TBR News May 30, 2020

May 30 2020

The Voice of the White House
Washington, D.C. May 30, 2020: Working in the White House as a junior staffer is an interesting experience.
When I was younger, I worked as a summer-time job in a clinic for people who had moderate to severe mental problems and the current work closely, at times, echos the earlier one.

I am not an intimate of the President but I have encountered him from time to time and I daily see manifestations of his growing psychological problems.
He insults people, uses foul language, is frantic to see his name mentioned on main-line television and pays absolutely no attention to any advice from his staff that runs counter to his strange ideas.
He lies like a rug to everyone, eats like a hog, makes lewd remarks to female staffers and flies into rages if anyone dares to contradict him.
It is becoming more and more evident to even the least intelligent American voter that Trump is vicious, corrupt and amoral. He has stated often that even if he loses the
election in 2020, he will not leave the White House. I have news for Donald but this is not
the place to discuss it.
Comment for May 30, 2020: “The killing of an unarmed black man in Minneapolis and the subsequent uproar should shock no one. With a Trump whose father was in the KKK and his uncle in the Gestapo in Germany, it is beyond a doubt that Donald is a far right bigot who detetests blacks, latinos, Asians and others and also had strong views about those who are not evangelical Christians. He is also a serial liar, violent and vindictive. In any case serious psycial and psychological problems aside, we do not need a proto-fascist in the White House. Remember this when you vote in November, unless, of course, Trump finds an excuse to ban voting.”
The Table of Contents
• Background for Nord Stream 2
• USAID Faces Mounting Pressure to Remove Latest Trump Appointee With History of Islamophobic Remarks
• Trump says protesters would have met ‘vicious dogs’ if White House fence breached.
• Donald Trump backpedals on ‘shooting’ threat to rioters, which broke Twitter rules
• Policing in the US is not about enforcing law. It’s about enforcing white supremacy
• George Floyd killing: US cities deploy National Guard to quell riots
• Racist History Behind Trump’s Threat to Shoot Minneapolis Protesters Spurs Twitter to Act
• Hong Kong officials denounce US response to security law
• The Broken Encirclement Plan: Nato and the CIA in Eastern Europe
• Encyclopedia of American Loons

Background for Nord Stream 2
Major existing and planned natural gas pipelines supplying Russian gas to Europe. Germany imports 50% to 75% of its natural gas from Russia.
Opponents have seen the pipeline as a move by Russia to bypass traditional transit countries (currently Ukraine, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Belarus and Poland). Some transit countries are concerned that a long-term plan of the Kremlin is to attempt to exert political influence on them by threatening their gas supply without affecting supplies to Western Europe. The fears are strengthened by the fact that Russia has refused to ratify the Energy Charter Treaty. Critics of Nord Stream say that Europe could become dangerously dependent on Russian natural gas, particularly since Russia could face problems meeting a surge in domestic as well as foreign demand. Following several Russia–Ukraine gas disputes over gas prices, as well as foreign policy towards Eastern Europe, it has been noted that the gas supplies by Russia can be used as a political tool. A Swedish Defence Research Agency study, finished in March 2007, counted over 55 incidents since 1991, most with “both political and economic underpinnings”. In April 2006 Radosław Sikorski, then Poland’s defence minister, compared the project to the infamous 1939 Nazi-Soviet Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact. In his book The New Cold War: Putin’s Russia and the Threat to the West, published 2008, Edward Lucas stated that “though Nord Stream’s backers insist that the project is business pure and simple, this would be easier to believe if it were more transparent.” In the report published by the Fridtjof Nansen Institute in 2008, Norwegian researcher Bendik Solum Whist noted that Nord Stream AG was incorporated in Switzerland, “whose strict banking secrecy laws makes the project less transparent than it would have been if based within the EU”.Secondly, the Russian energy sector “in general lacks transparency” and Gazprom “is no exception”.
The Russian response has been that the pipeline increases Europe’s energy security, and that the criticism is caused by bitterness about the loss of significant transit revenues, as well as the loss of political influence that stems from the transit countries’ ability to hold Russian gas supplies to Western Europe hostage to their local political agendas. It would reduce Russia’s dependence on the transit countries as for the first time it would link Russia directly to Western Europe.According to Gazprom, the direct connection to Germany would decrease risks in the gas transit zones, including the political risk of cutting off Russian gas exports to Western Europe.

