Bulletin N° 962

“Julius Caesar”


by Will Durant

(Audio Book, 1:42:12)




Subject:  ‘The Ides of March’ and the contemporary history of social movements.



March 20, 2021

World Freedom Day

Grenoble, France



Dear Colleagues and Friends of CEIMSA,


We continue our presentation of James W. Douglass’ book, JFK and the Unspeakable, Why He Died and Why It Matters (2008), with a look at the inner workings of the “invisible government” that instigated a coup d’état in Washington, D.C. toward the end of 1963, leaving permanent scars on the political landscape.


The Americans inherited the Vietnam War after the French defeat at Dien Bien Phu in 1954. Unable or unwilling to absorb the significance of this imperialist defeat, American government policy – driven by the economic interests of the U.S. Military-Industrial Complex – resorted to false flag operations in order to bring the puppet government of South Vietnam and the indigenous population under U.S. military control, despite the secret negotiations by President Kennedy to reach a diplomatic settlement in what he considered to be a hopeless military engagement.



The Ambassador.

     For a decade, Henry Cabot Lodge (and his son) had been trying unsuccessfully to beat John Kennedy (and his brother) in an election. Lodge was no Kennedy man. Yet he had taken the curious step in 1963 of letting it be known in Washington that he would like to become the president’s Saigon ambassador. Why did Lodge offer to become the ambassador of a man he so often opposed?


     Henry Cabot Lodge was a major general in the U.S. Army Reserves. He had spent q month at the Pentagon in January 1963 being briefed on Vietnam and counterinsurgency. Author Anne Blair, who was given access to Lodge’s private papers for her book Lodge in Vietnam, determined that it was probably during his Pentagon tour of duty that Lodge began to float his name as a possibility for Vietnam. Blair concluded for, her reading of Lodge’s confidential journal that he wanted to use a Vietnam appointment as the basis for a late run for the presidency in 1964. Several of Lodge’s close associates in South Vietnam, including his special assistant John Michael Dunn, confirmed to Blair that Lodge ‘had accepted the South Vietnam post to increase his chances of gaining the Republican nomination.’ Henry Cabot Lodge wanted to represent his longtime opponent, John Kennedy, in Vietnam in such a way that he would be able to replace him in the White House.


     Robert Kennedy warned his brother that he was making a mistake in appointing Lodge. He said Lodge would cause the president ‘a lot of difficulty in six months.’ Even RFK was being too optimistic about Lodge. JFK’s difficulties with his new ambassador would begin almost as soon a Lodge arrived in Vietnam.


     With a sense of having just added one more shark to those already swimming around him, Kennedy joked to his aids Kenny O’Donnell and Dave Powers about his own motives for the appointment: ‘The idea  of getting Lodge mixed up in such a hopeless mess as the one in Vietnam was irresistible.’ Kennedy had in fact taken a magnanimous risk in appointing his political adversary to an influential post. Lodge would not return the favor by obeying the president’s orders. Kennedy had made a mistake that would dog him that fall in Vietnam. (p.152)


. . .


On June 3, 1963, ignoring evidence that implicated itself, the CIA reported in Washington “the weight of evidence indicating that government cannon-fire caused the deaths in Hue” on May 8 that had ignited the Buddhist crisis in South Vietnam. Ngo Dinh Diem, on the other hand, insisted the deaths “were due to a Viet Cong terrorist grenade.” However, as we have seen, neither the Saigon government nor the Viet Cong possessed the kind of powerful plastic explosives that decapitated the victims at Hue on May 8. It was only the CIA that had such an explosive, as admitted later by Captain Scott, the U.S. military adviser responsible for the bombing. Graham Greene had exposed earlier the CIA’s preoccupation with plastic explosives. In The Quiet American, Greene dramatized the Agency’s use of plastic bombs in Saigon in 1952 to scapegoat the Viet Minh as terrorists. The pattern was repeated in Hue, with Diem the propaganda target. The CIA’s June 3 report blamed Diem for the Hue fatalities, which had in fact polarized him and the Buddhists, discredited his government, and derailed a possible Kennedy-Diem alliance for a negotiated U.S. withdrawal from Vietnam. Both Kennedy and Diem had been outmaneuvered by the CIA.(p.148)


