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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Press avoids defense of Paul
from Texas NAACP official

A Texas NAACP official who knows Ron Paul well is on record defending the GOP presidential candidate's positions, citing maneuvering by moneyed interests to misrepresent the newsletter issue. The mainstream press has avoided quoting this Paul defender.

Meanwhile, mainstream media are making an issue of the candidate's refusal to discuss further the newsletter matter, while themselves refusing to discuss the Israel lobby crusade to defeat him. Paul favors leaving both Israel and Iran to fend for themselves.

Paul has disavowed some of the editorial content of the newsletters, saying he hadn't been paying strict attention.

Speaking out against the charges when they first surfaced during the last Republican primary in 2007, Nelson Linder, president of the Austin branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, said he has personally known Paul for 20 years and heard him speak out against police oppression in minority communities, racial biases in mandatory drug sentencing, and favorably about the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“Knowing Ron Paul’s intent, I think he is trying to improve this country but I think also, when you talk about the Constitution and you constantly criticize the federal government versus state I think a lot of folks are going to misconstrue that," Linder said, adding that "I think it’s very easy for folks who want to to take his position out of context and that’s what I’m hearing.” Linder told talk radio host Alex Jones during a January 2008 interview.

“Knowing Ron Paul and having talked to him, I think he’s a very fair guy I just think that a lot of folks do not understand the Libertarian platform,” Linder told talk radio host Alex Jones during a January 2008 interview.

“I’ve read Ron Paul’s whole philosophy, I also understand what he’s saying from a political standpoint and why people are attacking him,” said Linder.

“If you scare the folks that have the money, they’re going to attack you and they’re going to take it out of context,” he added.

“What he’s saying is really really threatening the powers that be and that’s what they fear,” the the NAACP president said.

At another point, Linder is quoted: “There are quite a few folks who don’t understand the libertarian philosophy,” Linder said, adding the ideology is one African-Americans should more open to -- though Linder did not endorse Paul and went on to support Barack Obama.

“The two-party system has failed America,” Linder said.

“I hope that more folks in the other parties develop the courage to join him in addressing that, I think, will decide the fate of this country in the future.”

Linder's opinion might lend support to the idea that Paul wasn't keeping track of everything in his newsletters.

A commentary in a 1992 Ron Paul Political Report on the Los Angeles riots was titled “A Special Issue on Racial Terrorism.” Among other things, it said: “The criminals who terrorized our cities — in riots and on every non-riot day — are not exclusively young black males, but they largely are.” It went on to say: “Order was only restored in L.A. when it came time for the blacks to pick up their welfare checks three days after rioting began.”

This opinion is highly insensitive, but it should be taken in light of the great indignation across the nation over the rioting.

Paul's enemies, who remain shielded by mainstream media, include the defense industry lobby, which sees his positions as threatening welfare for the arms merchants, and the neoconservatives, who believe that American and Israeli foreign policy should be joined at the hip.

The neocons in government and the press are a major source of the continuing confrontationalism with Iran, as they were with Iraq. A published plan that they endorsed had the United States invade Iraq and from there also neutralize Iran and Syria, thus pacifying all Israel's major enemies. Much of neocon frustration with President Obama stems from the fact that he did not continue a major presence in Iraq so as to more easily carry out the neocon agenda.

The other GOP candidates fear to cross the neocon war party by making peace-like noises.

The New York Times last week ran a long article on the newsletter controversy without making a strong case for anti-Semitism, while other passages cited may have been politically insensitive, but a great many readers would have identified with them.

The Times report set off the term neocon in quotation marks, as if it was a term used by fringe groups, without identifying who the neoconservatives are and their close ties to pro-Israel militants.

In fact, the Times cited the New Republic and the Weekly Standard for publishing excerpts from the newsletters, without mentioning their militantly pro-Israel background.

The hawkish Weekly Standard, owned by media magnate Rupert Murdoch, was established as the voice of the neocon movement.

The New Republic's owner, the leftist Martin Peretz, has himself been embroiled in controversies over ethnically charged comments.

On September 4, 2010, Peretz drew media attention and controversy when he posted an editorial which concluded:

"But, frankly, Muslim life is cheap, most notably to Muslims. And among those Muslims led by the Imam Rauf there is hardly one who has raised a fuss about the routine and random bloodshed that defines their brotherhood. So, yes, I wonder whether I need honor these people and pretend that they are worthy of the privileges of the First Amendment which I have in my gut the sense that they will abuse."

New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof denounced Peretz's comments, asking: "Is it possible to imagine the same kind of casual slur tossed off about blacks or Jews?"

Amid the controversy, Harvard University canceled Peretz's scheduled speech on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Harvard's Social Studies Department where Peretz once taught. The Atlantic's James Fallows summarized Peretz's reputation on Sept. 25, concluding that if his legacy were settled that day, despite being "beloved by many students and respected by some magazine colleagues," in his 70s he would be considered a bigot.

Jefferson Morley, a Peretz friend, who worked at The New Republic from 1983 to 1987, told Jack Shafer of Slate, "I could never reconcile this intellectual strength with his racism and unpleasant attempts to play the bully."

And as for problems of editorial control, during Peretz's tenure at the New Republic, the magazine faced one of journalism's most notorious fabrication scandals. One of the magazine's writers, Stephen Glass, was found to have fabricated portions or all of 27 of 41 stories he wrote for the magazine.

CNN commentator David Frum branded Paul an "ignoramous" and a "cracker" while being interviewed for a news spot. CNN simply lists Frum as a "conservative." However, the former Bush speechwriter is on the board of directors of the Republican Jewish Coalition, which has "hosted leadership trips to Israel for Members of Congress, governors, and other political leaders," among other activities.

During the 1990s Frum is reported to have attended "three or four" Bilderberg Group meetings as a guest of Conrad Black, at the time a militantly pro-Israel media tycoon whose Daily Telegraph went on to become a major proponent of invading Iraq.

Black, since imprisoned on financial fraud charges, kept Washington Post writer George Will on his payroll. Will served on an informal board of advisors to Hollinger International, a newspaper company controlled by Black. The board met once a year and Will received an annual payment of $25,000. The board was disbanded in 2001. In March 2003, Will wrote a syndicated column which praised a speech by Black and did not disclose their previous business relationship.

This reporter has tried to review copies of the Paul newsletters termed inflammatory, but hasn't succeeded in getting online access. Much of the criticism coming from such outlets as CNN talks vaguely about "racism," "anti-Semitism" and so on without giving exact quotations.

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