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Balfour’s Perfidy: A Story of Betrayal

November 2 marks the centenary of the Balfour Declaration of 1917, which began the still-ongoing colonisation of Palestine and sowed the seeds of an...

Balfour’s Perfidy: A Story of Betrayal

November 2 marks the centenary of the Balfour Declaration of 1917, which began the still-ongoing colonisation of Palestine and sowed the seeds of an...

Video: Pippa King On Why An Irish Sausage Company Is Pushing RFID Chips On...

Please Support The Show — http://richieallen.co.uk/ Pippa King's Websites: http://RFIDinSchools.com/ http://StateOfSurveillance.Blogspot.co.uk/ http://PippaKing. Via Youtube

Adidas Sneak RFID Chips Into Clothes

RINF Alternative News Sports apparel giant Adidas has admitted that it's embedding RFID chips into some of its range of clothing. It emerged that the company has...

The Obama Administration Wants Gun Owners To Wear RFID Tracking Bracelets?

Attorney General Eric Holder says that gun owners in the United States could eventually be forced to wear RFID tracking bracelets. In fact, in...

New Jersey Looks to Impose RFID on Firearms

Infowars.comNovember 21, 2013 New Jersey wants to make it more difficult to use a gun in an act of self defense. An article posted by...

RFID Microchips to be Embedded in Breast Implants

Technology backed by CEO who promoted implantable chips as replacement for credit cards Paul Joseph Watson A manufacturer of breast implants has announced...

1953 Coup d’Etat in Iran: “Perfidious Albion”- the View of the U.S. National Security...

This week, to coincide with the sixtieth anniversary of the CIA-MI6 overthrow of the democratically elected Prime Minister of Iran, Mohammad Mossaddegh, on 19th...

Improved RFID Technology in Smart Guns Threatens Second Amendment

The development of RFID (radio frequency identification) chips (here shown next to a grain of rice) has advanced to the point where gun makers will...

Student Fighting RFID Chip Achieves Victory After Program Gets Nixed

Julie Wilson Infowars.com July 16, 2013 Andrea Hernandez, a student who refused to wear a Radio Frequency Identification Technology (RFID) chip that...

Texas schoolgirl loses case over RFID tag suspension

The Register | A federal court has ruled against the Texan teenager who was challenging her suspension for refusing to wear an RFID tag, despite...

Court Blocks Suspension of Anti-RFID Student

Readers may want to break out the civil liberties pitchforks in response to a new court case against a Texas high school that suspended a...

Schoolgirl expelled for refusing to wear RFID tag

Iain Thomson, The Register | A plan by a San Antonio school district to continuously monitor its students using RFID has run into legal problems after...

RFID to predict human behaviour

Mick Meaney, rinf.com | Researchers at Adelaide University in Australia are adapting RFID and sensor technologies to automatically monitor and predict human behaviour. By using a...

Your brave new world: RFID monitoring and DNA profiles

Susanne Posel, Occupy Corporatism | In Texas, children attending school in the Northside Independent School District will be required to carry RFID chipped cards while on campus....

RFID leakage is hushed up – claim

MOST RFID products — like passports and Oyster cards — leak data like sieves says Brit firm, Peratech. By Tony Dennis | The scandal broke back...

Enhanced Tracking Technology May Help RFID

By DON CLARK A Los Angeles start-up says it has developed a way to dramatically expand the range of a popular wireless tracking technology, opening...

Researchers develop RFID ‘smart tags’ for workplace

Researchers at Lancaster University are developing a new generation of ‘smart tags’ to "help keep workers safe on construction sites." NEMO technology in development The research...

One in ten RFID projects tag humans

The percentage of worldwide radio frequency identification (RFID) projects concerning tagging people has increased from eight percent to 11 percent over the last year,...

Privacy watchdog calls for RFID regulations

 Ian GrantConsumers who buy RFID-enabled goods should have an automatic veto against their personal details being collected and associated with the device, says the...

Insecure RFID Passports Get Stamp of Approval

U.S. State Department Approves RFID Passports Amidst Privacy Concerns With the original incarnation slammed over security concerns, a new breed of RFID-enabled passports received the...

Tracking by sun: RFID goes solar

Solar-powered Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Savi Technology, a unit of Lockheed Martin, has announced it recently began deploying solar-powered Radio Frequency Identification...

School uniforms use RFID to track kids

Trevor Darnborough, whose company, Darnbro, filed for a patent on securing RFID tags to clothing, hopes other schools will be interested. By Thomas Claburn Ten schoolchildren...

London Paper Issues RFID Card

By Mary Catherine O'Connor Selling newspapers in London is a tough game, but The Evening Standard is using RFID to gain a competitive edge. The...

Why the ban on mandatory RFID implants should be Federal

George Ou The California legislature recently banned employers from mandating RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) implants for their employees. While I’m glad I’m covered in my...

McDonalds Starts RFID Trial in Korea

Evan Schuman McDonalds is experimenting with the ultimate line-buster in South Korea, where customers purchase food on their cell phones, which then ring when...

‘Chip party’: US company celebrates implanting microchips in employees (VIDEO)

A Wisconsin company has implanted microchips into its employees at a symbolic ‘chip party’, a first...

Turning Gen. Flynn into Road Kill

Exclusive: Although no actual evidence was presented, two ex-Obama administration officials destroyed the reputation of retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn,...

Hide Your Guns in Plain Sight

By Jacki Billings Guns.com April 18, 2017 With an estimated 250,000 to 600,000 guns stolen per year in the U.S., gun storage has always been one...

Putin Derangement Syndrome Arrives

So Michael Flynn, who was Donald Trump's national security adviser before he got busted talking out of school to Russia's ambassador, has reportedly offered to...

And the winner is…

Go my faithful soldier Go Let the fragrant incense rise To those great rulers And their lies. Draw on them Blessings down Blood dripping from Imperial crowns. Go those wrathful soldiers Go Let the cost...

Is The New Cold War Just Beginning Or Ending?

Eric Zuesse U.S. President Donald Trump made unequivocally clear, on February 14th, that the new Cold War between the U.S. and Russia will continue until...

Protest Stopped the Predators. They Will Be Back.

Mark Twain noted that man is the only animal that blushes — or needs to. He also believed that “public office is private graft.” Those two...

My Preferred Currency?

“We’re all on the Titanic, but the Titanic still has maybe a few days to travel before it collapses so we might as well...

Meeting Fidel

The author is on the right, drink in hand. As a young medical student in Argentina I had been fascinated by Fidel Castro and his...

Confessions of an Alleged ‘Russian Propagandist’

ThisCantBeHappening.net didn’t make the Washington Post’s list of 200 news sites that are “purveyors of Russian propaganda” designed to “undermine Americans’ faith in democracy,”...

European Civilization

My wife is typically French in that she has taken many holidays and spent them in many adventurous ways (touring in Southeast Asia, Central...

Clinton’s Crazy Conspiracy Theory

Hillary Clinton’s recent “alt right” speech marks a new and dangerous low in what has become race to the bottom...

Don’t let propaganda for the ‘looming cashless society’ deceive you

Since its invention in Babylon around 4,000 years ago, money has changed from gold coins, to coins of lesser value; to paper notes/cheques, plastic cards,...

Why Neocons Are Now Supporting Hillary Clinton

What’s a Neocon To Do? Bill Kristol is downright despondent after his failed search for an alternative to Donald Trump. Max...

Why Neocons Can’t Stomach Trump

Neocons are jumping off the Republican ship for Hillary Clinton even though Donald Trump has shifted their way on Israel...

American Samizdat — Publication Forbidden in U.S.

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org PART ONE Here’s an example: Ron Unz has called this article that he published in his magazine, The American Conservative, in...

The blame and shame shoots mainly at the planes…

(a eulogy for presidential piracy) by T.P. Wilkinson / July 10th, 2016 Remains the painquite near the planeby villainyviciously triggereddisingenuously disclaimedtheir sons and daughtersseizingfor perfidious empires’seethingwhile...

The Maryland-EPA Conspiracy

As I recently sat in a seemingly endless line of cars at the Maryland vehicle emissions checkpoint, the engine in my 1999 Ford suddenly...

Inside The Super Majority that Decide Election 2016 & War with Russia

How well the candidate from either party satisfies 7 questions from a particular group of people will determine who the President of the United...

For Billionaire Donors, Academic Integrity Comes Cheap

First came withering hoots of laughter when the honchos of George Mason University named their law school the Antonin Scalia School Of Law —...

Silencing America as It Prepares for War

Orlok | Shutterstock.com   Returning to the United States in an election year, I am struck by the silence. I have covered four presidential campaigns, starting with 1968;...

British fascists photographed giving Nazi salutes in Buchenwald camp ‘corpse cellar’

British neo-Nazis who gave the Hitler salute and joked about ‘meat hooks’ in a concentration...

Nowhere to hide: New MoD gravity scanner can see through walls

British military boffins have created a gravity scanner that may be able to see through...

‘Better than chicken wire & spray paint!’ British soldiers test high-tech ‘invisibility’ camouflage

British Army snipers have field-tested a new high-tech stealth material which hides them from surveillance technology. Troops from Edinburgh-based light infantry regiment 3 Rifles had...

Military ‘stealth cloaks’ could breach Geneva Convention – legal expert

Military invisibility technology could breach the laws of war if developed and put into use,...

Zuckerberg’s Get-Away Car

Let us now praise “Lord Zuckerberg, The Magnificent!” Mark Zuckerberg, the wunderkind of Silicon Valley who co-founded Facebook and amassed roughly a gabillion dollars in...

The Good, Bad and Ugly in Oregon Standoff Coverage

Unraveling the Gordian knot of media issues in the Oregon standoff between federal authorities and a Patriot/Militia alliance of building occupiers is a daunting...

UAW scabs do bidding of US auto companies

The United Auto Workers is seeking to rush through a new contract on Ford workers and wrap up its months-long campaign to break the...

How Jeb Bush’s Florida Plan for School ‘Choice’ Created an Industry of Corruption and...

"Reading the emails make(s) me want to throw up" tweeted the Food Babe after reading a lengthy series of them posted online by The...

The New York Times Leaves Out Professors Enlisted by the Food Industry

"Reading the emails make(s) me want to throw up" tweeted the Food Babe after reading a lengthy series of them posted online by The...

The Greatness of Franklin D. Roosevelt. Or Not?

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org Many people are aware that U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt skillfully lured Japan into attacking Pearl Harbor so as to...

Zionists Latest Anti-Semitic Inducing Provocation: Trying to Destroy a Highly Worthy and Sane Nuclear...

The same Neo-Con-Artists, and the same lying and blackmail game players AIPAC Lobby, and the same mainstream news media newspapers and televisions stations are...

Is the New ‘Law of War Manual’ Actually ‘Hitlerian’?

Eric Zuesse The Obama U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has quietly issued its important Law of War Manual, and, unlike its predecessor, the 1956 U.S. Army...

Iran Nuclear Talks: Washington’s Real Objective

by Stephen Lendman (RINF) - Washington's diplomatic history reflects longstanding double-dealing duplicity - an odious record of broken promises showing it can't be trusted. US deals...

Media Blackout on US “Smart Grid Deployment”

James F. Tracy Over the past several years a conspiracy of silence has surrounded the implementation of the Smart Grid across the United States, perhaps...

New Video Evidence of America’s Coup in Ukraine — and What It Means

Eric Zuesse New video evidence has been added to the already-conclusive video evidence which shows that the U.S. Government was the controlling power behind the extremely violent and illegal 18-27 February 2014 Ukrainian...

“Internet of Things” and “Smart Grid Technologies” to Fully Eviscerate Privacy

The “Internet of Things” (IoT) and Smart Grid technologies will together be aggressively integrated into the developed world’s socioeconomic fabric with little-if-any public or...

Washington’s Frozen War Against Russia

For over a year, the United States has played out a scenario designed to (1) reassert U.S. control over Europe by blocking E.U. trade...

The CIA’s Operation Deception

CIA director John Brennan, having failed to block the release of the Senate intelligence committee’s report on torture and abuse, is now abetting the...

The Myth of the Free Press

Chris Hedges There is more truth about American journalism in the film "Kill the Messenger," which chronicles the mainstream media's discrediting of the work of...

Droning On: The Rise of Remote Piloted Flying

In Kathleen Ann Goonan’s 1994 science fiction/ nanopunk novel “Queen City Jazz”, she introduced enormous bio-engineered bees that “fertilized” giant nanotech flowers on tops...

Partners in Extermination: US-Israeli Regional Hegemony

Norman Pollack RINF Alternative News Alliance systems can be a perfidious or at least unscrupulous thing, entered into by the parties, whether two or more, in...

Technological dystopia looming, dooming the West

This latest Russian 'sanctions tilt' toward nuclear confrontation comes alongside a quiet and apparently unconnected launch of a global digital ID system through the...

Whistleblower: L.A. Planning to Forcibly House Homeless Citizens in Camps

A whistleblower who claims to work inside the Los Angeles Department of Health Services has told Infowars that L.A. officials are planning to forcibly...

What Did the President Know, and When Did He Know It? President Obama’s ‘Nixon...

Helga Zepp-LaRouche Howard Baker, the former ranking member of the Senate committee investigating Watergate, posed the decisive question, whose question finally forced President Nixon, faced...