     On June 11, 1963, a Buddhist monk, Thich Quang Duc, burned himself to death in Saigon in protest to Diem’s repressive policies. Reporter Malcolm Brown’s wire service photo of the bonze’s self-immolation shocked the world. When John Kennedy opened his June 12 newspaper and saw the picture of the burning monk, he exclaimed, “Jesus Christ!” to his brother Robert on the phone. Secretary of State Dean Rusk had already cabled the U.S. Embassy in Saigon: “In our judgment the Buddhist situation is dangerously near the breaking point. Accordingly, you are authorized to tell Diem that in the United States view it is essential for the GVN [Government of Vietnam] promptly to take dramatic action to regain confidence of Buddhists and that the GVN must fully and unequivocally meet Buddhist demands. . . .”


     “If Diem does not take prompt and effective steps to reestablish Buddhist confidence in him we will have to reexamine our entire relationship with his regime.”


     Kennedy’s advisers were running ahead of him. Rusk’s instructions to the Saigon Embassy led Acting Ambassador William Trueheart to convey an ultimatum to Diem on June 12 that the president had not authorized. JFK found out by reading a CIA Intelligence Checklist on June 14. . . .

     Vietnam was spiraling out of Kennedy’s control.(pp.148-149)

. . .


The Patsy.

CIA documents reveal that political assassinations and Psychological Operations were among the instrument used during the Cold War to maintain the war economy.


We saw earlier how Lee Harvey Oswald was continually impersonated in Mexico City in September 1963. Oswald disappeared down a black hole. His CIA-alleged visits and phone calls to the Cuban and Soviet consulates ended up revealing more about the CIA than they ever did about Oswald. In preparation for his patsy role in Dallas, Oswald was being given a false identity in Mexico City as a Communist conspirator by an unknown impersonator. CIA transcripts of fraudulent Oswald phone calls to the Soviet Consulate ‘documented’ the future scapegoat’s supposed communications with a Soviet assassination expert. As William Harvey had written in his notes for the ZR/RIFLE assassination program, ‘planning should include provisions for blaming Sovs . . . .’[See ceimsa bulletin n°961.] The Mexico City scenario highlighted the CIA’s plan to blame the Soviets and the Cubans for the president’s murder.(p.153)


 . . .


The Double Agent.

     However, the Soviets had discovered the plot to kill the president and knew the CIA planned to implicate them.


     As we learned from the confrontation of U.S. and Soviet tanks at the Berlin Wall, Nikita Khrushchev and his advisers sometimes knew more about U.S. military operations than did their commander in chief in the White House, John Kennedy. The same was true in the case of the conspiracy to kill Kennedy, being carried out unknown to the president by his own Central Intelligence Agency – but not unknown to Soviet agents. JFK’s opponents in the Kremlin were not only secretly monitoring the CIA’s preparations to kill Kennedy. They were also trying to disrupt the plot, save the life of a president they knew they could work with, and keep from being scapegoated for his murder.


     One of the most exhaustively researched books on President Kennedy’s assassination, Dick Russell’s The Man Who Knew Too Much, tells the story of a U.S. counterintelligence agent hired by the Soviets to kill Lee Harvey Oswald and thereby prevent JFK’s assassination. The double agent’s reluctance to become either Oswald’s assassin for the KGB, or part of JFK’s assassination for the CIA, moved him to a desperate act.


     Richard Case Nagell, ‘the man who knew too much,’ walked into a bank in El Paso, Texas, on September 20, 1063, and calmly fired two shots form a Colt .45 pistol into a plaster wall just below the bank’s ceiling. He then went outside and waited in his car until a police officer came to arrest him. When questioned by the FBI, Nagell made only one statement; ‘I would rather be arrested than commit murder and treason.’(pp.152-153)


     In the late fifties while stationed in Japan, Nagell began his Army/CIA role as a double agent in liaison with Soviet intelligence. In Tokyo, Nagell’s path converged with that of counterintelligence agent Lee Harvey Oswald. Both men worked in a counterintelligence operation with the code name ‘Hidell,’ which Oswald later used as part of his alias, ‘Alek James Hidell.’ Nagemm’s biographer Dick Russell believes it was Nagell who actually assigned the ‘Hidell’ alias to Oswald.

