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The Nation.

January 31, 2011

The Nation.
EDITOR & PUBLISHER: Katrina vanden Heuvel PRESIDENT: Teresa Stack MANAGING EDITOR: Roane Carey LITERARY EDITOR: John Palattella EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Betsy Reed SENIOR EDITORS: Richard Lingeman (on leave), Richard Kim WEB EDITOR: Emily Douglas COPY CHIEF: Judith Long ASSOCIATE LITERARY EDITOR: Miriam Markowitz COPY EDITOR: Mark Sorkin ASSISTANT COPY EDITOR: Dave Baker COPY ASSOCIATE: Lisa Vandepaer WEB EDITORIAL PRODUCER: Francis Reynolds RESEARCH DIRECTOR/ASSISTANT EDITOR: Kate Murphy ASSISTANT TO THE EDITOR: Peggy Suttle INTERNS: Devon Bancroft, Joanna Chiu, Hayes Clark, Ryan Devereaux, Braden Goyette,

Neima Jahromi, Jennifer O’Mahony, Laurie Rojas, Laura Stampler (Washington), Michael C. Tracey
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Arthur C. Danto, Mike Davis, Slavenka Drakulic, Robert Dreyfuss, Susan Faludi, Thomas Ferguson, Doug Henwood, Max Holland, Michael Moore, Christian Parenti, Richard Pollak, Joel Rogers, Karen Rothmyer, Robert Scheer, Herman Schwartz, Bruce Shapiro, Edward Sorel, Gore Vidal, Jon Wiener, Amy Wilentz, Art Winslow
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Falk, Frances FitzGerald, Eric Foner, Philip Green, Lani Guinier, Tom Hayden, Tony Kushner, Elinor Langer, Deborah W. Meier, Toni Morrison, Walter Mosley, Victor Navasky, Pedro Antonio Noguera, Richard Parker, Michael Pertschuk, Elizabeth Pochoda, Marcus G. Raskin, Kristina Rizga, Andrea Batista Schlesinger, David Weir, Roger Wilkins
editing for reasons of space and clarity.

a theoretically strong law allowing for intervention on behalf of citizens at risk but where escalating budget deficits have reduced intervention to irrelevance. As Arizona State University’s Morrison Institute documented in a report released just a few weeks ago, since 2008 the state’s funding for mental health services has been cut by 47 percent, with many programs eliminated altogether, resulting in “thousands of Arizonans and their families facing either no publicly funded behavioral health treatment or severely restricted access to such services.” (Contrast that with Giffords, who despite her reputation as a Blue Dog fiscal conservative not only voted for mental health parity in insurance coverage but fought for expanded mental healthcare for veterans, and in her last term in the State Senate was named legislator of the year by the Arizona Mental Health Association.) In Tucson, Loughner’s apparent mental illness combined fatally with one of the country’s most irresponsibly lax gun laws, driven by a firearms lobby so powerful that last year Governor Jan Brewer signed a measure ending the longstanding requirement for a permit to carry concealed weapons. Here too, Loughner’s rampage is only one expression of a far broader crisis. As Washington Post investigative reporters Sari Horwitz and James Grimaldi recently documented, Arizona gun shops are prime sources for the thousands of weapons arming Mexico’s drug cartels. The same ease with which Loughner obtained his weapon and extended magazine clip is feeding massive violence across the border just miles from Tucson. Last weekend, Arizona got a taste of what its guns have long delivered to Mexico, including the assassinations of judges and elected officials. To raise these issues does not exploit or politicize the horror in Tucson. Rather, it recognizes that the political currency of the right has long made a dangerous world more dangerous: shredding social safety nets, flooding our country and our neighbors with weapons, pitting civil rights and progressive social policy against reckless, I’ve-got-mine individualism backed up by insistent and violent paramilitary visions. Jared Lee Loughner appears to be a conspiracy of one. But the gun in his hand, the language and images he absorbed daily, even the fact that no institution was prepared to catch him as he went over the edge—those are a product of political design and intention nurtured over a generation. There is an opportunity now to show a different America. That doesn’t mean only rejecting gunsight ads or turning away from threatening campaign rhetoric; it means leaders from President Obama on down clearly articulating a social compact, which is the only real route to safety for politicians and citizens alike.