To Be Silenced, Or Not to Be. Part Two

Debi Smith Circuit and Supreme Court rulings are bigger than me. All I know for certain is that in the fall of 2004, following a...

Company Develops Line of GPS Tracking Jewelry

When someone thinks of GPS tracking bracelets, court mandated devices or criminals under house arrest typically come to mind, but one company is aiming...

The Death of Public Healthcare in Canada?

Justin Panos RINF Alternative News The Canada Health Accord ceased functioning on March 31, 2014. There was no state funeral. The Accord was negotiated in 2004 under Prime...

What Will You Do When You Can No Longer Buy Or Sell Without Submitting...

In some areas of the world, payment systems that require palm scanning or face scanning are already being tested.  We have entered an era where biometric security is being hailed as the “solution” to the antiquated security methods of the past.  We are being promised that the constant problems that hackers are causing with [...]

Media Bias: Parroting a “New Cold War” which Threatens America

William Boardman Crimea may be bigger than an archduke, but not more important If American media seem filled these days with bellicose, jingoistic, uniform perspectives on...

Forget Doom and Gloom: Preparedness is the Ultimate Act of Optimism

Does this sound familiar? You’re talking to a friend or family member who isn’t on board with preparedness.  (And it’s even worse when they think they know what’s going on in the world but garner their so-called “information” from network news sources.)  You try for the millionth time to getRead the Rest...

GITMO: USS Cole Tribunal on hold – again

 Remember the USS Cole bombing in October 2000?  On Thursday, October 12, 2000, while refueling at a port in Aden, Yemen, the U.S. Navy destroyer Cole was attacked by a two suicide bombers navigating a small motorboat full of explosive...

People Are Undergoing Extreme Body Modifications In Order To Look More Like The Devil?

When does body modification go too far?  In recent years, the popularity of tattoos and body piercings has soared, but now there are thousands of people around the globe that are taking body modification to ridiculous extremes.  For example, would you be willing to have your tongue split in two so that you could [...]

BBC Propaganda: “Why I Want A Microchip Implant”

Would you like to have an RFID microchip implanted under your skin?  If you are anything like me, you would never allow such a thing to be done.  But many others, especially among the younger generations, see things very differently.  RFID microchip implants and other forms of “wearable technology” are increasingly being viewed as [...]

Should Obama be tried for treason after his NSA speech on Friday?

Ralph Lopez  RINF Alternative News Floating an administration source's trial balloon on just where Obama is trying to go on this NSA thing, the New York...

Feds May Require Vehicle Location Tracking in New Cars

Proposal may lead to more accidents, mileage taxes and tickets for “recorded traffic violations” Kit DanielsInfowars.comJanuary...

Video: Target Credit Card Mass Identity Theft

Infowars.comDecember 29, 2013 Why is Target pushing their customers to sign up for Target cards in...

Why the GOP Is So Extremist and Reactionary

Is there a way to get...

The Communist Agent Who Caused Pearl Harbor – and Global Economic Havoc

“More than seven decades ago, on a calm Sunday morning, our Nation was attacked without warning or provocation.... On National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day,...

Parents Stop Biometric Hand Scanner Program At Public Schools

Wash. school district scanned students' palms without parents' prior consent Kit Daniels A school district in the state of Washington has stopped its use of biometric...

Parents Defeat Schools Attempt To Implement Infrared Palm Scanners

Parents from Washington state's Puyallup School District successfully ended the implementation of palm-scanners this week after attempts to push the system without parental approval...

Juggernaut of Deceit

Every day brings a new outrage. Obama in the saddle is like the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse rolled into one. Several articles and...

Concerning the Facts and Consequences of the Tragic Death of President John F. Kennedy

By Fidel Castro

The following is the text of a commentary and analysis delivered by Fidel Castro on Cuban radio and TV, Saturday evening, November 23, 1963, one day after the assassination of President Kennedy.

The address gives the reader insight into the immediate analysis of the assassination which a political expert such as Castro was able to make.

This English translation of the speech was released by the Cuban delegation to the United Nations in 1963. It is here reproduced with minor editing of grammar and punctuation.

The address was edited by Robert Morrow in 2012 and previously appeared at The Education Forum.

Always, when something very important has happened,
national or international, we have thought it desirable to speak
to the people, to express our opinions. And in every such case to
express the orientation of the Government, the orientation of our
Party, so that each one of us all know the attitude we should
adopt in each one of these situations.

It is true that we are somewhat accustomed to various types
of unexpected events, important, serious events, because since the
victory of the Revolution our country has had to face a series of
problems, a series of situations that have prepared the people to
carry forward their victorious revolution.

Therefore, because of the events of yesterday in the United
States in which the President was murdered, because of the
repercussion these events can have, because of the role that the
United States plays in the problems of international policy,
because of this, we believe that we should make a specially
objective and calm analysis of these events and of their possible
consequences.

The government of the United States, the former
administration of Eisenhower and the Kennedy administration,
did not practice precisely a policy of friendship toward us. The
policy of both administrations was characterized by its aggressive,
hostile, and implacable spirit toward our country.

Our country was the victim of economic aggressions intended
to cause the ruin of our economy and the starvation of our
people; it was the victim of all kinds of attacks that caused
bloodshed; hundreds of our compatriots have lost their lives,
defending themselves from attacks of U.S. imperialism, and not
only this. The hostility and the aggressiveness of U.S. imperialism
toward our country took us to the brink of war which was
fortunately avoided, took the world to the brink of thermonuclear
war.

And even when we were not facing a situation like the crisis
of October, and the time of the invasion of Giron [Bay of Pigs],
we were all perfectly aware that if the plots they were planning
against our country had been carried through, that is to say, if
imperialism had been able to establish a beachhead on our shores,
that struggle would have cost our people tens of thousands, and
perhaps even hundreds of thousands of lives.

We have been victims of the constant hostility of the United
States. And among the rulers and the leading men of the United
States, there falls on Kennedy an important responsibility in these
events.

Nevertheless, the news of the murder of the President of the
United States is serious news and bad news. We should analyze
it thoroughly in order to understand it; above all, analyze it
serenely and dispassionately, as revolutionaries should analyze
these things.

I say it is bad news, leaving aside the human question, in that
the sensitivity of man, any man, is affected by an act of this
nature, by a crime, by a murder. I say that leaving these
questions aside, I always react and I am sure that this is the
reaction of the immense majority of human beings – we always
react with repulsion toward murder and toward crime.

We cannot consider this to be a correct weapon of struggle -
no, we cannot consider that. Above all under the conditions in
which it happened, because – like all these things – it is always
necessary to consider the atmosphere, the things, the
circumstances.

In other settings, under other circumstances, whatever they
may be in a normal situation, in a peaceful situation, a deed of
this nature is never justifiable. Especially in the middle of a
crowd, in the presence of women, all these things, which above
all – I say – are the circumstances that lead us to take a
condemnatory attitude toward something, even though some
deeds of a political nature, some crimes of a political nature, may
or may not be justified.

In the circumstances that surrounded the assassination of
President Kennedy, we believe it has no justification.

But analyzing the question from the political, objective point
of view, I also said it was serious news, bad news.

And some will ask why? Why precisely the Cubans, who
have received so many aggressions on the part of the United
States, from the Kennedy Administration itself, why can they say
that it is bad news, why can they take an attitude of this kind in
the face of this news? But in the first place we Cubans must react
as revolutionaries. In the second place, we Cubans, as conscious
revolutionaries, should not confuse men with systems. And we
have to begin by considering that we do not hate men, we hate
systems.

We hate the imperialist system, we hate the capitalist system,
but this does not mean that we hate men as such, as individuals,
part of a machine, a more or less important part of a system.

So we should not confuse hatred of a system with the
sentiment we should harbor toward men, which is a different
sentiment; it is not a sentiment of hatred, and much less a
sentiment of hatred which in a case like this would be despicable.

As Marxist-Leninists, we know that the role of man is a
relative role in each historical epoch, in each society, at each
given moment, and we should know the role that man plays in
each society. And above all it is a question of elemental principle:
we do not hate men, we hate systems.

We would be happy at the death of a system; the
disappearance of a system would always make us happy. The
victory of a revolution always makes us happy.

The death of a man, even though this man may be our
enemy, does not make us happy. In the first place, this should be
our attitude as a matter of principle.

And further it is very characteristic of us Cubans, of Latins,
of Spanish-Americans- who are a mixture of races with certain
characteristics – that death always ends our animosity. We
always bow with respect in the face of death, even though it may
be the death of an enemy.

But then, I said that the deed itself could have very negative
repercussions on the interests of our country. But it is not the
interests of our country in this case but the interests of the whole
world that are involved. We must know how to place the
interests of mankind above the interests of our country. I
consider it a negative event for the interests of mankind. And I
am going to explain why.

Because in certain international political situations, at a given
moment, there can be bad situations or worse situations. The
death of President Kennedy has all the perspectives involved in
going from a bad situation to a worse situation: the possibility
exists that from a determined situation, another situation could
unfold and develop that could be highly damaging to the interests
of peace, to the interests of mankind.

Why? Do we perhaps think that the United States holds a
defensible political position in the international field? No, the
international policy of the United States cannot be defended. Its
policy of aggression, policy of violating the rights of other
nations, of interference in the internal affairs of other countries,
of domination, of repression, of bloodshed, of alliance with the
most reactionary sectors of the world, of participation in bloody
wars against the people who struggle for their liberation – as in
the case of South Vietnam – its attitude towards the people of
Latin America, its attitude towards us, and finally its
international position, is in no way defensible from the moral
point of view.

However, within American society and within the policy of
the United States, there are supporters of a much more
reactionary policy, of a policy much more aggressive, much more
warlike.

And the whole condition of the internal policy of the United
States, the internal struggle for power in the United States, the
currents that struggle within the United States, the assassination
of President Kennedy, tend to convert the present policy of the
United States into a worse policy and to aggravate the evils of
U.S. policy.

That is to say that there are elements in the United States
who defend a more reactionary policy in every field, in
international and internal policy, and these are the sole elements
who can benefit from the events that occurred yesterday in the
United States.

Why? Because in the United States a number of forces, a
number of very powerful bodies within U.S. society, very much
influenced by big interests in the United States, have been
developing, and there is no doubt that a U.S. President possessing
the highest authority implies a situation less serious than a
President without the highest authority, in such a situation.

A President is a political man, who should take into account
many factors, advice, opinions, and influences, who is eminently
political, who without doubt, behaves differently in general than
those who we might say are not professional politicians, who
have other professions, other interests, and those political
reactions are always the worst reactions.

In the United States there are a number of powerful forces:
economic, political, military. Many of these forces have a fixed
policy and more than once we have spoken of this problem.
Take the clash, for instance, between the political currents of the
State Department and the military currents of the Pentagon. We
have often seen the manifestations of this struggle in Latin
America, how there are currents in the United States, above all
military currents that support the policy of military coups, and
there are political currents that defend another type of policy -
not that it is a good policy, but clothed in a civilian government,
even pseudo-liberal.

Unquestionably when [there] is a recognized, accepted, strong
authority in the United States, the dangers that arise from the
struggle of a whole series of reactionary currents within the
powerful organizations of the United States are much less than
when this authority does not exist. And without any shadow of
doubt, Kennedy had this authority in the United States.

Now, suddenly a new situation is created, where a President
who, because of circumstances in which he holds power, that in
being Vice President, and then because of an unexpected
circumstance becoming President of the Republic, independent of
what his character may be, because here it is not a question of
the character of the person or his personality, but [because] of the
circumstances, does not come to power with the same personal
authority as President Kennedy had. And therefore a question
begins to arise in respect to the influence within all those forces,
of the new authority who assumes power, of the new President
who takes over the reins of Government.

In the United States there are very reactionary currents, racist
currents, that is to say opposed to the demand for the civil and
social rights of the Negro population, Klu Klux Klan people,
who lynch, who kill and use dogs, who bitterly hate all Negro
citizens in the United States, who nurture a brutal hatred. Those
naturally are the ultra-reactionary.

In the United States there are economic forces, powerful
economic interests, just as ultra-reactionary, who have a
completely reactionary position on all international problems. In
the United States there are forces that support an increased
intervention by the United States [in] international questions, a
greater use of the U.S. military in international questions. There
are, for example, currents in the United States that are
intransigent supporters of the direct invasion of our country.
In the United States there are partisans of the application of
drastic measures against any government that adopts the smallest
measure of a nationalist character, of an economic character that
benefits its country.

And finally, there are a number of groups that can all be
included in one concept: the ultra-right in the United States, the
ultra-reaction in the United States, and this ultra-reaction in each
and every one of the internal and external problems of the
United States is an advocate of the worst procedure, of the most
aggressive and most dangerous and most reckless policy against
peace.

In the United States there are also liberal currents, some more
liberal, some more advanced, other less advanced. There are some
men on the right who are more radical, and other more
moderate. There are certain intellectual sectors that are not
constantly thinking in terms of force, but are thinking along lines
of diplomacy, instead of force, who have a less aggressive policy
- a more moderate policy.

That is to say, in the United States there is a whole range of
political thinking that runs from men of the extreme right to
men of the extreme left, men who are more to the left in their
political thinking.