    As a continuing double agent in 1963, Nagell was working with Soviet intelligence in Mexico City. He was reporting back to the CIA, in an operation directed by the chief of the CIA’s Cuban Task Force, Desmond Fitzgerald. Assigned by the KGB to monitor Lee Harvey Oswald in the United States after Oswald returned from Russia, Nagell became involved in New Orleans and Texas with Oswald and two Cuban exiles in what he saw was a ‘large’ operation to kill JFK. The Cubans were known by their ‘war names’ of ‘Angel’ and ‘Leopoldo.’ Nagell told Dick Russell that Angel and Leopoldo ‘were connected with a violence-prone faction of a CIA-financed group operating in Mexico City and elsewhere.’ He identified Angel’s and Leopoldo’s CIA-financed group as Alpha 66.


     Alpha 66 was the group of Cuban exile paramilitaries we have already encountered who were directed by David Atlee Phillips, Chief of Covert Action at the CIA’s Mexico City Station. In early 1963, Phillips deployed Alpha 66 in attacks on Russian ships in Cuban ports. The purpose of the provocative raids was to draw JFK into a war with Cuba. Kennedy responded by ordering a government crackdown on the CIA-sponsored raids, further antagonizing both the CIA and the exile community. Alpha 66 had ignited not a U.S. war with Cuba, but a more lethal hatred of the President. This was the CIA-funded group Richard Case Nagell said Angel and Leopoldo belonged to, while they were meeting with Oswald.


     In September 1963, Nagell was ordered by the KGB to convince Oswald that he was being set up by Angel and Leopoldo as the assassination patsy – or if that failed, to murder Oswald in Mexico City and then take up residence abroad. The Soviets wanted to save Kennedy by eliminating the scenario’s patsy and to keep from being scapegoats themselves. As Nagell told Dick Russell,‘If anybody wanted to stop the assassination, it would be the KGB. But they didn’t do enough.’(pp.153-154)


The “sheep-dipping” of Lee Harvey Oswald by the CIA to eliminate his former identities and prepare him for a new use continued up to November 22, when his identity had been successfully re-converted from an anti-Communist militant to a plausible pro-Communist activist, ready to assassinate a president who was intent on betraying the United States America in the Cold War.(p.156)


 . . .


The Architect.

     How had the CIA managed to place undercover agents in every branch of the American government in Saigon by the fall of 1963?


    The answer open a door to understanding the murder of John F. Kennedy, because the process whereby the CIA took over Vietnam was part of a broader problem JFK faced in Washington. While the president struggled to push his newly found politics of peace past the anti-communist priorities of the CIA, that creature from the depths of the Cold War kept sprouting new arms to stop him. As in Vietnam, the CIA has agents operating in other branches of the government. Those extended arms of the agency acted to forward its policies and frustrate Kennedy’s, as in the case of AID’s suspension of the Commodity Import Program, thereby setting up a coup. J. Edgar Hoover knew the CIA had infiltrated the FBI’s decision making as well, making it possible for the CIA to cancel the FBI’s FLASH on Oswald at a critical moment in October, setting up the assassination of Kennedy. How had the CIA’s covert arms been grafted onto these other parts of the government?


     One man in a position to watch the arms of the CIA proliferation was Colonel Fletcher Prouty. He ran the office that did the proliferating. In 1955, Air Force Headquarters ordered Colonel L. Fletcher Prouty, a career Army and Air Force officer since World War II, to set up a Pentagon office to provide military support for the clandestine operations of the CIA. Thus Prouty became director of the Pentagon’s ‘Focal Point Office for the CIA.’


