By Phil Shannon in Australia:
Keep speaking up against the powerful
19 October 2007
On the day before the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, Sara Paretsky, crime fiction writer, was scheduled to talk to the Toledo public library in Ohio [in the USA] on civil liberties and the library in an age of terrorism, only to be asked by a politically nervous library administration to change her topic to humourous anecdotes from the life of a popular novelist. Paretsky thought about acquiescing — “I don’t like hostility. I don’t relish confrontation … I am vulnerable to angry criticism …” But, knees shaking in fear of a negative reaction from a crowd potentially hyped-up on star-spangled banner patriotism, she delivered her planned talk.
“The five hundred people in the audience who’d come out in a rainstorm to hear me gave me an ovation”, writes a heartened and relieved Paretsky in Writing in an Age of Silence, her eloquently pugnacious collection of lectures and essays: “many … told me afterwards that each thought they were the only person in the community who opposed the invasion, and the sacrifice of civil liberties in the name of public safety”. It was a tear-welling revelation and a vindication of the writer’s responsibility to not let fear of the patriotic mob or the blare of official outrage lead them into self-censorship.
“We like to think in America we are all four-square for individualism and for individual expression, and that only in totalitarian states do people cave in to threats”, writes Paretsky, who knows otherwise, having been raised in a four-square-for-freedom, and deeply racist, Midwestern town in Kansas in the 1950s, “when America was obsessed with the threat of Communism” and teachers were sacked, liberals harassed and vigilante violence incited against “godless atheists” by the daily newspaper.
From the blog of Valerie Plame Wilson in the USA:
I’m Valerie Plame Wilson and I’m excited to be here and blog about my book Fair Game: My Life as a Spy, My Betrayal by the White House, which goes on sale Monday, Oct 22. …
I’ve written honestly about my life: why I went to work for the CIA, my paramilitary training, the sort of operations we developed and ran to find intelligence on Iraq’s alleged WMD programs in the run up to the war, as well as personal information, such as my battle with postpartum depression and the difficulties I had going from a private to a public persona literally overnight. My publisher, Simon and Schuster, decided to print the blacked out redactions demanded by the CIA and hopefully those passages (or lack thereof) speak for themselves and the extent to which the CIA thought the material in the book was classified.
See also here.
Neocons Surge Against Antiwar Movement, by Tom Hayden: here.
Iraq war public relations satire: here.
- How The Times Have Changed: CIA Files Prove America Helped Saddam Use Chemical Weapons (zerohedge.com)
- CIA Files Reveal U.S. Aided Saddam Hussein While Knowing He’d Use Chemical Weapons (mediaite.com)
- Media’s Reporting on Syria as Terrible as It Was on Iraq (ritholtz.com)
- Who was the real boss??? (thegoombagazette.com)