What's at Stake, What Can Be Done
Election Year 2008 may represent a last-ditch opportunity to save the American Republic and its noble promise of “unalienable rights” for all mankind. Today’s political crisis cannot be overstated.
For the past seven years, George W. Bush has mounted an unprecedented assault on the nation’s Constitution. He has followed a neoconservative path toward an imperial system built on an all-powerful Executive, an ill-informed and frightened public, and a military dispatched globally on ill-defined missions in an endless war.
In this Brave New World, up is down.
President Bush tells us that he values “freedom” and “liberty” as he tramples on our most treasured constitutional rights: habeas corpus protections against arbitrary arrest, the Fourth Amendment’s requirements for search warrants, the Sixth Amendment’s guarantee of a fair trial, the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition on “cruel and unusual punishment.”
Bush also shows contempt for the principle of free speech. Whenever he faces criticism, he deploys his government subordinates and the powerful right-wing media to attack the citizens who dare dissent.
From the Dixie Chicks to Valerie Plame, we have seen what happens to Americans who get in the way of Bush’s political/media machine.
What We’ve Done
At Consortiumnews.com, we have done our best to both investigate and explain the nature of this extraordinary threat to the American Republic. In a sense, we have been doing this since our founding in 1995. Even then, the danger was apparent and growing.
What we saw was an emerging war on information and reason.
The clever neoconservatives recognized that the vulnerability of a modern democracy was through its media. If independent, honest sources of information could be cut off – and if the public could be overwhelmed by misinformation and fear-mongering – the neocons knew they could dominate the political process.
The neocon strategy was aided and abetted by a Washington press corps that had lost its way, seduced by the financial rewards of lucrative careers.
The political system failed, too. Many Republicans worked hand in glove with the neocons, while many Democrats chose to accommodate, rather than resist.
That is still the state of play as we enter this pivotal election year. So what can be done?
I believe that this battle for the survival of the American Republic will be won or lost primarily on the battlefield of information.
So, just as the neocons promote false narratives to confuse the American people, we must tell honest narratives and get this information to the people.
That is one aim of our new book, Neck Deep: The Disastrous Presidency of George W. Bush, putting in one place the true history of this era.
A people who are armed with reliable information can be a powerful force for good.
Toward that end, we have expanded Consortiumnews.com into an almost daily source of independent, well-researched news and analysis that we share free of charge with scores of other Internet sites.
We also have collaborated with a group of patriotic former U.S. intelligence officers – the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity – who have applied their analytical skills to help explain the crisis facing our own country.
Our chief goal during Campaign 2008 will be to counter the predictable smears and the inevitable scare tactics with solid facts and serious analysis. We want this election to be decided by informed consent, not more dirty tricks and trivia.
But we need your help at this critical juncture:
First, we must raise $50,000 in our end-of-year fundraiser. So, if you can, please make a tax-deductible contribution to our parent organization, Consortium for Independent Journalism, a 501-c-3 educational non-profit.
Second, if you know someone at a foundation or other funding source, urge them to help us. We have appealed to a number of organizations, including Working Assets, Carnegie, MacArthur, Ford, Schumann, and others.
Third, forward our stories to newspapers, politicians and friends. On our very tight budget, there’s only so much promotion we can do. We must rely on our readers to spread the word about what we do.
We realize that many readers don’t have much money to spare, which is one reason we publish our Web site free. But, if you can afford to make a donation, you can rest assured that it will produce more bang-for-the-penny than just about any other news outlet.
Also, if you make a donation of $100, we will send you an autographed gift copy of Neck Deep (paperback) or you can request another of our books – Lost History or Secrecy & Privilege. For a donation of $150 or more, you can get Neck Deep in hard cover.
Just e-mail us with your choice at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Robert Parry, Editor
Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek. His latest book, Neck Deep: The Disastrous Presidency of George W. Bush, was written with two of his sons, Sam and Nat, and can be ordered at neckdeepbook.com. His two previous books, Secrecy & Privilege: The Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq and Lost History: Contras, Cocaine, the Press & 'Project Truth' are also available there. Or go to Amazon.com.
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