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View Diary: What's Happenin'? 4.9.13 Hell No! No Grand Bargain (87 comments)

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  •  take over of institutions that do good work (5+ / 0-)

    yesterday I made a comment that it takes so much more time to keep up with the news because:

    1. the empire is collapsing and bad things everywhere

    2. the corporate media not doing its job so we have to search far and wide to get the news

    here is a new twist

    i thought that I could trust what I got from some organizations, like Amnesty International

    i don't have any specific examples, but the fact that the top leadership was corrupted is very troubling

    but guess who their last president was? A war monger and a supporter of Obama

    i knew that PEN was a writers group, but I didn't know about its support for human rights

    now the same president from Amnesty is now the head of PEN

    who can we trust now?

    Chris Hedges has an article on PEN and their new head

    The Hijacking of Human Rights

    The appointment of Suzanne Nossel, a former State Department official and longtime government apparatchik, as executive director of PEN American Center is part of a campaign to turn U.S. human rights organizations into propagandists for pre-emptive war and apologists for empire. Nossel’s appointment led me to resign from PEN as well as withdraw from speaking at the PEN World Voices Festival in May. But Nossel is only symptomatic of the widespread hijacking of human rights organizations to demonize those—especially Muslims—branded by the state as the enemy, in order to cloak pre-emptive war and empire with a fictional virtue and to effectively divert attention from our own mounting human rights abuses, including torture, warrantless wiretapping and monitoring, the denial of due process and extrajudicial assassinations.
    The playwright and fierce anti-war critic Arthur Miller, the first American president of PEN International, fearlessly stood up to McCarthyism and was blacklisted. He denounced the Vietnam War. He decried the invasion of Iraq. PEN, when it embodied Miller’s resistance and decency, stood for something real and important. As the U.S. bombed Iraq into submission and then invaded, Miller, who called the war a form of “mass murder,” said indignantly: “It’s a joke that the U.S. government wheels out the Geneva Convention when they themselves have turned away or flouted so many international treaties.”
    All systems of power are the problem. And it is the role of the artist, the writer and the intellectual to defy every center of power on behalf of those whom power would silence and crush. This means, in biblical terms, embracing the stranger. It means being a constant opponent rather than an ally of government. It means being the perpetual outcast. Those who truly fight for human rights understand this.

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