And in this situation there is a variety of opinion, of more or
less moderate attitudes. There are liberals, intellectual sectors of
the United States who understand the errors in the policy of the
United States, who are not in agreement with many of the things
that the United States has done in international policy.

And what happened yesterday can only benefit those ultrarightist
and ultra-reactionary sectors, among which President
Kennedy or some of the men who worked with him cannot be
included. They could not be placed in the extreme reaction- in
the extreme right.

And even within the situation in the United States, within
the policy of the United States, which as a whole is indefensible,
Kennedy was strongly attacked by the most reactionary, most
aggressive, and most war-like circles.

You will recall that on the eve of the October crisis of last
year, there was a whole campaign, with great pressure, including
laws and resolutions in Congress, pushing Kennedy [and] the
Administration towards war, trying to create a situation of
imperative action.

Everybody will recall that on other occasions, we have stated
that one of the political errors of Kennedy in respect to Cuba
was to have played the game of his enemies. For example, to
have continued the invasion plans against Cuba that the
Republican administration had organized.

And out of all this arose the possibility in the United States
for a policy of blackmail on the part of the Republicans. That is,
Kennedy presented the Republicans with the weapon of Cuba.
How? He continued the aggressive policy of the Republicans, and
they used it as a political weapon against him.

But at times very strong campaigns, powerful movements
within the United States Congress pressed the Administration for
a more aggressive policy against us. All those factors and all these
forces on the extreme right in the United States fought Kennedy
very hard precisely on those points in which he did not agree
with the extreme aggressive policy called for by these sectors.

There are a number of issues that gave rise to constant
criticism by these ultra-right sectors. For instance, the Cuban
problem, the agreement reached at the time of the October Crisis
not to invade Cuba, one of the points in Kennedy’s policy most
consistently attacked by the ultra-reactionary sectors. The
agreement on the ending of nuclear tests was another point very
much debated within the United States, and it had the most
resolute and fierce opposition of the most ultra-reactionary.

Elements in the United States were against agreements of this
type.

Everyone knows what our position was on this problem.
Everyone also knows the reason for our position, regardless of
the fact that we consider that this was a step forward that could
mark the beginning of a policy of lasting peace, in favor of true
disarmament, but a policy that was never applied in our case.
Because while the nuclear test ban treaty was being signed, the
policy of aggression against Cuba was accentuated.

But we are not now analyzing the problem in relation to
what happened in our case, but in relation to what was
happening in the world, and above all in relation to what some
were doing and others thinking in the United States.
That is to say, there were many sectors in the United States,
many ultra-reactionary elements that carried out a fierce
campaign against the nuclear test ban treaty.

There are other elements in the United States that violently
opposed the legislation of civil rights proposed by Kennedy
regarding the Negro problem in the United States.

We are not dealing with the case of a revolutionary law or of
a great effort, because this great effort in favor of equality and
civil rights, especially in favor of the rights of the U.S. Negroes,
has not been made in the United States. But be that as it may it
was legislation that contained a series of measures that, from a
legal point of view, tended to protect the rights of the Negro
population. This legislation was blocked and held back by the
strong opposition of the most reactionary sectors in the United
States, of those sectors in favor of racial discrimination.

And thus, on a whole series of issues of international policy,
there are in the United States elements that support a preventive
nuclear war, who are in favor of launching a surprise nuclear
war, because they stubbornly think that this should be the policy
of the United States. Reactionary and neo-fascist elements
without any consideration whatsoever for the most elementary
rights of nations or the interests of mankind.

And it is a strictly objective fact that there are such types of
capitalists, such types of reactionaries. And there is no doubt that
the worst type of capitalism is nazism; the worst type of
imperialism was nazism. And the most criminal mentality was
the mentality of imperialism in its nazi form. And so there is a
whole series of degrees in these questions.

So analyzing the question objectively, whenever a strong
accepted personal authority is lacking in the situation, ways and
conditions in which U.S. policy is carried out, all these
reactionary forces find a magnificent opportunity, and in fact are
finding a magnificent opportunity, to unleash their unbridled and
ultra-reactionary policy.

And these are the sectors, the currents, the only ones that
could benefit by an event such as the one that occurred yesterday
in the United States.

This is analyzing the automatic result of this event. Independent
of another aspect of the question: What is behind the
assassination of Kennedy? What were the real motives for the
assassination of Kennedy? What forces, factors, circumstances
were at work behind this sudden and unexpected event that
occurred yesterday?

News that took everyone by surprise, something that possibly
no one had even imagined.

Even up to this moment, the events that led to the murder of
the President of the United States continue to be confused,
obscure, and unclear.

And there are some things which are clear symptoms of what
I have been saying: that the most reactionary forces in the United
States are at large.

For instance, the worst symptom is the advantage they are
taking of the event to unleash within the United States a state of
anti-Soviet hysteria and of anti-Cuban hysteria; this, in the first
place. It means that the new administration that is taking over
may find itself facing a situation of hysteria, unleashed in the
United States, precisely by the most reactionary sector of the
country, by the most reactionary press, with the great resources
that powerful political currents have within the United States.

That is to say that already they are combining to create a
frame of mind in the U.S. public opinion, and its worst
characteristic is that they are waging a campaign in the worst
McCarthyite spirit, in the worst anti-communist spirit.

At the time of President Kennedy’s murder, it ran through
the minds of most people . . . and surely it ran through the
minds of the large majority of U.S. citizens, and this was only
logical- that President Kennedy’s assassination was the work of
some elements who disagreed with his international policy; that
is to say, with his nuclear treaty, with his policy with respect to
Cuba – which they did not consider aggressive enough, and
which they considered weak – with his policy with respect to
internal civil problems of the United States. Not many days ago,
the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Adlai Stevenson was attacked
in the same city of Dallas by ultra-conservative elements of the
John Birch Society and counter-revolutionary elements in league
with them. This event drew the attention of us all.

I even thought, what degree of reaction will those people
reach, when they consider that Stevenson deserves attack for his
international policy?

In spite of how reactionary U.S. international policy has
been, there are elements who physically assault Stevenson,
because they consider that U.S. policy is a weak policy, a bad
policy, that it is not a sufficiently reactionary policy.

This ran through everybody’s mind. Did it run through the
mind of anyone that it might be a leftist? No, that did not occur
to anyone. Why? Because the controversy within the United
States today, the fierce controversy was taking place between the
most ultra-reactionary elements, the ultra-right elements, and the
more moderate elements of U.S. politics.

The internal controversy was not characterized by a struggle
of the communists of the United States with the Government of
the United States; it was not characterized by a struggle of leftist
elements or liberal elements. This does not mean that the leftist
elements supported Kennedy’s policy; but the struggle, the battle
waged without quarter was taking place within the United States
between the extreme right, the extreme reaction, and the more
moderate elements, in Congress, in the press, on the streets,
everywhere.

International tension had even diminished considerably in recent
months. These months were not months like the October crisis, not
like the months following the October crisis …. The United States
was not living through one of those stages of McCarthyism
characterized by unbridled persecution of the most progressive
elements of the United States. No, there have been other stages in
which the struggle is between reaction and the progressives. The
main task of reaction was to persecute the progressive elements, and
in such circumstances one might think that a progressive, persecuted
by blood and fierce, a fanatic haunted by his ideas, might be capable
of reacting in such a way. No, the United States was not living
through such a period. It was not living through a period of
unbridled McCarthyism. It was living through a period of fierce
controversy between the more moderate sectors – among which
can be found many of Kennedy’s collaborators – and the ultrareactionary
sector of American society.

Therefore, it was neither logical, nor reasonable, that anyone
could think that it could be a leftist fanatic; in any case it would
be a rightist fanatic, if it was a fanatic at all.

But naturally it was very difficult in the face of an event of
this nature for such unscrupulous people – like many U.S.
politicians- such immoral people, such dishonest and shameless
people as are many of those elements who represent the
reactionary cynical sectors of the United States, warmongers,
irreconcilable enemies of Cuba, supporters of an invasion of
Cuba – although this might be at the cost of thermonuclear war
- it was very difficult for them not to try to take advantage of
this circumstance to turn all their hatred, all their propaganda
and all their campaign against Cuba.

This did not surprise us. I have already said that we were
somewhat used to these things. The struggle, life, have made our
people into a people with iron nerves, a serene people. We have
just lived through the hurricane, and we faced the test with
dignity and honor, we have faced many tests with dignity and
honor. We foresaw that from these incidents there could be a
new trap, an ambush, a Machiavellian plot against our country;
that on the very blood of their assassinated President there might
be unscrupulous people who would begin to work out
immediately an aggressive policy against Cuba, if the aggressive
policy had not been linked beforehand to the assassination, if it
was not linked, because it might or might not have been. But
there is no doubt that this policy is being built on the still warm
blood and the unburied body of their own tragically assassinated
President.

They are people who do not have an iota of morality; they
are people who do not have an iota of scruples; they are people
who do not have an iota of shame; who perhaps may believe that
in the shadow of the tragedy they can take us off guard,
demoralized, weak, the kind of beliefs into which the imperialists
always so mistakenly fall. And sure enough, yesterday at 2 P.M.
the first cable: November 22, UPI … because we should note
this; that of the news agencies, one has been more moderate,
more objective – the AP – and there is another that has been
excessively and unrestrainedly untruthful, a shameless promoter
of a policy and a campaign of slander against Cuba, that is UPI.
But that is not all, because there is a previous series of very
interesting UPI reports, and even a series of UPI campaigns
against President Kennedy himself, which links the news agency
with the ultra-right groups, which are interested in taking
advantage of the situation for their adventurous and warlike
policy, or because these circles are connected with the
assassination of President Kennedy.

And we can see this clearly through the cables: “Dallas,
November 22, UPI- today the police arrested Lee H. Oswald,
identified as the chairman of the Fair Play for Cuba Committees,
as the main suspect in the assassination of President John F.
Kennedy.” Right away Cuba and right away the Soviet Union.
And so they dedicated themselves to carrying out a fierce antiSoviet
and anti-Cuban campaign.

Cable: “The U.S. Embassy today confirmed that Lee H.
Oswald was in the Soviet Union. An Embassy official stated that
Oswald visited the Embassy in November of 1959 and according
to available information he left the Soviet Union in 1962. He
added that it was not known when the man suspected of killing
President John F. Kennedy had traveled to the Soviet Union,
what the purpose of his trip had been and how long he had
stayed in the Soviet Union. There were unconfirmed reports that
Oswald asked for Soviet citizenship and that he could not get it.”

Thus, from the very first cables there is an attempt to suggest
the responsibility of the Soviet Union and the responsibility of
Cuba, as if anyone could believe – anyone who is not a half-wit
- and has a little common sense – that any Government, the
Soviet government or the Cuban Government .. . and if they
don’t want to believe us, they don’t have to believe us; that is
unimportant. Perhaps they will think that we are hot-headed;
perhaps they feel that they have carried out too many aggressions
against us, but to suggest that the Soviet Union could have any
responsibility in this incident . . . can anyone believe that to
suggest that we could have had any responsibility … can anyone
believe that? Anyone who is not a half-wit, who has a little
common sense, who knows when men are working for a cause
and who know which roads lead a cause to victory?

Yet, nevertheless, this was the first thing they tried to suggest.
Listen to this cable “that they did not know the purpose of his
trip and how long he stayed in the Soviet Union.” That was the
first insinuation. And that was what made all this seem
suspicious, because it so happened that the most unexpected thing
- as unexpected as the assassination itself – was that
immediately a suspect appeared who – by a coincidence – had
been in Russia, and-what a coincidence -he is related to a
Fair Play for Cuba Committee. That is what they began to say.
And so, immediately a guilty person appeared: a suspect who had
been in the Soviet Union and who sympathized with Cuba.

Of course, although it is extraordinarily difficult to
manufacture a frame-up of this nature, it is possible that at this
moment they are not pursuing such an objective. They are
pursuing another objective, because they cannot invent just any
kind of responsibility.

They are trying to organize a campaign of hysteria, to excite
the minds of the people and unleash hysteria within the United
States; an anti-communist, anti-progressive, anti-liberal, anti-Soviet,
anti-Cuban warmongering hysteria within the United
States. If they had the slightest sense of responsibility, of
seriousness, or of good faith, they would not unleash a campaign
of this nature, as they have done, as can be seen in all the cables.

Let us read this one: “November 22, UPI- The assassin of
President Kennedy is an admitted Marxist who spent three years
in Russia trying to renounce his U.S. citizenship, but later
changed his mind and got a return trip to the United States paid
for by the United States Government.” That is already a
suggestion of blame to the Soviet Union. He was identified as Lee
H. Oswald, 24 years old, ex-U.S. marine and chairman of the
Fair Play for Cuba Committee.

So, right after that, the insinuation against Cuba. And this is
how they have begun all cables, all UPI cables, all reports,
Through the reports they have twenty times repeated the same
idea and the same thing, using a well-known technique at which
they are masters- to insinuate what they want to insinuate, to
sow the suspicion that they want to sow over this affair, to
slander the Cuban Revolution, to slander the Soviet Union, to
create hysteria against our countries.

It says: “Oswald was captured after a shooting fray when he
hid in a movie house ” … Thousands of reports came in on this,
many of them contradictory.

