Give CNN just a little credit. On Wednesday night, the cable network hosted a Town Hall featuring Green Party candidates Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka. In those 90 Prime Time minutes, Stein and Baraka presented a clearer picture of the realities and consequences of US foreign policy and militarism than we heard from Bernie Sanders in a year’s worth of speeches.
Americans who tuned in heard some things that are rarely mentioned in the mainstream media: a sober critique of the US’s malign relationship to the government of Israel, forthright calls for the elimination of nuclear weapons, the end of killer drone strikes, the closure of all 800-plus overseas military bases and an end to interventionist wars. The entire Town Hall session was the political equivalent of George Carlin’s the seven things you can’t say on TV.
The Green Team deftly navigated the treacherous shoals of Cuomo’s questions. For most of the night, Cuomo played the role of a Clinton troll, trying to trip up Stein and Baraka with quotes ripped out of context and stale slanders planted by Democratic Party operatives. Despite all evidence to the contrary, it seems that Ralph Nader will forever be blamed for costing Al Gore the 2000 election. So he zeroed in on Stein, asking her how she could sleep at night if, like Nader, she ended up tipping the election to Trump. Stein didn’t blink, saying: “I would have trouble sleeping at night if Trump was elected. I would also have trouble sleeping if Hillary Clinton was elected.”
Stein also easily swatted down the smear now being furiously spread by the Clintonoids that she is opposed to childhood vaccinations and that she is “anti-science.” It’s a ludicrous charge against a physician and one that has no basis in fact, as Stein forcefully demonstrated. Still, I hope this assault doesn’t discourage Stein and Baraka from at some point offering a critical analysis of the economic and political uses of science in the service of war and profit.
One of the chief purveyors of this bilge of misinformation is a previously obscure fellow named Robert Naiman, who runs a nearly invisible group called Just Foreign Policy. Naiman was caught red-handed (so to speak) when his junk mail made its way to the inbox of John Stauber, author of Toxic Sludge is Good for You and a leading expert on the politics of propaganda and disinformation. Stauber knows a smear when he sees one.
Here’s the text of the email Naiman circulated among his coterie of conflicted progressives at GameChangersSalon:
From: Robert Naiman
If you have a lot of Facebook friends, you may have recently noticed a high level of activity on your Facebook feed by Jill Stein acolytes.
If so, you may find the following links useful to throw them off their game. No warranty, express or implied. You don’t have to prove that Jill Stein is an anti-science conspiracy theorist. You just have to say, “There are unanswered questions about whether Jill Stein is an anti-science conspiracy theorist.”
There’s Nothing Green About Jill Stein’s Vaccine Stance
Jill Stein on vaccines: People have ‘real questions’
Jill Stein Promotes Homeopathy, Panders On Vaccines http://www.patheos.com/blogs/progressivesecularhumanist/2016/07/jill-stein-promotes-homeopathy-panders-on-vaccines/
Jill Stein Worries Wi-Fi Is Dangerous For Kids
Just Foreign Policy
You’d think Jill Stein was a card-carrying member of the Flat Earth Society. In fact, Stein graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University, graduated from Harvard Medical School, practiced internal medicine at Beth Israel Hospital for 25 years and taught medicine at Harvard Medical School. In other words, Stein is an unlikely suspect for ratting out a modern-day Galileo. The same cannot be said for the current Democratic administration whose vicious crackdown on whistleblowers, many of them scientists, has been part of a concerted and unrelenting campaign to snuff out internal dissent.
It so happens that Naiman, an alleged peace activist, is also the board president for the liberal website Truthout. Veteran readers of CounterPunch will recall Truthout from John Pilger’s acrid account of his head-on collision with their editors, who peevishly tried to cleanse his essay, “A World War Has Begun: Break the Silence,” of passages which might prove uncomfortable for the Democratic Party establishment.
In a nasty email exchange with longtime Green organizer Kevin Zeese, who is now co-director of Popular Resistance, a group which grew out of the Occupy movement, Naiman sunk even further into the slime and threatened to expose Jill Stein as “a Trotskyite cancer.”
On Wed, Aug 17, 2016 at 2:56 PM, Robert Naiman wrote:Oh, is today my day to be harassed by Green Party thugs?
I’ll make you a deal: call off your dogs and I won’t further expose Jill Stein as a Trokskyite cancer.
Slandering Stein and the Greens for being “Trotskyites” (or “Trokskyites,” in Naiman’s quaint verbiage) is as intellectually vapid as it is vile. Everyone knows that most of Leon’s former disciples in the US have long since morphed into neocons and thus can be spotted in Georgetown cafes polishing their resumés for slots on Hillary’s foreign policy team.
“Robert Naiman epitomizes the attitude of the paid, professional Democrat progressives attacking the Green Party and Jill Stein,” John Stauber told me. “These shills see no hypocrisy in embracing a candidate supported by Wall Street, the Koch brothers and the neoconservatives who, with Hillary, lied America into attacking Iraq. So there it is, Hillary is his champion while a woman running on the most progressive platform in America is just a damned Communist. Rather than back down when he himself was exposed, he doubled down with a smear befitting the worst of American politics. Naiman is not an aberration however; indeed, he embodies the funded progressive elite who since 2000 have become a front group for the Democrats liberal oligarchs such as George Soros and his Democracy Alliance.”
The hypocrisy of the Clintonoids is almost as audacious as their dissemination of lies about Jill Stein. Of course, their champion, the “pro-science” Hillary Clinton, ignores scientific facts and assessments whenever such considerations prove to be an even minor inconvenience to the headlong pursuit of her corporate agenda (cf, fracking).
“People may wonder why suddenly everyone was saying Jill Stein is anti-vax — now we know it was a coordinated campaign,” Zeese told me. “Obviously, it also happens in the media because all of a sudden multiple news outlets were reporting the same thing. Had Stein said something that all these media outlets saw and ‘reported’ on — no, she had not said anything anti-vax, but they were coordinated. It was a planned slander attack.”
Despite Clinton’s apparent lead in the polls, there’s a palpable sense of desperation in the air, as if her support is so soft that Hillary could sink another 10 points in the wake of one more email dump from Wikileaks or Guccifer 2.0. This explains why her surrogates are reaching so deeply into their bag of dirty tricks. The red-baiting of Stein and Baraka is a perfect expression of the Clinton machine’s political and moral bankruptcy.