USAID Faces Mounting Pressure to Remove Latest Trump Appointee With History of Islamophobic Remarks
by Murtaza Hussain
The Intercept
This week, the Trump administration made an ironic choice to fill the post of religious freedom adviser at the U.S. Agency for International Development: a man who has stated publicly that he considers Muslims to be followers of a “barbaric cult” and posted articles on social media endorsing the Chinese government’s crackdown on their Uighur Muslim minority. The appointee to the USAID position is Mark Kevin Lloyd, a little-known former tea party activist, the Washington Post reported earlier this week.
As a private citizen, Lloyd had not exactly been shy about sharing his views. Some of the highlights from his social media and past public commentary include allegations that former President Barack Obama was a supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood and that Muslims in general were dangerous extremists who needed to be suppressed. It’s not clear, however, what in Lloyd’s background qualifies him as an authority on religious freedom.
While his appointment to a role supposedly involving defending religious freedom worldwide may be particularly cynical, Lloyd is far from being the first open Islamophobe to be handed power by the Trump administration. He’s also far from being the most senior one.
Before he became known in the media “the worst secretary of state ever,” Mike Pompeo was close ally to some of the most extreme anti-Muslim activists in the United States and had falsely claimed that American Muslims were silent about condemning terrorism. The Trump-appointed acting director of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, Ken Cuccinelli, had also come under fire for praising commentary about Muslims by Brigitte Gabriel, well known as one of America’s most prominent anti-Muslim activists. White House adviser Stephen Miller, former national security adviser John Bolton, and many others who have been part of the administration have held similar views and helped to make them policy under Trump.
American Muslim civil rights activists say that these policy appointments are part of a deliberate strategy of handing people with extreme anti-Muslim beliefs the levers of government power. Rather than an oversight, judging by the Trump administration’s hiring record to date, Lloyd’s flagrant anti-Muslim commentary may have helped recommend him for his new role.
“This isn’t simply about failures of vetting or about the administration not doing a good job researching candidates,” said Wa’el Alzayat, a former State Department official and head of Emgage, an American-Muslim advocacy organization. “They are picking people who fit a certain profile and who hold certain beliefs and views.”
In response to Lloyd’s appointment, Alzayat has been circulating a letter among other civil rights organizations and addressed to USAID Acting Director John Barsa, calling on him to remove Lloyd from the position. The letter notes that Lloyd had shared on social media an article celebrating the Chinese government’s persecution of Uighur Muslims, calling it “particularly abhorrent behavior for someone with a primary responsibility of protecting religious freedoms in our country and world.”
The Trump administration may have to strike a balance between its antipathy to China and its antipathy toward Muslims, in general. As part of the escalating war of words between the two powers, the U.S. has been highlighting Chinese abuses of its Uighur Muslim minority — millions of whom are alleged to have been interned in concentration camps by the Chinese Community Party-led government. This week the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a resolution sanctioning officials involved in the suppression of Uighur Muslims. More such measures are likely as the rivalry between the two countries intensifies.
Having someone like Lloyd in charge of highlighting Chinese abuses of religious freedom might open the U.S. up to charges of hypocrisy. And, while nothing in the U.S. compares with what is happening in Xinjiang right now, there is still much to be alarmed about.
Under the Trump administration, the notorious “Muslim ban” policy that Trump first promised as a candidate in 2015 has remained in place after being upheld under judicial challenge. Many of the fiercest opponents of Muslims in American life have found a warm welcome in the White House. Trump himself regularly uses his platform as the most powerful elected official on Earth to promote derogatory anti-Muslim conspiracies and make dark insinuations about American Muslim politicians. In many ways, it is a depressing culmination of trends that have been building in U.S. politics for years — even while Muslims appear to be experiencing something of a renaissance in American popular culture.
In a statement about Lloyd’s appointment, Madihha Ahussain, special counsel for the civil rights group Muslim Advocates, called for USAID to reverse his hiring while highlighting the consistent trend of anti-Muslim policymaking by the Trump administration.
“Especially during a global pandemic, it is a cruel joke for USAID, an agency tasked with overseeing foreign aid and development efforts, to name an anti-Muslim bigot as a religious freedom adviser,” Ahussain said in a press release. “As we have seen through the Muslim Ban, the continued employment of anti-Muslim activists like Stephen Miller and Ken Cuccinelli and even President Trump’s own attacks on Muslim elected officials, it is clear that anti-Muslim bigotry has a home in the Trump administration.”

Trump says protesters would have met ‘vicious dogs’ if White House fence breached.
May 30, 2020
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump on Saturday said demonstrators protesting the death of a black man who died after a white police officer knelt on his neck would have been “greeted with the most vicious dogs, and most ominous weapons, I have ever seen” had they breached the White House fence.
In a series of Twitter posts, Trump also appeared to call his supporters to rally outside the executive mansion on Saturday evening, saying, “TONIGHT, I UNDERSTAND IS MAGA NIGHT AT THE WHITE HOUSE???” MAGA stands for Trump’s slogan “Make America Great Again.”
The death on Monday in Minneapolis of George Floyd has sparked demonstrations, some of them violent, in many cities across the nation, including one in Washington on Friday.
The White House was temporarily locked down as hundreds of people gathered in the afternoon across the street in Lafayette Square.
After marching away, demonstrators assembled again later and videos showed pushing-and-shoving matches between officers and protesters, who dispersed early Saturday morning.
Trump praised the U.S. Secret Service officers who guard the White House as “very cool. I was inside, watched every move, and couldn’t have felt more safe.”
“Big crowd, professionally organized, but nobody came close to breaching the fence. If they had they would have been greeted with the most vicious dogs, and most ominous weapons,” he said. “Many Secret Service agents just waiting for action.”
Trump accused Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser of refusing to send police to help the U.S. Secret Service, although the Washington Post reported that city officers did help control the later gathering.
The mayor’s office and the D.C. police did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
On Friday, Trump drew a warning from Twitter and condemnation from Democrats after posting a comment that “looting leads to shooting,” suggesting protesters who turned to looting could be fired upon.
Reporting by Jonathan Landay; Editing by Daniel Walli

Donald Trump backpedals on ‘shooting’ threat to rioters, which broke Twitter rules
May 29, 2020
CNN News
US President Donald Trump is walking back a threat to respond to rioting with deadly force after three days of violent protests in Minneapolis sparked by the police killing of an unarmed black man.
After Mr Trump’s tweet that “looting leads to shooting” drew a warning from Twitter and widespread condemnation from Democrats, Mr Trump said he understood why the incident had sparked nationwide protests about police violence against African Americans.
But he added that they should not be allowed to turn to “lawless anarchy”.
“The looters should not be allowed to drown out the voices of so many peaceful protesters,” Mr Trump said.
I understand the hurt, I understand the pain.”
Mr Trump said he had expressed his sorrow to the family of George Floyd, a black man seen on video gasping for breath while a white police officer knelt on his neck.
The officer, Derek Chauvin, was arrested and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.
Mr Trump, a Republican who is running for re-election in November, has a history of inflaming racial tensions.
He blamed “both sides” for violence between white supremacists and left-wing counter protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017 and has called some immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border rapists.
His early Friday tweet suggested that security forces would open fire on looters to curtail unrest over Mr Floyd’s death.
His tweet said: “These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen. Just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank you!”
‘No time to encourage violence’
Twitter added a notice that the message violated its rules for “glorifying violence”.
Mr Trump said he was not aware of the history of the phrase, which dates back to US police crackdowns on civil rights in the 1960s.
Democrats accused Mr Trump of making the situation worse.
“This is no time for incendiary tweets. It’s no time to encourage violence,” said former vice-president Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee.
“This is a national crisis and we need real leadership right now. Leadership that will bring everyone to the table so that we can take measures to root out systemic racism.”
Black politicians said Mr Trump was encouraging violence against African Americans.
“It is a disgrace when the leader of the country responds to a national crisis by insulting the people that are being attacked,” said Democratic Representative Karen Bass, who chairs the Congressional Black Caucus.
Mr Trump issued his tweet amid days of turmoil in Minneapolis, which was engulfed in a third night of arson, looting and vandalism as protesters vented their rage over Mr Floyd’s death.
The four police officers involved in Mr Floyd’s death were fired before Mr Chauvin’s arrest.
US Attorney-General William Barr said on Friday the Department of Justice, including the FBI, would investigate.
Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Lindsey Graham, a Republican, said his panel would hold a hearing to examine police use of force.
Mr Trump’s re-election campaign has identified Minnesota as a state he could win in 2020 after narrowly losing it in 2016.
Mr Floyd’s death was one of several recent killings of black people in the United States that has provoked outrage.
Protests are being held in other US cities, including Louisville, Kentucky, where police said seven people were shot. Protesters there vented rage over the police killing of Breonna Taylor, a black woman shot in her apartment in March.
Post didn’t incite violence: Facebook boss
Mr Trump also posted the statement on Facebook, but the tech giant did not add any editorial comment.
This is despite Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg having a “visceral negative reaction” to the rhetoric.
“I disagree strongly with how the President spoke about this, but I believe people should be able to see this for themselves, because ultimately accountability for those in positions of power can only happen when their speech is scrutinised out in the open,” Mr Zuckerberg said.
He said “unlike Twitter” Facebook does not have a policy of putting warnings in front of posts that may incite violence.
“Because we believe that if a post incites violence, it should be removed regardless of whether it is newsworthy, even if it comes from a politician,” Mr Zuckerberg said.
“We have been in touch with the White House today to explain these policies as well.
“There are heated debates about how we apply our policies during moments like this. I know people are frustrated when we take a long time to make these decisions. These are difficult decisions and, just like today, the content we leave up I often find deeply offensive.”