” . . . The police say that Oswald worked in a school
textbook warehouse in Texas … after the crime the police found
a Mauser rifle in the building,” etc . . .. It says where he was
born, it says that on October the 30th he turned up at the U.S.
Embassy in Moscow, on October 30th of 1959, and told the
officials that he wanted to give up his American citizenship.

“According to reports, he told the Embassy officials: ‘I am a
Marxist.’ The Federal Bureau of Investigations confirmed that
Oswald went to Russia and requested Soviet citizenship.

“Oswald told the Embassy officials that he intended to
disclose to the Soviet authorities everything he knew from the
three years he had been in the Marine Corps.”

Listen to that: “Oswald told the Embassy officials that he
intended to disclose to the Soviet authorities everything he knew
from three years he had been in the U.S. Marine Corps. The
Embassy officials said that Russia never granted Oswald the
citizenship he requested.”

Already they have in their hands a guilty person- true or
false? They have already produced someone who is guilty. They
have him. And now look: you will see the whole course followed
by this campaign.

” … He told the officials that he intended to disclose all the
secrets he knew.” Well, later I will refer to that again.

In February, 1962 Oswald apparently changed his mind and
returned to the United States. He had in the meantime married
a Russian, Marina, had a child. This man, who is charged with
something more than desertion, with being a spy, with confessing
that he is going to disclose military secrets, simply returned
peacefully to the United States- according to them.

It says: “The Embassy officials went over the case and since
he had not been granted Soviet citizenship, they decided to give
him a passport for the United States … “

Can anyone who has said that he will disclose military secrets
return to the United Sates without being arrested, tried, without
being sent to jail?

It says: “Government records show that he left Moscow with
485 dollars for expenses, which the United States Government
gave to him.

“This year Oswald requested another passport. He told the State
Department that he wanted to visit England, France, ,Germany, the
Netherlands, Finland, Italy, and the Soviet Union; he said he
planned to make a trip in October or December 1963,o r in January
of 1964. The passport was issued in New Orleans on June 25th;
however, it is not known whether Oswald returned the money that
was loaned to him for the first return trip to the United States.

“If he did not pay, the new passport should not have been
issued,” they say. We will use their own reports:

“Dallas, November 22 -another cable -the President of
the United States, John F. Kennedy, was shot to death today.
The police arrested, as the main suspect of the murder, a proCastro
American” . . .

Now we find that the man who murdered Kennedy is proCastro.
We know there are very few pro-Castros-what they
call “pro-Castros” in the United States.

They call them “pro-Castro.” They label as “pro-Castro”
anyone it suits them to according to their propaganda and the
business at issue.

Now we find that the man who was yesterday in the Fair
Play Committee-in the first cable-was then a “pro-Castro”
American who had once tried to become a Soviet citizen. That
is how all the cables go, you will see.

Another cable, “Dallas, November 22, UPI-Police arrested
Lee H. Oswald today, a Marxist supporter of the Cuban Prime
Minister Fidel Castro.”

There is not a single cable in which they do not connect the
action, the name of the individual whom they assure is guilty,
with the Cuban Revolution, with the Soviet Union, with Fidel
Castro, pro-Castro, supporter of the Prime Minister, admirer of
the Cuban Prime Minister.

It says: “A supporter of the Cuban Prime Minister, Fidel
Castro, who tried to obtain citizenship in the Soviet Union,
where he lived for several years, denied any knowledge of the
criminal action. Oswald killed a policeman. . ..” etc.

And later on, in the same cable: ” … although Oswald, who
heads the Fair Play for Cuba Committee, a pro-Castro entity in
this city, admitted ownership of the gun with which the
policeman …” They keep repeating this all the time.

This one comes later. The most noticeable item here is the lie
that this gentleman headed a Fair Play Committee. A lie. We
started putting together all the information and statements that
have appeared, to see whether there was a Fair Play for Cuba
Committee in that area of Texas or in New Orleans. They said
that this man … where did they get that? … They said that he
presented himself as secretary of a sectional unit of the Fair Play
for Cuba Committee in New Orleans or in Dallas. Some cables
say that it was in the month of August, other cables say it was
last week. That is what they say.

That is the reason for calling this man “pro-Castro.” And
that he had defended the Cuban Revolution in a broadcast there.

All this is very queer. We had no news of any such statement.
But we looked for reports: Cities where there were Fair Play for
Cuba Committees of which we had knowledge – New York,
Los Angeles, Cleveland, Baltimore, Chicago, Tamp a,
Youngstown, Washington, San Francisco, Minneapolis,
Philadelphia, Detroit – but nowhere is there a Fair Play for
Cuba Committee in Dallas or in New Orleans.

Strange because within their Organization they are superinfiltrated
by U.S. citizens, and F.B.I. and CIA agents. Isn’t that
so? Because everything that the CIA and the FBI do there has
been proved. Later they said other things.

Here it says also: “The Chairman of the National Committee
declared that the Fair Play for Cuba Committee has never
authorized the establishment of a chapter in any city of Texas or
Louisiana. ‘I can say that Lee Harvey Oswald was never Secretary
or Chairman of any Fair Play for Cuba Committee in any city
of the United States.’ “

But you see, throughout the world, they began to spread the
poison from the first moments, that a Fair Play for Cuba
Committee was involved. Other things appear later on. Later we
will try to analyze who this true or false culprit could be. And
we must stick to what they say, we must base ourselves on what
they themselves say. All right. That was the 22nd …

“November 23, Dallas UPI – Pro-communist Lee Harvey
Oswald was charged today with the assassination of President
Kennedy. Police said that the paraffin test on Oswald’s hands gave
positive results that traces of gun-powder were found ” etc. . . .

Dallas, November 23rd, UPI- The result of the tests made
on Oswald’s face is still unknown. Such traces could only exist
if the suspect had fired a gun.”

So, in the first paragraph they start by saying, “procommunist,”
in the second paragraph they speak of something
else. Third paragraph – Oswald, a Marxist and sympathizer of
the communist regime in Cuba had oatmeal for breakfast … In
other words, in order to say what he had for breakfast, they
repeat that he was a Marxist and sympathizer of the communist
regime of Fidel Castro in Cuba. Get it? It is clear enough. We
know these people quite well; we have become almost experts in
knowing these shameless characters.

They say: “He had oatmeal, apricots, bread, and coffee for
breakfast, and sat down comfortably to wait for the authorities
to continue questioning him.”

“Dallas, November 23rd, UPI- The local police have proof
that President John F. Kennedy was assassinated by CastroCommunist
Lee Harvey Oswald, according to an official
announcement today.” So he was murdered by a Castrocommunist?
Now this man is no longer an American, he is no
longer a Marine, this man whom they taught to shoot and kill in
the Marine Corps, now this man whom they made an expert
shot and sent to all U.S. imperialist bases throughout the world
is no longer a Marine. No, he was no longer an American, he
was a Castro-Communist, even though we never in our life heard
of the existence of this person.

You see how all this propaganda works. An American, a real
American, born there, educated by American society and
American schools, seeing American films, in the American armed
forces, American in every way. All of a sudden he is no longer
this; there is nothing of this in the cables. Now we read: ‘By the
Castro-communist.”

All right, Captain Will Fritz said they were certain of this,
etc. This was yesterday; now this was today in the afternoon:
“Jesse Curry, Dallas Chief of Police, said today that Lee Harvey
Oswald admitted being a communist. And now he admitted it
today; yesterday he admitted nothing. Today it appears that he
admitted being a communist. “Curry added that Oswald
admitted to police officers questioning him last night that he was
a member of the Communist Party.” Now the man has turned
out to be a member of the Communist Party. As time passes
they discover more titles for this man. The true man or supposed
man, this they do not know. Who can … ?

All right. One thing is clear: among all the things connected
with the assassination is the unleashing of a campaign of slander
against the Soviet Union and against Cuba, and a series of
perfidious insinuations that have no other object than to repeat
a thousands times their intrigue and sheer infamy to create an
anti-Soviet and anti-Cuban hysteria among the U.S. people and
in public opinion.

So these gentlemen are playing a very strange role in a very
strange play, and no one knows what sinister plans may be
behind all this.

All right. On the other hand, there is an official statement by
the State Department, issued today, which declares: “State
Department authorities said today that they had no evidence to
indicate that the Soviet Union or any other power is involved in
the assassination of President Kennedy.

“Lee Harvey Oswald, a former Marine who lived three years
in Russia, has been charged with the crime. When 24 years old
Oswald went to Russia; he announced his intention of giving up
his U.S. citizenship. After changing his mind and returning to the
United States last year, Oswald became a sympathizer of the
Cuban prime Minister, Fidel Castro.” So they repeat themselves
even in the cables where they say they deny they lie. . . . The
cable goes on: “State Department officials say that they have no
evidence that Cuba is involved in what Oswald did.”

Naturally, there is no need for anyone to make excuses for
Cuba. There is no need for anyone to apologize for Cuba. Cuba
is not asking anyone to excuse her, or pardon her, because even
the very idea that we should have to defend ourselves from such
an infamy is repugnant in itself. Repugnant in itself.

So we have no need for anyone to defend us or apologize on
our behalf. Why does the State Department have to come out
today with such a statement? What does this show? It shows that
the U.S. authorities themselves, some people in the United States,
have become aware of the danger of the anti-Soviet and antiCuban
campaign unleashed by the most reactionary and warlike
circles in the United States.

In other words, the State Department itself understands the
danger of such a policy, the very dangerous dead end into which
such a campaign of slander and hysteria can lead the United
States.

So this shows that there are people in the United States who
have understood the need to get out of this situation. This does
not mean that the danger is over, because we do not know what
is behind the assassination of Kennedy. What is behind the
assassination of Kennedy is not known at the moment.

The statement does not eliminate the danger of some frame-up
that could be concocted there, but indicates that there are
already people in the United States who have understood the
danger and risk in such a campaign and indicates that, possibly,
there are people in the United States who do not agree with such
an adventure, with such madness, with such nonsense that is
being carried out in such a criminal and irresponsible way.

All right. The State Department has felt the need to
counteract this policy, because who knows where this policy, this
campaign, may lead.

Later other things have appeared, because all this is very
mysterious. Another cable, this time by Associated Press, says:
“A 1961 letter …” Of course the United Press International has
said nothing on this because its campaign has been one-sided, in one
direction only, but not just the UPI. We were listening yesterday to
broadcasts of U.S. stations and the very same campaign was being
carried on the radio. The name of Castro was mentioned almost
more often than the name of the man whom they charge with the
murder, incessantly repeated over the radio in the United States.

See how these people act and how much they hate the
Revolution. Why should we not suspect that these people could
be capable of anything, from the murder of Kennedy up to what
they are doing now? People moved by such hatred, people who
act with such absolute lack of scruples …

The AP cable reads: “A letter dated 1961 found in Pentagon
files raises doubts whether Texas governor, John Connally, and
not President Kennedy, was the main target of the assassin who
shot both yesterday in Dallas.

“The letter, dated January 31st, 1961, was written by hand in
Minsk, Soviet Union, by Lee Harvey Oswald, a former Marine,
charged with murdering Kennedy and wounding Connally.

“Oswald returned a year ago after spending three years in the
Soviet Union.

“The letter was addressed to Connally, then Secretary of the
Navy, asking that the dishonorable discharge of Oswald be
canceled. The request was denied, and if it is shown that he is the
man who fired at Kennedy and Connally, the question might be
raised of whom he had more motive to want to kill.

“A copy of Oswald’s letter was sent to Connally, who had
left his post as Secretary of the Navy on December 20th 1961.
Connally briefly replied to Oswald on February 23, 1962, that he
was no longer in the Navy and that he had referred his letter to
the new Secretary of the Navy.

“A copy of Connally’s letter was sent to the new official,
Fred Korth, who referred it to the Marine Corps. The Marine
Corps referred it to a court of appeals which confirmed Oswald’s
dishonorable discharge. Oswald’s letter maintained that his
discharge was a gross error or an injustice.”

There are some other cables here in which they speak about
a threat, cables that say that in the letter Oswald threatened the
then-Secretary of the Navy, that he would take any means to
avenge himself for that injustice. And that very same Secretary of
the Navy was accompanying Kennedy.

So they themselves have now brought up another possible
version.

We have here a report which reads: “District Attorney Henry
Wade declared today that he expects to be able to secure a death
sentence for Lee Harvey Oswald, former Marine, who has been
formally accused of the murder of President John F. Kennedy,
according to reports issued by U.S. new agencies.

The report adds that Wade has been District Attorney in
twenty-four murder cases and secured twenty-three death
penalties. It seems that this District Attorney is a hangman – a
life sentence in the other case.

“Wade added that he is in possession of material evidence
against Oswald, but refused to say what this evidence was. He
said that it has not yet been established whether the Mauser that
was found is the murder weapon.

“In all the questioning Oswald has denied that he took any
part in the murder.

“Captain Will Fritz, Chief of the Homicide Squad of the
Dallas Police, said that in his opinion, Oswald killed President
Kennedy and that for him the case is closed.”

Later we have to try to look at some of the facts on who this
accused man can be, but we want to speak of the campaign
carried on by United Press International.

It just so happens that these events occurred precisely at a
moment when Kennedy was being severely attacked by those
who considered his Cuban policy too weak.

