An Open Letter to American Jews

Originally published in Counterpunch November 25, 2016

“An Open Letter to American Jews”

Proud Jews are those that can look others in the face who commit or support crimes against humanity in Palestine and, with no hesitation whatsoever, shout-out “J’accuse” … the self hating ones are those that commit the crimes or simply walk away in boneless silence.

Israel and its sightless, obedient supporters have now come full circle in absolute perverse denial. For years they’ve successfully packaged and sold the fairy-tale that Zionism and Judaism were one in the same… an historic enlightened conflation of shared purpose and belief which, in reality, was born of little more than vicious political convenience (or is it connivance?) in eastern Europe.

Like Malcolm said, the proverbial chickens have come home to roost. It’s finally backfired. It’s about time.

Through massacre after massacre, outrage after outage, whenever anyone dares to condemn Israel’s systematic brutality of millions of Palestinians the indictment always comes down the same… “anti-Semite”.

Challenge the illegal occupation… you’re a Jew hater. Confront Israeli apartheid… you’re a Jew hater. Battle ethnic cleansing… you’re a Jew hater. Support BDS… you’re a Jew hater. And if you’re Jewish and hold Israel accountable for the grand obscenity it’s proven to be since day one, you are worst of all…a self hater. On and on and on the crafted diversion goes and long has, fleeing the very public reality of Israel’s enduring inhumanity to millions of stateless people.

Of course, when hundreds of Holocaust survivors who live in Israel called the most recent high tech carnage in Gaza in 2014 “genocide”, it drew the line. Even the Zionist state was not so crass or politically craven as to publicly label them Jew haters because they had the principled audacity to call it to task for the slaughter of thousands of defenseless women, children and elders. No, that would be exploiting the exploitation called the Holocaust that Zionist cheerleaders have employed for 70 years as so much cover for one of Israel’s own making… as it thumbs its nose at the world and commits unspeakable mayhem against Palestinians. To Zionists, survivors who screamed out with dignity and honor… “genocide,” were pathetic… just old and feeble.

For years, with little more than sleight of hand and a large Western rubber stamp, Zionists have been able to package and vend, with brazen bully success, the message that one cannot attack deadly and criminal Israeli policies without mechanically crossing the line into the hinterland of antisemitism. Well… those days are gone… as team Israel has finally foisted itself upon its own petard.

One need not have surgical precision in their view of the political universe to observe that as the world has become increasingly educated and, thus, more sympathetic to the desperate plight of Palestinians, Zionists have raced to develop new, even more brutish, strategies to recast a narrative based on little more than pure Hollywood fiction. Sorry… Exodus is very much an obsolete illusion, today, with all of its heroic figures long since passed on to old age.

The hallway of Zionist hard-sell is today very public. In its most glaring form it includes intimidating Western countries such as the UK, Canada, France, and Netherlands who shudder at the mere thought of being called “anti-Semitic” for the audacity of permitting their citizens to speak their minds openly and freely about the malevolence that is Israel. To them, and other states that seek to silence those who support BDS as a peaceful grassroots means of expressing opposition to a tyrannical state, Israel owes a great debt of thanks. After all it’s not easy to welcome, indeed embrace, conspicuous ignorance as you draw a deep cloud of denial around the object lesson of the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal. No matter what your flag, war crimes are still war crimes whether carried out against or by you.

In other ways, demonstrably racist activity has moved Israel into a leading role in the effort to stage-manage 21st Century cyberspace. For example, under the autocratic shine of national honor, it has inspired, if not empowered, Zionist hackers to attack pro Palestinian web sites worldwide spewing forth Islamaphobic rage at those with the temerity to seek an alternative view about unfolding events in Palestine otherwise largely ignored or censored by Western media.

So, too, it has employed an army of social media activists skilled enough to read jejune slogans but completely at a loss when confronted with the dark, fact-based truth that is Israel. After-all, how many times can a cue card equate Muslim with Jew hater before a mindless 18 year old paid $10.00 an hour finally says enough and saunters off to the beach?

Likewise, during its last two onslaughts upon Gaza, Israel moved quickly to shut down all of its internet passage-ways in an unmistakable effort to prevent the world from learning in real-time about the nature and extent of its brutal assault upon the enclave’s two million defenseless residents.

