Wed, 25 November 2015
by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon
From Hanrahan to Daley to Alvarez, Protecting Killer Cops is a Chicago Prosecutorial Tradition
by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon
The city of Chicago yesterday released a video it had held for 400 days of a police officer apparently murdering a young man with a knife walking away from him. Police announced that the officer, who'd been on paid leave that entire 400 days, would be suspended without pay. Cook County States Attorney Anita Alvarez's office, which had “investigated” the case that entire time finally announced that Officer Van Dyke would be charged with first degree murder.
Upon viewing the video, as hundreds of thousands of people have by now, the obvious questions are why the Cook County States Attorney took 13 months, instead of 13 days or 13 hours or 13 minutes to come up with that murder indictment? Unfortunately this easy and obvious question has an easy and obvious answer. Anita Alvarez is the same states attorney who deliberately sabotaged the case against the killer cop who shot Rekia Boyd by charging him with manslaughter instead of murder, a charge which the judge was forced to dismiss, neatly immunizing the killer cop from further prosecution.
States Attorney Alvarez is part of a long tradition of Chicago prosecutors who aid, abet and sometimes hire and directly supervise killer cops to do what they do. Before Richard M. Daley was mayor for twenty years he was the county's top prosecutor who accepted and carried to court all the cases built upon the torture of innocent black men by Chicago Police commander John Burge. And when we talk about infamous Cook County States Attorneys nobody should forget that the 1969 murder of Chicago Illinois Black Panther leader Fred Hampton was executed by a squad of Chicago cops (except for the lead sergeant, whose identity and affiliation are unclear) under the direct supervision of the states attorney's office.
Alvarez comes up for re-election in November 2016, and people are pointing to a rival in the Democratic primary election as the one to vote for. Should a tidal wave of public indignation ends the political career of Anita Alvarez next year it will be a kind of justice, but only of a very limited sort.
Edward V. Hanrahan was thrown out of office by a tidal wave of public disgust over the assassination of Fred Hampton. His political career was over, but not much else changed. And now, just as then there are a lot of things that need changing in Chicago.
The city just had a reform candidate for mayor who barely seemed to notice the Chicago Police black site at Homan Square, an issue that should have been a rallying point for black Chicago around his campaign. That same reform candidate kicked off his campaign and stump speech with a pledge to hire a thousand more Chicago cops, in a city which already has one of the highest police-to-civilian ratios in the country, and which clearly protects its corrupt and brutal cops from any accountability to civilians. And let's not talk about Chicago's media, which, when the Homan Square story broke in a British paper, spent its reporters time trying to debunk instead of investigating it.
The enabling of killer cops is a tradition in Chicago, as it is around the country. Anita Alvarez can and should be swept from office next November. But it will take a lot of elections, and a lot more than just elections to change the system that brought us Hanrahan, Daley, and now Alvarez.
For Black Agenda Radio, I'm Bruce Dixon. Find us on the web at www.blackagendareport.com.
Bruce A. Dixon is managing editor at Black Agenda Report, and a Chicagoan now living in exile near Marietta GA. He's a member of the state committee of the GA Green Party and can be reached via email at bruce.dixon(at)blackagendareport.com.
Wed, 25 November 2015
Israelis – Not Muslims – Cheered in Jersey City on 9/11
A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford
“By making only a partial correction of Donald Trump’s prevarication, the corporate media were telling their own lie about what happened on 9/11.”
The corporate media don’t like Donald Trump. They used to like him a lot; in fact, Big Business Media are responsible for making this minor multi-millionaire into a household name. But Trump is on their hit list, nowadays, because the Republican presidential candidate insists on telling his own lies, rather than sticking to the list of official lies parroted by corporate media every minute of every day.
Donald Trump told a really “HUGE” – as he would put it – lie when he claimed to have watched thousands of Muslims cheering in Jersey City, New Jersey, as the World Trade Center came down on 9/11. Every corporate news outlet in the country rushed to debunk Trump’s fictitious account. The Washington Post offered psychological theories for why Trump gets away with telling fantastic lies. The New York Times said there was no evidence that Jersey City Muslims cheered the destruction on 9/11. CNN said it never happened. And, they were right.
However, by making only a partial correction of Donald Trump’s prevarication, the corporate media were telling their own lie about what happened on 9/11. There was, in fact, celebration in Jersey City on that fateful morning, and the incident did, briefly, make a major news splash. But the people doing the cheering weren’t Muslims: they were five young Israelis in a white moving van, who were observed in Liberty Park ecstatically taking pictures of themselves framed against the smoking ruins of the Twin Towers. As ABC News reported, the five were later arrested at gunpoint near the New Jersey Giants football stadium. Most U.S. intelligence sources believed the men were Israeli spies, and that their “moving company” was an Israeli intelligence cover. They were detained for a while, and then deported.
“Who is the biggest liar?”
In the year before 9/11 scores of young Israelis posing as “art students” were arrested after penetrating U.S. Defense Department and other classified sites. Both stories made national news. The corporate media could not have avoided running across articles on the “cheering Israelis” when they set about debunking Donald Trump’s “cheering Muslims” account. But, not one of them dare to mention that, yes, some people were seen celebrating 9/11 at Liberty State Park in Jersey City.
I was in a different part of the park on 9/11 morning, alone except for two young Israelis with very expensive cameras, carrying phony New Jersey press credentials, who claimed to be Polish but spoke Hebrew to each other. The two young men were giddy with joy at the destruction that the three of us were observing across the Hudson River.
Later that day, I learned from local and national news outlets about the five Israelis who were dancing with delight about a mile upriver from me and the two other Israelis. Articles about Israelis celebrating 9/11 would have come up in any search to correct Donald Trump’s tall tale – but the corporate media kept that part of the story from the public. They censored their own correction of Donald Trump. So, who is the biggest liar? Trump, who lies to advance his own personal interests, or the U.S. corporate media, who lie to the people on behalf of the State of Israel, and Zionism.
For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Glen Ford. On the web, go to BlackAgendaReport.com.
BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.