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This Friday night at the Free Press office, don’t miss the film showing

9/11 Press For Truth

9/11

“Probably one of the greatest documentaries to be produced because
everybody — from a 90 year old man to a 4 year old child, from a PhD
to no education — will understand it and because it has no hidden
agenda.”
-Dick Gregory, social satirist

“Phenomenal! Stunning! Unbelievable! It’s so well done…”
-Randi Rhodes, Air America

Out of the grieving thousands left behind on September 11th, a small
group of activist families emerged to demand answers. In 9/11 Press For
Truth, six of them (including three of the famous “Jersey Girls”) tell
for the first time the powerful story of how they took on the powers in
Washington—and won!—compelling an investigation, only to subsequently
watch the 9/11 Commission fail in answering most of their questions.

Friday, Sept. 7
Doors open 6:30pm, movie showing at 7pm
Free Press office: 1000 E. Main St., parking in rear, overflow at
Salvation Army next door
253-2571, truth@freepress.org

 

 

 

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Ohio, Did U.S. Intelligence Assets Kill Antioch College?

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

By Bob Fitrakis

At the time of its announced closure, Antioch College, perhaps America’s most progressive and well-known peace college, had a few visible capitalist hawks on its Board of Trustees.

Bruce P. Bedford, one of only three Trustees not a former alum, had been appointed to the board of Arlington, Virginia company GlobeSecNine in 2005. The company is described by a representative of investment corporation Bear Sterns as having “a unique set of experiences in special forces, classified operations, transportation security and military operations.” One can only speculate why the nation’s longest-standing anti-imperialist education institution would appoint a trustee with extensive ties to the military and security industrial complexes.

Business Wire on May 4, 2005 described GlobeSecNine as follows: “GlobeSecNine invests in companies providing U.S. defense, security, global trade management and supply chain solutions to the public and private sectors, and has a strategic alliance with The Scowcroft Group, a business advisory firm headed by former National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft.”

Bedford served on the GlobeSecNine board of advisors with Scowcroft and co-founder of the CIA Counter-Terrorism Center Fred Turco. Others affiliated with the company are tied directly to the prison industrial complex and the anti-liberal “war on drugs,” for example Jack Lawn, former Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration, who serves on the board of directors.

On July 3, 2007, Michael Alexander’s name was removed from the list of Antioch trustees. Two days earlier, he had been sworn in as president of Lasell College in Newton Massachusetts. There has been speculation that Antioch’s campus would make a great retirement community, much like the one at Lasell, known as Lasell Village, “a state-of-the-art eldercare community with the first-of-its-kind built in educational component.”

In 1998 Alexander founded AverStar, where he served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, and did business primarily with NASA and the Defense Department. In 2000, Alexander’s AverStar defense company merged with the Titan corporation.

In March 2005, Titan pled guilty and paid the largest penalty under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in history for bribery and filing false tax returns.

L-3 Communications acquired the Titan Corporation on July 29, 2005. As their corporate website described the company, it “is a leading provider of Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) systems, secure communications systems, aircraft modernization, training and government services. The company is a leading merchant supplier of a broad array of high technology products, including guidance and navigation, sensors, scanners, fuzes, data links, propulsion systems, simulators, avionics, electro optics, satellite communications, electrical power equipment, encryption, signal intelligence, antennas and microwave components. L-3 also supports a variety of Homeland Security initiatives with products and services. Its customers include the Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, selected U.S. Government intelligence agencies and aerospace prime contractors.”

The L-3 Communications Titan Group brags that 8000 of its 10,000 employees have “security clearances” and that they are a leading provider of C4ISR, Command, Control, Communications, Computer, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance – “developing and supporting the systems of today and tomorrow for the United States and Allied Militaries and defense-related agencies in order for them to carry out their assigned missions,” according to their website.

While Antioch board members Bedford and Alexander cozied up with U.S. intelligence and Homeland Security, students at the university sponsored a national teach-in to expose the atrocities of Guantanamo Bay on October 5, 2006.

How a college targeted by the FBI and its notorious COINTELPRO operation during the Cold War as a “vanguard of the New Left” managed to place two “spook”-connected trustees on their board is a mystery worth exploring.