While these are but a few of the most recent public moves by Israel to intimidate or silence political or social opposition, with alarming frequency its policy has been to break bread with some of the most hateful, supremacist groups and activists in the world.

How long ago was it that neo-Nazis sought to march in Skokie Illinois, in Nazi uniforms screaming out zeig-heil while they carried placards that read “White Free Speech” and “Free Speech for the White Man” to a community with a population of thousands of stunned Holocaust survivors? And in that same year, the KKK sought to hold, in the same town, a rally for its brand of racist ideology.

Yet, today, Zionists seem to have no problem whatsoever sitting down strategizing with proud supporters of the Klan and other white supremacist groups. Indeed, the Zionist Organization of America will fete, this weekend, noted white supremacy and antisemitism promoter, Steven Bannon, at its yearly hate fest.

This celebration of religious and racial supremacy and intolerance should come as no surprise given the organization has signed onto the Trump plan of profiling Muslims, calls Black Lives Matter a “hate group” and has warned college students against inviting such notables as Noam Chomsky and former President Jimmy Carter to speak at campus assemblies lest they spread their “dangerous messages.”

Make no mistake about it Bannon and his fellow purveyors of hate have never been shy in exploiting abhorrence of Jews and a host of other minorities based upon race, religion, sexual identity or immigrant status. Nor have they been timid at all when it comes to exalting calls for violence to sweep clean an America they perceive as being too black, too immigrant, too Jewish, too Muslim and too soft.

Indeed Bannon is a member of a Facebook page that has openly featured explicit racist and violent material replete with overtures for deadly criminal activity. Thus, for example, their posts feature an image of the president dressed as an SS officer. In other places they celebrate the Confederate flag and urge a military coup in the United States. Elsewhere, they highlight a photo shopped picture of Obama with a watermelon and praise a police officer who called the President a “Fucking Nigger”… that ought to be “executed as a traitor.” This is the message that inspires the President’s chief advisor.

Yet, today, Zionists celebrate Bannon as he and his Klan buddies have finally figured out it doesn’t take much to get a free pass for their palpable hatred of Jews… all they need do is to offer up their much in demand backing of an Israeli state driven by the same treacherous supremacist views.

It seems to Zionists a healthy dose of unabashed antisemitism… directed at Jews… is suitable today as long as it’s dressed up in obedient support for Israel… especially when it comes from the mouth of the top advisor of the President-elect and his inner circle of friends.

Bannon has long been denounced by democrats, republicans and civil and human rights organizations, alike, for having made the Breitbart website a welcome forum for neo-nazis, white supremacists and anti-Semites. Nevertheless, his appointment was welcomed by the Israeli Ambassador to the United States who noted that “… we look forward to working with the Trump administration… including Steve Bannon, in making the U.S.-Israel alliance stronger than ever.”

There is nothing at all new about the selective application of the all too expedient brand “anti-Semite”. Indeed, it is the mark of Cain quickly applied to principled students and faculty who support the peaceful effort of BDS to bring about justice for Palestine, yet is completely ignored when confronted by classic anti-Semitic vitriol coming from the mouths of pro Israel patrons.

Indeed, the net balance affect has long been a significant driving force in determining when blatant sign-posts of antisemitism were to be over-looked for the broader “good” of Israel; where those who challenge Israeli policies were to be vilified and those who praise them applauded no matter how much or long their distaste for Jews.

The late “Christian Zionist”, Jerry Falwell, is one such prime example. Denounced by Jewish critics for having said that he believed the “Antichrist” would be a Jew, despite this, and other like anti-Semitic statements, Falwell was ultimately resurrected by Zionists who found greater benefit in his overall political support of Israel than his marked distaste for Jews as a whole.

There is nothing remarkable about today’s Zionist reach to build hate fueled bonds with supremacist groups both in and outside of the United States. Zionists have shown a willingness, if not an ease, throughout their 130 plus year history of working with classic anti-Semitic governments and groups to further their revisionist self-centered view of history. There is abundant precedent.

Beginning long ago in Czarist Russia, the Zionist marriage of political convenience went on to flourish with some in the Axis powers during World War II. It later found comfort with its Balfour friends in Palestine, and has reached new heights in the West through an apparently unbreakable bond with the bigoted evangelical right.