     CIA Director Allen Dulles was its actual creator. In the fifties, Dulles needed military support for his covert campaigns to undermine opposing nations in the Cold War. Moreover, Dulles wanted subterranean secrecy and autonomy for his projects, even from the members of his own government. Prouty’s job was to provide Pentagon support and deep cover for the CIA beneath the different branches of Washington’s bureaucracy. Dulles dictated the method Prouty was to follow.


     ‘I want a focal point,’ Dulles said. ‘I want an office that’s cleared to do what we have to have done; an office that knows us very, very well and then an office that has access to a system in the Pentagon. But the system will not be aware of what initiated the request – they’ll think it came from the Secretary of Defense. They won’t realize it came from the Director of Central Intelligence.’


     Dulles got Prouty to create a network of subordinate focal point offices in the armed services, then throughout the entire U.S. government. That person took orders directly from the CIA but functioned under the cover of his particular office and branch of government. Such ‘breeding,’ Prouty said decades later in an interview, resulted in a web of covert CIA representatives ‘in the State Department, in the FAA, in the Customs Service, in the Treasury, in the FBI and all around through the government – up in the White House . . . . Then we began to assign people there who, those agencies thought, were from the Defense Department. But they actually were people that we put there from the CIA.’


     The consequence in the early 1960s, when Kennedy became president, was that the CIA had placed a secret tam of its own employees through the entire U.S. government. It was accountable to no one except the CIA, headed by Allen Dulles. After Dulles was fired by Kennedy, the CIA’s Deputy Director of Plans Richard Helms became this invisible government’s immediate commander. No one except a tight inner circle of the CUIIA even knew of the existence of this top-secret intelligence network, much less the identity of its deep-cover bureaucrats. These CIA ‘focal points,’ as Dulles called them, constituted a powerful, unseen government within the government. Its Dulles-appointed members would act quickly, with total obedience, when called on by the CIA to assist its covert operations.


     As the son of an ambassador to Britain and from his many years in the House and Senate, John Kennedy had come to understand the kind of power he would face as a changing president, trying to march to the beat of a different drummer. However, in his struggles with the CIA, Kennedy had no one to tell him just how extensive the agency’s Cold War power had become beneath the surface of the U.S. government, including almost certainly members of his own White House staff. In his final months, JFK knew he was being blocked by an enemy within. However, he was surrounded by more representatives of that enemy than he could have known.(pp.196-197)




The 14 + items below reflect the powerful machinations of American corporate culture and the sophisticated political instruments at its disposal to create a public consensus that will further consolidate the power of vested interests in  big business, which itself is driven by a lust for power and an insatiable greed to achieve maximize profits. The subsequent social contradictions which derive from this violent exploitation and collaboration are apparent to all who wish to see and to understand what they are looking at.





Francis Feeley


Professeur honoraire de l'Université Grenoble-Alpes
Ancien Directeur de Researches
Université de Paris-Nanterre
Director of The Center for the Advanced Study
of American Institutions and Social Movements
The University of California-San Diego






“Unless we unite to resist”

World Freedom Day, March 20


by Mark Crispin Miller


The Corbett Report:

New World Next Week with James Evan Pilato




Can the arts survive the pandemic?


with Rick Sanchez



RT America's Faran Fronczak reports on the reopening of "ARTECHOUSE," an interactive high-tech museum in Washington, DC and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on museums and galleries across the US. Then Rebecca Medrano, co-founder and executive director of GALA Hispanic Theater, joins Rick Sanchez to discuss the devastating blow the pandemic has dealt to the world of live theater, the current plight of working actors, whose livelihoods remain in peril, and the existential threat that the pandemic represents to the institution of live theater.


The Politics of Cultural Despair


with Chris Hedges



“The Emperor’s New Clothes”


(audio, 5:20)


“Les Indes Galantes”



Clément Cogitore adapte une courte partie de ballet des "Indes galantes" de Jean-Philippe Rameau, avec le concours d’un groupe de danseurs de Krump, et de trois chorégraphes : Bintou Dembele, Grichka et Brahim Rachiki. Le Krump est une danse née dans les ghettos de Los Angeles dans les années 90. Sa naissance résulte des émeutes et de la répression policière brutale qui ont suivi le passage à tabac de Rodney King.




