Friday, March 21, 2008

Friday Questions for Diane, May 21, 2008

Today, Good Friday, 2008, I begin a new series I'm calling "Friday Questions for Diane".

I listen to the Diane Rehm Show. Just about every single day, fully, at work, oh headphones. That's where I started my adult education.

That is where I was introduced to Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Kevin Phillips, and David Corn.

That is also where I first heard Kenneth Tomlinson and various voices of the American Enterprise Institute.

That is where one question I sent in was asked of Seymour Hersh. I asked him about the General who I'd read was fired not for the official reason given, but because he was ready to blow the cover of Cheney's plot to attack Iran -- long before the public was aware of his determination to do so. Hersh stunned me by pausing, telling Diane that this was why he loved doing this because he could sometimes learn from his audience, and then speaking to me directly -- telling me to contact him.

Diane Rehm is the Oprah Winfrey of the NPR world -- mainstream enough to have a wide audience, but unexpectedly courageous at times. I have heard her fearlessly question both Kissinger and Lynne Cheney -- who were not pleased.

That is why she was the other target of investigation (along with Bill Moyers) by th aforementioned Ken Tomlinson, who was Rove's lacky leading the Corporation for Public Broadcasting back in 2005, pushing propaganda and squashing the truth by calling it "liberal bias".

A while ago, Diane found that she needed to change her Friday scheduled News Roundup to take both of her 2 hours - one for international news and one for national news.

I send in questions. They are rarely asked. She must get so very many.

Still I send them. They make me think about what do I want more interested, thinking people to know about -- this week. Right now. And I know in the long run, they have an affect.

I have decided to post them. They are what I want YOU to know about, to think about, to ask about. I may adjust them a little from what I actually send in the wee hours before I leave for work on Friday, but only to make them more clear.

If more of us demand answers, we'll get them.

So, on this day, May 21, 2008, 5 years after the 5th Anniversary of the United States invasion of Iraq, I sent two separate questions, admittedly on the same theme.

FQFD #1:

Last weekend, the Iraq Veterans Against the War hosted “Winter Soldier: Iraq & Afghanistan”, a 4 day event in Washington, D.C. at which veterans and their families testified about their experiences on the ground and since returning home.

Mainstream media coverage has been minimal; NPR gave it 3 minutes. But “Democracy Now” devoted 3 one-hour shows to the testimony.

Nothing that was said indicated that their experience was, in Mr. Bush’s word’s, “exciting” or “romantic.”

What should be done to make any of the consequences of this unnecessary invasion, on any level, real to this man?

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FQRD #2:

I think your audience, more Americans, should know about this:

In response to hearing about testimony from veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan at last weekend's "Winter Solder" Conference, a Defense Department Spokesman, Lt. Col. Mark Ballesteros, stated:

"When isolated allegations of misconduct have been reported, commanders have conducted comprehensive investigations to determine the facts and held individuals accountable when appropriate."

The Iraq Veterans Against the War, sponsor of the event, immediately responded:

“These service members and veterans’ testimonies are ultimately not about individual conduct, but about the nature of occupation. The military is being asked to win an occupation. The troops on the ground know this is an impossible task. Their commanders know this is an impossible task." (

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