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Amy Goodman Talks to Robert Scheer About ‘The Pornography of Power’

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Posted on May 30, 2008
Scheer and Goodman
democracynow.org

Robert Scheer tells Amy Goodman about his new book on Friday’s “Democracy Now!” telecast.

“Democracy Now!” host Amy Goodman sat down with Truthdig Editor Robert Scheer on Friday to discuss his new book, “The Pornography of Power: How Defense Hawks Hijacked 9/11 and Weakened America.” Watch as Scheer explains the metaphor behind the title, how the U.S. government spends more on defense than the rest of the world combined, and how some key players in Washington took 9/11 as a “license to steal.”

Follow this link to watch the interview in full.

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“The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street.”


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By AnnFaganGinger, June 5, 2008 at 11:27 am Link to this comment

We have a lot of work to do once Bush leaves office, that’s why we’re compiling a book of laws that must be repealed by the new Administration to restore the liberties lost during the Bush/Cheney era.

We need your help!  Please email us with laws you think we should include in this important book - don’t assume we already know!

Send us: Acts of Congress, Budget items, Regulations, Executive Orders, Signing Statements, and International Agreements.

Please respond by July 15th with *the Name of the law or regulation or order, and *a brief statement of how the statute or regulation has been misused in your area, or could be misused.

.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) (http://www.mcli.org) 510-848-0599

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By jbart, June 4, 2008 at 4:05 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Thank you for your comments and the clarification you bring.

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By John Hanks, June 2, 2008 at 7:53 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It substitutes a fabrication for the real thing.  James Joyce considered education to be pornography because nothing in schools was real.  Education is one of the hearts of the state.

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thebeerdoctor's avatar

By thebeerdoctor, June 2, 2008 at 2:19 pm Link to this comment

To paraphrase the Mahatma: They are not in charge, we are. Hasn’t it dawned on everyone that television news and magazines are simply perpetrators of the status quo. The status quo is not good enough. It is time to tell politicians who want to grease the way for more hideously unnecessary military expenditures, that this will never do. When those seeking office want you to buy health insurance instead of creating a not-for-profit national health service, it is time to inform them: that is not good enough. It is time to abolish the US Chamber of Commerce, which is nothing but a corporate shill promoting loss of employment with their “yes you can in Yucatan” type slogans. It is time to demand an end to tax subsidies to the oil companies. It is time to put a stop to the corporate welfare to corporations such as Walmart. Lockheed Martin, and Boeing etc. Just cutting back on the size of their free bones is just not good enough. It is time to demand that the internet becomes available to everyone, through the application of open source software and the public build up of optical infrastructure. The internet is not just a passive entertainment medium, but can be used as an essential tool for education in all fields. The right to education should be for everyone, not just for the elite who have all the dough.

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By niloroth, June 2, 2008 at 12:58 pm Link to this comment

Oh look, another fully unsupported post by cyrena about 9/11.  What is it, a day that ends in ‘Y’?  The 9/11 denial movement is failing, they are losing members, the so called leaders are now resorting to infighting, and the theories are getting more and more insane.  The 9/11 ballot initiative is not going to get close to the 30,000 signatures needed to get on the ballot. 

Far from gaining momentum, 9/11 truth is dieing.  And good riddance.  The progressive movement has far to much work to do, and far to many challenges ahead of it without being co-opted by fruitcakes with idiotic theories.  Please at the very least, stop destroying the credibility of the progressive movement by posting this trash in any article that has even anything to do with 9/11.

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By John de Waal, June 2, 2008 at 11:34 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

As I was reading your comments, the thought occurred to me, would Obama agree with your observations? Since it looks like the young senator from Illinois will be the Democratic fore runner, would it not make sense if a well-known reporter like yourself address Obama directly, perhaps in an open letter, in which you spell out what appears to be the things that he must do once he is in office? It could go something like this:
Dear President Obama:
I expect that you will find yourself under a great deal of pressure from the defense industry and the Department of Defense, as well as assorted Senators and Representatives, Democrats and Republicans alike, to fund even more projects that are totally unnecessary. As you probably know, the current defense expenditures for the USA are more than for all expenditures combined of the rest of the world.
To bring this situation under control will take a great deal of character and fortitude on your part.  To set a level that makes more sense would be to look at the expenditures of our allies. Ours might be somewhat higher, even proportionately, but certainly no more than a few percentage points.
The money that will then be available for defense should make the choices of what should be cut clear and would include a rapid end of the war in Iraq and a suggestion to the entire defense industry to look for business elsewhere.
The money saved can then be used to
. reduce our foreign debts
. to shore up our own infra-structure,
. to improve our educational systems and
. to provide free health care to every US citizen.
It will make you a very unpopular president with many large corporate interests and your life may not be secure for a while, but you will probably be able to lay claim to the title of The Greatest President our country has ever had.
In any event, my best wishes and fondest hopes go with this letter.