It could not be us, but only the enemies of the Revolution
and the enemies, in general, of a more moderate policy, a less
warlike policy, the enemies of a policy like this who might be
interested in the death of President Kennedy, the only ones who
perhaps could have received the news of the death of Kennedy
with satisfaction.

A few days ago an incident drew my attention. This was
while the Inter-American Press Association Conference was
taking place. It was a scandal, because several governments were
strongly attacked, crudely attacked like the government of Brazil,
by a certain Mexquita, who said horrible things about the
President of Brazil, who even talked about and called for a coup
in Brazil; where statements were also made against other
presidents, against other Latin American countries, there in the
United States, and they made long tirades publishing a whole
series of opinions against the speech delivered by Kennedy in
Florida, because the speech delivered by Kennedy in Florida was
disappointing for a number of persons who favor a more
aggressive policy against Cuba. It was a disappointment for the
counter-revolutionary elements and it was a disappointment for
the warmongering elements in the United States.

And so, a series of cables. Here “Miami, Florida – The
Cuban exiles waited tonight in vain for a firm promise from
President Kennedy to take energetic measures against the
communist regime of Fidel Castro.”

It says: “They waited tonight in vain for a firm promise” .. .
Many met in the offices of the revolutionary organizations and
in their homes, to listen to President Kennedy over the radio.
The Spanish translation broadcast over the radio station of the
exiles. They listened when the President said: “We in the
hemisphere should use all the means at our disposal to prevent
the establishment of another Cuba in the hemisphere.” That is,
they did not accept the fact he said “to prevent the establishment
of another Cuba in the hemisphere,” because they thought that
it carried with it the idea of accepting one Cuba. Many exiles had
hopes of more vigorous statements to liberate Cuba from
communism, but nevertheless, some felt that the U.S.
government was waging a secret war of infiltration against Castro
that could not be disclosed. It says that thousands of exiles
attended an open air rally in view of Kennedy’s arrival, and they
heard criticism because of what they described as a weak U.S.
policy toward Cuba.

Jose Ignacio Rivero,Editor-in-exile of the Diario de La Marina,
the oldest Havana newspaper (he will stay there all his life), and
Emilio Nunez Portuondo, former President of the United
Nations Security council, called for more positive action by the
United States.

Rivero, a member of the Inter-American Press Association,
where Kennedy spoke, expressed his doubts over a sinister
intrigue among international politicians. That is an “intrigue “
because they want to co-exist with us.

It says: He also said in the meeting that “the weak U.S.
policy towards Cuba and other American nations is an
international shame.” This was said by Ignacio Rivero, this one
from Diario de La Marina, who you know is an ultra-ultra and
who has to be linked to the ultra-ultra elements in the United
States.

So these elements openly state there that “the weak U.S.
policy toward Cuban and other American Nations is an
international shame…

“Miami Beach: Latin American newspaper publishers and
editors in response to the speech delivered by President Kennedy
tonight … said that he had not taken a strong enough position
against the communist regime of Fidel Castro.” That is, that
there, where the most reactionary representatives of the press
within and without the United States met, according to UPI and
AP cables, many of them said that he had not taken a strong
enough position against the communist regime of Fidel Castro …

Augustin Navarre of El Espejo of Mexico, felt that the speech
was extremely weak and that his observations on Cuba were not
sufficient …. He added that “it was necessary to rescue Cuba
under Fidel Castro from Communism and not to maintain the
status quo.” They are speaking against any coexistence. Other
Cuban newspaper owners in exile made similar statements.
A series of cables began to arrive. Here: “The president of the
Cuban Medical Association in exile, Enrique Huerta, stated that
the speech did not clarify any of the fundamental questions
related to the Cuba problem … He wanted a unanimous attack,
a unanimous attack of Kennedy.

The newspaper added that the weak policy followed by the
Kennedy Government in respect to Castro, as a result of the
policy followed by his predecessor Eisenhower, made it possible
for Castro and Khrushchev to cement Cuba into a police state,
where the people have practically no hope of successfully
rebelling without large-scale outside help.

The newspaper continued: “Kennedy now refuses to allow
Cuban exiles to launch attacks against Cuba from U.S.t erritory.”

What is the difference between that way of thinking and
taking advantage of the assassination of their President to carry
out that policy? See what some of those reactionary circles
thought about Kennedy. It says: “Kennedy now refuses to allow
Cuban exiles to launch attacks against Cuba from U.S. territory,
and in fact uses U.S. air and naval power to maintain Castro in
power.” That is to say,t hey accuse Kennedy of using naval and
air power to maintain Castro in power.

“There is a considerable difference,” says the newspaper,
“between this attitude and the daring words about Cuba said by
Kennedy during the 1960 Presidential campaign. We doubt that
many voters have been disoriented by the President’s remarks in
relation to Cuba the day before yesterday.” It says “And many
voters will not have been disoriented.”

So there was observed a current of unanimous criticism
against what the ultra-reactionary sectors considered a weak
policy toward Cuba. And that is how these people think.

And there are cables and more cables and more cables,
because they never wrote so many cables. It is obvious, how the
news agencies made a tremendous propaganda of all the criticisms
made of Kennedy because of his Cuban policy. The UPI
overflowed with information as it had never done before, picking
up all the criticisms of Kennedy because of his Cuban policy ….

Julio Mexquita Ciro, an utterly shameless reactionary who
went there to speak against the President of Brazil to carry on a
campaign against Brazil and to promote a reactionary, fascist
coup against Brazil – see what he says: “Julio Mexquita Ciro,
… who yesterday moved the editors of the IAPA meeting with
his analysis of the economic and political situation in his country,
said it was an error on the part of the United states not to have
realized the danger that the presence of Cuba meant for the
whole continent. Mexquita was in favor of collective action,
armed collective action by the hemisphere against Cuba, because
‘I am a defender of free determination of nations,’ he said.”

Mexquita, Mosquito, Mezquino, all means the same thing; just
see how reactionary he is. The cable adds; “. . . the Brazilian
editor described as primitive President Kennedy’s way of looking
at the agrarian problem of the hemisphere, and he said that the
agrarian problem cannot be measured with the same yardstick for
all the nations of the hemisphere.” Why did he say this? Because
he represents the oligarchy, the big landholders in Brazil, and as
I was talking precisely about different shades of policy. Kennedy’s
policy prompted a type of agrarian reform which is not
revolutionary, of course, which is not revolutionary but which
clashed with the interest of the oligarchs. And it is very strange
that in these days, on the eve of the assassination of Kennedy, a
coincidence as never before had been noted. In the opinion of the
ultra-reactionary sectors within and without the United
States ….

And this individual talks here about Kennedy’s primitive way
of looking at the agrarian problem. And then finally there is
something very interesting – really very interesting …

It says the third editor to express his opinion, Carbo, who is
director of the Executive Council of the Inter-American Press
Association – which is a very important job in the intellectual
sectors of reaction and the oligarchy – emphasized that there
were not strong statements in favor of the liberation of Cuba like
the statements that had been made in previous speeches by
President Kennedy, especially in the one he made after the heroic
battle of Playa Giron -that “heroic battle” where every one of
them ended defeated and imprisoned- forecasting the crisis of
the communist regime of Cuba. He claims in “Cuba the situation
of the government verges on the insoluble, economically,
politically and internationally since Castro is no longer reliable,
not even to Russia.’ ‘

But most important of all is how the statement made by this
gentleman who holds an important post in reactionary intellectual
circles in the United States and abroad as Director of the
Executive Council of the Inter-American Press Association, how
his statement ends -and this is what drew my attention. The
editor of the confiscated Havana newspaper ended by saying: “I
believe a coming serious event will oblige Washington to change
its policy of peaceful co-existence.” What does this mean? What
did this gentleman mean when he said this three days before the
assassination of Kennedy? What did this gentleman who holds an
utmost post in the ultra-reactionary intellectual circles in and
outside of the United States, the Director of the Executive
Council of the Inter-American Press Association, mean in a cable
that is not from Prensa Latina, but from Associated Press, dated
November 19th -AP Num, 254, AP November 19th, Miami
Beach – when he said: “I believe that a coming serious event will
oblige Washington to change its policy of peaceful co-existence?”

What does this mean, three days before the murder of
President Kennedy? Because when I read this cable it caught my
attention, it intrigued me, it seemed strange to me. Was there
perhaps some sort of understanding? Was there perhaps some sort
of thought about this? Was there perhaps some kind of plot? Was
there perhaps in those reactionary circles where the so-called
weak policy of Kennedy toward Cuba was under attack, where
the policy of ending nuclear threat was under attack, where the
policy of civil rights was under attack …. Was there perhaps in
certain civilian and military ultra-reactionary circles in the United
States, a plot against President Kennedy ‘s life?

How strange it is really that the assassination of President
Kennedy should take place at a time when there was unanimous
agreement of opinion against certain aspects of his policy, a
furious criticism of his policy. How strange all this is.

And this man who appears as the guilty person, who was he?
Who is he? Is he really guilty? Or is he only an instrument? Is he
a psychopath, sick? He could be one or the other. Or is he by
any means an instrument of the most reactionary circles in the
United States. Who is this man?

Here we have a report of the New York Times on Oswald
that says, “Last July he tried to enter the Cuban Student
Directory, to take part in the plans to overthrow the
revolutionary regime of Fidel Castro.” It was no longer a Castroplot.
According to the New York Times he was trying to enter a
counterrevolutionary organization to overthrow the Cuban
Revolution. The paper names Cuban refugee sources as the basis
for this information.

Oswald was able to return to the United States thanks to a
loan of 435 dollars and 71 cents granted to him by the U.S.
Government. He succeeded in getting money after an appeal to
Senator John G. Tower, Republican, Texas, and he returns from
the Soviet Union on U.S. Government money through the
intervention of a Republican Senator from Texas.

Oswald has at present a U.S. passport which he obtained as
a photographer who wanted to travel abroad during the months
of October, November, and December of this year and visit the
Soviet Union, Great Britain, the Netherlands, France, and Italy.
How strange it is. Since he was arrested yesterday in Dallas, as a
suspect, the U.S. radio and television have been stressing that
Oswald is the chairman of the Dallas chapter of the Fair Play for
Cuba Committee.

“Questioned in New York on this point the Executive
Secretary of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee denied that
Oswald held such a post, and added that there is no chapter of
this organization in Texas.”

The New York Times, in explaining the contact established
between Oswald and the Cuban counter-revolutionaries, says that
Jose Antonio Denuza, spokesman of the so-called Cuban Student
Directory, had declared in Miami that Oswald met with the
delegates of that anti-Castro group in New Orleans last July.

Denuza – The New York Times added – said that Oswald
said he wanted to aid the Cubans in the fight against
communism, and offered 10 dollars contribution and his help in
military training of an invasion.

Carlos Bringuier, delegate of the counterrevolutionary
organization referred to, said to the New York Times that “at first
I suspected Oswald. I frankly thought that he might be an FBI or
CIA agent trying to find out what we were doing.” So Cuban
counter-revolutionaries are saying that when Oswald tried to
enter their organization he was not accepted because they
believed he was from the CIA or FBI, and that he was trying to
find out what they were up to.

How curious! And this is not what they publish but they say
that he is a Castroite, a communist, an admirer of Fidel Castro.
And now it appears that he tried to enter the organization and
was not admitted because they thought he belonged to the FBI
or CIA. They must know pretty well the kind of agents the FBI
and CIA have since they deal with them a l

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The Politics of Bad Cinema

As an inveterate film fan, I turn to the listings every week and try not to lose hope. I search the guff that often passes for previews, and I queue for a ticket with that flicker of excitement reminiscent of matinees in art deco splendour. Once inside, lights down, beer in hand, hope recedes as the minutes pass. How many times have I done a runner? There is a cinema I go to that refunds your money if you’re out the door within 20 minutes of the opening titles. The people there have knowing looks. My personal best is less than five minutes of the awful Moulin Rouge.

The other day, I saw Blue Jasmine, written and directed by Woody Allen. The critics’ applause was thunderous. “A work of brilliance” … “Pure movie-going pleasure” … Smart, sophisticated and hugely enjoyable” … Brilliantly funny”.  One journalist called it a “miracle”. So I queued for a ticket, even conjuring the wonderful scene from Annie Hall (1975) when Woody Allen, standing in a movie queue, meets his hero, Marshall Mcluhan: he of “the medium is the message”.

Today, he might as well call up Hans Christian Anderson’s parable about a naked emperor, which applies to his latest “work of brilliance”. By any fair and reasonable measure, it is crap. Every character is cardboard. The schematic “plot” is crude. Two adopted sisters are thrown together, implausibly. There is a wannabee politican whose name should be Congressman Stereotype. The script is lazy, dated and patronising. Clearly, Allen wrote it during a night sweat. “If Cate Blanchett doesn’t receive an Oscar nomination,” wrote The Times critic, “then I will eat a Chanel hat.” Actually, Blanchett deserves a Lifeboat medal. By sheer dint of her acting, she tries and fails to rescue this wreck.

PR has subverted much of our lives, making unconscious acolytes of those who once might have operated outside the pack. The drumbeat of crap movies with big promotional budgets, mostly from the US, is incessant. The US market share of cinema box-office takings in Britain is more than 70 per cent; the small UK share is mainly for US co-productions. Films from Europe and the rest of the world account for a tiny fraction.  Ironically, in the US, quality film-making has absconded to television.