Thus, parliamentary votes throughout the member states of the EU to recognize the sovereignty of the State of Palestine have been opposed by a unique marriage of Zionist and local neo-Nazi interests. This coalition of convenience and hatred should come as no surprise however given a joint effort to target a wave of desperate Muslim refugees and a shared aversion to any semblance of Justice for Palestinians.

In Ukraine, Israel abandoned the safety of its shrinking Jewish population to the political expedience it reaped from its support of the neo-Nazi putsch that ousted its elected pro-Russian president. In France, the National Front, with proud age old roots in French fascism has once again risen to significant power. Not at all shy about its racist and anti-Semitic image, the Front has found support nonetheless from Israel which paid one of its leaders a warm welcome when he traveled to the Holy Land to curry votes from French Jews who now call it home. Sound familiar?

There is nothing remarkable or new about Israel’s recent rapport with some of the worlds most repressive … indeed totalitarian and racist regimes. It has never shied from a march down a long passage way filled with the painful screams of political prisoners, dissidents, or those perceived by virtue of their race, religion or activism to pose a threat to the autocratic rule of the state, be it in Israel or elsewhere.

Israel’s support for South African apartheid, ’til literally its very end, is well known, providing materials for the building of its nuclear weapons. Long after UN-imposed sanctions against apartheid Rhodesia, it continued to provide Uzis and helicopters. In more than a dozen other African countries Israel funded and trained military repression of anti-colonial uprisings and/or dictatorship. It sold arms and provided training to Rwandan military and Hutu militia that carried out genocide against the Tutsis.

In South America, Israel armed Guatemalan death squads, Nicaraguan Contras, Pinochet’s Chile, and the military junta in Argentina which resulted in the “disappearance” of thousands of opponents of a regime which not only openly espoused anti-Semitic rhetoric, but specifically targeted and disappeared numerous Jewish civilians.

In Southeast Asia, Israel provided aid to the Suharto dictatorship in Indonesia and, in the Pacific Region, funded the Marcos dictatorship in the Philippines. In Iran, during the rule of the Shah, the secret death squad (SAVAK) received training from Israel and purchased over 150 million dollars in arms from it. Never known for its selfless virtue, Israel was to benefit… the Shah was one of the first leaders in the region to recognize it as a state.

These are but a few glaring examples of dozens of instances where Israel has supported, if not propped up, supremacist and racist regimes… many known for their utter and extreme anti-Semitic vitriol and manifest hatred of Jews. But, with remarkable agility, if not indifference, it has become practiced… indeed expert… at balancing the self interest of its own rapacious agenda with the reality of the often anti-Semitic neo-fascist regimes and movements its supports throughout the world.

With this practiced experience it seems that Zionists are eminently equipped to handle the emerging face of antisemitism, nay, overt odium for Jews which, with Steve Bannon and company, will soon move from the inner sanctum of Trump Towers to the inner circle of the White House.

Given its history of support for anti-Semitic allies it comes as no surprise that Zionists believe they will be able to stage manage overt hatred for Jews and other minorities from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. What is, however, stunning is that, for the first time in recent memory, they appear perfectly willing to abandon the false conflation of Zionism and Judaism by supporting a collective of white ethnocentric supremacists who support the Zionist agenda in Israel yet hate Jews in whose name it is claimed that agenda has been built.

November 8, 2016 Offers No Relief For Palestine

Additionally published September 13, 2016 at al Jazeera , highly edited, under title “Harder times for Palestine if Clinton wins US election”

November 8, 2016 Offers No Relief For Palestine

STANLEY L. COHEN New York, 9 September 2016

As Hillary Clinton approaches the final weeks of her climb to the apex of American public life and power, the breadth and scope of her many years operating at the highest levels of our ideological system cannot be denied. Unlike her clownish, “reality-television”opponent—who has never served in government, and on his best days, appears to possess less maturity and intelligence than a three-year old child—Ms. Clinton, the former Secretary of State and U.S. Senator, has an ample record of positions, official acts and personal opinions, for better or worse. Trump’s autocratic personal style and retro “strong-man” orientation—flouting his deep ignorance on any topic, and avowed intention to “bomb to hell” every problem—suggests the real estate blowhard will be a great friend to Israeli militarism and the ever-expanding occupation of Palestine. Yet, in fact, keen observers with more memory than perhaps the current Selfie Age requires, know well that it is Ms. Clinton who has proven herself for over two decades to be among the most hawkish, pro-Israel figures in modern official US history.