Policing in the US is not about enforcing law. It’s about enforcing white supremacy
Police treatment of two CNN reporters at a George Floyd protest shows the US has opposite systems of justice – one for white people, one for people of color
May 30, 2020
The Guardian
On Friday the CNN journalist Omar Jimenez was arrested on live television as he covered protests of police brutality in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Jimenez identifies as African American and Hispanic, and when the cops confronted him, he did just what minority parents tell their kids to do. Jimenez cooperated; he was respectful, deferential even. He said “we can move back to where you like … We are getting out of your way … Wherever you want us, we will go”
It didn’t matter; the police officers put handcuffs on him and led him away, and then came back to arrest his crew. Jimenez narrated his arrest as they led him away. His voice is steady. His eyes, though. Jimenez is masked so his eyes are the only clue to what he’s feeling. His eyes are perplexed and terrified. I get it. When a black or brown person goes into police custody, you never know what is going to happen. You just know that when you leave police custody, if you are lucky enough to leave, you will be diminished. That is the point.
What’s most interesting is not that Jimenez and his colleagues were released shortly thereafter without any charges filed (or even being told why they had been taken into custody). That’s what class will buy a black man in America. You don’t get it quite as bad as your lower-income brethren. Jeff Zucker, the CNN president, talked to Tim Walz, the governor of Minnesota, and the crew was quickly released. With an apology from the governor, not the cops. Cops rarely apologize, especially to black men.
But what’s most interesting is what happened to Josh Campbell, a white CNN journalist who was in the same area as Jimenez and not arrested. Campbell said his experience was the “opposite” of Jimenez’s. The cops asked him “politely to move here and there”. “A couple times I’ve moved closer than they would like. They asked politely to move back. They didn’t pull out the handcuffs.”
It’s a cliche that the US has two systems of justice, separate and unequal, but I prefer the word Campbell used. The US has “opposite” systems of justice – one for white people and another for racial minorities, especially African Americans, Latinx and Native American people.
White progressives love to focus on class subordination (I see you, Bernie Sanders!) but there is something sticky about race. Jimenez’s professional status and calm demeanor did not stop the police from treating him like a regular black dude – the subject of their vast authority to detain and humiliate. They didn’t have an actual reason and they didn’t need one. Jimenez’s dark skin was the offense.
This is how powerful a drug white privilege is. Here we have the cops policing a rally protesting police brutality against a black man. Even in that context, when the whole world is watching figuratively, and CNN’s audience is watching literally, the cops can’t help themselves. They go all brutal lite. They play “who’s the man” even when the black man, like Jimenez, goes out of his way to show he already knows who the man is. “You are, officer, Sir.” What the cops round up are the usual suspects and the usual suspects are always black and brown.
The whole world has seen the sordid violent recording where George Floyd narrates, over 10 minutes, his own demise. Actually, there is not 10 minutes of narration because Floyd goes limp and silent after several minutes, but that does not cause former officer Chauvin to remove his knee from Floyd’s neck. The officers had received a radio run to go to a local store, where Floyd had allegedly tried to use a counterfeit $20 bill. Floyd is across the street from the store, chilling in his car with a couple of friends, when the officers approach like they are apprehending violent offenders. They order Floyd and his friends out of the car, put Floyd in handcuffs, order him to lie face down on the ground, and pin him down with their knees and hands. Floyd complains he can’t breathe. A cop responds: “Well, get up and get in the car.”
I guess that is what you call police humor.
People ask why would the police treat another human being like this, and the answer must be because they can. There are rarely consequences. US police officers kill about 1,000 people a year (compared with the UK, where in 10 years, law enforcement took a total of 23 lives) and there are rarely consequences. Since 2005, when roughly 15,000 people have been killed by US law enforcement officers, fewer than 150 have been charged with murder.
True, the officers in George Floyd’s case lost their jobs, and now face or will face criminal prosecution. This is only because of the video evidence and the high-profile protests. The reality is that, statistically, even these officers are likely to escape conviction. Of the 150 officers charged with homicide in the line of duty, the majority have been found not guilty or had charges dropped.
For the moment, we who believe in justice are supposed to be satisfied that one cop, four days after the fact, has been taken into custody, when there are multiple videos of that officer with his knee on the victim’s back as the man complains he can’t breathe.
As a black man, and as a former prosecutor, I had no idea it was so difficult to get arrested. US cops arrest about 12,000,000 people a year, but not usually each other. For the rest of us – I mean the rest of us black and brown people – we usually get arrested and charged the same day the cops decide we are guilty. The talk our parents give us about how to act around armed agents of the state is designed not so much to prevent arrests as to preserve life. It worked for Omar Jimenez.
But not for George Floyd. On the ground, dying, George Floyd pleads for his life, respectful as a person can be when he is asking for mercy from the people who are literally crushing the life out of him. He says “please”, “officer”, and calls out to his dead mother.
But the police do not remove their knees and feet and hands from Mr Floyd’s body. They don’t even stop restraining him when his body is limp and silent.
What’s to be done? Tinkering with the system makes a difference here and there but it is not enough. If a white woman was thought to have tried to use a fake $20 bill, it’s impossible to imagine the police storming her vehicle, ordering her and her friends out, placing her in handcuffs and ultimately her winding up dead. But as long as cops have that kind of power, people of color will bear the brunt. So one simple reform would be to not allow the cops to make arrests for any non-violent crime. It’s a power they can’t be trusted with, because they will abuse it.
In the end, this is not about law enforcement. It’s about enforcing white supremacy. There’s no tinkering with that, what with white supremacy being the foundation on which the country was built. The consistent big question in the quest for racial justice has been how much white supremacy is central to the identity of the US. This is what Barack Obama and Ta-Nehisi Coates argued about. If we had something approaching equal justice, would we still even be the United States? In order to accomplish that we’d have to change the constitution, which authorizes much of the police violence that communities of color complain about, and the politics which exploits white anxiety about black and brown men.
What does it mean for people of color to live in a country where, for them to have a fair shot, law and government have to be transformed? It means that we should expect more cases like Omar Jimenez and George Floyd, regardless of whether Trump or Biden wins in November.
The real problem, ultimately, is not bad apple cops, even though these four officers are rotten to the core. The real problem is demonstrated in what a bystander told the officers as they restrained him to death. “He’s human, bro.” But Mr Floyd was not human to these officers. Enforcing the dehumanization of people of color has become, in the United States, what you call police work.
• Paul Butler is the Albert Brick professor in law at Georgetown University. A former federal prosecutor, he is the author of Chokehold: Policing Black Men

