Late Night: Interesting Juxtapositions

FIRST JUXTAPOSITION: COMPARE AND CONTRAST

First responders at Ground Zero in NYC

Huffington Post reported today that a little-known amendment in the new 9/11 health bill requires anyone who applies for benefits to be checked by the FBI to make sure they’re not terrorists.

The tens of thousands of cops, firefighters, construction workers and others who survived the worst terrorist assault in U.S. history and risked their lives in its wake will soon be informed that their names must be run through the FBI’s terrorism watch list, according to a letter obtained by HuffPost.

Any of the responders who are not compared to the database of suspected terrorists would be barred from getting treatment for the numerous, worsening ailments that the James Zadroga 9/11 Health And Compensation Law was passed to address.

It’s a requirement that was tacked onto the law during the bitter debates over it last year.

The letter from Dr. John Howard, director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, informs medical providers and administrators that they should begin letting patients know before the new program kicks in this July.

Yes, the people who risked their lives and their health to help after 9/11 will be treated like suspected terrorists by their government.

"Liquidators" clean up after Chernobyl explosion

From Voice of America: Chernobyl’s Cleanup Crew Pay a Steep Price, 25 Years On

On April 26, 1986 a nuclear reactor at the Chernobyl plant caught fire and exploded, sending radioactive debris high into the sky. Aleksey Breus was an engineer at Chernobyl at the time of the explosion. He worked four straight days inside the plant after the explosion. He wore protective equipment, but still received a large dose of radiation.

According to Breus, all “lucheviki” – the Russian word surviving cleanup workers use for describing one another – have been left with one thing in common: illness and a lack of money to pay for medications. He says virtually all of them live in poverty.

Another Chernobyl worker, Aleksander Kramer, says he was one of the first to go into the plant after the explosion. Kramer, who now lives in Germany, remains angry at how he was treated by authorities in what was then the Soviet Union. From the very beginning, he says, the authorities doubted those claiming they were part of the clean-up effort.

And the suspicions have lingered. In 1993, Kramer says former rescue workers had to prove to Ukranian authorities “that their documents were not a sham and that their health problems were real.”

Remember when we were told over and over again that the United States was morally superior to the Soviet Union? What’s the difference again?


SECOND JUXTAPOSITION: COMPARE AND CONTRAST

Time Magazine, 1970: President Richard Nixon tells the media that Charles Manson (then on trial in Los Angeles) is guilty.

Nixon had just come from a ten-day working holiday in San Clemente, where he found himself angered by the coverage given the Manson case in the local media. Many of the young, Nixon said in Denver, “tend to glorify and to make heroes out of those who engage in criminal activities.”

In Los Angeles, the effect of Nixon’s remarks on the Manson trial was instant and dramatic. While the Los Angeles Times came out the same afternoon with a four-inch headline reading MANSON GUILTY, NIXON DECLARES, Judge Charles Older went to great lengths to ensure that the jury, which has been sequestered since the trial began, would not learn of Nixon’s remarks. The windows of the jury bus were whited over with Bon Ami so that no juror could glimpse the headline on street newsstands. If the jury discovered Nixon’s verdict, the defense might have grounds for a mistrial.

Remember when Americans (and the media) cared when the President did something wrong?

WL Central, April 22, 2011: President Obama tells protestors that Bradley Manning “broke the law.”

Transcript and comments from WL Central:

“People can have philosophical ideas about certain things,” President Obama explains. “But, look, I can’t conduct diplomacy on open source.” He then goes on to add that he has to abide by certain classified information rules or law and if he had released material like Manning did he’d be breaking the law.

Now, here is the remark that deserves the most attention: “We’re a nation of laws. We don’t individually make our decisions about how the laws operate.” He adds, “He broke the law.” Finally, before removing himself from the conversation, he says Manning “dumped” information and “it wasn’t the same thing” as what Daniel Ellsberg did because what Ellsberg leaked “wasn’t classified in the same way.”

First, President Obama says Bradley Manning did it. It is not entirely clear that he did it unless you solely rely on the chat logs published by Wired magazine. Manning is the alleged whistleblower in the case. And, displaying this attitude that he is guilty before he actually is put on trial and convicted may prejudice Manning’s case.

That’s if Mr. Obama ever allows Bradley Manning’s case to go to trial. When is that going to happen? And when will today’s media be as outraged by Obama’s irresponsible remarks as the media of 1970 was at Nixon’s?


9 Comments on “Late Night: Interesting Juxtapositions”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    Please, can’t we get rid of this pathetic excuse for a president?

    • Branjor says:

      Whenever I read something like that I think of throwing him over my head in a judo move. Too bad it’s not as easy as that.

    • dakinikat says:

      I want to know why what Manning had was more classified that what Ellsberg leaked. Seems like Ellsberg had more stuff that could’ve been dangerous overall. Unbelievable.

      • Seriously says:

        Lol Yeah, we need the Great Constitutional Law Professor to clarify how the Pentagon Papers were classified in a “different” way. The government hasn’t even officially declassified them to this day, has it? I’m going to go with it’s different because Obama is a dope who has no clue what he’s talking about and just makes it up as he goes along.

  2. dakinikat says:

    Did you see this? Every where I’m trying to study trade relations these days is having unrest of some sort.

    Clashes resume at Thai-Cambodian border
    Fighting has erupted again at the Thai-Cambodia border early on Saturday, forcing thousands to evacuate nearby villages.

  3. jan says:

    Do courts martial have jury trials???

    • bostonboomer says:

      Yes, they do. But the plan appears to be to hold Manning indefinitely without trial, which is outrageous.

  4. Boo Radly says:

    We have an immoral global governing cabal in place. It is no longer economically possible for the oligarchy attain enough for their needs to support any moral “attitude”. Several years ago, after Bu$h was first selected, there was a short period that it was “popular” to speak and write about ethics…. nothing happened to change ethics but a steep decline. Don’t hear too much mention of ethics or, at least I am not aware of it these days. Not a big demand for books on it.

    Congress should not be allowed to pass any laws that do not effect them as well as the public.

    “The Great Constitutional Law Professor” always did sound a little brain dead the few times he made reference to constitution/law/US history, but then, we are sufficiently inured to these comments.

  5. Amnesty International has said Mannings treatment may violate his human rights. Manning is being held in maximum security in a single-occupancy cell at Quantico and he is allowed to wear only a suicide-proof smock to bed each night…