Black Agenda Report 6 March 2013: Chavez / Bradley Manning / Sequestration / Congo / Haiti

6 March 2013 00 — Black Agenda Report

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

The great Bolivarian is gone – which means the U.S. will soon escalate its destabilization campaign against his country. “Washington hopes that Venezuelan socialism cannot survive without Chavez.” But the U.S. cannot roll back the movement that Chavez did so much to ignite, “the dark awakening in the barrios, favelas, rural villages and native highlands of the continent.”

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

The simple decency of Bradley Manning, who faces life in prison for being a good citizen, throws in graphic relief the infinite depravity of the current U.S. regime. “Lawlessness has now become perfected and normalized under the Obama administration.”

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

The Obama regime has been remarkably successful – in pushing forward a Republican agenda. Obama, especially, has “moved with such elegance and poise, his fans forgot that he was dancing with a partner: the GOP.” Together, they have starved the federal beast and forged a consensus on the inevitability of austerity. Let the gruesome-twosome take a bow.

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

The new agreement in the Democratic Republic of Congo – which has already been violated by U.S.-allied forces – would field a peace-enforcement mission. However, “if the U.S. and the Europeans pay for this nominally African force, and train and equip it, as they do in Somalia, then the U.S. will actually be running the show in Congo.”

A Black Agenda Radio Commentary by Bruce A. Dixon

Back when there used to be something like a black middle class, a lot of them were postal workers. Black postal workers were leaders in every struggle of the historic Freedom Movement, and the backbone of civic activism in African American communities everywhere, and played a crucial role in making the careers of black politicians possible. So why isn’t the black political class disposed to defend the postal service?

by Kevin Zeese and Marsha Coleman-Adebayo

Bradley Manning, a prisoner of the U.S. military and the national security state, could serve life in prison for revealing the “true nature of twenty-first century asymmetric warfare.” His crime was to expose the real “purpose, posture and pretenses of the US government around the world.”

by Fran Quigley

The United States claims that human rights is central to its foreign policy – a dubious proposition, and one that is certainly false, in Haiti, where former dictator Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier is trying to make a comeback. Washington is taking a “hands off” approach to Duvalier – as if the U.S. has ever embraced a “Hands Off Haiti” policy.

by Raymond Nat Turner

Jean Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier should be sentenced to “meet up wit his daddy,” down deep in the hole with “de Debil.”

Supreme Court Puts U.S. Spy Agency “Above the Law”

The U.S. Supreme Court’s dismissal of a suit against the National Security Agency’s wholesale spying on telephone and internet systems “essentially holds the NSA above the law,” said Shahid Buttar, executive director of the Bill of Rights Committee. Unless the plaintiffs can document that they, personally, have been monitored, they “have no right to appear in a federal court to challenge the program,” Shahid explained. But, since the program is secret, it is all but impossible for individuals to prove their case.

DNA vs. the Bill of Rights

The High Court is considering how police departments can collect and use people’s DNA. The case centers on Maryland’s DNA law, under which at least one victim of crime was later convicted of another, subsequent crime, based on his DNA. All 49 other states have filed briefs supporting Maryland’s law. Black Maryland state lawmaker Jill Carter, of Baltimore, who opposed the law when it was passed in 2009, said “every state in the country could be permitted to collect DNA from people who are not convicted of any crime.”

Detroit to Lose Control of Finances

Michigan’s Republican governor plans to name a financial manager to oversee the 83 percent Black city of Detroit, which would join five other Michigan municipalities and three school districts that have been stripped of local financial control. “Both Democrats and Republicans have had it in for Detroit ever since the 1967 uprising,” said Joyce Schon, of the activist organization BAMN, By Any Means Necessary. Resistance to the takeover must go beyond legal appeals, Schon said. “I think it’s got to be direct action, anything we can possibly bring to the streets.”

The Ruling Austerity Consensus

There is a consensus among both major political parties on the need for austerity, said Left Business Observer publisher Doug Henwood. “The only controversy among the ruling elite is, just how much and what kind” of austerity. Meanwhile, U.S. organized labor “has no independent politics, and no independent capacity for thought.”

Philly Schools Turn Back Clock on Equality

Philadelphia school authorities are calling for draconian changes in the system’s operations, including elimination of limits on class size – on top massive school closings. “I think that it’s turning the clock back on guaranteeing every child equalization of opportunity,” said State Rep. W. Curtis Thomas. Many schools don’t have libraries, safety officers, nurses, clean bathrooms, books, computers, or “teachers that are teaching in their areas of competency,” said Thomas, who wants Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, “along with the federal courts, to step in and straighten this situation out.”