Elliot Abrams will be the featured speaker at AIPAC Minnesota’s Annual Event on June 29 at the Minneapolis Hilton. His name is associated with illegal wars, right-wing coups, death-squad terror and torture. Yet, many of our elected officials will come to hear Elliot Abrams—even our liberal governor, who, according to AIPAC’s announcement, will deliver “opening remarks” at the event.
Dear Congressman Chip Cravaack, As Minnesotans committed to the values of peace, equality, religious freedom and justice, we are appalled that you used your position as a member of Congress representing Minnesota on the Committee of Homeland Security to advance Islamophobia. You have defamed CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) without justification. We insist that you apologize for your inflammatory remarks characterizing CAIR as a “terrorist organization.” We implore you to honorably represent your district by refraining from the use of hateful rhetoric. Our organization has developed the following statement, which we recommend you take to heart: We strongly condemn the rising phenomenon of Islamophobia exemplified by your eager participation in the Homeland Security Hearings titled, “The Extent of Radicalization in the American Muslim Community and the Community’s Response.” The title itself suggests that the community of millions of American Muslims is complicit in terrorism, stoking fear and misunderstanding, isolating and demonizing all persons of the Muslim faith. Free Speech ZoneThe Free Speech Zone offers a space for contributions from readers, without editing by the TC Daily Planet. This is an open forum for articles that otherwise might not find a place for publication, including news articles, opinion columns, announcements and even a few press releases. Continue Reading
If you speak out against U.S.-sponsored human rights violations, and you are not rich or powerful, you might get a visit from the FBI. The recent “witch-hunt” against peace activists is expanding, and there are now 24 grand jury subpoenas served to peace activists based mostly in Minneapolis and Chicago. Although there have been no charges, the activists were informed that this investigation is about providing material support for foreign terrorist groups. Material support? I know the activists in Minneapolis, and they are union members, a retired nurse, a high-school teacher, a kitchen worker, a woman on disability–none who have the material means to support a “terrorist group.” The Anti-War Committee, whose office was raided by FBI agents, has a yearly garage sale to meet its meager expenses. Free Speech ZoneThe Free Speech Zone offers a space for contributions from readers, without editing by the TC Daily Planet. This is an open forum for articles that otherwise might not find a place for publication, including news articles, opinion columns, announcements and even a few press releases. Predicting no political gain for assisting a little-known group of “leftists” who criticize U.S. foreign policy, our senators in Washington have avoided protecting the activists’ rights, using the excuse that “it is unethical to interfere with an ongoing investigation.” Bradley Manning, a 22-year-old soldier from Oklahoma, is being investigated by the FBI for providing information to WikiLeaks. Senator Amy Klobuchar stated on CBS: “A lot of people believe he could get a prison term for the rest of his life and I think that would be appropriate.” Wait a minute—isn’t this an ongoing investigation? Do double standards apply when a senator’s career might be enhanced by spouting the government line? What about International Law? The Nuremberg Laws, established after the horrors of WWII, declare that soldiers have a legal obligation to resist war crimes. Is it more criminal to expose U.S.-sponsored war crimes, as Bradley Manning and the FBI-harassed peace activists have done? Although it is a federal offense to provide material support to any terrorist organization listed by the State Department, double standards apply when powerful politicians decide that a terrorist organization can be helpful in doing Uncle Sam’s dirty work, like destabilizing the government of Iran. Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), an Iranian exile group that worked side-by-side with Saddam Hussein and killed Iraqi and Iranian civilians, is a designated terrorist organization. Former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge, former White House adviser Frances Townsend and former Attorney General Michael Mukasey flew to Paris in December and spoke at a conference sponsored by wealthy MEK supporters. Double standards again—the FBI has not issued any subpoenas to or raided the homes of these powerful politicians for openly and proudly supporting a State Department-designated terrorist organization. Money and political connections can be powerful, but the truth is more powerful. If the activists are guilty of anything, they are guilty of exercising their free speech rights to expose the truth about U.S.-sponsored war crimes and human rights violations in Palestine, Colombia, Iraq, Afghanistan, and other parts of the world. We can stop this “witch hunt” aimed at intimidating those who dare speak the truth about U.S. foreign policy. Please go to stopfbi.net to learn how you can help. Continue Reading
Amy Klobuchar, Norm Coleman, and Jim Ramstad recently cosponsored AIPAC-endorsed legislation pending in Congress which may authorize a naval blockade of Iran. The legislation demands that President Bush lead an international effort to prevent Iran from receiving exports of refined petroleum. Members of the House and Senate have introduced resolutions (H. Con. Res. 362 and S. Res. Continue Reading