Antioch resides in the shadow of the Wright Patterson Air Force Base and its legendary Foreign Technologies Division that reverse engineers weapons systems from other nations. Its larger neighbor to the west, Ohio State University, has long been tied up with the CIA’s favorite nonprofit institution, Battelle, and was one of the 30 or so universities involved in the MK Ultra mind control LSD experiments in the 1960s.

The Dayton Daily News is reporting that a $5 million accounting error caused the radical college to close. Others have pointed to the long-standing rumors of intelligence ties to the Antioch Europe in Transition study program.

If the CIA or U.S. intelligence services were involved in the subversion of America’s most anti-imperialist and pro-peace college, it wouldn’t be the first time that the progressive college campuses have been infiltrated. The CIA subverted the National Student Association in the late 50s and early 60s. The agency also has been accused of subverting everything from fraternities to Fullbright scholars to Peace Corps workers.

The role of these trustees must be heavily scrutinized. Antioch alumni should be ashamed to allow their college to die until they get to the bottom of this spooky mystery.

Bob Fitrakis is the author of The Fitrakis Files: Spooks, Nukes, and Nazis, on the role of the CIA in Ohio politics.

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See: When the Levees Broke Part One – An American Tragedy

When the levee broke 

Monday, August 13, 7pm 
See: When the Levees Broke Part One – An American Tragedy, A Spike Lee Film
As the world watched in horror, Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans on August 29, 2005. Like many who watched the unfolding drama on television news, director Spike Lee was shocked not only by the scale of the disaster, but by the slow, inept and disorganized response of the emergency and recovery effort. Lee was moved to document this modern American tragedy, a morality play witnessed by people all around the world. The result is WHEN THE LEVEES BROKE: A REQUIEM IN FOUR ACTS. The film is structured in four acts, each dealing with a different aspect of the events that preceded and followed Katrina’s catastrophic passage through New Orleans.
Every second Monday of the month, the Central Ohio Greens show an environmental film with discussion following. 
Location:  Northside Library, 1423 N High St, Columbus, near King and High Streets. dgibson6@columbus.rr.com.

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Saturday, August 11, 2007, Free Press Second Saturday Salon

Saturday, August 11, 2007
Free Press Second Saturday Salon
6pm-midnight. Meet new friends in the progressive community! Have a meeting during the salon with a small group! Give a presentation on a social justice issus. Food, drinks, music, art, political discourse or just socializing time with progressive friends. Music by Marvin the Robot.
Location:Free Press office, 1000 E. Main St., in Columbus Compact building, parking lot in rear, overflow in Salvation Army parking lot next door.
Phone:253-2571, 224-1082
Email:truth@freepress.org

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Free Press Second Saturday Salon, Saturday, July 14, 2007

6pm-midnight. Meet new friends in the progressive community! Have a
meeting during the salon with a small group! Give a presentation on a
social justice issue! Food, drinks, music, art, political discourse or
just socializing time with progressive friends.

Presentation topic: Women against beauty deception by Bona Oma. Madison
Avenue has generated millions by encouraging women to pursue a phantom
of perfection that most will never attain. Bona Oma is an
advocacy/support group that exposes Madison Ave.’s false depiction of
women. Please join us for this avant-garde presentation including a
slide show, displays and great conversation!

Location:Free Press office, 1000 E. Main St., old firehouse #11,
parking lot in rear, overflow in Salvation Army lot next door.
Phone:253-2571, 224-1082
Email:Free Press

Be Ashamed To Die Until You Have Won Some Victory For Humanity

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June 26, 2007

You can’t generally hold a writer responsible for a headline, usually written by an editor, but you can take issue with it. The headline “Antioch’s sunk itself by refusing to evolve,” in the June 17 Columbus Dispatch over a Mike Harden column, suggests that the new corporate college and university model is in some way a step forward for humanity.

Remember that the Antioch College motto, taken from the great educator Horace Mann, is: “Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity.”