Truly, have the Palestinians ever faced a worse pair of prospects in the American electoral season? A psychopathic, New York real estate narcissist vs. a hardline, party Zionist: whoever wins (and anything can happen in this unlikely election), we know it won’t be good for Palestine.

The ironies run deep with the Democratic candidate. Ms. Clinton holds the unprecedented distinction of being the first major party nominee for U.S. president, man or woman, ever to have actually visited the Gaza Strip and the occupied West Bank—a trip she made at her husband’s side in the final weeks of 1998, when President Bill Clinton faced impeachment at home over his marital infidelities. Together, they attended the ribbon-cutting on the new Gaza airport, observed a signing of a new Palestine National Charter, and met frantically to shore up the Wye River Accords among its signatories, signed earlier that fall. Ms. Clinton’s meeting and embrace of Suha Arafat, of course, became the stuff of New York City tabloid newspaper legend, with the New York Post and the Daily News screaming in Zionist unison as if the First Lady had, by touching a Muslim woman, given herself and the White House ideological leprosy.

I recall a pleasant day, months after her visit, walking around the new $83 million airport in the summer of 1999, with local Rafah friends—not a single commercial flight had been permitted, and the complex stood shimmering and empty in the blazing midday heat, almost a mirage. The paint on the walls still smelled new, and for kicks, we rode fast in a civil defense jeep down one of the empty runways, past the control tower and the main terminal. The next year, the whole place would be blown to bits by Israeli warplanes, the tower a smoking ruin, the runways full of bomb craters. The Clintons were long-gone by then, of course, and no one in the U.S. government raised a bit of objection to what was both the symbolic and the practical demolition of Palestinian’s aspirations to fly free of the occupation—after all, it was Gulf State and German money that built the place, who cared if the Israelis wanted it destroyed?

But I remember just as well, that very same year, how Ms. Clinton traveled again to Israel in her effort to win the US senate seat for New York held by Daniel Moynihan—himself a staunch protector of Zionism. It needs explaining, for foreign readers, that Israel is like the “sixth borough” of New York City—a required campaign stop for any politician hoping to win election in this town, and every congressman makes a necessary pilgrimage there to genuflect before the power of the Israel lobby, and to assure New Yorkers that they love Israel more than the next candidate. It is a sloppy mess—US politicians competing for AIPAC help in getting elected, kneeling to kiss the ring of a foreign power every two years—but an enduring, illustrative spectacle of our ideological truth.

Yet that summer, Hillary Clinton out-did any other Democratic politician in her craven fawning, when she gratuitously included the Zionist formula for subjugating Jerusalem in an official letter to an Orthodox Jewish union, writing that she believed the city to be “the eternal and indivisible capital” of Israel, and promising to move the U.S. embassy there from Tel Aviv. The verbal formula, of course, has long been a shibboleth of hard-core Zionist plans, and her adoption of it was deliberate and not accidental. A few years prior, Republican Zionists in the Congress passed a bill (the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995) ordering President Clinton to move the embassy, or face consequences—however, the language of the law contained a presidential waiver, and Clinton invoked his waiver to get out of complying, preserving the status quo. This grotesque pantomime has continued every year for the last twenty years, as Congress renews the law, and each president opts out on the implementation, and the embassy remains in Tel Aviv.

At the time, many of us in the anti-Zionist cause wondered if the First Lady had been naïve, or manipulated, in her clumsy ploy to pick up AIPAC support—after all, her adoption of the outrageous language of Israeli conquest and annexation stood in sharp contrast to both her party and her husband’s official position (not to mention international law), and contradicted the U.S. State Department’s policy. If she did not understand the dangerous implications of the language, then her competency was in question; if she did, then her politics represented a shift for the party. There was simply no version of the fabled “two-state solution” that did not include half of Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine. Thus, any politician advocating the language of the Zionists on an “indivisible” Jerusalem essentially says, “the Palestinians don’t matter,” and their national aspirations will not be honored. As it happened, even George W. Bush’s White House kept invoking the waiver on the renewed law, and Senator Clinton never had to account for her earlier campaign trail Zionism.

