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07.08.09

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News Blast

By Daniel Hirsch


Deadly folly

Pentagon Papers political activist Daniel Ellsberg and media critic Norman Solomon will discuss alternatives to more war in Afghanistan at the San Rafael City Hall on July 15. Not only will they talk about war, the two are also taking action—the event promotes an upcoming civic delegation traveling to Afghanistan.

The independent delegation, consisting of policy makers, journalists and independent researchers, plans to meet and gather information from people rarely heard from in U.S. mainstream media: Afghan people and officials, humanitarian aid workers and women's rights advocates. The Institute for Public Accuracy, founded by Solomon in 1997, is sponsoring the delegation and hopes to provide a more complete view of the current war.

"We're very eager to open a pipeline of information," Solomon says. "It's so important that the U.S. public get unfiltered, unspun information directly from Afghanistan."

The discussion will address the issue of military buildup in Afghanistan and what Solomon deems "the deadly folly of escalating war." Though he will not actually be joining the delegation abroad, Ellsberg will provide support in his advocacy and invaluable historic perspective—while working at the Pentagon, he stood in the same room as the late Defense Secretary Robert McNamara the night of the Gulf of Tonkin incident.

So often the official historical record differs from the lived experience of people. Or, in the words of Solomon from a recent posting on truthout.org: "Millions of words and factual data pour out of the Pentagon every day. Human truth is another matter."

Ellsberg and Solomon will be discussing alternatives to war on Wednesday, July 15, at San Rafael City Hall, 1400 Fifth Ave. 6pm for reception, 7pm for discussion. Free. solomonprogressive@gmail.com.


Two camps

While a sampling of the world's most powerful men gather at the Bohemian Grove this month for its annual encampment of male frolicking, pagan ritual and closed-door deals, a more marginal element will gather just outside the Grove's gates: protesters with the 9/11 Truth Action Network.

 

During the first weekend of the Grove's retreat, July 11-12, the 9/11 Truth Action Network invites protesters to set up camp—literally. Campsites abound in the greater Monte Rio area for all those with a tent or a van.

If you'd rather not protest the gathering of right wing power brokers, you can join them. On July 23, the Bohemian Club hosts its 98 th annual Monte Rio Night, a musical variety show. Tickets are $5-$20. All proceeds go to local charities, or to covering up nefarious global conspiracies—depends who you ask.

For more information on the Grove protest, email jungeonwarrior@yahoo.com. To reserve tickets for the Monte Rio Night, call 707.865.2234.


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