Cartel of Defiance

cartel of defiance (noun): 1. In medieval combat, a formal declaration, delivered by herald, of a combatant's intention to fight and refusal to submit. 2. An electronic assemblage of engaged and enraged citizens. 3. An intertextual mode of reading, writing, and thinking that puts the current political, cultural, and personal moment in dialogue with text/art from the past in counterargument to the ahistorical Memory Hole into which America seems to have slipped.

Saturday, March 18, 2006


Forests, you scare me like cathedrals do;
You roar like an organ, and in our despicable hearts,
Chambers of tireless mourning where old gasps haw,
The echoes of your sacred chants reverberate.

I hate you, Ocean. Your bounding and your tumults,
My spirit rediscovers itself in them; that bitter laugh
of the vanquished man, full of sobs and insults,
Is what I hear in the enormous laugh of the sea.

How you would please me, O Night! Without your stars
whose light speaks an unknown tongue-
For I seek the empty, the black, the bare.

And the darkness is itself like a canvas
where-pouring from my eyes by the thousands
live the familiar faces of my lost and my dead.

Charles Baudelaire, les Fleurs du Mal
English adaptation © 2006 Paul Delehanty

Michael Gordon, War Guilt and the "one-track mind"

From Atrios, link to disturbing interview between Amy Goodman and Michael Gordon, who co-authored the A1 NY Times story from September 8, 2002, "US Says Hussein Intensifies Quest for A-Bomb Parts." Let's remember these basic facts: September 8. 2002. Front page story. Written by Michael Gordon. Co-written with Judith Miller. September 8 2002 was a SUNDAY. That same day Dick Cheney cited this article on Meet the Press. Condi Rice cited it on CNN Late Edition.

What's so disturbing about this interview is how much Gordon wants to run away from these facts. It's nauseating to see a reporter that would be so impatient with questions, which are after all, his own stock in trade. "I don't know if you understand how journalism works . . . Can I answer your question, since you asked me a question? . . . No, wait a second, if you ask me a question – I'm happy to answer all your questions, but what I'm trying to explain to you is one thing. That was what I knew at the time. . . by the way, if you know how newspapers work, I actually don't decide what goes on the front page of the New York Times, and I think the New York Times did its best, you know, and had no agenda certainly in this issue, in trying to cover this issue. . . . Are you going to let me talk now? . . . Yeah. You're not well-informed on this issue, because – I don't have any, you know, criticism of you as an individual, but you're not very well informed on this, because if you were well-informed on this – I'm friends with David Albright. . . . Do you want me to say something? . . . I think you can beat this dead horse forever, but I think I'm going to make one point. . . . [and, most remarkably] You have a one-track mind. I thought we were going to talk about the Iraq war."

Can you imagine a reporter, an investigative reporter, criticizing another reporter for having a "one-track mind"? While the war goes on in Iraq, and American soldiers, still, every week, come home shrouded in the body bags which are, themselves, shrouded from view, while Rumsfield and Cheney still spew out the lies that this reporter helped to propagate?

Man (1938)

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