Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.

For The Record  

FTR #197 Pro-Fascist Historical Revisionism

Listen: One segment

Beginning with the Syrian government’s official denial of the Holocaust in its official publication, Tishreen, the broadcast highlights the growing denial of the historical facts of fascism. Significantly, the Tishreen editorial referenced the work of holocaust revisionist David Irving, currently suing his critics for libel. (For more on this libel suit, see FTR-189.)

Next, the broadcast sets forth Japanese reactionaries’ denial of the Rape of Nanking. (In 1937, the Japanese occupation forces shot, beheaded and bayoneted hundreds of thousands of Chinese citizens – the casualty total equaled the number of Japanese who died in both atomic bombings.)

The broadcast also discusses American historical revisionism. In early 2000, South Carolina’s flying of the confederate flag became a political football in the Republican Presidential primaries. Both John McCain and George W. Bush stated that it was up to the people of South Carolina to decide if the flag was to continue to fly atop the state capitol building. (The NAACP is boycotting the state in an attempt to get the flag removed.) Despite the claim by its organizers, a January 2000 rally in support of the flag was openly racist. (Its organizers claimed that the rally was about “heritage, not hate”. Nonetheless, an elected South Carolina representative referred to the NAACP as “the National Association of Retarded People”. When asked to apologize, he said that his statement was unfair to “retarded people”.)

The rally’s backers included an array of the most virulent American fascists and racists on the contemporary political landscape. Program Highlights Include: former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke’s founding of an organization to support the rights of “oppressed” European-Americans; the fascist Liberty Lobby’s midwifing of the Populist Party (which ran Duke for President in 1988); the role of attorney Jack Kershaw in helping to perpetuate the fingering of James Earl Ray as the patsy in the assassination of Martin Luther King (Kershaw founded the MNK Foundation, one of the core elements of the League of the South, which sponsored the pro-Confederate flag rally); Confederate flag supporter A.J. Barker’s association with the Populist Party and the Liberty Lobby; the Liberty Lobby’s involvement in the Holocaust revisionist movement; Confederate flag backer Ed Fields’ Ku Klux Klan background and association with David Duke; Confederate flag backer Kirk Lyons’ involvement with the Aryan Nations, Holocaust revisionism and international neo-Nazism; the overtly and explicitly racist connotations of the Confederate flag (as stated in the Texas articles of secession from 1861.) (Recorded on 2/20/2000.)

Discussion

5 comments for “FTR #197 Pro-Fascist Historical Revisionism”

  1. Like peas in a pod. A very scary pod:

    AlterNet
    Rand Paul Continues to Associate with Old Neoconfederate Allies as He Prepares a Presidential Run
    Most presidential candidates don’t have race-baiting ghostwriters.

    July 31, 2014

    Rand Paul, the U.S. Senator and 2016 Republican presidential candidate, keeps crossing paths with his notorious political soul mate, Jack Hunter, who ghost-wrote Paul’s 2011 book but resigned from his Senate staff last July after his past as a neo-Confederate blogger who praised Abraham Lincoln’s killer—and called for African-American filmmaker Spike Lee to be whipped—caught up with him.

    On Wednesday night, Paul gave the keynote address to the Young Americans For Liberty 2014 convention in Washington. The Libertarian group, which once hired Hunter—who had blogged as “The Southern Avenger” and was known for wearing a Confederate flag facemask—is having him Hunter for a Friday morning talk, entitled, “You Can’t Be A Conservative Without Being A Libertarian.”

    As Kentucky civil rights pioneer Georgia David Powers told AlterNet this week, Paul has a long history of voting against the interests of African-Americans, despite recent efforts to recast himself as a racial justice crusader. “A leopard does not change its spots,” Powers said, adding that Paul has surrounded himself with white supremacists for years.

    That brings us back to Hunter, who wasn’t just another southerner venting that the wrong side won the Civil War. Thanks to the Internet Archive Wayback Machine, you can read what he wrote in 2005 for the Charleston City Paper, where he relished the persona that he created of a Confederate-flag-masked pundit seeking to offend Yankee sensibilities.

    In the piece where Hunter said that he’d be celebrating the birthday of Lincoln assassin, John Wilkes Booth, he also ridiculed the African-American holiday of Kwanzaa.