George Floyd killing: US cities deploy National Guard to quell riots
Protests, some violent, have escalated across the United States with people angry at the killing in police custody of unarmed black man George Floyd. Authorities in Minneapolis have vowed a stronger police presence.
May 30, 2020
In Minneapolis, the city where Floyd was killed, thousands of protesters ignored a curfew order on Friday evening and took to the streets for a fourth straight night of protests. Some 500 National Guard soldiers were mobilized in the city and surrounding areas, although Minnesota Governor Tim Waltz said early Saturday he was working to activate more than 1,000 more Guard members.
Georgia’s governor declared a state of emergency on Saturday to also activate the state National Guard as violence flared in Atlanta and in dozens of cities nationwide. Some protesters in Atlanta spray-painted the logo of the CNN headquarters and smashed police cars.
Protests spread across US
The Guard was also on standby in the US capital, where a crowd grew outside the White House and chanted at President Donald Trump. Some protesters tried to push through barriers set up by the US Secret Service along Pennsylvania Avenue, and threw bottles and other objects at officers wearing riot gear, who responded with pepper spray.
Meanwhile, over 200 people in Petal, Mississippi joined a peaceful protest Friday afternoon at city hall to call for the resignation of a white mayor who said he “didn’t see anything unreasonable” about the killing of George Floyd in police custody.
In Phoenix, Arizona, authorities said that after hundreds of protesters marched towards the Capitol building, a small group broke windows at police headquarters in the early hours of Friday morning.
Protesters in Columbus, Ohio, Floyd’s home state, attempted to break into the Ohio statehouse. Ohio Governor Mike DeWine issued a call to unity in the face of the protests, urging peace over the weekend. “His death impacts all of us,” he said. “We have a responsibility to each other, regardless of race, to stand up and say we won’t tolerate conduct like this.”
Demonstrations and marches were also held in Atlanta, Los Angeles, Denver, Las Vegas and New York City, with many people wearing masks. Groups of hundreds of people largely obeyed social distancing regulations and most protests were peaceful.
In Detroit, one person was killed after someone in an SUV fired shots into a crowd of people protesting Floyd’s death, a Detroit police spokeswoman said Saturday.
How did George Floyd die?
George Floyd was an African-American man who was killed in police custody in Minneapolis after footage emerged of him in handcuffs pleading for air as a police officer kneeled on his neck. Derek Chauvin, one of the four police officers, was arrested and charged with murder Friday morning following three days of protests.
Just an hour after his arrest, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced that Chauvin had been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.
Freeman told a news conference that it was “by far the fastest we’ve ever charged a police officer.”
How did the protests start?
The protests began in Minneapolis after the footage of Floyd’s killing emerged earlier this week.
Governor Tim Walz of Minnesota announced a curfew over the weekend from 8 p.m. Friday to 6 a.m. Saturday and the same on Saturday night in an effort to curb violent protests and looting. Walz also acknowledged his “abject failure” in responding to the situation this week.
“We’re committed to change,” he wrote on Twitter.
Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden called for justice in the death of George Floyd and described systemic racism as an “open wound” in the United States.
He also denounced President Donald Trump, who appeared to call for violence to quell looters in Minneapolis on his own Twitter platform.
“I’m furious and you should be too,” Biden wrote on Twitter.
Trump ally and US Attorney General, William Barr said Friday that he was “confident justice would be served” and that he found the video footage of Floyd’s arrest “harrowing.”
Protests are expected to continue over the weekend, with many activists on social media calling for the other three police officers implicated in Floyd’s death to be arrested.