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By cyrena, June 2, 2008 at 10:53 am Link to this comment

beerdoctor,

This is generally what I’ve discovered long ago, in respect to what the sound bytes offer from Obama’s remarks, and what is actually in writing. And, even when it’s in writing, (from his own website or other policy position papers) it can rarely be as ‘detailed’ as it needs to be, since he’s not really ‘on the job’ yet.

That came to mind when I read a comment posted here somewhere, by someone claiming that Obama planned to spend EVEN MORE than Dick Bush on defense. I couldn’t figure out where that had come from, since the budget for defense spending for 2009 is already done, so whatever Obama might have in mind wouldn’t happen until 2010, and the dude is still just a Senator from Illinois, working on a campaign. I mean he’s smart and all, but DAMN! He ain’t superman!

As for the nuclear stuff, if you’re interested in any of the position and/or policy papers that have been developed over the past several years, (to which Obama may have tapped into..I don’t know) we have an organization that I’m affiliated with, that has been actively pursuing these issues. It’s the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, and I’ll see if there is an updated link for it. It’s a non-profit and small operation mostly involving scholars (old ones) who have long been committed to the elimination of ALL nuclear WEAPONS, as was the original intent of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty.

So, that may be of some interest to you. I receive regular email communications from them, but I’ve not checked the website recently, to see if it has anything new that might be of any assistance to Obama’s position that you mention here. Might be worth a look.

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By thebeerdoctor, June 2, 2008 at 10:24 am Link to this comment

“He will stop the development of new nuclear weapons;”
That is from his official web site. Obama has talked about increasing troop numbers, and still thinks it is okay to give missiles to Israel. But as far as actual numbers, I could find nothing. Reading through his foreign policy proposals, and putting aside his homage to our junk yard dog in the Middle East, much of what is offered is quite sane and reasonable.
Stopping the development of new nuclear weapons would include putting them in space. Considering the amount of money that would be thrown into that bottomless pit. John McCain’s defense spending would certainly be more.

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By cyrena, June 2, 2008 at 7:31 am Link to this comment

I know, I know, truthdot…the same thing always comes to my own mind when I hear anybody talk about 9/11 as if the official lie is what really happened.

But, I have to share this with you, because I’ve finally come to understand and accept why this is. It appears that the academic/intellectual community (not all, but most) are still stuck on using the “Blowback” theory as an explanation for 9/11, which means that they still basically accept this official lie, although some have gone as far (but no farther) then saying there are ‘unanswered questions’.

No kidding.

I can’t make excuses for them at this point, because by now, there is far too much information for them to ignore. On the other hand, this seems to be what they ‘accepted’ at the time, before far more reaseach had uncovered far more truth, and now they haven’t ‘updated’ their own internal data bases to incorporate this new information.

At the same time, they probably KNOW that this is a sham, but like so many people, feel like they need an airtight ‘case’ before they’ll subject themselves to the kind of condemnation that the 9/11 truth movement was originally subjected to. Unfortunately, I don’t think that it will ever be an ‘airtight’ case, because too much of the physical evidence has been destroyed.

That doesn’t mean that a case still cannot be made, but proving it will be difficult, for anyone who demands the epitome of physical evidence. It means building on case on what SHOULD have ‘been there’ and WASN’T. (like the 757 that allegedly hit the Pentagon, even though there’s never been the slightest bit of evidence that one did).

Still, the movement continues to gain momentum through reseach, and more and more people speaking out. I had from the beginning believed that this administration was most certainly at least involved, or ‘allowed it to happen’. By now, I’m firmly convinced that they MADE it happen, with no help from any al-Qaeda folks, aside from using them as patsies. (the name recognition)

Anyway, I forgive the oldsters who don’t wanna go out on a ledge, but that won’t keep the truth at bay, and we’re not gonna let them take any ‘credit’ for it, after it finally comes to the surface. wink

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By Adam C, June 1, 2008 at 1:50 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

of course Obama isn’t “the answer”—that isn’t the right question.  We’re the answer!  Those of us who support Obama think he might the type of leader who can magnify our collective actions, but he’ll just be another Democrat in a suit unless we all push him and Congress toward the America we seek to create.

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By cyrena, May 31, 2008 at 11:58 pm Link to this comment

I wish someone could help you out of your troubling misery - troublesum.

