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COMMENT: One of several role models who inspired Mr. Emory to do his life’s work is political comedian Mort Sahl. One of Jim Garrison’s investigator s, Sahl paid the price for his engagement. From an entertainment and media superstar, he became relegated to the margins of exposure and earning power.
In his 1976 autobiography Heartland , he chronicled some suspicious violent events in New Orleans that immediately preceded Garrison’s campaign for re-election. Sahl surmised that this was probably part of a CIA campaign to destroy Garrison. In our long series on Jim DiEugenio’s Destiny Betrayed , we noted that former CIA director Richard Helms committed the Agency to destroying Garrison’s efforts before, during and after the trial of Clay Shaw. That these events may have been part of the “after” is something to be carefully considered.
In his text, Sahl also notes that part of the CIA’s task is ” . . . . to staff the left. They don’t staff the right–that’ll take care of itself; they staff the left. They give a fellow a liberal credential, they’ll let you trust him, and they’ll always give you a cookie. A guy writes an article for Ramparts and says, ‘The Gulf Oil company wants to start a war so they can drill offshore in Vietnam.’ The reader says, ‘Wow, what revelations.’ that’s your cookie. . . .”
. . . . Believe me, actual sin is a lot tougher to take than original sin. It was busy in New Orleans. The Black Panthers had barricaded themselves in a housing project and said they would die in a suicide mission for equal housing. They didn’t live there obviously, because no tenant would ever defend those apartments with such fervor. In keeping with the unique color of New Orleans, the project was named “Desire.”
In case the Indians at Wounded Knee were too remote to be a threat, a Navy yeoman arrived on the roof of Howard Johnson’s in New Orleans and turned out to be a good enough marksman to take just about everybody out. There was total anarchy except, as usual, some official finds the explanatory note in the charred ruins which says: “I did it because I hate white folks” or “I did it because I hate capitalism.” (Just in case you don’t know who your enemies are or you lost your way in some other fashion.) It looked very much like a Company job to keep the issue confused. Suddenly Evans and Novak are down there and Novak is writing how great Mayor Landrieu is, pulling this town together–and all this is prior to Garrison’s run for re-election–because the D.A. isn’t taking care of law and order. Novak also went on to say (on Los Angeles KHJ Channel 9) that the most damaging thing in this country are people like Mort Sahl, who issue reports that the government killed the President and make charges which divide us a nation. . . .
. . . . There are no anonymous murders anymore. When a computer is blown up, we hear people say, ‘Well, we found in the charred ruins a sign saying, ‘We did it because we hate capitalism. Sincerely yours, the Left.’ ” They’re very smart, the CIA. I’ve said they’re unethical, I’ve said they’re murderers, but you may note I’ve yet to say they’re not professional. Well., what else have they got to do? And they’ve got all the money in the world to do it with. Our money. To sit there and plan these things, day by day and hour by hour, to come up continually with capers to convince you the system is fallible. And mostly, to choose a position on the left, to staff the left. They don’t staff the right–that’ll take care of itself; they staff the left. They give a fellow a liberal credential, they’ll let you trust him, and they’ll always give you a cookie. A guy writes an article for Ramparts and says, “The Gulf Oil company wants to start a war so they can drill offshore in Vietnam.” The reader says, “Wow, what revelations.” that’s your cookie. . . .”