The hype of public relations – Edward Bernays’ euphemism for propaganda – is now regarded as truth. The medium has become the message. Prime Minister David Cameron, himself a former PR huckster for a media asset-stripper, saw the hyped The Fifth Estate, and declared: “Benedict Cumberbatch – brilliant, fantastic piece of acting. The twitchiness and everything of Julian Assange is brilliantly portrayed.” Neither he nor Cumberbatch, nor the makers of this fiction have ever met Assange. Based on a dodgy, axe-grinding book, the DreamWorks juggernaut is a perfidious, unethical exploitation of a man fighting for his freedom, if not his life.

Not surprisingly, Cameron’s government is slashing at the budget of the British Film Institute, keeper of the world’s greatest film archive and one of this country’s most liberating institutions. Like the National Health Service, it would not be established today. If you yearn to avoid Hollywood’s “babbling brook of bullshit” (to borrow from Richard Lewis in Curb Your Enthusiasm), join the BFI. As a longtime member and supporter, I am often found in one of its acoustically-excellent cinemas, seeing films, past and present, classics and unknowns,  that are reminders of how pleasurable an hour or two in front of celluloid can be. For more than 30 years, my own films have had their premieres here.

The antithesis of Blue Jasmine and The Fifth Estate has just ended a run at the BFI. This is Nothing but a Man, one of only two fiction features directed by Michael Roemer, a German Jewish refugee who grew up in England before emigrating to the US. Made in 1964 and set in the Deep South with an almost entirely African-American cast, it is the story of Duffy (Ivan Dixon), a tormented young black man whose life is consumed and distorted by his refusal to accept his “boy” status.  Aware that only collective action can beat racism, he is constantly looking for solidarity and failing to find it.

Is Duffy’s anger the product of an obstinate nature or a principled struggle against The Man? In keeping us guessing, Roemer (he wrote the script with Robert M. Young) ensures the anger is real, almost a presence in the cinema. Yet it is masked behind smiles; almost everyone in this remarkable film smiles as a way of trapping if not containing their despair. The jazz singer Abbey Lincoln, who plays Duffy’s wife Josie, is brilliant at this emotional and political sleight of hand. There is hope, too, but not a driblet of sentimentality.

None of the main cinema chains in the US wanted to show Nothing but a Man. No major distributor picked it up. Like Peter Watkins’ The War Game, which the BBC banned for 20 years, Roemer’s film did the rounds of church halls, youth centres and later video recorders. The point about the film is that it is as timeless as its director is ageless. At 85, Michael Roemer still teaches at the Yale School of Art and worries that he could not make “commercial” films that people wanted to see.

He need not worry. A film is judged by how or whether we remember it. Unlike the babbling brook of Hollywood – with its suppression of truth, fake heroes and warmongering – a masterpiece, or just a good movie, is unforgettable.  Join the BFI.

John Pilger’s new film, Utopia, is released in cinemas in the UK on 15 November and in Australia in January  www.johnpilger.com

The Politics of Bad Cinema

As an inveterate film fan, I turn to the listings every week and try not to lose hope. I search the guff that often passes for previews, and I queue for a ticket with that flicker of excitement reminiscent of matinees in art deco splendour. Once inside, lights down, beer in hand, hope recedes as the minutes pass. How many times have I done a runner? There is a cinema I go to that refunds your money if you’re out the door within 20 minutes of the opening titles. The people there have knowing looks. My personal best is less than five minutes of the awful Moulin Rouge.

The other day, I saw Blue Jasmine, written and directed by Woody Allen. The critics’ applause was thunderous. “A work of brilliance” … “Pure movie-going pleasure” … Smart, sophisticated and hugely enjoyable” … Brilliantly funny”.  One journalist called it a “miracle”. So I queued for a ticket, even conjuring the wonderful scene from Annie Hall (1975) when Woody Allen, standing in a movie queue, meets his hero, Marshall Mcluhan: he of “the medium is the message”.

Today, he might as well call up Hans Christian Anderson’s parable about a naked emperor, which applies to his latest “work of brilliance”. By any fair and reasonable measure, it is crap. Every character is cardboard. The schematic “plot” is crude. Two adopted sisters are thrown together, implausibly. There is a wannabee politican whose name should be Congressman Stereotype. The script is lazy, dated and patronising. Clearly, Allen wrote it during a night sweat. “If Cate Blanchett doesn’t receive an Oscar nomination,” wrote The Times critic, “then I will eat a Chanel hat.” Actually, Blanchett deserves a Lifeboat medal. By sheer dint of her acting, she tries and fails to rescue this wreck.

PR has subverted much of our lives, making unconscious acolytes of those who once might have operated outside the pack. The drumbeat of crap movies with big promotional budgets, mostly from the US, is incessant. The US market share of cinema box-office takings in Britain is more than 70 per cent; the small UK share is mainly for US co-productions. Films from Europe and the rest of the world account for a tiny fraction.  Ironically, in the US, quality film-making has absconded to television.

The hype of public relations – Edward Bernays’ euphemism for propaganda – is now regarded as truth. The medium has become the message. Prime Minister David Cameron, himself a former PR huckster for a media asset-stripper, saw the hyped The Fifth Estate, and declared: “Benedict Cumberbatch – brilliant, fantastic piece of acting. The twitchiness and everything of Julian Assange is brilliantly portrayed.” Neither he nor Cumberbatch, nor the makers of this fiction have ever met Assange. Based on a dodgy, axe-grinding book, the DreamWorks juggernaut is a perfidious, unethical exploitation of a man fighting for his freedom, if not his life.

Not surprisingly, Cameron’s government is slashing at the budget of the British Film Institute, keeper of the world’s greatest film archive and one of this country’s most liberating institutions. Like the National Health Service, it would not be established today. If you yearn to avoid Hollywood’s “babbling brook of bullshit” (to borrow from Richard Lewis in Curb Your Enthusiasm), join the BFI. As a longtime member and supporter, I am often found in one of its acoustically-excellent cinemas, seeing films, past and present, classics and unknowns,  that are reminders of how pleasurable an hour or two in front of celluloid can be. For more than 30 years, my own films have had their premieres here.

The antithesis of Blue Jasmine and The Fifth Estate has just ended a run at the BFI. This is Nothing but a Man, one of only two fiction features directed by Michael Roemer, a German Jewish refugee who grew up in England before emigrating to the US. Made in 1964 and set in the Deep South with an almost entirely African-American cast, it is the story of Duffy (Ivan Dixon), a tormented young black man whose life is consumed and distorted by his refusal to accept his “boy” status.  Aware that only collective action can beat racism, he is constantly looking for solidarity and failing to find it.

Is Duffy’s anger the product of an obstinate nature or a principled struggle against The Man? In keeping us guessing, Roemer (he wrote the script with Robert M. Young) ensures the anger is real, almost a presence in the cinema. Yet it is masked behind smiles; almost everyone in this remarkable film smiles as a way of trapping if not containing their despair. The jazz singer Abbey Lincoln, who plays Duffy’s wife Josie, is brilliant at this emotional and political sleight of hand. There is hope, too, but not a driblet of sentimentality.

None of the main cinema chains in the US wanted to show Nothing but a Man. No major distributor picked it up. Like Peter Watkins’ The War Game, which the BBC banned for 20 years, Roemer’s film did the rounds of church halls, youth centres and later video recorders. The point about the film is that it is as timeless as its director is ageless. At 85, Michael Roemer still teaches at the Yale School of Art and worries that he could not make “commercial” films that people wanted to see.

He need not worry. A film is judged by how or whether we remember it. Unlike the babbling brook of Hollywood – with its suppression of truth, fake heroes and warmongering – a masterpiece, or just a good movie, is unforgettable.  Join the BFI.

John Pilger’s new film, Utopia, is released in cinemas in the UK on 15 November and in Australia in January  www.johnpilger.com

Fake Heroes and Warmongering Why Bad Movies Keep Coming Out And What To...

As an inveterate film fan, I turn to the listings every week and try not to lose hope. I search the guff that often...

Why Bad Movies Keep Coming Out And What To Do About It

As an inveterate film fan, I turn to the listings every week and try not to lose hope. I search the guff that often passes for previews, and I queue for a ticket with that flicker of excitement reminiscent of matinees in art deco splendour. Once inside, lights down, beer in hand, hope recedes as the minutes pass. How many times have I done a runner? There is a cinema I go to that refunds your money if you’re out the door within 20 minutes of the opening titles. The people there have knowing looks. My personal best is less than five minutes of the awful Moulin Rouge.

The other day, I saw ‘Blue Jasmine’, written and directed by Woody Allen. The critics’ applause was thunderous. “A work of brilliance” … “Pure movie-going pleasure” … Smart, sophisticated and hugely enjoyable” … Brilliantly funny”.  One journalist called it a “miracle”. So I queued for a ticket, even conjuring the wonderful scene from ‘Annie Hall’ (1975) when Woody Allen, standing in a movie queue, meets his hero, Marshall Mcluhan: he of “the medium is the message”.

 Today, he might as well call up Hans Christian Anderson’s parable about a naked emperor, which applies to his latest “work of brilliance”. By any fair and reasonable measure, it is crap. Every character is cardboard. The schematic “plot” is crude. Two adopted sisters are thrown together, implausibly. There is a wannabee politican whose name should be Congressman Stereotype. The script is lazy, dated and patronising. Clearly, Allen wrote it during a night sweat. “If Cate Blanchett doesn’t receive an Oscar nomination,” wrote The Times critic, “then I will eat a Chanel hat.” Actually, Blanchett deserves a Lifeboat medal. By sheer dint of her acting, she tries and ails to rescue this wreck.

PR has subverted much of our lives, making unconscious acolytes of those who once might have operated outside the pack. The drumbeat of crap movies with big promotional budgets, mostly from the US, is incessant. The US market share of cinema box-office takings in Britain is more than 70 per cent; the small UK share is mainly for US co-productions. Films from Europe and the rest of the world account for a tiny fraction. Ironically, in the US, quality film-making has absconded to television.

 The hype of public relations – Edward Bernays’ euphemism for propaganda – is now regarded as truth. The medium has become the message. Prime Minister David Cameron, himself a former PR huckster for a media asset-stripper, saw the hyped ‘The Fifth Estate’, and declared: “Benedict Cumberbatch – brilliant, fantastic piece of acting. The twitchiness and everything of Julian Assange is brilliantly portrayed.” Neither he nor Cumberbatch, nor the makers of this fiction have ever met Assange. Based on a dodgy, axe-grinding book, the DreamWorks juggernaut is a perfidious, unethical exploitation of a man fighting for his freedom, if not his life.

 Not surprisingly, Cameron’s government is slashing at the budget of the British Film Institute, keeper of the world’s greatest film archive and one of this country’s most liberating institutions. Like the National Health Service, it would not be established today. If you yearn to avoid Hollywood’s “babbling brook of bullshit” (to borrow from Richard Lewis in ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’), join the BFI. As a longtime member and supporter, I am often found in one of its acoustically-excellent cinemas, seeing films, past and present, classics and unknowns,  that are reminders of how pleasurable an hour or two in front of celluloid can be. For more than 30 years, my own films have had their premieres here.

The antithesis of ‘Blue Jasmine’ and ‘The Fifth Estate’ has just ended a run at the BFI. This is Nothing but a Man, one of only two fiction features directed by Michael Roemer, a German Jewish refugee who grew up in England before emigrating to the US. Made in 1964 and set in the Deep South with an almost entirely African-American cast, it is the story of Duffy (Ivan Dixon), a tormented young black man whose life is consumed and distorted by his refusal to accept his “boy” status.  Aware that only collective action can beat racism, he is constantly looking for solidarity and failing to find it.

 Is Duffy’s anger the product of an obstinate nature or a principled struggle against The Man? In keeping us guessing, Roemer (he wrote the script with Robert M. Young) ensures the anger is real, almost a presence in the cinema. Yet it is masked behind smiles; almost everyone in this remarkable film smiles as a way of trapping if not containing their despair. The jazz singer Abbey Lincoln, who plays Duffy’s wife Josie, is brilliant at this emotional and political sleight of hand. There is hope, too, but not a driblet of sentimentality.

None of the main cinema chains in the US wanted to show Nothing but a Man. No major distributor picked it up. Like Peter Watkins’ ‘The War Game’, which the BBC banned for 20 years, Roemer’s film did the rounds of church halls, youth centres and later video recorders. The point about the film is that it is as timeless as its director is ageless. At 85, Michael Roemer still teaches at the Yale School of Art and worries that he could not make “commercial” films that people wanted to see.

 He need not worry. A film is judged by how or whether we remember it. Unlike the babbling brook of Hollywood – with its suppression of truth, fake heroes and warmongering – a masterpiece, or just a good movie, is unforgettable.  Join the BFI.

This article first appeared in the New Statesman, UK
Follow John Pilger on twitter @johnpilger

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“Smart Cards” in a Surveillance Society: The Implanted Radio-Frequency Identification Chip

The Implanted Radio-Frequency Identification Chip: "Smart Cards" in a Surveillance Society

If incorporating personal details into an RFID (radio-frequency identification) chip implanted into a passport or driver’s license may sound like a “smart” alternative to endless lines at the airport and intrusive questioning by securocrats, think again.