How one talks about the death, or temporary closing, of the legendary Antioch College – without talking about the great victories that it has won for humanity, this nation, the state of Ohio, and even the city of Columbus – is puzzling.

Let’s recall that history. The Christian Connection founded the college in 1852. It’s a little hard to believe now, in the era of George W. Bush’s warmongering, profit-loving, pro-corporate version of Jesus, but there was a time when the American Christian churches drew more from the Sermon on the Mount than Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations.

One of the funny ideas that Antioch put forth was that the college “shall afford equal privileges to students of both sexes.” Right from the start, Antioch failed to quote “evolve” into the mainstream sexist society. The college went so far as to hire Professor Rebecca Pennell. Antioch gave her the same rank and pay as her male colleagues – an idea that the rest of society did not “evolve” into until more than century later, although it is still not clear if equal pay is being enforced.

Before the Civil War, the college enrolled two African American female students in the Antioch Preparatory School, an official part of the college, when more “evolved” people felt blacks and women were inherently inferior.

From the beginning, Antioch ran deficits, close to 40% of its budget between 1857 and 1859. In 1862, the college closed until the end of the Civil War. Had the college held more “evolved” ideas such as racism, sexism, and capitalism, they would have no doubt taken care of their budget problems with funds from understanding plutocratic donors.

In the 20th century, Antioch was targeted as a bastion of liberal thought and student activism by the authoritarian House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC). The chief criticism centered on the fact that Antioch would not expel faculty and students perceived to have real or imagined Communist leanings.

Antioch College officials argued that freedom does not begin by suppressing unpopular ideas, but by considering and debating all positions. The college was in the forefront of the American civil rights movement and justly is proud of the fact that Coretta Scott King is an alumnus, class of 1951. So is civil rights leader Eleanor Holmes Norton, who later served as Chairwomen of the U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission.

Harden writes that “Somehow along the way, the school also acquired the reputation of harboring a bunch of Birkenstock bohemians and pony-tailed, guitar-plunking pinkos.” Only in Ohio would that be considered unusual, or negative, for a college. This reputation, Harden argues, will make it hard to “restore and reopen the Buckeye State’s Berkeley in 2012.”

Why wouldn’t the Buckeye State want to fight to reopen its version of Berkeley? Not everybody worships in the “evolved” cult of Brutus Buckeye and majors in “kegs and eggs.”

Why wouldn’t you want young people to think critically, creatively and liberally at an institution of higher learning? Really, they’ve got their whole life to kiss corporate ass. Even Churchill denounced the young who weren’t “liberal at 20.”

What was Antioch’s great sin in the sixties? Being a campus that encouraged student activism, New Left thought, the peace movement, and black politics?

As the country jack-stepped to the Right in the Reagan era, and became corporate Democrats under Clinton, it was Antioch students who fought the good fight, not hidden away at Yellow Springs, but here in Columbus. It was Antioch students who were victims of police brutality and viciously beaten by Columbus’ finest for peacefully demonstrating against cuts in student loans at the federal building in the mid-90s.

Antioch students were also instrumental in creating “Cop Watch” and “Anti-Racist Action” in the OSU area, when students were being harassed and shot with wooden bullets during the African American Heritage Festival.

Antioch’s commitment to learning off-campus and having students actively engaged for social justice made Columbus a more humane and civil place for OSU students to live.

While Woody Hayes may be revered as an “evolved” icon in OSU history, Antioch’s role models are people of steadfast principles and much greater visions such as Horace Mann, the father of the public school system; J.S. Mills and his dream of a “marketplace of ideas”; and Coretta and her husband Martin Luther King, Jr.’s and their teachings on human rights.

Hopefully, Antioch’s demise is not permanent. But, if Antioch is dead, it is because it was not ashamed to die, because it had won many important victories for humanity. OSU, sadly, has many millenniums to go. And, quite frankly, has gathered a reputation, for harboring helmet-wearing jocks with crew cuts and steroid-buffed bodies.


Bob Fitrakis is co-author, with Steve Rosenfeld and Harvey Wasserman, of WHAT HAPPENED IN OHIO. This article was originally published at https://freepress.org/columns/display/3/2007/1558.

