Don Williams
Photo by Justin Williams

Don Williams is a prize-winning columnist, blogger, fiction writer, sometime TV commentator, and is the founder and editor emeritus of New Millennium Writings, an annual anthology of stories, essays and poems. His awards include a National Endowment for the Humanities Journalism Fellowship at the University of Michigan, a Golden Presscard Award from Sigma Delta Chi Society of Professional Journalists, a best Commentary Award from SDC, Best Feature Writing from the Associated Press Tennessee Managing Editors, the Malcolm Law Journalism Prize from the Associated Press, Best Non-Deadline Reporting from the United Press International, Best Novel Excerpt from the Knoxville Writers Guild, a Peacemaker Award from the Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance, five Writer of the Month Awards from the Scripps Howard Newspaper chain, and many others. In 2011 he was inducted into the East Tennessee Writers Hall of Fame. His 2005 book of journalism, Heroes, Sheroes and Zeroes is under revision for a second printing, and he is at work on a novel and a book of journalism. His columns appear at Opednews.com and have been featured at many other well-known websites. To run his column, gratis, at your website, post this link to a dedicated spot: http://www.mach2.com/williams/. Need a speaker, panelist, tv commentator or teacher for your group or to lead a writing workshop, in your town? Email DonWilliams7@charter.net.


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Don Williams comments

Crimes too outrageous to ignore
(Copyright by Don Williams, All rights reserved   05/13/2005)

Get over it.

That's what some critics say, as if uttering some clever and very adult piece of advice, but it's a childish, simplistic response to the charges I bring. Whether they know it or not, those who give that advice are really saying: Get over the lies, the torture, the pornographic sideshows, the secret meetings, the war-mongering, the new nuclear weapons being planned, the environmental degradation, the divisive appointments, the corrupt elections, the raids on our treasury, the Orwellian distortion of information, the re-emergence of Iran-Contra criminals in our government, the phony town-hall meetings, destruction of Social Security in the name of saving it and much more. I could go on and on. There's so much wrong with our government these days it's unbelievable to the casual observer, and so we critics must put specific facts on the table regarding such charges. In the interests of time and space, I'll stick to three.

* Take the warmongering charge. If it wasn't clear before that we went to war in Iraq as a calculated act based on phony intelligence, then a recently leaked document should make it clear. According to Knight-Ridder News--and everyone else who's seriously looked into it--a document from deep inside British Prime Minister Tony Blair's administration shows that Blair knew President Bush was determined to invade Iraq many months prior to our 2003 invasion and that “the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.”

Roll that phrase around. “The intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.” What could be more damning? The top-secret government document, now widely publicized in England and mostly ignored by America's media--summarizes a July 23, 2002, meeting of Blair with his top security advisers, and reports on a visit to Washington by the head of Britain's MI-6 intelligence service at a time when Bush was still declaring to the world that he wished to avoid war. "There was a perceptible shift in attitude,” the document states. “Military action was now seen as inevitable.” And so the fix was in. Aluminum tubes as nuclear devices, mobile labs that didn't exist, phony documents purporting to show uranium deals going down in Africa and more are evidence of a big setup job. Face it, we were duped into a war that has cost hundreds of billions in treasury and many thousands of lives, including 1,600 Americans, with no end in sight more than two years later. Whether this president, like Clinton, should be impeached, I'll leave for you to ponder.

* Or take the “pornographic sideshow” charge. For months on end the White House gave press clearance to a known male prostitute with pornographic websites and a fake ID. There he sat, though, with real reporters at White House press conferences. He regularly tossed softball questions to White House officials and made remarks critical of “the liberal media.” According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Jeff Gannon--also known as James D. Gucker--visited the White House nearly 200 times, and 39 of those visits were unrelated to his so-called reporting duties. Can you imagine the outcry and innuendos had former President Clinton allowed such goings on?

* Or take the resurgence, under Bush, of the gang that brought us the Iran-Contra scandal. According to David Corn, of “The Nation,” the Bush presidency “has been one long rehab session for the Iran-contra scoundrels of the Reagan-Bush administration… Elliott Abrams--who pleaded guilty to misleading Congress regarding the Reagan administration's secret support of the Contra rebels fighting the Sandinista government of Nicaragua--was hired as a staff member of George W. Bush's National Security Council and placed in charge of democracy promotion. Retired Admiral John Poindexter… who was convicted of several Iran-contra crimes before the convictions were overturned on a legal technicality--was retained by the Pentagon to search for terrorists using computerized Big Brother technology. John Negroponte--who as ambassador to Honduras in the early 1980s was the on-the-ground overseer of pro-contra operations there--was recruited by Bush to be UN ambassador, then ambassador to Iraq, and, most recently, the first director of national intelligence. Otto Reich--who mounted an arguably illegal pro-contra propaganda effort when he was a Reagan official--was appointed by Bush to be in charge of Latin American policy at the State Department… James Steele was recently featured in a New York Times Magazine story as a top adviser to Iraq's `most fearsome counterinsurgency force,' an outfit called the Special Police Commandos that numbers about 5000 troops.” Corn reminds us that Steele led Special Forces in El Salvador during that country's brutal civil war in the 1980s that resulted in the deaths of 70,000 people, mostly civilians, often in outrageous wholesale massacres that our government helped cover up.

Should the media ever completely "get over" speaking the truth about such goings on, heaven help us all.