"On January 19th, Barack and I will join thousands of people across the country for an extraordinary day of service," begins the e-mail from Michelle Obama. "Whatever service activity you organize or take part in -- cleaning up a park, giving blood, volunteering at a homeless shelter, or mentoring at-risk youth -- you can help start this important journey." We're likely to hear more calls to service under the Obama administration, a New Democratic plan for reviving America.
The Democrats have become just as adept at using message control as their Republican counterparts. This call to service is a warm-up for the call for "universal citizen service," an idea laid out in The Plan, Rahm Emanuel and Bruce Reed's blueprint for changing America. "Young people will know that between the ages of eighteen and twenty-five, the nation will enlist them for three months of civilian service. They'll be asked to report for basic civil defense training in their state or community, where they will learn what to do in the event of biochemical, nuclear, or conventional attack." Not quite a draft, but the authors admit it will expose more young Americans to the prospect of military service, hopefully boosting enlistment.
More importantly, universal citizen service instills the fear of terrorist attacks into the minds of every young American, particularly those at an age where radicalism and the potential for change burn most strongly in our culture; absent a critical voice, the centrist political parties face little real opposition. The threat of terrorist attacks has been used by both parties to justify illegal spying, the attacks in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as other Middle Eastern countries, and the military build-up since the beginning of the Cold War. "The U.S. military is an extraordinary example of differences giving way to national purpose," claim the authors, barely masking the neoconservative foreign affairs agenda underlying the New Democratic agenda.
The call to service on Martin Luther King Jr. Day is stark evidence of the New Democrat's cunning manipulation of the American narrative. Towards the end of his all-too-short life, King focused on the economic conditions of the poor and on American foreign affairs. Reflecting on the toll of Vietnam, King was "increasingly compelled to see the war as an enemy of the poor and to attack it as such." Our current wars abroad and economic system attack the same segment of society - those below the Democratically-acceptable middle-class, largely non-white, and particularly those in poverty (including 20% of our nation's children). "A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death," King keenly articulated in his "Beyond Vietnam" speech in 1967. Our military budget will breach $1 trillion this year, the largest defense budget on record. Obama has given little indication of reducing the military budget, closing our 700 bases in over 100 countries, or quickly withdrawing American troops occupying foreign countries - all actions that would reduce the motivation of terrorist while freeing up funding for badly-needed social services. In 2009, the federal government will provide more money for nuclear weapons than our primary education system.
We're asked to give our time in honor of an American Civil Rights leader while the incoming administration hands out billions to the corporate elite guiding our broken economic system. We're asked to give blood while allowing for-profit entities to run our healthcare system. We're asked to volunteer at a homeless shelter while Obama breaks his campaign pledge to repeal Bush's obscene tax cuts for the wealthy. We're asked to mentor at-risk youth while seeing no indication of the economic changes needed to address poverty.
The call to service provides a day for the liberal bourgeoisie to feint compassion while reinforcing their dominance. Our nation's foreign affairs follow the same logic, offering help only when it serves our own interest. In typical American fashion, the day of service offers the most meagre assistance while giving the dominant classes the feeling of "giving back." It is far more powerful to make changes that would allow others to stand on their own feet instead of offering a temporary hand.
Also, In December 1999 a jury returned a verdict that the U.S. government was responsible for a conspiracy to murder Martin Luther King Jr.
Transcripts here at the family's King Center website-
How the US gov't assassinated Martin Luther King Jr.
After hearing and reviewing the extensive testimony and evidence, which had never before been tested under oath in a court of law, it took the Memphis jury only 1½ hours to find that a conspiracy to kill Dr. King did exist. Most significantly, this conspiracy involved agents of the governments of the City of Memphis, the state of Tennessee and the United States of America. The overwhelming weight of the evidence also indicated that James Earl Ray was not the triggerman and, in fact, was an unknowing patsy.
A participant in the plot, Lloyd Jowers, and many fearful witnesses had finally come forward for a civil trial to piece together the evidence.
FBI, CIA, Pentagon, mob, and Memphis Police Department people all participated in a plot to murder Martin Luther King Jr. and frame up a patsy named James Earl Ray on April 4, 1968, exactly one year after MLK gave a speech condemning the Vietnam War and beginning the process of allying the black Civil Rights movement with the white anti-war movement.