    “Now, the Southern Avenger isn’t one to begrudge others from celebrating whatever they want. I know I raise a personal toast every May 10 to celebrate John Wilkes Booth’s birthday,” Hunter wrote, before he turned on Kwanzaa’s founder. “Now you tell me. How did this race-obsessed, misogynistic ex-con, get the mainstream American media to take a holiday he invented seriously?”

    You might think that a politician with presidential ambitions would distance himself from people whose pasts contained beyond-stupid youthful indiscretions. But not so, with Paul, wrote James Kirchik, for The Daily Beast, where he last July detailed more of Hunter’s neo-Confederate ravings. He compared the anti-imperialism of the Old South to the Islamic insurgents fighting Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan. Mediaite.com, another right-wing website, noted that fellow conservatives had “outed” Hunter.

    Before Hunter went to work for Paul’s senatorial staff, the Young Americans for Liberty hired him as national outreach director. Here’s what their press release said, teeming with enthusiasm for their new like-minded colleague:

    “YAL is very pleased to announce the addition of Jack Hunter, also known as the Southern Avenger, to our national staff. He is joining YAL in the position of Director of Outreach, and will be responsible for building and maintaining good relationships with our allies in the liberty movement.

    “Jack has previously been involved in YAL as a writer and contributing editor of Young American Revolution and a participant and host at many of YAL’s events, particularly at the annual CPAC conference.

    “Outside of YAL he is widely published, perhaps most notably as a coauthor of Senator Rand Paul’s book, The Tea Party Goes to Washington. A prominent figure in the liberty movement, Jack’s most recent writings and videos may be viewed at his website.

    “I know I can speak for all of the YAL staff when I say we are thrilled to have Jack on board, and look forward to working with him for years to come!”

    Why does this matter? Because Paul is a leading 2016 Republican presidential candidate, who, among other things, is going around the country and giving speeches to civil rights organizations about reforming draconian federal drug laws that imprison minorities. As Kentucky’s former state Senator Georgia Powers said, Paul is a “great pretender” who cannot be trusted. And trust is key here, because as a politician like Paul moves into higher orbits, the circle of people who they know and trust shrinks.

    Now, Hunter, according to a Mediaite.com article last fall, has been seeking to revive his reputation and apologize for his racist rants—saying it was an insensitive shtick for an arrogant twenty-something year old. “Hunter wrote that while Paul knew of his persona as the Southern Avenger, the Senator did not know of his previous statements, including toasting to John Wilkes Booth, calling for Spike Lee to be whipped, and more.”

    Mediaite is referring to a November 2013 piece in Politico.com, entitled, “Confessions of a Right Wing Shock Jock: I’m not a Racist; I Just Played One on the Radio.” Here’s an excerpt:

    “Sen. Paul had known that I used to wear a Confederate wrestling mask as part of an old radio shtick, and I still sometimes used the Southern Avenger moniker—it was my Twitter handle and appeared on my Facebook page. But he hadn’t known about the many stupid and offensive things I’d said…

    “It was painful to revisit because it sounds awful to me today, so I could only imagine what it sounded like to African-Americans in 2000. I recall making equally insensitive comments about illegal immigrants and Muslims. Whenever I put on that wrestling mask, I took on a persona that was intentionally outrageous and provocative. I said many terrible things. I disavow them.

    “But let’s be honest: My commentary wasn’t all that different from what more mainstream conservatives were saying—at the time and still today…Most conservatives are not, and never were, racists. But many have displayed a disregard for minorities for a very long time and in a plethora of ways. I certainly did.”

    This week, both Paul and Hunter are speaking on at the Young Americans For Liberty 2014 convention. The group’s mission, taken from its website, is, “to identify, educate, train, and mobilize youth activists committed to ‘winning on principle.’ Our goal is to cast the leaders of tomorrow and reclaim the policies, candidates, and direction of our government.”

    “It was painful to revisit because it sounds awful to me today, so I could only imagine what it sounded like to African-Americans in 2000. I recall making equally insensitive comments about illegal immigrants and Muslims. Whenever I put on that wrestling mask, I took on a persona that was intentionally outrageous and provocative. I said many terrible things. I disavow them.