AZN is a very big investor in Moderna


by Mark Crispin Miller


AstraZeneca Just Sold Its Moderna Stock: Should You?


by Keith Speights





“We Did Not Suffer Equally”


by Yaryna Serkez


17 experts worried about the likely danger of “disease enhancement” from rushed-out COViD-19 vaccines met to talk about it all A YEAR AGO


by Mark Crispin Miller


Consensus summary report for CEPI/BC March 12–13, 2020 meeting: Assessment of risk of disease enhancement with COVID-19 vaccines


by NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine)





Stop Asian Hate: Connie Wun on Atlanta Spa Killings, Gender Violence & Spike in Anti-Asian Attacks


with Amy Goodman



DEBATE: “Israel-Palestine”


with Noam Chomsky & Rudy Rochman



Sacco et Vanzetti


(Audio, 53 mins )





The Anti-Semitic Birth of the Zionist State: A History of Israel’s Self-Hating Founders


by Miko Peled


When the victims of Zionism finally have their day in court, the world will see just how cruel and racist the early Zionists really were.





China, Iran unite over oil deal while US worries


with Rick Sanchez




“Why India should stop being protectionist & talk to adversaries like China”


with Kishore Mahbubani



China in Africa: An African Perspective


with Gyude Moore



China flips switch on fusion & weather-control tech


with Rick Sanchez and George Galloway




“Foreign Policy, China Conflict & Covid Crisis”


with S. Jaishankar



Team Biden slapped around by China


with Alex Mihailovich



How China bought the US globalist elite


by Mark Crispn Miller


“The Thirty Tyrants”


by Lee Smith


The deal that the American elite chose to make with China has a precedent in the history of Athens and Sparta


Anti-Communism: America's Unofficial Religion


with Abby Martin



How China won the Middle East without firing a single bullet


by Ramzy Baroud


“If oil and influence were the prizes, then it seems China, not America, has ultimately won the Iraq war and its aftermath – without ever firing a shot.” — Jamil Anderlini





People to People: Horizontal Social Change


with Richard Wolff



“Corporate Threats to Leave are Empty”


with Richard Wolff



From: Rep. Andy Levin [mailto:info@boldprogressives.org]
Sent: Friday, March 19, 2021 1:46 PM
To: Francis Feeley
Subject: Sign my letter to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos



Amazon workers in Alabama are trying to unionize, but Amazon is trying to break the back of their organizing efforts with misleading text messages and anti-union propaganda.

Amazon has even tried to force workers to vote in-person in the middle of a pandemic hotspot.

Grassroots pressure now can make a difference.

Can you join me, Pramila Jayapal, Katie Porter, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, Ro Khanna, Marie Newman, and other members of Congress telling CEO Jeff Bezos to STOP Amazon's strong-arm anti-union tactics immediately? Sign on to our letter here.

Amazon’s profits have soared by 70 percent over the last year thanks in significant part to the hard work of their employees.

Amazon workers have put in long hours and risked their own health during the COVID-19 pandemic to meet increased demand, and they deserve to share in the success they have made possible -- including compensation, benefits, and respect that reflects their true value to the company.

Unfortunately, Amazon has an established history of disempowering workers -- including spying on employees seeking to organize a union.

PCCC members have a long history of fighting for workers -- one reason I value the PCCC's support.

Will you add your name and tell Amazon to value its workers just as much as they value their bottom line? Click here.

Thanks for being a bold progressive.

Andy Levin, Congressman, MI-09  





From: Jacobin [mailto:news@jacobinmag.com]
Sent: Thursday, March 18, 2021 3:55 PM
To: Friend
Subject: The Paris Commune is still a beacon for radical change.

View this email in your browser



The Paris Commune is still a beacon for radical change.



On this day in 1871, the working class of Paris seized control of the capital and established the Commune.

The Commune changed the consciousness of workers and their collective perception. At a distance of a hundred fifty years, its red flag continues to flutter and to remind us that an alternative is always possible.

Though it ruled for just two months, the world’s first workers’ government still stands as a vivid example of the kind of society workers themselves can create, according to their own vision of freedom and equality. Workers themselves transformed political power and immediately initiated a host of social reforms.