 

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Ohio Greens Meeting “End of Suburbia: Oil Depletion and the Collapse of The American Dream”

 eosMonday, June 11, 2007 at 7:00 pm

“End of Suburbia: Oil Depletion and the Collapse of The American Dream”
Northside Branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library, 1423 N. High St., Columbus, OH 43201
Central Ohio Greens meeting. This videodescribes the “peak oil” situation and some solutions.

Discussion follows with Bob Fitrakis.Contact: dgibson6@columbus.rr.com
About the documentary: “We’re literally stuck up a cul-de-sac in a cement SUV without a fill-up” – James Howard Kunstler

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Your Invited, Second Saturday Salon With The Free Press & Ohio Honest Elections

Saturday, June 9, 2007Liberators-Kultur-Terror-Anti-Americanism-1944-Nazi-Propaganda-Poster.jpg

6pm-midnight.

Meet new friends in the progressive community! Have a meeting during the salon with a small group! Give a presentation on a social justice issue!

Every second Saturday night we hold a salon at the Free Press office. Check out the new location. We have food, drinks, music, art, political discourse or just socializing time with progressive friends.

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The Airwaves Belong To The People, Speak Out March 7th

Bob Fitrakis

I’m heading out in a few hours to speak at Victorian’s Midnight Café. It’s a fundraiser for Ohio Majority Radio, the folks who are trying to bring back Air America to Columbus. As you know, there’s been a huge vacuum since 1230 AM took Air America off the air. Couple that with the loss of WVKO 1580AM last May – and we find that talk radio in Columbus spans the political spectrum from ultraconservativism to neofascism.

This is a point that needs to be made at the Town Meeting on the Future of Media in Columbus on Wednesday, March 7 at the Broad Street Presbyterian Church, 760 E. Broad St. The meeting starts at 5:30pm and FCC Commissioners will be in attendance to take testimony from Central Ohioans on how well – or in our case, not well – the broadcast community is serving the people of our community.

The freepress.net, one of the sponsors of the Town Meeting, has done a good job of analyzing who owns the media in Columbus. As they point out, just four companies control 75% of the Columbus area’s local news market. And, the Republican Wolfe family, owner of the Dispatch company, not only has a daily monopoly over the print media, also owns WBNS TV-10, WBNS 1460 AM and WBNS FM 97.1. These media entities comprise nearly half of all the local news market in our area.

Points that need to be made are that the media ownership in Columbus fails to reflect the genuine diversity of our community. For example, racial and ethnic minorities comprise 23% of the population in the Columbus TV market, 19% of the radio market, and 33% of the city’s population. Despite that diversity, only 7.5% of the area’s commercial broadcast stations are minority owned. And the only station that was willing to look at minority disenfranchisement during the 2004 election was the incredibly brave WVKO. With WVKO out of the market, there’s virtually no alternative local coverage of events that matter the most to civil rights and human rights advocates and minorities.

March 7 is YOUR opportunity to speak out against the oligarchs and plutocrats who own Columbus media.

Remember, the airwaves belong to the people. And, with that in mind, the Free Press is desperate to raise money for a 135 watt radio translator that could add a new progressive voice to Columbus radio. We are running out of time and must broadcast a signal by March 26. Tax deductible donations can be made out to to the CICJ Radio Project and can be donated online soon at our online store at https://freepress.org/ or sent to: 1240 Bryden Rd., Columbus, OH 43205.

So – hope to see you on Wednesday March 7 at 5:30pm at the church. Come prepared to testify and we will be videotaping and streaming it live.

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Authors Dr. Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman Book Signing Event

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March 3, 2007
Local Activists and Authors Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman book signing

Featured at Simply Living Bookstore. 12 noon until 2 p.m. Bob and Harvey are well known locally for their work with the Free Press, and their recent books addressing election issues in Ohio have received national attention. Mark your calendars now to meet them in person and purchase a signed copy of What Happened in Ohio? – a piece of living history that you will want to pass on to your children and grandchildren.

Location:Clintonville Community Market, 200 Crestview.

Email: Contact
Website: What Happened in Ohio?