concerned people think.”

Then Ginsberg upped the ante. “It would be even more useful if we could do it naked on television,” he said.

Mr. Kissinger’s reply is transcribed simply as “Laughter.”

The Kissinger Telephone Conversation Transcripts

http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB263/index.htm