Learn more about the Paris Commune, on it's 150th anniversary. Vive la Commune!






Here's the latest...



Most new architecture, like Amazon’s proposed new HQ, is hideous. That’s because it is made for corporations. Despite all the mistakes and brutalities of the Soviet experiment, at least their architecture was designed to serve the people instead.

Nina Turner is running for Congress. In an interview with Jacobin, she reflects on the heartbreaks and new opportunities of both Bernie campaigns and the left agenda she will bring to Capitol Hill.

John Sayles is one of the most talented left-wing filmmakers in US history. We spoke with him about radical politics, independent filmmaking, and his legendary 1987 labor movie Matewan.

After years of bullying, brutal austerity, and massive giveaways to the wealthy, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s rule in New York is

, writes State Senator Julia Salazar and Sochie Nnaemeka.





Last chance for our issue, "Biden Our Time."


Our new issue looks back at:

  • the chaotic last four years of American politics
  • the important implications of the November elections
  • what it will take to build a left-wing oppositional movement for justice and peace in the Biden era.

Featuring Jacobin contributors like Daniel Bessner, Branko Marcetic, Matt Karp, Meagan Day, Alex Press, and Natalie Shure, it's an edition you won't want to miss.





Empire Files Archives


with Abby Martin


Investigative journalism on empire archives



Inside Saudi Arabia: “Butchery, Slavery & History of Revolt”




with Abby Martin


Why a Shadowy Tech Firm With Ties to Israeli Intelligence Is Running Doomsday Election Simulations


by Whitney Webb




Immoral & Illegal: U.S. & U.K. Move to Expand Nuclear Arsenals, Defying Global Disarmament Treaties


with Alicia Sanders-Zakre



 ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌



Alerts, Crises, and DEFCONs

U.S. Shows of Force Became Routine During International Crises

Canadians Worried that U.S. Nuclear Armed Exercise Could Prompt Soviet Attack in 1959 Berlin Crisis

Part I: From the 1948 Berlin Crisis to the First DEFCON


Washington D.C., March 17, 2021 – During the 1950s and early 1960s, a remarkable number of crises arose during which U.S. leaders made threats, authorized nuclear weapons for use, and put strategic forces in a higher state of readiness, manifesting an almost reflexive reliance on displays of military force, according to a National Security Archive study posted today of declassified records, many published for the first time, on the use of alerts and the Defense Condition (DEFCON) system.   

From Berlin in 1948 to Suez and Taiwan in the 1950s to Cuba in 1962, and Lebanon and Korea in the 1970s, the United States almost routinely put its armed forces, including the Strategic Air Command (SAC), on alert, ostensibly to deter adversaries or to support diplomatic objectives.  At times, the U.S. posture struck a nerve among its allies.  For example, State Department memos from 1959 report that Canadian officials were growing anxious that nuclear-armed SAC overflights might trigger an East-West war.   

Today’s posting, the first of two parts on the subject, features numerous documents that are being published for the first time – mainly declassified official internal histories – and that cover a variety of important strategic and procedural developments, including the creation of the DEFCON system in 1959.  It also documents the first use of the DEFCON system after the Paris Summit collapsed in May 1960 over the U-2 crisis.



THE NATIONAL SECURITY ARCHIVE is an independent non-governmental research institute and library located at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. The Archive collects and publishes declassified documents acquired through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). A tax-exempt public charity, the Archive receives no U.S. government funding; its budget is supported by publication royalties and donations from foundations and individuals.

PRIVACY NOTICE The National Security Archive does not and will never share the names or e-mail addresses of its subscribers with any other organization. Once a year, we will write you and ask for your financial support. We may also ask you for your ideas for Freedom of Information requests, documentation projects, or other issues that the Archive should take on. We would welcome your input, and any information you care to share with us about your special interests. But we do not sell or rent any information about subscribers to any other party.