Someone going by the name of "Raul" had for a year been giving the patsy, an escaped convict and petty criminal named James Earl Ray, smuggling jobs over the Mexican and Canadian borders and sent him to be across the street from MLK's hotel with a rifle while others in the conspiracy:
switched MLK to a vulnerable hotel room stripped him of his usual security detail moved black firemen and black police away from him shot him from bushes across the street cut down those bushes early the next morning murdered an eyewitness taxi driver and, once he'd been caught, deceptively convinced James Earl Ray to 'temporarily' plead guilty thereby imprisoning him for life without so much as a trial of evidence such as ballistic testing of the alleged murder weapon.
Here are some of them online-
Articles about the Assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
James Earl Ray maintained his innocence from nearly the moment after he entered a guilty plea under what he felt was the coercion of his lawyer. Read about the many controversies in this case and decide for yourself where the truth lies. Some of these articles are part of our new book, The Assassinations.
Probe V4N3: Is It Ever Too Late to Do the Right Thing?
Probe V4N4: King's Son says Ray Not Guilty
Probe V4N5: Dexter King Pursues Justice
Probe V4N6: New Trial for Ray or New Judge for County?
Probe V5N2: Is the King Case Dead?
Probe V5N5: He's Baaack! The Return of Gerald Posner
Probe V5N5: Judge Joe Brown Speaks out on Martin Luther King Case
Probe V7N4: The Martin Luther King Assassination Conspiracy Exposed in Memphis
Carthel Weeden, captain of Fire Station 2 in 1968, testified that he was on duty the
morning of April 4 when two U.S. Army officers approached him. The officers said
they wanted a lookout for the Lorraine Motel. Weeden said they carried briefcases and
indicated they had cameras. Weeden showed the officers to the roof of the fire station.
He left them at the edge of its northeast corner behind a parapet wall. From there the
Army officers had a bird’s-eye view of Dr. King’s balcony doorway and could also
look down on the brushy area adjacent to the fire station.
The testimony of writer Douglas Valentine filled in the background of the men Carthel
Weeden had taken up to the roof of Fire Station 2. While Valentine was researching
his book The Phoenix Program (1990), on the CIA’s notorious counterintelligence
program against Vietnamese villagers, he talked with veterans in military intelligence
who had been re-deployed from the Vietnam War to the sixties antiwar movement.
They told him that in 1968 the Army’s 111th Military Intelligence Group kept Martin
Luther King under 24-hour-a-day surveillance. Its agents were in Memphis April 4. As
Valentine wrote in The Phoenix Program, they "reportedly watched and took photos
while King’s assassin moved into position, took aim, fired, and walked away."
Testimony which juror David Morphy later described as "awesome" was that of former
CIA operative Jack Terrell, a whistle-blower in the Iran-Contra scandal. Terrell, who
was dying of liver cancer in Florida, testified by videotape that his close friend J.D.
Hill had confessed to him that he had been a member of an Army sniper team in
Memphis assigned to shoot "an unknown target" on April 4. After training for a
triangular shooting, the snipers were on their way into Memphis to take up positions in
a watertower and two buildings when their mission was suddenly cancelled. Hill said
he realized, when he learned of King’s assassination the next day, that the team must
have been part of a contingency plan to kill King if another shooter failed.
Terrell said J.D. Hill was shot to death. His wife was charged with shooting Hill (in
response to his drinking), but she was not indicted. From the details of Hill’s death,
Terrell thought the story about Hill’s wife shooting him was a cover, and that his friend
had been assassinated. In an interview, Terrell said the CIA’s heavy censorship of his
book Disposable Patriot (1992) included changing the paragraph on J.D. Hill’s death,
so that it read as if Terrell thought Hill’s wife was responsible.
So all anti-government organizations were sabotaged and decapitated by the FBI's COINTELPRO (counterintelligence program) and the CIA's Operation CHAOS, just like the CIA's Operation Phoenix in Vietnam and the CIA-backed Operation Condor in South America.
Best book on the US government's big assassinations of the 1960s is a collection of articles from the online magazine called Probe, edited by James DiEugenio and Lisa Pease.
When you study the details of the big assassinations of the 1960s you also learn why and how the US government (Pentagon/CIA/FBI) compartmentalizes investigations and trials and reporting using government assets to hide their crimes against the people.
Oh, and happy Obama inauguration...