But from her years toiling in the White House, the Senate, and the State Department— a rigorous education unmatched by few in our political history—we might wonder, without irony, if Ms. Clinton has undergone any transformation since that summer, and where that process has brought her today.

Sadly, her years of experience have made her more canny about the workings of power, but do not appear to have changed her mind—she remains the greatest Israel hawk on the Democrat side. While she backed away from the language of the embassy move as Secretary of State—an idea in contravention of State Department policy—her Zionist ethos has remained strong. As a senator, she has visited the illegal wall destroying Palestinian life, and praised it for its guarantee of Israeli security; she has at times visited Jerusalem, and called it “Israel;” and as a presidential candidate, her campaign took up the hated formula again, extolling Israel’s “right” to an “undivided Jerusalem as its capital” in a position paper (“Standing with Israel Against Terrorism”) available on the Hillary website as late as 2010, but now apparently scrubbed away.

Just as alarming for Palestinians is the candidate’s language today, on her official campaign site. A quick perusal of her current Israel page, “Hillary Clinton and Israel: a 30-Year Record of Friendship, Leadership and Strength,” gives the general drift of her Zionism—record-breaking military budget increases for the Israeli war-making machine; opposing the Goldstone Report; criticizing the U.N. for its bias against Israel; intelligence sharing initiatives with the Mossad; and so on. In her promises for the future, when she is president, she vows to “defend Israel on the world stage,” by opposing “anti-Israel bias” in international forums (by this, we understand, the International Criminal Court and human rights venues); and to “stand up against” the BDS movement, while cutting off efforts to recognize Palestinian statehood.

The past years of Democratic rule have not been kind to the Palestinians—while President Obama’s pronounced personal dislike for the racist Netanyahu has at least dialed-back the most egregious Israelophilia, the fact remains that this president has presided over the biggest run-up in Israeli military aid in American history. Despite what Likud hawks think about Obama, he has been their best friend ever, accounting strictly by the dollar. And a Hillary Clinton presidency promises more of the same—but with the added concern that in her past record, she has shown a shocking disregard for, and fundamental disinterest in the Palestinians, their hopes and aspirations. Ms. Clinton will not—as Obama did upon election—be visiting any Arab capital with a proffered fig leaf. If, as Shakespeare warns us, “What’s past is prologue,” Ms. Clinton can be expected as president to mount the ramparts of Fortress Israel, and vigorously wave the flag—perhaps more aggressively than Bush or Reagan, or any president before her, portending grave trouble ahead for Palestine.


“Partners in Crime”

We Feared Witches. We Hung Women

So the campaign is winding down and, barring what’s been described as a minor miracle in waiting, ultimately it will end up as a coronation of one degree of evil or another- be it Trump or Clinton. I hope that in its final days, Sanders’ supporters will allow the campaign to run its course without engaging in media vilification or trial by ambush. I do so not in the spirit of building a united front to challenge Trump in the general election- quite frankly, I could care less. More important, I raise the concern that to roll in the gutter can leave a stench that follows activists the rest of their political lives whether they continue the good fight or ultimately surrender to the mainstream body politic.

It’s no secret I don’t support Sanders; in point of fact, I’ve challenged him for years over what I view to be his well documented record of poor priorities and failed policies and votes. Before you turn away, this is not an attack on him but a bow to you. Since leaving prison, I’ve said time and time again that the involvement in this campaign of large numbers of experienced and newly minted activists has been inspirational indeed. I am sure that our collective future is that much the brighter because of your hard work, and drive for truth, justice and peace.

Yours is the next generation in a long and storied line of activists who have sacrificed much, often all, in speaking truth to power and confronting it in evolving creative ways in the streets and courts and now very much so in the world of cyber space. Though our community of resistance has been diverse in makeup and tactics, clearly we have been united in our determined refusal to embrace a strategy of disinformation or hate built on the back of character assassination, rumor and innuendo- each a proud trademark of the forces of greed and exploitation that we have challenged since the first days of the Republic.