Since the late 1990s, corporate grifters have touted the “benefits” of the devilish transmitters as a “convenient” and “cheap” way to tag individual commodities, one that would “revolutionize” inventory management and theft prevention. Indeed, everything from paper towels to shoes, pets to underwear have been “tagged” with the chips. “Savings” would be “passed on” to the consumer. Call it the Wal-Martization of everyday life.

RFID tags are small computer chips connected to miniature antennae that can be fixed to or implanted within physical objects, including human beings. The RFID chip itself contains an Electronic Product Code that can be “read” when a RFID reader emits a radio signal. The chips are divided into two categories, passive or active. A “passive” tag doesn’t contain a battery and its “read” range is variable, from less than an inch to twenty or thirty feet. An “active” tag on the other hand, is self-powered and has a much longer range. The data from an “active” tag can be sent directly to a computer system involved in inventory control–or surveillance.

But as Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion and Numbering (CASPIAN), the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) state in a joint position paper, “RFID has the potential to jeopardize consumer privacy, reduce or eliminate purchasing anonymity, and threaten civil liberties.” As these organizations noted:

While there are beneficial uses of RFID, some attributes of the technology could be deployed in ways that threaten privacy and civil liberties:

* Hidden placement of tags. RFID tags can be embedded into/onto objects and documents without the knowledge of the individual who obtains those items. As radio waves travel easily and silently through fabric, plastic, and other materials, it is possible to read RFID tags sewn into clothing or affixed to objects contained in purses, shopping bags, suitcases, and more.

* Unique identifiers for all objects worldwide. The Electronic Product Code potentially enables every object on earth to have its own unique ID. The use of unique ID numbers could lead to the creation of a global item registration system in which every physical object is identified and linked to its purchaser or owner at the point of sale or transfer.

* Massive data aggregation. RFID deployment requires the creation of massive databases containing unique tag data. These records could be linked with personal identifying data, especially as computer memory and processing capacities expand.

* Hidden readers. Tags can be read from a distance, not restricted to line of sight, by readers that can be incorporated invisibly into nearly any environment where human beings or items congregate. RFID readers have already been experimentally embedded into floor tiles, woven into carpeting and floor mats, hidden in doorways, and seamlessly incorporated into retail shelving and counters, making it virtually impossible for a consumer to know when or if he or she was being “scanned.”

* Individual tracking and profiling. If personal identity were linked with unique RFID tag numbers, individuals could be profiled and tracked without their knowledge or consent. For example, a tag embedded in a shoe could serve as a de facto identifier for the person wearing it. Even if item-level information remains generic, identifying items people wear or carry could associate them with, for example, particular events like political rallies. (“Position Statement on the Use of RFID on Consumer Products,” Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, November 14, 2003)

RFID under the skin

As the corporatist police state unfurls its murderous tentacles here in the United States, it should come as no surprise that securocrats breathlessly tout the “benefits” of RFID in the area of “homeland security.” When linked to massive commercial databases as well as those compiled by the 16 separate agencies of the “intelligence community,” such as the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment (TIDE) that feeds the federal government’s surveillance Leviathan with the names of suspected “terrorists,” it doesn’t take a genius to conclude that the architecture for a vast totalitarian enterprise is off the drawing board and onto the streets.

As last week’s mass repression of peaceful protest at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul amply demonstrated, the Bush regime’s “preemptive war” strategy has been rolled out in the heimat. As the World Socialist Web Site reports,

On Wednesday eight members of the anarchist protest group the Republican National Convention Welcoming Committee (RNCWC) were charged under provisions of the Minnesota state version of the Patriot Act with “Conspiracy to Riot in Furtherance of Terrorism.”

The eight charged are all young, and could face up to seven-and-a-half years in prison under a provision that allows the enhancement of charges related to terrorism by 50 percent. …

Among other things, the youth, who were arrested last weekend even prior to the start of the convention, are charged with plotting to kidnap delegates to the RNC, assault police officers and attack airports. Almost all of the charges listed are based upon the testimony of police infiltrators, one an officer, the other a paid informant. (Tom Eley, “RNC in Twin Cities: Eight protesters charged with terrorism under Patriot Act,” World Socialist Web Site, 6 September 2008)

As the ACLU pointed out, “These charges are an effort to equate publicly stated plans to blockade traffic and disrupt the RNC as being the same as acts of terrorism. This both trivializes real violence and attempts to place the stated political views of the defendants on trial,” said Bruce Nestor, president of the Minnesota Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild. “The charges represent an abuse of the criminal justice system and seek to intimidate any person organizing large scale public demonstrations potentially involving civil disobedience,” he said.

An affidavit filed by the cops in order to allow the preemptive police raid and subsequent arrests declared that the RNCWC is a “criminal enterprise” strongly implying that the group of anarchist youth were members of a “terrorist organization.”

Which, as we have learned over these last seven and a half years of darkness, is precisely the point: keep ‘em scared and passive. And when they’re neither scared nor passive, resort to police state tactics of mass repression. While the cops beat and arrested demonstrators and journalists outside the Xcel Energy Center, neanderthal-like Republican mobs chanted “USA! USA!” while the execrable theocratic fascist, Sarah Palin, basked in the limelight. But I digress…

Likened to barcodes that scan items at the grocery store check-out line, what industry flacks such as the Association for Automatic Identification and Mobility (AIM) fail to mention in their propaganda about RFID is that the information stored on a passport or driver’s license is readily stolen by anyone with a reader device–marketers, security agents, criminals or stalkers–without the card holder even being remotely aware that they are being tracked and their allegedly “secure” information plundered. According to a blurb on the AIM website,

Automatic Identification and Mobility (AIM) technologies are a diverse family of technologies that share the common purpose of identifying, tracking, recording, storing and communicating essential business, personal, or product data. In most cases, AIM technologies serve as the front end of enterprise software systems, providing fast and accurate collection and entry of data. (“Technologies,” Association for Automatic Identification and Mobility, no date)

Among the “diverse family of technologies” touted by AIM, many are rife with “dual-use” potential, that is, the same technology that can keep track of a pallet of soft drinks can also keep track of human beings.

Indeed, the Association touts biometric identification as “an automated method of recognizing a person based on a physiological or behavioral characteristic.” This is especially important since “the need” for biometrics “can be found in federal, state and local governments, in the military, and in commercial applications.” When used as a stand-alone or in conjunction with RFID-chipped “smart cards” biometrics, according to the industry “are set to pervade nearly all aspects of the economy and our daily lives.”

Some “revolution.”

The industry received a powerful incentive from the state when the Government Services Administration (GSA), a Bushist satrapy, issued a 2004 memo that urged the heads of all federal agencies “to consider action that can be taken to advance the [RFID] industry.”

An example of capitalist “ingenuity” or another insidious invasion of our right to privacy? In 2006, IBM obtained a patent that will be used for tracking and profiling consumers as they move around a store, even if access to commercial databases are strictly limited.

And when it comes tracking and profiling human beings, say for mass extermination at the behest of crazed Nazi ideologues, IBM stands alone. In his groundbreaking 2001 exploration of the enabling technologies for the mass murder of Jews, communists, Roma and gays and lesbians, investigative journalist Edwin Black described in IBM and the Holocaust how, beginning in 1933, IBM and their subsidiaries created technological “solutions” that streamlined the identification of “undesirables” for quick and efficient asset confiscation, deportation, slave labor and eventual annihilation.

In an eerie echo of polices being enacted today against Muslims and left-wing “extremists” by the corrupt Bush regime in their quixotic quest to “keep America safe” in furtherance of capitalist and imperialist goals of global domination, Black writes:

In the upside-down world of the Holocaust, dignified professionals were Hitler’s advance troops. Police officials disregarded their duty in favor of protecting villains and persecuting victims. Lawyers perverted concepts of justice to create anti-Jewish laws. Doctors defiled the art of medicine to perpetrate ghastly experiments and even choose who was healthy enough to be worked to death–and who could be cost-effectively sent to the gas chamber. Scientists and engineers debased their higher calling to devise the instruments and rationales of destruction. And statisticians used their little known but powerful discipline to identify the victims, project and rationalize the benefits of their destruction, organize their persecution, and even audit the efficiency of genocide. Enter IBM and its overseas subsidiaries. (IBM and the Holocaust: The Strategic Alliance Between Nazi Germany and America’s Most Powerful Corporation, New York: Crown Publishers, 2001, pp. 7-8)

As security and privacy analyst Katherine Albrecht writes describing IBM’s patented “Identification and Tracking of Persons Using RFID-Tagged Items in Store Environments,”

…chillingly details RFID’s potential for surveillance in a world where networked RFID readers called “person tracking units” would be incorporated virtually everywhere people go–in “shopping malls, airports, train stations, bus stations, elevators, trains, airplanes, restrooms, sports arenas, libraries, theaters, [and] museums”–to closely monitor people’s movements. (“How RFID Tags Could Be Used to Track Unsuspecting People,” Scientific American, August 21, 2008)

According to the patent cited by Albrecht, as an individual moves around a store, or a city center, an “RFID tag scanner located [in the desired tracking location]… scans the RFID tags on [a] person…. As that person moves around the store, different RFID tag scanners located throughout the store can pick up radio signals from the RFID tags carried on that person and the movement of that person is tracked based on these detections…. The person tracking unit may keep records of different locations where the person has visited, as well as the visitation times.”

Even if no personal data are stored in the RFID tag, this doesn’t present a problem IBM explains, because “the personal information will be obtained when the person uses his or her credit card, bank card, shopper card or the like.” As Albrecht avers, the link between the unique RFID number and a person’s identity “needs to be made only once for the card to serve as a proxy for the person thereafter.” With the wholesale introduction of RFID chipped passports and driver’s licenses, the capitalist panoptic state is quickly–and quietly–falling into place.

If America’s main trading partner and sometime geopolitical rival in the looting of world resources, China, is any indication of the direction near future surveillance technologies are being driven by the “miracle of the market,” the curtain on privacy and individual rights is rapidly drawing to a close. Albrecht writes,

China’s national ID cards, for instance, are encoded with what most people would consider a shocking amount of personal information, including health and reproductive history, employment status, religion, ethnicity and even the name and phone number of each cardholder’s landlord. More ominous still, the cards are part of a larger project to blanket Chinese cities with state-of-the-art surveillance technologies. Michael Lin, a vice president for China Public Security Technology, a private company providing the RFID cards for the program, unflinchingly described them to the New York Times as “a way for the government to control the population in the future.” And even if other governments do not take advantage of the surveillance potential inherent in the new ID cards, ample evidence suggests that data-hungry corporations will.

I would disagree with Albrecht on one salient point: governments, particularly the crazed, corporate-controlled grifters holding down the fort in Washington, most certainly will take advantage of RFID’s surveillance potential.

In 2005 for example, the Senate Republican High Tech Task force praised RFID applications as “exciting new technologies” with “tremendous promise for our economy.” In this spirit, they vowed to “protect” RFID from regulation and legislation. Needless to say, the track record of timid Democrats is hardly any better when it comes to defending privacy rights or something as “quaint” as the Constitution.

Under conditions of a looming economic meltdown, rising unemployment, staggering debt, the collapse of financial markets and continuing wars and occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan, U.S. imperialism, in order to shore up its crumbling empire, will continue to import totalitarian methods of rule employed in its “global war on terror” onto the home front.

The introduction of RFID-chipped passports and driver’s licenses for the mass surveillance and political repression of the American people arises within this context.

Tom Burghardt is a researcher and activist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition to publishing in Covert Action Quarterly, Love & Rage and Antifa Forum, he is the editor of Police State America: U.S. Military “Civil Disturbance” Planning, distributed by AK Press.

The Real Invasion of Africa is Not News, and a Licence to Lie is...

africom

A full-scale invasion of Africa is under way. The United States is deploying troops in 35 African countries, beginning with Libya, Sudan, Algeria and Niger. Reported by Associated Press on Christmas Day, this was missing from most Anglo-American media.

The invasion has almost nothing to do with “Islamism”, and almost everything to do with the acquisition of resources, notably minerals, and an accelerating rivalry with China. Unlike China, the US and its allies are prepared to use a degree of violence demonstrated in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Palestine. As in the cold war, a division of labour requires that western journalism and popular culture provide the cover of a holy war against a “menacing arc” of Islamic extremism, no different from the bogus “red menace” of a worldwide communist conspiracy.

Reminiscent of the Scramble for Africa in the late 19th century, the US African Command (Africom) has built a network of supplicants among collaborative African regimes eager for American bribes and armaments. Last year, Africom staged Operation African Endeavor, with the armed forces of 34 African nations taking part, commanded by the US military.

Africom’s “soldier to soldier” doctrine embeds US officers at every level of command from general to warrant officer. Only pith helmets are missing.

It is as if Africa’s proud history of liberation, from Patrice Lumumba to Nelson Mandela, is consigned to oblivion by a new master’s black colonial elite whose “historic mission”, warned Frantz Fanon half a century ago, is the promotion of “a capitalism rampant though camouflaged”.

A striking example is the eastern Congo, a treasure trove of strategic minerals, controlled by an atrocious rebel group known as the , which in turn is run by Uganda and Rwanda, the proxies of Washington.