Racist History Behind Trump’s Threat to Shoot Minneapolis Protesters Spurs Twitter to Act
May 29, 2020,
by Robert Mackey
The Intercept
Donald Trump’s bloodthirsty threat to have protesters in Minneapolis shot by the military, issued in a tweet early Friday morning, prompted Twitter to restrict access to the president’s message, ruling that it violated the social network’s policy against “glorifying violence.”
In the tweet, posted just before 1 a.m. Eastern Time, Trump first wrote that “THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd,” the black man whose killing on Monday by a Minneapolis police officer who knelt on his throat as he gasped for air has prompted protests and rage. The president then threatened to have soldiers open fire unless local authorities in Minneapolis regain control, adding, “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”
The tweet was soon covered by an initial warning message, which said the president’s comments violated the platform’s rules, but had not been removed because “it may be in the public’s interest” to be able to read them.
As Twitter noted in its explanation of why it had added “a public interest notice” to the tweet, that last phrase was even uglier to older Americans who might remember where they first heard it. The words were spoken in 1967 by Walter Headley, a racist Miami police chief, who told reporters that his officers would open fire if looting broke out in the city’s predominantly black neighborhoods.
According to a contemporary news report, from December 28, 1967, when Headley announced that he was declaring war on “young hoodlums, from 15 to 21, who have taken advantage of the civil rights campaign,” he added, “we don’t mind being accused of police brutality.” The goal of his crackdown on Miami’s black community, Headley said, was to unleash “an epidemic of law and order.”
Headley repeated the looting and shooting threat the following year when protests in the Liberty City neighborhood devolved into riots during that summer’s Republican National Convention in Miami, which nominated Richard Nixon for the presidency.
As NPR reports, the pro-segregation presidential candidate George Wallace also used the looting and shooting phrase on the campaign trail in 1968.
The protests in Miami that summer were prompted, in part, by anger over Headley’s “stop and frisk” policy targeting black citizens and his preference for “shotguns and dogs” in the policing of a community demanding civil rights.
As Jonathan Myerson Katz noted, the protests turned violent when a white man drove through a black rally in a car with a “Wallace for President” bumper sticker on the evening of Aug. 7, 1968. The police opened fire with tear gas and bullets. Three people were killed by the police and a black reporter for The Washington Post, Hollie West, was arrested in Liberty City by officers who refused to acknowledge his press credentials.
Trump’s reference to Headley and/or Wallace was unlikely to have been accidental. In 2016, Trump told a New York Times reporter that his own acceptance speech was inspired by Nixon’s in 1968. “I think what Nixon understood is that when the world is falling apart, people want a strong leader whose highest priority is protecting America first,” Trump said. “The 60s were bad, really bad. And it’s really bad now. Americans feel like it’s chaos again.”
“This Tweet violates our policies regarding the glorification of violence based on the historical context of the last line, its connection to violence, and the risk it could inspire similar actions today,” the company said in a thread explaining its decision. “We’ve taken action in the interest of preventing others from being inspired to commit violent acts, but have kept the Tweet on Twitter because it is important that the public still be able to see the Tweet given its relevance to ongoing matters of public importance.”
In line with Twitter’s policy on tweets that it would have removed from the platform but for the public interest exception, the company added that “engagements with the Tweet will be limited. People will be able to Retweet with Comment, but will not be able to Like, Reply or Retweet it.”
The mayor of Minneapolis, Jacob Frey, was asked to respond to the president’s tweet, and an earlier one calling him “very weak,” at a news conference early on Friday.
Frey shook his head in disbelief as the tweets were read to him.
“Well, let me say this,” Frey responded. “Weakness is refusing to take responsibility for your own actions. Weakness is pointing your finger at somebody else during a time of crisis. Donald Trump knows nothing about the strength of Minneapolis. We are strong as hell. Is this a difficult time period? Yes. But you better be damn sure that we’re going to get through this.”
Later on Friday, after the police officer seen on video killing Floyd, Derek Chauvin, was arrested and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter, the mayor described that “as an essential first step” in a tweet of his own.
Trump, who had been expected to address the killing of Floyd, and his own provocative taunt, at a White House news conference, instead confined his remarks to inflaming tensions with China, by changing the terms of the U.S. relationship to Hong Kong and declaring a full withdrawal from the World Health Organization, before departing without taking a single question.
His administration did, however, devote some time to trying to dodge the Twitter restriction, by using the White House Twitter feed to quote the president’s inflammatory rhetoric. That White House tweet was soon restricted too, with the same warning label.
Anger over Trump’s rhetoric spread widely on Friday. Chicago’s Mayor Lori Lightfoot called Trump’s comment “profoundly dangerous.”
“His goal is to polarize, to destabilize local government and inflame racist urges,” she added. “And we cannot, absolutely not, let him prevail. And I will code what I really want to say to Donald Trump. It’s two words, it begins with ‘F’ and it ends with ‘you.’ I will not remain silent while this man cynically tries to turn this incredibly painful moment into one for his own political gain.”
Twitter’s decision to draw a line for Trump came just hours after he issued an executive order threatening to make it easier for users to file lawsuits against the company for perceived political bias. The order was a transparent act of retaliation against the company for having appended a fact-checking note to a tweet in which Trump made a range of false claims about plans for California to make it easier for registered voters to vote by mail during the ongoing pandemic.
Jameel Jaffer, the executive director of the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University, told Adweek that the executive order itself violated the First Amendment because it was an act of government retaliation. “The order was born unconstitutional because it was issued in retaliation for Twitter’s fact-checking of President Trump’s tweets,” Jaffer said.
“The First Amendment protects Twitter’s right to respond to the president’s speech, including by attaching warnings to tweets that glorify violence,” Jaffer said in a statement sent to The Intercept. “Fundamentally this dispute is about whether Twitter has the right to disagree with, criticize, and respond to the president. Obviously, it does. It is remarkable and truly chilling that the president and his advisers seem to believe otherwise.”
Jaffer’s colleague Katie Fallow, a senior attorney at the First Amendment Institute, noted that unusual language that appeared to have been added to the order without much review, “make the retaliatory motive even clearer.”
“Twitter now selectively decides to place a warning label on certain tweets in a manner that clearly reflects political bias,” one part of the order reads. “As has been reported, Twitter seems never to have placed such a label on another politician’s tweet.”
What’s odd, as Fallow notes, is that the order references “another politician” without saying that the first politician it is concerned with here is Trump, although that is quite clear from the context. Another less than subtle hint is that the order throws in a gratuitous attack on the company’s failure to label tweets by Rep. Adam Schiff, who led the impeachment of Trump, in which he supposedly “mislead his followers by peddling the long-disproved Russian Collusion Hoax, and Twitter did not flag those tweets.”
Updated: Friday, May 29, 12:45 p.m. PDT
This article was updated with a new headline and more details about the events on 1968, and to report the arrest of the police officer who killed George Floyd, as well as new comments from the mayors off Minneapolis and Chicago, and President Donald Trump’s failure to take any questions during a White House news conference.