    But let’s be honest: My commentary wasn’t all that different from what more mainstream conservatives were saying—at the time and still today…Most conservatives are not, and never were, racists. But many have displayed a disregard for minorities for a very long time and in a plethora of ways. I certainly did.”

    You have to love that explanation: Jack Hunter wasn’t racist and he disavows the awful things he said while being intentionally outrageous provocative. Also, what he was saying isn’t that different from what you hear from more mainstream conservatives today. So the good news is apparently that professional racists aren’t actually racist. They’re just huckster mercenaries. Assuming that’s actually true, you have to wonder if that’s a better scenario for the nation at large vs one where shock jocks like Hunter really are racists that are now pretending to be huckster mercenaries. The answer isn’t obvious.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | August 1, 2014, 11:49 am
  2. He’s in it to win it!

    TPM Livewire
    Rand Paul Ready To Hire Controversial Ex-McConnell Campaign Manager

    By Daniel Strauss
    Published December 9, 2014, 10:17 AM EST

    Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) said that Jesse Benton, the former campaign manager for Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), will be part of Paul’s campaign team in 2016.

    Benton, served as McConnell’s campaign manager for much of the 2014 cycle until he resigned amid questions about the role he allegedly played in a 2012 Iowa pay-for-votes bribery scandal.

    Paul, in an interview with WHAS11, said that he thinks “Jesse is honest, he’s good at politics and I don’t think he’s done anything wrong.”

    It wasn’t clear from Paul’s comments if he was referring to his Senate re-election campaign or the presidential campaign he’s rumored to be gearing up for.

    .The important thing to know about Benton is that he’s long been tied to the Paul family. He previously was Ron Paul’s campaign manager when the then-Texas congressman ran for president in 2008 and 2012. He was also caught on audio saying that he was holding his nose to help McConnell so he could help Paul down the line.

    “Jesse is married to my niece and was a big help in the Kentucky election here in 2010 and a big help for Sen. McConnell,” Paul said. “And, yes he’ll help us.”

    Paul also suggested that the federal investigation into the bribery scandal that resulted in Benton leaving McConnell’s campaign may have been tainted by politics.

    You have to wonder if a Rand Paul would be tempted to just pardon pardon if he becomes president. It seems. possible.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | December 9, 2014, 9:02 am
  3. This should be a fun game: Guess why the GOP edited out a section of President Obama’s States of the Union address that happened to condemn both torture and anti-semitism. Was the GOP trying to quietly express a pro-torture stance or pro-anti-semitic sympathies? The GOP has yet to given an explanation so there isn’t really a wrong answer, although it’s hard to imagine an answer from the GOP that isn’t ‘wrong’ in some sense:

    Think Progress
    Republicans Post Doctored Version Of State Of The Union, Censor Facts On Climate Change

    by Emily Atkin
    Posted on January 21, 2015 at 10:42 am
    Updated: January 21, 2015 at 11:41 am

    The official website for House Republicans has posted on YouTube a doctored version of President Obama’s State of the Union address which cuts out comments where the President was critical of Republican rhetoric on climate change, ThinkProgress has learned.

    In the website’s “enhanced webcast” of the State of the Union speech, President Obama’s comments criticizing Republicans for saying they are “not scientists” when it comes to climate change are erased.

    At the 43:25 minute mark, President Obama is supposed to say “I’ve heard some folks try to dodge the evidence by saying they’re not scientists; that we don’t have enough information to act. Well, I’m not a scientist, either. But you know what — I know a lot of really good scientists at NASA, and NOAA, and at our major universities. The best scientists in the world are all telling us that our activities are changing the climate, and if we do not act forcefully, we’ll continue to see rising oceans, longer, hotter heat waves, dangerous droughts and floods, and massive disruptions that can trigger greater migration, conflict, and hunger around the globe.”

    Instead, the entire section is skipped. Obama’s comments resume with “The Pentagon says that climate change poses immediate risks to our national security. We should act like it.”

    You can watch the gop.gov version of the video here.