Long planned as a “mission” for NATO, not to mention the ever-zealous French, whose colonial lost causes remain on permanent standby, the war on Africa became urgent in 2011 when the Arab world appeared to be liberating itself from the Mubaraks and other clients of Washington and Europe. The hysteria this caused in imperial capitals cannot be exaggerated. NATO bombers were dispatched not to Tunis or Cairo but Libya, where Muammar Gaddafi ruled over Africa’s largest oil reserves. With the Libyan city of Sirte reduced to rubble, the British SAS directed the “rebel” militias in what has since been exposed as a racist bloodbath.

The indigenous people of the Sahara, the Tuareg, whose Berber fighters Gaddafi had protected, fled home across Algeria to Mali, where the Tuareg have been claiming a separate state since the 1960s. As the ever watchful Patrick Cockburn points out, it is this local dispute, not al-Qaeda, that the West fears most in northwest Africa… “poor though the Tuareg may be, they are often living on top of great reserves of oil, gas, uranium and other valuable minerals”.

Almost certainly the consequence of a French/US attack on Mali on 13 January, a siege at a gas complex in Algeria ended bloodily, inspiring a 9/11 moment in David Cameron. The former Carlton TV PR man raged about a “global threat” requiring “decades” of western violence. He meant implantation of the west’s business plan for Africa, together with the rape of multi-ethnic Syria and the conquest of independent Iran.

Cameron has now ordered British troops to Mali, and sent an RAF drone, while his verbose military chief, General Sir David Richards, has addressed “a very clear message to jihadists worldwide: don’t dangle and tangle with us. We will deal with it robustly” – exactly what jihadists want to hear. The trail of blood of British army terror victims, all Muslims, their “systemic” torture cases currently heading to court, add necessary irony to the general’s words. I once experienced Sir David’s “robust” ways when I asked him if he had read the courageous Afghan feminist Malalai Joya’s description of the barbaric behaviour of westerners and their clients in her country. “You are an apologist for the Taliban” was his reply. (He later apologised).

These bleak comedians are straight out of Evelyn Waugh and allow us to feel the bracing breeze of history and hypocrisy. The “Islamic terrorism” that is their excuse for the enduring theft of Africa’s riches was all but invented by them. There is no longer any excuse to swallow the BBC/CNN line and not know the truth. Read Mark Curtis’s Secret Affairs: Britain’s Collusion with Radical Islam (Serpent’s Tail) or John Cooley’s Unholy Wars: Afghanistan, America and International Terrorism (Pluto Press) or The Grand Chessboard by Zbigniew Brzezinski (HarperCollins) who was midwife to the birth of modern fundamentalist terror. In effect, the mujahedin of al-Qaida and the Taliban were created by the CIA, its Pakistani equivalent, the Inter-Services Intelligence, and Britain’s MI6.

Brzezinski, President Jimmy Carter’s National Security Adviser, describes a secret presidential directive in 1979 that began what became the current “war on terror”. For 17 years, the US deliberately cultivated, bank-rolled, armed and brainwashed jihadi extremists that “steeped a generation in violence”. Code-named Operation Cyclone, this was the “great game” to bring down the Soviet Union but brought down the Twin Towers.

Since then, the news that intelligent, educated people both dispense and ingest has become a kind of Disney journalism, fortified, as ever, by Hollywood’s licence to lie, and lie. There is the coming Dreamworks movie on WikiLeaks, a fabrication inspired by a book of perfidious title-tattle by two enriched Guardian journalists; and there is Zero Dark Thirty, which promotes torture and murder, directed by the Oscar-winning Kathryn Bigelow, the Leni Riefenstahl of our time, promoting her master’s voice as did the Fuhrer’s pet film-maker. Such is the one-way mirror through which we barely glimpse what power does in our name.

For more information on John Pilger, please visit his website at www.johnpilger.com

US school boots student who refused to wear ‘Mark of the Beast’ tracking device

Student body ID cards with RFID-embedded chips (Image from Northside Independent School District)

Student body ID cards with RFID-embedded chips (Image from Northside Independent School District)

A Texas high school banned a second-year student from classes after she refused to wear an ID badge containing an RFID chip. The school district uses the tags in order to game the attendance system for better funding.

Students at some schools in the Northside Independent School District, a public school district serving the San Antonio area, have been required to carry student IDs containing RFID chips since the schoolyear began last fall. John Jay High, where Angela Hernandez was enrolled, is one of the schools included in the initiative.

RFID, which stands for radio frequency identification, involves the use of radio and electromagnetic fields to disseminate information for the purposes of tracking and identification.

RFID is commonly used to keep track of livestock. At schools in the Northside Independent district, the chips monitor students' movements on campus for attendance records, which are tightly linked to the amount of funding public schools receive each year.

After she refused to wear the tracking device, the district told 15-year-old Hernandez in November that she would have to find another school to attend that didn't use the tags unless she chose to comply with John Jay's rules.

Hernandez, a strict Christian, sued the district as a result, claiming that the device is the "Mark of the Beast" mentioned in the Revelation of John, an important part of the Bible held to describe the apocalypse.

“It’s obvious that John Jay High School has no interest in putting their students first, which is a sad reflection on our educational system,” said John Whitehead, president of the group that defended Hernandez in court, as quoted by Wired.

A Texas federal judge and a federal appeals court both ruled that the school's decision had not violated Hernandez's freedom of religion. That ruling was because the school eventually moved to allow Hernandez to go to class without the tracking device, while still insisting that she wear it. In any case, the district told Hernandez and her family that she would no longer be able to attend John Jay after January 22, when the next semester begins.

As is the case with most public schools in the US, each district's funding is determined largely as a result of its daily attendance records. Traditionally, teachers take roll calls at the beginning of classes. If the student happens to be late, the school could lose funding because there is no record of his being there.

With the RFID tracking system, school administrators can count a student as being in attendance as long as he or she is somewhere on the school's campus that day. By this method, the district gets its portion of funding linked to that student.

Aaron Swartz: Reddit Co-Founder Killed Himself Due to Government Censorship and Harassment?

Reddit co-founder and free speech activist Aaron Swartz killed himself due to government censorship and harassment. (He was probably clinically depressed and apparently committed suicide; no one is alleging that he was murdered.)

Judge orders student to wear ‘Mark of the Beast’ ID badge

Student body ID cards with RFID-embedded chips (Image from Northside Independent School District)

Student body ID cards with RFID-embedded chips (Image from Northside Independent School District)

A federal judge has ruled that a 15-year-old Texas girl must wear an identification badge to her high school for monitoring purposes or else face suspension.

US District Judge Orlando Garcia decided with a Tuesday ruling that John Jay High School student Andrea Hernandez has only two choices: be tracked from classroom-to-classroom or go somewhere else.

Hernandez, backed by the support of her parents and civil liberties groups alike, says she shouldn’t have to a wear an ID badge to school, particularly the kind that’s embedded with RFID chips to track the movements of students. San Antonio’s Northside Independent School District made those devices mandatory in the fall in order to more accurately track attendance figures, but Hernandez objects because she says it’s the equivalent to walking the halls with the “Mark of the Beast.”

“‘We must obey the word of God,” her father said in court documents obtained by Wired. “By asking my daughter and our family to participate and fall in line like the rest of them is asking us to disobey our Lord and Savior.”

Attorneys for Hernandez have hoped that the court would grant an injunction against the district to keep the girl badge-free, but this week Judge Garcia said the requirement of wearing a card "has an incidental effect, if any, on (Hernandez's) religious beliefs.”

Herndanez’ refusal to follow the rules, ruled the justice, "is clearly a secular choice, rather than a religious concern."

Under the district’s new “Smart ID” program, roughly 4,200 students between two area schools are required to wear the cards. Hernandez says that, for not using the badge, she has been unable to participate in certain school functions and told she can’t enter certain rooms, such as the cafeteria and library.

"I had a teacher tell me I would not be allowed to vote because I did not have the proper voter ID," Hernandez told WND last year. "I had my old student ID card which they originally told us would be good for the entire four years we were in school. He said I needed the new ID with the chip in order to vote."

Northside has offered Hernandez an ID badge that is not outfitted with a microchip, but her parents and attorneys both say they will not accept that as a compromise.

“For Hernandez, a Christian, the badges pose a significant religious freedom concern in addition to the obvious privacy issues,” explains the Rutherford Institute, a civil liberties and human rights group that has represented the student throughout her legal battle. “Andrea’s religious objection derives from biblical teachings that equate accepting a personalized code — as a sign of submission to government authority and as a means of obtaining certain privileges from a secular ruling authority — with a form of idolatry or submission to a false god.”

The court seemed less certain with that interpretation, however, insisting “The accommodation offered by the district is not only reasonable it removes plaintiff’s religious objection from legal scrutiny all together.”

The Northside School District hailed the judge’s decision by releasing a statement saying the ruling “affirms NISD’s position that we did make reasonable accommodation to the student by offering to remove the RFID chip from the student’s smart ID badge.”

Hernandez now has until January 18 to decide to either wear the badge or else go to a different school. Her legal counsel with the Rutherford Institute says they will file an appeal, though.

“The Supreme Court has made clear that government officials may not scrutinize or question the validity of an individual’s religious beliefs,” Rutherford Institute President John W. Whitehead says in a statement. “By declaring Andrea Hernandez’s objections to be a secular choice and not grounded in her religious beliefs, the district court is placing itself as an arbiter of what is and is not religious. This is simply not permissible under our constitutional scheme, and we plan to appeal this immediately.”

Chris Steinbach, the chief of staff for a Republican state lawmaker who wants to outlaw the technology in Texas schools, tells the AP it’s unusual to see the story attract the attention of such a diverse crowd.

"How often do you see an issue where the ACLU and Christian fundamentalists come together?” he asks the AP.

Judge orders student to wear ‘Mark of the Beast’ ID badge

Student body ID cards with RFID-embedded chips (Image from Northside Independent School District)

Student body ID cards with RFID-embedded chips (Image from Northside Independent School District)

A federal judge has ruled that a 15-year-old Texas girl must wear an identification badge to her high school for monitoring purposes or else face suspension.

US District Judge Orlando Garcia decided with a Tuesday ruling that John Jay High School student Andrea Hernandez has only two choices: be tracked from classroom-to-classroom or go somewhere else.

Hernandez, backed by the support of her parents and civil liberties groups alike, says she shouldn’t have to a wear an ID badge to school, particularly the kind that’s embedded with RFID chips to track the movements of students. San Antonio’s Northside Independent School District made those devices mandatory in the fall in order to more accurately track attendance figures, but Hernandez objects because she says it’s the equivalent to walking the halls with the “Mark of the Beast.”

“‘We must obey the word of God,” her father said in court documents obtained by Wired. “By asking my daughter and our family to participate and fall in line like the rest of them is asking us to disobey our Lord and Savior.”

Attorneys for Hernandez have hoped that the court would grant an injunction against the district to keep the girl badge-free, but this week Judge Garcia said the requirement of wearing a card "has an incidental effect, if any, on (Hernandez's) religious beliefs.”

Herndanez’ refusal to follow the rules, ruled the justice, "is clearly a secular choice, rather than a religious concern."

Under the district’s new “Smart ID” program, roughly 4,200 students between two area schools are required to wear the cards. Hernandez says that, for not using the badge, she has been unable to participate in certain school functions and told she can’t enter certain rooms, such as the cafeteria and library.

"I had a teacher tell me I would not be allowed to vote because I did not have the proper voter ID," Hernandez told WND last year. "I had my old student ID card which they originally told us would be good for the entire four years we were in school. He said I needed the new ID with the chip in order to vote."

Northside has offered Hernandez an ID badge that is not outfitted with a microchip, but her parents and attorneys both say they will not accept that as a compromise.

“For Hernandez, a Christian, the badges pose a significant religious freedom concern in addition to the obvious privacy issues,” explains the Rutherford Institute, a civil liberties and human rights group that has represented the student throughout her legal battle. “Andrea’s religious objection derives from biblical teachings that equate accepting a personalized code — as a sign of submission to government authority and as a means of obtaining certain privileges from a secular ruling authority — with a form of idolatry or submission to a false god.”

The court seemed less certain with that interpretation, however, insisting “The accommodation offered by the district is not only reasonable it removes plaintiff’s religious objection from legal scrutiny all together.”

The Northside School District hailed the judge’s decision by releasing a statement saying the ruling “affirms NISD’s position that we did make reasonable accommodation to the student by offering to remove the RFID chip from the student’s smart ID badge.”

Hernandez now has until January 18 to decide to either wear the badge or else go to a different school. Her legal counsel with the Rutherford Institute says they will file an appeal, though.

“The Supreme Court has made clear that government officials may not scrutinize or question the validity of an individual’s religious beliefs,” Rutherford Institute President John W. Whitehead says in a statement. “By declaring Andrea Hernandez’s objections to be a secular choice and not grounded in her religious beliefs, the district court is placing itself as an arbiter of what is and is not religious. This is simply not permissible under our constitutional scheme, and we plan to appeal this immediately.”

Chris Steinbach, the chief of staff for a Republican state lawmaker who wants to outlaw the technology in Texas schools, tells the AP it’s unusual to see the story attract the attention of such a diverse crowd.

"How often do you see an issue where the ACLU and Christian fundamentalists come together?” he asks the AP.

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