Meantime, I don’t here any chourus’ of Obama or Greeks. Maybe it’s me. So first I guess we should find out if anyone else hears them. If not, it’s you.

Meantime, I can’t imagine why anyone would want this taken off the front page, and I don’t see the inconvenient truth that you’re talking about here.

Would you like to direct us to these facts and figures of how much Obama is going to spend on defense spending? I can’t seem to find it ANYWHERE, including his website. There are no figures of what he intends to spend, (or on what) and no figures of what Dick Bush has spent either. (but then..that would be impossible to tell, since the auditors can’t keep track.)

BUT..it appears that YOU KNOW! So, please, don’t be so stingy with your all powerful knowledge. Point us to this information.

That is unless you’re just talking your normal shit and tossing your standarad IED’s (Innuendo, Exaggerations, Distortions) from your anti-Obama arsenal.


Since you never bother to respond with anything verifiable, I’ll just figure that’s what it is…as usual.

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By troublesum, May 31, 2008 at 3:04 pm Link to this comment

How it all started:  http://www.counterpunch.com/landau/05302008.html

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By Concerned Citizen, May 31, 2008 at 2:44 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

TKO, Robert Scheer—bravo. Sounds like someone oughta read this book repeatedly on the Senate floor as a filibuster the next time some ridiculous defense spending bill is proposed (5 minutes ago by now) ... but that would mean a politician would have to do the reading, so there goes that idea. Or maybe copies of the book can be surreptitiously slipped into Congress members’ weekender bags as they head to Cape Cod, etc. this summer.

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By troublesum, May 31, 2008 at 12:02 pm Link to this comment

The Greek Chorus of Obama supporters who post here regularly would like this report taken off the front page please.  It contains the inconvenient truth that Obama wants to increase defense spending over Bush-Cheney’s record high level.  Change we can scarcely believe in.

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By JimM, May 31, 2008 at 11:51 am Link to this comment

She should have given him more time as he is knowledgeable, articulate and not afraid to speak truth to power.

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By 911truthdotorg, May 31, 2008 at 11:26 am Link to this comment

The defense hawks and the bush crime family didn’t hijack 9/11. They were involved with it in some way, shape or form. At the very least, they covered up the truth. Which still makes them mass murderers.

This country and the Constitution is a shambles…and it is no accident.

Please read:
http://www.daily.pk/world/americas/99-americas/3865-usa-military-officers-challenge-official-account-of-september-11.html

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By felicity, May 31, 2008 at 8:53 am Link to this comment

Explains why Congress is willing and does allocate HALF of our discretionary budget toward so-called defense spending.  Given that outrageous practice, it can only be that they get big pay-back, big-time from the MIC.

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By heavyrunner, May 31, 2008 at 7:09 am Link to this comment

Scheer mentions a few times in the interview that the weapons of 9/11 were “box cutters.”  But skyscrapers were blown to smithereens that day.  Box cutters had nothing to do with the collapse into its own footprint in controlled demolition fashion of World Trade Center Building 7. 

The last time Scheer was on Democracy Now! he commented that there were many unanswered questions about the events of 9/11 and that there really had never been a thorough investigation done and that one was needed.

It’s disappointing that Amy led the discussion in a way that that subject was never breached.

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By nomolos, May 31, 2008 at 4:38 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Watched the interview with Amy last night.  What a wonderful thing to hear a voice of sanity in reference to the outrageous cost of “defense”.  Why is it that Congress people, with ties to the MIC, are allowed to vote on issues that will benefit the MIC?  Almost everyone in Congress, it seems, has stocks in oil and war machinery and yet they vote with nary a voice raised in question.  It is time to question incumbents and candidates just what their ownership is in the MIC.

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By Expat, May 31, 2008 at 12:42 am Link to this comment

^ on DN.  Very good, excellent, and well spoken.

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By Elk Grove, May 30, 2008 at 10:18 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Saw the interview on DN today and it was quite interesting. The thing to remember is that both parties are feeding off the military industrial complex. the whole thing as Scheer pointed out is a huge fraud on the American taxpayer.

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By John, May 30, 2008 at 9:43 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Thoughtful, precise and as usual, said what seems to be what everyone is already thinking.  Excellent work.

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By CR Howell, May 30, 2008 at 4:06 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Wow what a relief to hear someone verbalize what had been churning around in my head for the past 4 years.  Everytime I would delve into the various angles and benefactors of this sham, I would then be overwhelmed with enormity of it all.  What does one do NOW!!!!  Is Obama really the answer?  Thank You -

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