Recently we’ve seen increasing almost desperate attacks on Clinton not just for her dreadful policies, but her alleged status of felon in waiting soon to be indicted for a host of crimes. In support of this public true bill, documentary “evidence” and boilerplate statutes are thrown about by lay litigators as little more than the tools of a modern day star chamber chaired not by jurists but the howl of a vindictive mob erecting the gallows long before the verdict.

“We Feared Witches.  We Hung Women”

I don’t like Clinton, nor do I trust her; not now, not twenty five years ago. If I were to vote, there is no chance that I would cast it for her. But to see her tried in public without the benefit of her entitled full day in court with an opportunity to confront and challenge her accusers is so much the core hallmark of the power brokers that have sold our collective past, and would our future, to the winds of the highest bidder. Several days ago I saw two posts by Sanders’ supporters about Clinton that are false –namely that a top Clinton “advisor” and super delegate – former NY State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver had been sentenced to prison for twelve years for corruption related charges. Although reports of the sentence are correct-the claims about his current alleged relationship with Clinton or her campaign are patently desperate and false. In any event, even if they were true- so what? Indeed millions still adore Obama despite nagging allegations of a one-time close relationship with former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich now serving fourteen years in federal prison for corruption charges himself.

And what of the allegations in the Free Beacon, that Sanders has, on multiple occasions, steered campaign and nonprofit money to friends and family. Thus, the conservative news service claimed that Sanders’ wife—Jane O’Meara Sanders—and his stepdaughter, Carina Driscoll, both received salaries from his early political campaigns. (Sanders’ House campaign reportedly paid O’Meara Sanders $90,000 for “consulting and ad placement services from 2002 to 2004.”) Driscoll, too, got paid $65,000 between 2000 and 2004. And at Burlington College, where O’Meara Sanders served as president until 2011, at least two contracts yielded six-figure payouts for companies run by Driscoll and a close friend of the Sanders family.

Given the source of the story I have great questions about its accuracy or reliability. Nevertheless it is a classic example of the manipulative cross examination in which the witness is asked “so when did you stop beating your wife.” The denial is meaningless once the allegation is published to the jury, as it takes on a life of its own whether true or not.

Several days ago another Sander’s fan announced on twitter that a top advisor to Clinton had been “taken in” by the FBI assumedly to be questioned with regard to what he may have known about what’s now simply called the server “case”. Not only did the post do a great disservice to the advisor by implying that he himself had broken the law, but it showed a complete ignorance about federal procedure. It’s well settled that the FBI cannot “take someone in” unless there is a warrant or probable cause for his or her arrest. Only in the world of movies can law enforcement take someone in to be questioned. So grab your seat and get your popcorn – “Kool-Aid” is now showing in your favorite theater.

Yesterday I was accused of “splitting hairs” by the author of one of these patently false posts who went on to justify his campaign “hyperbole” by simply saying that Clinton and Silver were “two peas in the pod . . . on the same pay league.” Joe McCarthy would have smiled in agreement. Indeed, collective and class guilt has a long and sordid history in this country. Thousands were rounded up and jailed early in the twentieth century, many deported, including our icon Emma Goldman during the Palmer Raids; their crime- speech and association.

Most shocking of all, for months now we’ve seen Clinton convicted by more than a few journalists on the left and their adoring readers because the vaunted FBI is investigating her under the lead of the Department of Justice- who, we know, always get their “man” or, in this case, their woman.

DOJ and the FBI have been at war with political opponents and dissidents, truth tellers and whistle blowers since literally the first day that their doors opened. While we know all about their collective efforts in COINTELPRO to destroy the Black Panther Party, it was but one of many federal law enforcement campaigns in which they spared no effort to vilify, or even murder, those perceived as enemies of the status quo, indeed the state.

I’ve spent decades unraveling political and criminal cases put together by DOJ and the FBI in their insatiable drive to destroy lives, and to bury the truth. Legion are the cases in which helpful witnesses or documents arguably under the reach, if not control, of the government have simply disappeared, unavailable to testify or to be used at trials. At other times critical forensic evidence was prepared with negligence or falsified to support overarching theories of guilt. So, too exculpatory scientific evidence has been suppressed by those who see convictions no matter what the evidence, or lack thereof, as desired justice, and acquittals as impediments to the security of the state, and personal failures.