    The 43:25 minute mark is not the only place where the video is edited. At the 44:51 minute mark, a section is edited out where Obama spoke of respecting “human dignity,” prohibiting torture, and speaking out against anti-Semitism. The section that is edited out reads as follows: “As Americans, we respect human dignity, even when we’re threatened, which is why I’ve prohibited torture, and worked to make sure our use of new technology like drones is properly constrained. It’s why we speak out against the deplorable anti-Semitism that has resurfaced in certain parts of the world.”

    A spokesperson for House Speaker John Boehner’s office did not immediately respond to ThinkProgress’ request for comment on whether the edits were intentional or not, but we’ll update if we hear back.

    If it does turn out that the edits were intentional, it wouldn’t be the first time a government official attempted to censor climate-related content. In 2005, media revealed that White House official Philip Cooney was altering government documents to downplay links between fossil fuels and global warming. Cooney was the chief of staff to President Bush’s Council on Environmental Quality.

    Go ahead and take a guess! Remember, there’s no wrong answer. And there could even even be multiple right answers…right answers that happen to be horribly wrong. What a fun game!

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | January 21, 2015, 3:27 pm
  4. While this editing is ridiculous and clearly biased, the reason that they would edit out Obama attacking anti-semitism is that it hurts their narrative that they are the torchbearers of support for Israel, while he is not.

    Obama’s Israel record is a very mixed bag. On the one hand, no American president has done more to make sure Israel has the military hardware it needs. On the other hand, he has handed gifts on a platter to the GOP with things like having Kerry try to use Turkey and Qatar as moderators in Gaza conflict. That was particularly appalling. But the GOP knows they have a winner by taking a tougher anti-jihadist stance than the Democrats, and that is hopefully something that is registered as a “wakeup call” for Dem leadership after the most recent election.

    Posted by Tiffany Sunderson | January 22, 2015, 2:18 pm
  5. @Tiffany: Along those lines, it will be interesting to see how the GOP’s surprise invite to Benjamin Netanyahu to address Congress plays out in coming months. The White House is clearly pissed about being blindsided like that, so it’s probably not an issues that’s going to fade away. Plus, having the Speaker of the House invite a foreign head of state to address Congress without the prior approval of the President might have been illegal:

    ThomHartmann.com
    Is John Boehner a Traitor?

    Jan. 22, 2015 12:52 pm
    By Thom Hartmann

    John Boehner may be a traitor.

    On Wednesday, the Speaker of the House confirmed that he had invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to come speak to Congress, “on the grave threats radical Islam and Iran pose to our security and way of life.”

    The announcement just so happens to come as Republicans in Congress are pushing for new sanctions against Iran, which threaten current diplomatic negotiations with that country.

    As of now, Netanyahu is expected to speak to a joint session of Congress in March, while he’s in the U.S. for the annual AIPAC conference. So, why is Boehner’s invitation to Netanyahu such a big deal?

    First off, it’s a HUGE violation of protocol and MASSIVELY disrespectful to President Obama and the authority of the executive branch. It is completely unprecedented for the Speaker of the House, or any member of Congress, to invite a foreign leader to come to the U.S. and speak to Congress without getting authorization and/or cooperation from the White House. As Guy Ziv, a professor at American University who has studied U.S.-Israeli relations told TPM, “It’s unprecedented. It’s hitting below the belt. It’s taking partisanship to a whole new level.”

    By inviting Netanyahu to speak to Congress without the authority of the executive branch, Speaker Boehner is badly blurring the lines of national sovereignty, and again massively disrespecting typical protocol. But, more importantly, he may be in violation of a number of laws, which may make him a traitor. So, let’s take a look at a few legal possibilities where the Speaker’s actions may be considered criminal.

    First, you could make a case that by inviting Netanyahu to speak to Congress without authority from the executive branch, Speaker Boehner is committing an act of sedition. Sedition is defined as conduct or speech inciting people to rebel against the authority of a state or monarch. However, it would be hard to prove that by inviting Netanyahu to speak to Congress, Boehner is trying to incite Americans to rebel against our nation; he’s just using a foreign leader to lobby for his own legislation. This is why a better case for Boehner’s criminal conduct can be made under the Logan Act.