Hong Kong officials denounce US response to security law
Top Hong Kong officials have sharply criticized US President Donald Trump’s threat to strip the city of its special status, while the city’s last British governor says Beijing’s moves could lead to a new Cold War.
May 30, 2020
US President Donald Trump’s threat to strip Hong Kong of its special status in response to Beijing’s decision to impose a new national security law on the territory is “not acceptable” under international standards, Hong Kong’s pro-Beijing Justice Secretary Teresa Cheng told reporters on Saturday.
“It is said that we are becoming ‘one country, one system’ and we’ve lost our autonomy,” said Cheng. “That is completely false and wrong. We are one country … and therefore, as far as national security is concerned, as in any other country in the world, this is a matter that belongs to the central authorities.”
Cheng said that Beijing’s bypassing of Hong Kong’s internal legislative system to impose the security law, which is aimed at punishing treason, sedition, terrorism and foreign interference, did not compromise the territory’s autonomy, as US officials claimed.
Trump said on Friday that the US response would “affect the full range of agreements we have with Hong Kong,” including the territory’s special trade status.
Trading barbs over special status
Rights groups have slammed the new Chinese law for Hong Kong, not only for its method of passage but also because it is seen as allowing mainland China to further target dissent within the city and quash anti-government protests that have shaken the territory throughout the past year.
The move has also rattled foreign investors, who fear the loss of the privileges that have allowed Hong Kong to thrive as a global financial hub.
Hong Kong Secretary for Security John Lee also criticized the US response, saying that the new law was in line with Hong Kong’s mini-constitution, the Basic Law, and that he disapproved of the US “using any measures to suppress or intimidate the officials of the SAR [special administrative region].”
The People’s Daily, one of the Chinese Communist Party’s primary media outlets, also ran an editorial on Saturday, calling the US move to end some trading privileges for Hong Kong “doomed to fail” and a “gross interference” in China’s internal affairs.
Patten slams Beijing
Meanwhile, the last British governor of Hong Kong, Chris Patten, said Chinese President Xi Jinping is risking a new Cold War with China’s “thuggish” crackdown on the territory.
The law could trigger an outflow of both people and capital — an effect that could see Hong Kong lose its status as a global financial hub, said Patten, who served as governor from 1992 to 1997, when the territory was handed back to China after more than 150 years of British rule.
“What does it mean? It means serious question marks not just about Hong Kong’s future as a free society but also about Hong Kong’s ability to continue as probably the premier international financial hub in Asia,” Patten said in an interview with Reuters. “A lot of people will try to leave Hong Kong.”
He added that the West should promote a stronger response to China’s actions, saying that the West had been even more naive with Xi’s China than it had with post-Soviet Russia.
“What Xi has demonstrated so far is that unless you stand up to bullies they go on bullying you,” he said.
“We have long since passed the stage where, without wanting another Cold War, we have to react to the fact Xi seems to want one himself, seems to want to be able to bully his way to whatever he thinks China wants.”
China passed the Hong Kong national security law after stiff public opposition scuppered a previous attempt by the territory’s legislature to pass such legislation in 2003.
Beijing’s resolve appeared to have been hardened by months of anti-government protests in Hong Kong that frequently led to violent confrontations between police and the largely youthful demonstrators.