In a series of recent explosive admissions the FBI conceded:
• That it has discovered errors in data used by forensic scientists in thousands of cases to calculate the chances that DNA found at a crime scene matches a particular person;
• Of 28 examiners with the FBI Laboratory’s microscopic hair comparison unit, 26 overstated forensic matches in ways that favored prosecutors in more than 95 percent of the 268 trials reviewed so far;
• That nearly every examiner in an elite FBI forensic unit gave flawed testimony in almost all trials in which they offered evidence against criminal defendants over more than a two-decade period before 2000;
• That nearly every criminal case reviewed by it and the Justice Department has included flawed forensic testimony from the agency;
• That “errors” in evidence provided by its forensics laboratory to US courts to help secure convictions, including in death penalty cases, over more than 20 years;

Indeed in a damning highly detailed report issued by the FBI Inspector General numerous instances were cited of critical forensic errors even in some of its most high profile cases of the day including:
• Scientifically Flawed Testimony in the Psinakis, World Trade Center 1, Avianca, and Trepal cases;
• Inaccurate testimony by an EU examiner in the World Trade Center case, by a former Laboratory examiner (who is still an FBI agent) in a hearing conducted by the judicial committee of the Judicial Council of the Eleventh Circuit regarding then-Judge Alcee Hastings, and by the CTU Chief in the Trepal case;
• Testimony beyond the examiner’s expertise in the World Trade Center, Avianca, and Hastings cases;
• Improper preparation of laboratory reports by three EU examiners who altered, omitted, or improperly supplemented some internal scientific findings (dictations) as they were being compiled into an official report of the Laboratory. A former EU Chief failed to substantively review all of the reports in his unit, authorized EU examiners to modify forensic dictations when incorporating them into EU reports, and fostered a permissive attitude toward changes to such dictations;
• Insufficient documentation of test results by the examiner who had performed work on hundreds of cases, including Psinakis and the UNABOM investigation, and by the CTU Chief;
• Scientifically flawed reports in the VANPAC and Oklahoma City cases, and in numerous cases by the former MAU examiner who worked on Psinakis, and in a few instances by an EU examiner who altered science reports;
• Inadequate record management and retention system by the laboratory;
• Failures by management to resolve serious and credible allegations of incompetence lodged against the examiner who worked on the Psinakis case; to review properly the EU report in the Oklahoma City case; to resolve scientific disagreements among Laboratory examiners in three cases, including Avianca; to establish and enforce validated procedures and protocols that might have avoided problems in examiner reports in the Psinakis and VANPAC cases; and to making a commitment to pursuing accreditation by the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors/Laboratory Accreditation Board before 1994;
• A flawed staffing structure of the explosives unit that should be reconfigured so that examiners possess requisite scientific qualifications.

The list of intentional or negligent government missteps is literally endless by some federal prosecutors and many agents who see themselves as very much the sole repositories of truth and justice involved in a war with those who refuse to bend to their political will.

Yet the dark often evil history of these agencies is conveniently overlooked today by some Clinton opponents who in their thirst to get her, and at all costs, appear to embrace federal agencies and their tactics that have terrorized our community for time immemorial. This is particularly ironic since many who suggest law enforcement perfection here, are the same who quickly reject it when it comes to the events of 9/11.

In this country the howl of the mob has a dark and dangerous history. It has brought us the execution of hundreds of not guilty women and men, thrown a noose around the neck of thousands because of race or rumor or innuendo, and destroyed the lives of countless artists, musician and dissidents because their beliefs or association were suspect. Now it seems to target political opponents in an unbecoming effort to obtain a “victory” that it apparently could not acquire at the polls.

In the law of libel one who acquires a public persona has a diminished expectation of privacy- it comes with the turf, I get it. Nevertheless, lots of things that are lawful are still tasteless or unprincipled. Many of us know the sting of false public accusation and ridicule as so much the shrill cry of the desperate that cannot compete fairly in the open and robust market place of debate. It says less about the target than it does those who stoop so low.

Clinton represents much that is wrong and unhealthy about our society, indeed our world. However, activists should not lower themselves or our movement and its traditions to that level. Sadly, the next time you read of someone charged and convicted in the media it may just be you.  “We Feared Witches. We Hung Women”