Having trouble viewing this email? View it in your web browser



From: Jim O'Brien via H-PAD
Sent: Thursday, March 18, 2021
Subject: [H-PAD] H-PAD Notes 3/18/21: Syllabus on sanctions; links to recent articles of interest

Note: Historians for Peace and Democracy has published Empire of Sanctions, a 14-part syllabus on the nature and history of economic sanctions, focusing especially on their use by the US since the early 20th century. All the assigned readings are available on the Web. The historians who compiled it are Renate Bridenthal, CUNY (emerita); Molly Nolan, NYU; and Prasannan Parthasarathi, Boston University.


Links to Recent Articles of Interest


"Why Can't Britain Handle the Truth about Winston Churchill"

By Priyamvada Gopal, The Guardian, posted March 17

On pressure in Britain to prevent public attention to Churchill's "murkier side": his views on race and empire. The author teaches Postcolonial Studies at Cambridge University and wrote Insurgent Empire: Anticolonial Resistance and British Dissent (Verso, 2020).


"The Victims of Agent Orange the U.S. Has Never Acknowledged"

By George Black, with photographs by Christopher Anderson, New York Times Magazine, posted March 16

A richly illustrated article on the multigenerational health problems caused by the secret use of deadly Agent Orange in Laos during the Vietnam War, focusing especially on the work volunteers with the War Legacies Project who have brought the tragic stories to light.


"Ten Problems with Biden's Foreign Policy - and One Solution"

By Medea Benjamin and Nicolas J. S. Davies, Nation of Change, posted March 12

"The Biden presidency is still in its early days, but it’s not too early to point to areas in the foreign policy realm where we, as progressives, have been disappointed–or even infuriated." Medea Benjamin is a co-founder of CODEPINK for Peace and Nicolas Davies is a researcher for CODEPINK and author of Blood on Our Hands: The American Invasion and Destruction of Iraq (Nimble Books, 2010).


"On Shedding an Obsolete Past"

By Andrew Bacevich, TomDispatch.com, posted March 11

Warns against the influence of the traditional foreign policy establishment - "the Blob" - in the Biden administration.The author is a professor emeritus of history and international relations at Boston University and president of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft.


"Black Votes Have Always Mattered"

By Van Gosse, History News Network, posted March 7

On African American voting in the US between the Revolution and the Civil War. The author teaches history at Franklin and Marshall College and has written The First Reconstruction: Black Politics in America Between the Revolution and the Civil War (U. of North Carolina Press, 2021). He is co-chair of H-PAD.


"Smarter Empire"

By Kevin Young, Sidecar [New Left Review blog], posted March 5

On US policies toward Latin America early in the Biden administration, finding more continuity than change. The author teaches Latin American history at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He is on the H-PAD Steering Committee.


"Racist Zoombombings the Latest Application of Technology by White Supremacists"

By Roy E. Finkenbine, History News Network, posted February 28

On the disruption of numerous Black History Month on-line events with racist and obscene imagery. The author teaches history at the University of Detroit Mercy.


"QAnon and the Satanic Panics of Yesteryear: What They Can Teach Us about What to Expect"

By Daniel N. Gullotta, The Bulwark, posted February 25

"It is worth remembering that even the more wild and unhinged accusations of Satan-worshipping have a long history in this country—and by studying the precedents, we might be able to better understand the dynamics and future of QAnon." The author is a PhD candidate in religious history at Stanford University. 


"Don't Defend Democracy with Half-Truths about the Past"

By Brook Thomas, History News Network, posted February 21

Warns against romanticizing either the nation's founders or President Grant, whose limited support for racial justice during Reconstruction is often exaggerated. The author is a professor emeritus at UC Irvine and author of The Literature Of Reconstruction: Not In Plain Black And White (Johns Hopkins U. Press, 2017).


'What 'America Is Back' Really Means"


By Andrew Bacevich, Spectator US, posted February 21

"The idea that a US-led bloc of Western nations will determine the future of the planet will become increasingly implausible." The author is a professor emeritus of history and international relations at Boston University and president of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft.


Thanks to Jerise Fogel, Rusti Eisenberg, and an anonymous reader for flagging some of the articles included in the above list. Suggestions can be sent to jimobrien48@gmail.com.