The Broken Encirclement Plan: Nato and the CIA in Eastern Europe
The first serious, and successful, U.S. direct interference in Russian leadership policies was in 1953. An ageing Josef Stalin, suffering from arteriosclerosis and becoming increasingly hostile to his subordinates, was poisoned by Laverenti P. Beria, head of his secret police. Beria, was a Mingrelian Jew, very ruthless and a man who ordered and often supervised the executions of people Stalin suspected of plotting against him, had fallen out of favor with Stalin and had come to believe that he was on the list of those Stalin wished to remove. With his intelligence connection, Beria was contacted by the American CIA through one of his trusted agents in Helskinki and through this contact, Beria was supplied dosages of warfarin The first drug in the class to be widely commercialized was dicoumarol itself, patented in 1941 and later used as a pharmaceutical. potent coumarin-based anticoagulants for use as rodent poisons, resulting in warfarin in 1948. The name warfarin stems from the acronym WARF, for Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation + the ending -arin indicating its link with coumarin. Warfarin was first registered for use as a rodenticide in the US in 1948, and was immediately popular; although it was developed by Link, the WARF financially supported the research and was assigned the patent.
Warfarin was used by a Lavrenti Beria to poison Stalin. Stalin’s cooks and personal bodyguards were all under the direct control of Beria. He acknowledged to other top Soviet leaders that he had poisoned Stalin, according to Molotov’s memoirs. Nikita Khrushchev and others to poison Soviet leader Joseph Stalin. Warfarin is tasteless and colorless, and produces symptoms similar to those that Stalin exhibited. Stalin collapsed during the night after a dinner with Beria and other Soviet leaders, and died four days later on 5 March 1953.
Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov, in his political memoirs (published posthumously in 1993), claimed that Beria told him that he had poisoned Stalin. “I took him out,” Beria supposedly boasted. There is evidence that after Stalin was found unconscious, medical care was not provided for many hours. Other evidence of the murder of Stalin by Beria associates was presented by Edvard Radzinsky in his biography Stalin. It has been suggested that warfarin was used; it would have produced the symptoms reported.
After the fall of Gorbachev and his replacement by Boris Yeltsin, a known CIA connection, the Russian criminal mob was encouraged by the CIA to move into the potentially highly lucrative Russian natural resource field.
By 1993 almost all banks in Russia were owned by the mafia, and 80% of businesses were paying protection money. In that year, 1400 people were murdered in Moscow, crime members killed businessmen who would not pay money to them, as well as reporters, politicians, bank owners and others opposed to them. The new criminal class of Russia took on a more Westernized and businesslike approach to organized crime as the more code-of-honor based Vory faded into extinction.
The Izmaylovskaya gang was considered one of the country’s most important and oldest Russian Mafia groups in Moscow and also had a presence in Tel Aviv, Berlin, Paris, Toronto, Miami and New York City. It was founded during the 1980s under the leadership of Oleg Ivanov and was estimated to consist of about 200 active members (according to other data of 300–500 people). In principle, the organization was divided into two separate bodies—Izmailovskaya and Gol’yanovskaya which utilized quasi-military ranks and strict internal discipline. It was involved extensively in murder-for-hire, extortions, and infiltration of legitimate businesses.
The gangs were termed the Oligarchy and were funded by the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the Israeli-owned Bank of New York all with the assistance of the American government.
The arrival of Vladimir Putin as the new leader of Russia was at first ignored in Washington. A former KGB Lt. Colonel who had been stationed in East Germany, Putin was viewed as inconsequential, bland and colorless by the purported Russian experts in both the Department of State and the CIA.
Putin, however, proved to be a dangerous opponent who blocked the Oligarchs attempt to control the oil fields and other assets, eventual control of which had been promised to both American and British firms.
The Oligarchs were allowed to leave the country and those remaining behind were forced to follow Putin’s policies. Foreign control over Russian natural resources ceased and as both the CIA, various foreign firms and the American government had spent huge sums greasing the skids, there was now considerable negative feelings towards Putin.
The next serious moves against Russia came with a plan conceived by the CIA and fully approved by President George W. Bush, whose father had once been head of the CIA.
This consisted of ‘Operation Sickle’ which was designed to surround the western and southern borders of Russia with states controlled by the United States through the guise of NATO membership. Included in this encirclement program were the Baltic States, Poland, the Czech Republic, Georgia and a number of Asiatic states bordering southern Russia. It was the stated intention of the NATO leadership to put military missiles in all these countries. The so-called “Orange Revolution” funded and directed by the CIA, overthrew the pro-Moscow government in the Ukraine, giving the United States theoretical control over the heavy industrialized Donetz Basin and most importantly, the huge former Soviet naval base at Sebastopol.
The Georgia Train and Equip Program (GTEP) was an American-sponsored 18-month, $64-million program aimed at increasing the capabilities of the Georgian armed forces by training and equipping four 600-man battalions with light weapons, vehicles and communications. The program enabled the US to expedite funding for the Georgian military for Operation Enduring Freedom.
On February 27, 2002, the US media reported that the U.S. would send approximately two hundred United States Army Special Forces soldiers to Georgia to train Georgian troops. The program implemented President Bush’s decision to respond to the Government of Georgia’s request for assistance to enhance its counter-terrorism capabilities and addressed the situation in the Pankisi Gorge.
The program began in May 2002 when American special forces soldiers began training select units of the Georgian Armed Forces, including the 12th Commando Light Infantry Battalion, the 16th Mountain-Infantry Battalion, the 13th “Shavnabada” Light Infantry Battalion, the 11th Light Infantry Battalion, a mechanized company and small numbers of Interior Ministry troops and border guards.
Eventually, responsibility for training Georgian forces was turned over to the US Marine Corps in conjunction with the British Army. British and American teams worked as part of a joint effort to train each of the four infantry battalion staffs and their organic rifle companies. This training began with the individual soldier and continued through fire team, squad, platoon, company, and battalion level tactics as well as staff planning and organization. Upon completing training, each of the new Georgian infantry battalions began preparing for deployment rotations in support of the Global War on Terrorism
The CIA were instrumental in getting Mikheil Saakashvili, an erratic politician, pro-West, into the presidency of Georgia but although he allowed the country to be flooded with American arms and “military trainers” he was not a man easily controlled and under the mistaken belief that American military might supported him, commenced to threaten Moscow. Two Georgian provinces were heavily populated by Russians and objected to the inclusion in Georgia and against them, Saakashvili began to make threatening moves.
The 2008 South Ossetia War or Russo-Georgian War (in Russia also known as the Five-Day War) was an armed conflict in August 2008 between Georgia on one side, and Russia and separatist governments of South Ossetia and Abkhazia on the other.
During the night of 7 to 8 August 2008, Georgia launched a large-scale military offensive against South Ossetia, in an attempt to reclaim the territory. Georgia claimed that it was responding to attacks on its peacekeepers and villages in South Ossetia, and that Russia was moving non-peacekeeping units into the country. The Georgian attack caused casualties among Russian peacekeepers, who resisted the assault along with Ossetian militia. Georgia successfully captured most of Tskhinvali within hours. Russia reacted by deploying units of the Russian 58th Army and Russian Airborne Troops in South Ossetia, and launching airstrikes against Georgian forces in South Ossetia and military and logistical targets in Georgia proper. Russia claimed these actions were a necessary humanitarian intervention and peace enforcement.
When the Russian incursion was seen as massive and serious, U.S. president George W. Bush’s statement to Russia was: “Bullying and intimidation are not acceptable ways to conduct foreign policy in the 21st century.” The US Embassy in Georgia, describing the Matthew Bryza press-conference, called the war an “incursion by one of the world’s strongest powers to destroy the democratically elected government of a smaller neighbor”.
Initially the Bush Administration seriously considered a military response to defend Georgia, but such an intervention was ruled out by the Pentagon due to the inevitable conflict it would lead to with Russia. Instead, Bush opted for a softer option by sending humanitarian supplies to Georgia by military, rather than civilian, aircraft. And he ordered the immediate evacuation of all American military units from Georgia. The huge CIA contingent in the Georgian capital fled by aircraft and the American troops, mostly U.S. Marines, evacuated quickly to the Black Sea where they were evacuated by the U.S. Navy. British and Israeli military units also fled the country and all of them had to leave behind an enormous amount of military equipment to include tanks, light armored vehicles, small arms, radio equipment, and trucks full of intelligence data they had neither the time nor foresight to destroy.
The immediate result of this demarche was the defection of the so-called “NATO Block” eastern Europeans from the Bush/CIA project who saw the United States as a paper tiger that would not, and could not, defend them against the Russians. In a sense, the Russian incursion into Georgia was a massive political, not a military, victory.
The CIA was not happy with the actions of Vladimir Putin and when he ran for reelection, they poured money into the hands of Putin’s enemies, hoping to reprise the Ukrainian Orange Revolution but the effort was in vain.
And when the Poles, nervous about the apparent speed with which the US forces had abandoned their bases in Georgia, were in the progress of establishing a rapprochement with Vladimir Putin. Slated to fly into Smolensk for a ceremony to mark the killing by Stalin of many Polish officer prisoners of war. Someone, the Russians are sure was CIA, tampered with the landing signals on the airfield so that the foggy landing strip appeared to be at a lower altitude. He plane, with the entire upper level of the Polish government, slammed into the ground, killing all of the passengers.
Elegant diplomacy executed by true gentlemen!

Encyclopedia of American Loons

Christy Mack

If you know of one person called “Christy Mack”, it may not be this entry’s Christy Mack, but this entry’s Christy Mack (this Christy Mack) is far more powerful and dangerous. This entry’s Christy Mack, the wife of a wealthy investment banker, is the founder of the Bravewell Collaborative, an organization whose goal has been to promote the study and use of CAM (or “integrative medicine” as it is currently known, or “quackery” as it was previously known) in medical academia. In other words, Mack has been one of the most important figures in the marketing of and attempts to legitimize pseudoscience and woo, attempts that have thus far been dismayingly successful – there has been a proliferation of quack departments in medical centers in North America (part of the Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine), including many of the most prestigious medical schools in the US (one example of Bravewell’s efforts here; another one here; a general discussion of Bravewell is here).
Bravewell has done major investigations themselves to justify their push for alternative medicine – not into whether such treatments work, of course, but into how popular they are (and in the process rebrands “food/nutrition” and “massage” as “alternative medicine” to boost their numbers.) Actually, in 2012 they also investigated how “successful” the treatments have been … by asking the various quack centers to report how successful they feel that the various treatments defined as “complementary” has been for various conditions (boosted by the centers’ own “customer satisfaction” reports). Best to stay away from, you know, actual records and data, since that would be unlikely to yield the conclusions they want. Oh, and we just have to quote the conclusion from that report: “One of the most striking, though perhaps predictable, conclusions of this study is that integrative medicine is, in fact, integrative. It integrates conventional care with non-conventional or non-Western therapies; ancient healing wisdom with modern science; and the whole person – mind, body, and spirit in the context of community.” Inanity hardly comes dafter than this.
The Bravewell Collaborative shut down in 2015, according to Mack, because “our principal strategies had achieved our goals, and when integrative medicine had become part of the national conversation on healthcare, our members collectively decided that it was time to sunset the organization,” a justification that certainly seemed believable at the time (though one should perhaps not exaggerate the success of Trojan horse efforts from the CAM community). A discussion of its achievments is here. Note that improved health outcomes for patients was apparently never part of their agenda.
An interview with Mack and some of her collaborators – including Ralph Snyderman, former dean of Duke University Medical School and now devout promoter of pseudoscience – is reported on here.
Diagnosis: Bravewell has been one of the most influential and powerful forces of pseudoscience and woo in the US, and Mack is one of many extremely wealthy people who has ample time and resources to realize themselves by claiming to have quasi-magical powers and insight, and use those to justify efforts to ruin their societies. Most of these are harmless, but Mack is certainly not.