    Established back in 1799, the Logan Act makes it illegal for unauthorized American citizens to negotiate with foreign governments. Violation of the act is a felony, and comes with a punishment of up to three years in prison.

    In order to prosecute Boehner under the Logan Act, there would have to be sufficient proof that he was acting “without authority” when he asked Netanyahu to come and speak to Congress, and that “authority” isn’t specified in the law, although at the time it was passed, it was clearly intended to be held in the hands of President John Adams, who was furious that members of Congress were talking to French politicians.

    It’s also possible that Boehner is in violation of Federal Elections Commission (FEC) law. Section 441e of FEC law makes it illegal for, “a person to solicit, accept, or receive a contribution or donation” from a foreign national. In other words, if Speaker Boehner were to accept campaign money from Netanyahu, or use the speech to help raise money for Republicans in any way, he would be guilty of violating FEC law. Somebody needs to look into this, particularly to see if the hands of any of the Republican billionaires who obsess on Israel issues are involved in this.

    Section 441e also makes it illegal for “a foreign national, directly or indirectly, to make a contribution or donation of money or other thing of value, or to make an express or implied promise to make a contribution or donation, in connection with a Federal, State or local election.” How is this speech not a thing of value to the Republicans?

    The bottom-line here is that, by inviting Prime Minister Netanyahu to speak to Congress, Speaker Boehner may have broken any number of laws, and the Department of Justice needs to investigate. And even if no criminal activity is found, we can’t forget how massively disrespectful this move by Boehner is.

    “Section 441e also makes it illegal for “a foreign national, directly or indirectly, to make a contribution or donation of money or other thing of value, or to make an express or implied promise to make a contribution or donation, in connection with a Federal, State or local election.” How is this speech not a thing of value to the Republicans?”

    Wouldn’t that be something if, after Citizens United and McCutcheon open the flood gates to secret unlimited campaign contributions the, Speaker of the House manages still managed to violate campaign finance laws in a very public way that doesn’t involve any money at all.

    Also note that the statement from the White House on the matter is that the Obama won’t meet with Netanayahu during his trip. The reason? “As a matter of long-standing practice and principle, we do not see heads of state or candidates in close proximity to their elections, so as to avoid the appearance of influencing a democratic election in a foreign country”:

    Obama will not meet Israel’s Netanyahu on U.S. visit

    By Matt Spetalnick and Jeffrey Heller

    WASHINGTON/JERUSALEM Thu Jan 22, 2015 6:57pm EST

    (Reuters) – President Barack Obama will not meet Israel’s prime minister when he visits Washington in March, the White House said on Thursday, after being blindsided by the Republicans’ invitation to Benjamin Netanyahu to address the U.S. Congress on Iran.

    Bernadette Meehan, spokeswoman for the White House National Security Council, said Obama was withholding an invitation for Oval Office talks with Netanyahu because of Israel’s March 17 elections.

    “As a matter of long-standing practice and principle, we do not see heads of state or candidates in close proximity to their elections, so as to avoid the appearance of influencing a democratic election in a foreign country,” Meehan said in statement.

    “Accordingly, the president will not be meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu because of the proximity to the Israeli election, which is just two weeks after his planned address to the U.S. Congress.”

    Earlier on Thursday, Netanyahu announced that he would address Congress in March.

    Netanyahu’s office said the Israeli leader would also attend the March 1 to 3 annual policy conference in Washington of the prominent pro-Israel AIPAC lobby.

    Israeli political commentators portrayed Boehner’s invitation as either a Republican attempt to give Netanyahu a boost in the election campaign or an Israeli bid to meddle in U.S. politics, or both.

    Some analysts said, however, that a third Netanyahu address to Congress would have little impact on Israelis long accustomed to his oratory skills in English on the international stage.

    “Israeli political commentators portrayed Boehner’s invitation as either a Republican attempt to give Netanyahu a boost in the election campaign or an Israeli bid to meddle in U.S. politics, or both.” If that’s the dynamic already developing in Israel around this issue and the White House already framing its response to the kerfuffle as one of concern over influencing Israel’s elections, you have to wonder if some sort of ‘Netanyahu-gate’ is just around the corner. Probably not, but you never know.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | January 22, 2015, 9:08 pm

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