Why WikiLeaks Matters
More than fifty days have passed since
the WikiLeaks document release in late November, that one centering on US diplomatic cables and quickly dubbed “Cablegate.” At this writing, not even 3,000 cables from the cache, which reportedly holds more than 251,000 documents, have been published by WikiLeaks or, in most cases, by its newspaper partners, and it’s impossible to know whether everything of

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are among the leading funders of international terrorism. among others. according to the UN Office of the Special Envoy to Haiti. “His sentence of three years in prison is a far cry from justice when compared to the damage he has done to Texas households. Despite longstanding denials. It’s necessary to do this because most in the US media.3 billion for 2010–11 at a UN conference to help Haiti “build back better. US authorities failed to investigate hundreds of reports of torture and abuse by Iraqi police and military. His halfbrother is a major drug operator. after brief coverage.2 million by December. had paid only $55. along with calls by some pundits and politicians for his execution or assassination.3 billion of the pledges they made. And as with earlier WikiLeaks bombshells—the massive Iraq and Afghanistan “war logs”—many critics in the media soon labeled the Cablegate revelations minor. How all these issues and others are viewed by the public hinges significantly on the perceived value of the leaked cables. So it’s an appropriate time to assess what we have learned so far—about Assange and alleged leaker Bradley Manning (heroes? villains?). they are not playing politics. Julian Assange’s next court date in his sex-crime extradition case is not until February 7. then. the slight sentence neglects the fact that DeLay committed the crudest of electoral crimes. 5 prime importance has already emerged in the cherry-picking. which showed the killing of two Reuters journalists. the United States has indeed been conducting Noted. usually focus on the embarrassing loss of control and secrecy. along with oncesecret US assassination missions against insurgents. severely reduced coverage of the cables. not the damaging content of the cables. Consider the scope of even this very limited list of revelations: § The Saudis. and our Justice Department’s secret subpoenas for Twitter (and likely other social networks) seeking information on some WikiLeaks supporters. § The Pentagon basically lied to the public in downplaying sectarian violence in Iraq. governments and international institutions have disbursed just $1.” citing the slow rate of delivering on UN pledges. after a dozen days of heavy-duty reporting. using money not just to influence elections but to warp the redistricting process in such a way that future elections would be meaningless. instead. Then there are the various threats and retreats inspired by the latest leak: the likely US prosecution of Assange.January 31. Yet excluding debt relief. DeLay could have ended up with more than 100 years of jail time. flip control of the Texas House and redraw Congressional district lines to ensure Republican victories. § The scale of corruption in Afghanistan tops even the worst estimates. partly because of WikiLeaks’ financial problems. Of the European Community’s pledge of $294 million.000. The man who ran the House during much of the Bush/Cheney era—as the conniving puppet master to hapless Speaker Denny Hastert—engaged in money laundering as part of a grand scheme to use corporate cash to buy elections. provided little follow-up. DeLay claims he was just engaging in a little political roughhousing. A scathing report by Oxfam called the lack of reconstruction progress “deeply disappointing. which binds them to preserve and enhance democracy—not crush it with criminal conspiracies. § The British government assured Washington that our interests would be protected in its “independent” public inquiry into the Iraq War. And that’s the problem. Our military handed over many detainees they knew would be tortured to the Iraqis. our allies. JOHN NICHOLS WHERE’S THE MONEY? After a devastating earthquake killed more than 200. it had paid $97. When elected leaders game the system so that elections don’t matter.2 billion. Some of WikiLeaks’ media partners. Tom Smith. For balance. Now most of them are emerging via El País and a Norwegian daily.” with the US pledging $1. old hat. President Hamid Karzai regularly releases major drug dealers who have political connections.” While the prospect that a figure once so powerful might actually spend even a modest amount of time behind bars points to some overdue accountability. DELAY-ED JUSTICE: No one was surprised when a Texas jury found former House majority leader Tom DeLay guilty. The United States has disbursed only $120 million of its pledge. the international community pledged $5. § The Pakistani government has allowed its intelligence unit to hold strategy sessions with the Taliban. France has delivered less than a quarter of the $30 million it pledged to the Haiti Reconstruction Fund.000 people in Haiti last year. who directs the Texas office of Public Citizen— which. the effects of which will be felt for decades to come. ISABEL MACDONALD . US officials. even in charging foul. new tallies put the number of documented civilian casualties there at more than 100. the media’s COMMENT love-hate relationship with WikiLeaks and limits on civil liberties for journalists and whistleblowers. § After the release of the Iraq logs. they are committing acts that the founders identified in the Constitution as “high crimes. originally reported to have pledged $375 million for Haiti’s reconstruction. kept pounding “The Hammer” even after he left Congress—said of the ruling. it’s important to review a small sample of what we have learned thanks to WikiLeaks since April and the release of the “Collateral Murder” US helicopter video. Meanwhile. leading corporations such as PayPal and Amazon cutting off services for WikiLeaks. a Texas judge gave him just three years. The Afghanistan logs similarly showed many more civilians killed there than previously known. along with Texans for Public Justice. and a major upcoming WikiLeaks release—rumored to focus on Bank of America—seems to have been pushed back. 2011 The Nation.3 million. He subverted democracy. Canada.” DeLay should be held fully to account so that the current members of Congress might begin to respect their oath to support and defend the Constitution.