Bryan Leonard

Bryan Leonard is one of the alleged martyrs featured in the creationist movements dishonest “academic freedom” campaigns, people having been the victim of what Intelligent Design creationists would describe as oppression by the Darwinist establishment (i.e. actual scientists with actual expertise and a commitment to science). A more comprehensive description of the so-called Bryan Leonard affair can be found here. We’ll just provide a brief recap:
Leonard was (or perhaps is) a high school biology teacher at Hilliard Davidson High School in a suburb of Columbus (yes, he was teaching the controversy and promoting creationism to the high-school kids; surprised?), and – a decade ago – an appointee to the Ohio State BOE’s model curriculum-writing committee, where he authored the creationist-friendly “Critical Analysis” model lesson plan adopted by the Ohio State Board of Education in 2004. Leonard also testified for the pseudoscience side at the Kansas Creationist Kangaroo Court hearings (excerpts from his testimony here). Leonard himself appears to be a young-earth creationist.
Now, by 2005 Leonard was also a doctoral candidate in science education at Ohio State University, doing dissertation research on the academic merits of an ID-based “critical analysis” approach to teaching evolution in public schools. Scheduled to defend on June 6, the defense was suddenly postponed to the shock and horror of conspiracy theorists and pseudoscientists everywhere. And of course, in real life the postponement was due to the questionable tactics and strategy of the creationists, in particular the composition of Leonard’s committee. You see, the OSU requires that the committee must reflect the expertise needed for the dissertation and must have at least three members: two from the science education program area and one from outside the science education program area. Leonard’s final dissertation committee did not meet those requirements – in particular, it contained no member from the science education program area – and one suspects this was because his advisor, Paul Post, realized that it would not pass if they included, you know, actual experts on biology on the committee. Instead, the committee included, in addition to an assistant professor in French & Italian, Glen R. Needham of the Department of Entomology and Robert DiSilvestro of the Department of Human Nutrition, both of whom have track-records as champions of creationism and pseudoscience – both are signatories to the Discovery Institute’s petition A Scientific Dissent from Darwinism, for instance, and DiSilvestro, surely coincidentally, also testified for the anti-science side at the Kansas evolution hearings. (He was also at that time contact person for the Ohio Intelligent Design Movement’s 52 Ohio Scientists Call for Academic Freedom on Darwin’s Theory petition; and Needham was a signatory). Leonard’s advisor Paul Post has no relevant qualifications to comment on evolution either.
So, when members of the faculty of the OSU brought these and other anomalies to the attention of appropriate administrators in the Graduate School, the assistant professor of French & Italian asked to be relieved and was replaced by the Dean of the College of Biological Sciences who was an evolutionary biologist. At that time, the defense was suddenly postponed, apparently at the request of Leonard’s advisor; it was never rescheduled. And note: It was Leonard’s advisor who asked for the postponement, after it became clear that he wouldn’t be allowed to violate the guidelines in his attempt to fix the jury in Leonard’s favor (which rather strongly suggests that the creationists on the committee had little confidence in the actual merits of Leonard’s pro-creationist thesis). The pattern of behavior from the Intelligent Design community is rather striking – even if Leonard’s thesis were perfectly OK, the attempt of the Intelligent Design community to subvert the process is telling, isn’t it? Being caught in the act, the Intelligent Design community responded by claiming “violation of academic freedom”, of course. Indeed, a decade later the case remains one of their go-to examples of howChristians are oppressed in academia.
Diagnosis: We haven’t heard much from Leonard since 2005, but the Bryan Leonard case is occasionally revived by pseudoscientists who aren’t that concerned with what actually happened. Now, one can reasonably argue that Leonard was, indeed, a victim in that particular case – a victim of the shenanigans of established creationists, of course – but his activities on the Ohio State BOE’s model curriculum-writing committee and role in the Kansas Kangaroo court hearings still qualify him for an entry in our Encyclopedia.

Peter Leithart

Peter Leithart is a theocrat and president of Theopolis Institute for Biblical, Liturgical, & Cultural Studies in Birmingham, Alabama. He is also the author of numerous books, some coauthored with George Grant or Gary DeMar, including a series of children’s bedtime stories that we haven’t read but nevertheless recommend that parents who wish to raise wholesome, good and wise kids avoid with a passion. Taking a cue from Islamic fundamentalists – reconstructionists like Leithart tend to harbor a certain envy for radical jihadists – Leithart has presented “American Christians with a call to martyrdom,” in particular as a response to the legality of abortion and gay marriage: “Throughout Scripture,” Leithart says (in his book Between Babel and Beast), “the only power that can overcome the seemingly invincible omnipotence of a Babel or a Beast is the power of martyrdom, the power of the witness to King Jesus to the point of loss and death.” At least Leithart, as opposed to some dominionist, recognizes that the type of hatred and bigotry he would prefer be the law is neither popular nor embedded in the Constitution: “To be faithful, Christian witness must be witness against America.” How Leithart’s claims are relevantly different from a Taliban video is less clear, insofar as Leithart is explicitly and repeatedly calling for Christians to seek martyrdom in combat against America and its values.
It is probably not even worth mentioning that Leithart is a young-earth creationism; indeed, he doesn’t even seem to bother with the science: any semblance of criticism of a literary reading of the Bible from science or history is for Leithart entirely beside the point.
Diagnosis: He does his best to make himself ideologically indistinguishable from the most delusionally rabid Taliban jihadists – and he seems to have a number of followers (David Lane, for instance). Dangerous.

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