“Watergate was a kindergarten picnic,” Cedwyn wrote here in a diary on January 3rd.
[Desmond Tutu speaking] “It’s unbelievable that a country that many of us have looked to as the bastion of true freedom could now have eroded so many of the liberties we believed were upheld almost religiously.”
…”I had naively believed all these many years that Americans genuinely believed in freedom of speech. [But I] discovered there that when you made an utterance that was remotely contrary to what the White House was saying, then they attacked you. For a South African the déjà vu was frightening. They behaved exactly the same way that used to happen here–vilifying those who are putting forward a slightly different view.”
Reported Amy Goodman today about Tom Delay, George Bush, Grover Norquist, and Ralph Reed’s good buddy Jack Abramoff, a racist if there ever was one:
A 1995 investigation by Newsday revealed that Abramoff helped run a think–tank called the International Freedom Foundation.
The organization was set up in 1986 and its goal was to improve the white South African apartheid government’s image in the West while demonizing Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress as communist tools.
The Newsday report also quoted sources saying that the South African military helped finance the 1988 movie “Red Scorpion” which Abramoff wrote and produced.
The movie was a sympathetic portrayal of an anti-communist African guerrilla commander and loosely based on Jonas Savimbi, the Angolan rebel leader who was an ally of both South Africa’s apartheid government and the U.S government. (DN!)
And that proud label, “Made in the U.S.A.”? … continued below …
From “Forced Abortions & Sweatshops: A Look at Jack Abramoff’s Ties to the South Pacific Island of Saipan & How Tom DeLay Became An Advocate for Sweatshop Factory Owners,” today on Democracy Now!:
BRIAN ROSS (ABC News Investigative Reporter who appeared on DN! today]: Well, it’s interesting to watch this unfold because the man behind the scenes in every case was Jack Abramoff.
In the footage we had on World News Tonight last night showing DeLay arriving in Saipan. He’s wearing a funny-colored floral hat and is greeted by a man in a beard who’s Jack Abramoff. Big bear hugs all around. And it was Abramoff then who shepherded him around the island, made sure he would see what he wanted him to see. And DeLay took his family along. It was New Year’s Eve. Temperatures were very nice, much nicer than back in the States. And that’s what Abramoff was able to achieve. DeLay then became active in blocking legislation that would have cracked down on some of those terrible labor practices in Saipan.
AMY GOODMAN: I want to go to the issue of forced abortion, which is astounding given Tom DeLay’s stand on abortion. Can you talk about that?
BRIAN ROSS: Well, it’s completely counter to anything that DeLay or most Republicans seem to espouse, that was, on that island there were forced abortions. And the workers there who are all young women, who often had to pay to get these jobs, knew the rules. And they were barred from having boyfriends and certainly barred from having children if they became pregnant. They knew where to go, and there were a few essential back-alley abortion mills on the island. And that’s where these young Chinese women went in order to keep their jobs. And that was the deal. That’s part of the situation that was essentially endorsed by DeLay when he fought the laws. The laws were established essentially exempting Saipan, although it is a U.S. territory, from U.S. labor laws.
AMY GOODMAN: So, of course, the clothing that is made there says “Made in the U.S.A.”
Exploit one group, why not all.