perks. We’ll show the poor who think they’ve scored Some coverage they can’t afford.html). We’re the “job killers. as with all finicky customers with plenty to spend. the receiving country might get a one-on-one meeting with Obama or some other perk. Going green. who now runs the advisory group Independent Diplomat. lights and air-conditioners that use far less energy will more than compensate for the relatively small increases in electric rates needed to discourage carbon and switch to wind and solar. Clean energy transformation is the best—perhaps the only—path to economic and job growth. Environmentalists are going to raise everyone’s energy bills. The Yemeni president gave us an “open door” to combat terrorism. see Joshua Norman’s report at CBS News (cbsnews. The Real Job Killers Listen to how we discuss clean energy in this country. So do some other countries in the region—or so they say in private. McKinsey & Company’s 2009 report “Unlocking Energy Efficiency in the U.S. Washington has secretly shipped arms to the Saudis for use in Yemen.” the New York Times reported early this month. clean energy may be a nice idea but it’s prohibitively expensive. “Repeal!” That’s on our flag. an unwillingness to address with any sophistication or seriousness the complex and everchanging world that the United States—and all of us—must now deal with. contrary to their public statements. taking credit for air attacks on militants in that country—but it was the United States that did the job. “The picture of the world revealed in the cables demands a sober and informed reflection on the realities of policy-making…. The prevailing and lazy assumption is implied but all too clear: that the foreign policy elite. The reactions to WikiLeaks share one abiding characteristic. As the many key issues surrounding WikiLeaks are debated in the weeks ahead. the motor car and information technology in earlier periods of economic history. § The Yemenis have lied to their own people. the savings from new refrigerators. even aiming to retrieve credit card numbers. Deadline Poet House Republicans Plan Symbolic Repeal Vote on The Healthcare Law We’ll show those folks who fail to list Conditions that may pre-exist. writ large. namely. for a longer list. cheaper transportation and price stability.” Greg Mitchell writes the Media Fix blog for TheNation. it’s said. § Pope Benedict XVI impeded an investigation into alleged child sex abuse within the Catholic Church in Ireland. Economy” shows that for every dollar Calvin Trillin. and government. § Israel destroyed a Syrian nuclear reactor in 2007.” And there’s another crucial aspect. As British economist Nicholas Stern has said of clean energy.” The revelations go on and on. “These investments will play the role of the railways. often bargaining with should be left to get on with the job. with whatever secrecy that GREG MITCHELL they demand. 2011 special ops inside Pakistan and taking part in joint operations with the Pakistanis. § Our State Department asked our diplomats at the United Nations to spy on others. To hear the mainstream discourse tell it.” This framing of the issue runs 180 degrees counter to the actual facts of life in the year 2011. electricity. § Among several startling revelations about control of nuclear supplies: highly enriched uranium has been waiting in Pakistan for more than three years for removal by an American . want us to bomb Iran. and you’ll note that the conversation is exactly upside down. so obvious that it can easily be overlooked. § At last we got to read in full the historic 1990 memo from US Ambassador to Iraq April Glaspie before Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait and the first Gulf War. § The Saudis. “United States diplomats were acting like marketing agents. offering deals to heads of state and airline executives whose decisions could be influenced by price. cars. § US diplomats have been searching for countries that will take Guantánamo detainees. will lead to lower net energy bills for Americans. “The reaction that the WikiLeaks episode most deserves has been the least evident. January 31. including the secretary general. performance and. § Bribery and corruption mark the Boeing versus Airbus battle for plane sales. we must recognize what we would have missed without the 2010 “document dumps. With a smart grid.6 The Nation.” observes former British diplomat Carne Ross. § The British have trained a Bangladeshi paramilitary force that human rights organizations consider a “government death squad. including rebuilding our industrial base and competitiveness. if properly financed and combined with energy-saving investments. We’ll show those sick folks who’s in charge. will cost jobs and strangle growth at a time when America must do whatever it takes to get our economy and people workCOMMENT ing again. § The Obama administration worked with Republicans to protect Bush officials who faced a criminal investigation in Spain for alleged torture.” Renewable energies. We’ll nix the misbegotten rule That covers kids once out of school.

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