From: National Security Archive [mailto:nsarchiv@gwu.edu]
Sent: Thursday, March 18, 2021
Subject: The Allende Massacre in Mexico: A Decade of Impunity


Declassified Dossier Examines Official Role in Cartel Killings ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌


The Allende Massacre in Mexico: A Decade of Impunity

Declassified Investigative Dossier Examines Officials' Roles in Cartel Killings

10th Anniversary of Worst Human Rights Episode in Mexico's Recent History

Washington, D.C., March 18, 2021 – Ten years ago, the Mexican municipality of Allende was the site of one of the worst human rights atrocities ever seen in the country: a three-day wave of violence in which the criminal group known as Los Zetas kidnapped, murdered, and later burned the bodies of an estimated 300 people, incinerating the remains into piles of ashes, bits of teeth, and tiny bone fragments.

The National Security Archive marks this grim anniversary by publishing an extensive evidentiary history of the Allende massacre focusing on key documents and testimony from a 4,000-page dossier of investigative records that prosecutors in the state of Coahuila only began to compile almost three years after the fact.

The files depict a town almost completely beholden to Los Zetas—from the mayor’s office to top police commanders to ordinary cops on the street. Witnesses describe in graphic detail how Los Zetas undermined and criminalized the public security forces of Allende, and how the latter routinely participated in kidnappings, murders, and other crimes on behalf of the group. To date, only a handful of Zetas and corrupt police officials have been convicted in a case that involves dozens of crime scenes, hundreds of victims, and the documented participation of numerous Zetas and public officials.

Among the evidence posted today are the first complaints filed by the loved ones of those who went missing, the sworn declarations of Zetas members, Allende police and other city officials, the statements of firefighters and others who witnessed the violence, along with hundreds of pages of forensic reports, crime scene photos and related material.


THE NATIONAL SECURITY ARCHIVE is an independent non-governmental research institute and library located at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. The Archive collects and publishes declassified documents acquired through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). A tax-exempt public charity, the Archive receives no U.S. government funding; its budget is supported by publication royalties and donations from foundations and individuals.

PRIVACY NOTICE The National Security Archive does not and will never share the names or e-mail addresses of its subscribers with any other organization. Once a year, we will write you and ask for your financial support. We may also ask you for your ideas for Freedom of Information requests, documentation projects, or other issues that the Archive should take on. We would welcome your input, and any information you care to share with us about your special interests. But we do not sell or rent any information about subscribers to any other party.




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From: ZCommunications [mailto:michael.albert@zmag.org]
Sent: Thursday, March 18, 2021
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Please Visit

School for Social and Cultural Change (SSCC).

Sign ups for the second session from April 1 though to June 1 are now open.

Please consider my two courses:

Life After Capitalism
Strategy for Winning a New World

Other courses, available to sign up now and starting live on April 1, are :

How We Advance the Abolition of War
with David Swanson
Political Economy and Political Ecology
with Patrick Bond
Activism and Social Change
with Eugene Nulman
Radical Reading: Political Comic Books
with Sean Michael Wilson
U.S. and British War Crimes and Propaganda
with Rob Driver
Societies Against the State: Politics, Theory, and Culture
with Andrej Grubacic
Encrypt by Any Means Necessary
with Jon Ess
Revolt and Transcendence in Popular Music
with Sandy Carter
Lay Down My Sword and Shield
with Kathy Kelly
Logic for Left-Wing Debaters and Activists
with Ben Burgis
Consequences of Capitalism
with Noam Chomsky and Marv Waterstone


Please visit the school and consider signing up for one or maybe even two courses.

Each session runs eight weeks. Every course has eight lectures, sometimes video, sometimes text and sometimes both.

Most courses have additional readings to choose from. All courses have online commenting by participants with instructors answering. And all courses have at least one live Zoom session for all involved each week.

You read and contribute and attend what you wish.

More, once you take a course, you retain access to it for session after session, so if you get torn away for some reason during April/May, no matter, you can come back to it anytime.

I hope to see you online,
Michael Albert
School for Social and Cultural Change