Saturday, May 24, 2008

FBI Evidence that Indicts George W. Bush for Mass Murder, War Crimes and Torture

A 370-page report by the Justice Department Inspector General references an FBI investigation of US torture that accuses the Bush White House, the National Security Council, the Pentagon and the Justice Department with 'ordering and planning' torture, including 'procedures' that resulted in death to 'detainees'. In other words --murder!

The report details how the US began torturing captives in 2002. 'Attempts to stop it ... were systematically suppressed', evidence of criminal activity by the Bush administration covered up. Bush's cover up of torture is itself a crime for which he should be impeached, tried and prosecuted.

A 'capital crime' is one for which the penalty is death. There is enough evidence now to try George W. Bush for various 'capital crimes'. Manadel al-Jamadi, dubbed the “Iceman,” is seen in the picture. He was tortured to death in November 2003, using techniques that John Yoo approved in his torture memoranda.
According to the official narrative, the Bush Administration turned to the Justice Department for legal guidance on what could be done to give interrogators the latitude they were demanding in dealing with prisoners taken in the war on terror. However, not a single element of the official narrative is entirely true. The interrogators were not “pushing for broader authority.”

Indeed, the pushing was all coming out of the White House (from Vice President Cheney, to be specific), and the intelligence professionals were actually pushing back. Moreover, torture was being used almost from the start of the “war on terror.” Special operations units operating under the authority of Dr. Stephen Cambone, the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence, had been authorized to use torture techniques from the opening of the war, and they used them with gusto.

At Guantánamo and at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, numerous instances of “highly coercive techniques” had been documented; indeed, the stories out of Bagram are among the most gruesome to be documented. In the documentary “Taxi to the Dark Side,” for instance (for which I consulted and in which I appear), we find footage of a senior U.S. officer in Afghanistan talking about the authority for torture, which was issued, and which military personnel were instructed to lie about or deny to keep covered up.

--Yoo Two, Harpers, Scott Horton
Yoo's job was that of an 'enabler', to figure out a way to make 'murder' legal.
(a) Offense.— Whoever, whether inside or outside the United States, commits a war crime, in any of the circumstances described in subsection (b), shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for life or any term of years, or both, and if death results to the victim, shall also be subject to the penalty of death.

--TITLE 18 > PART I > CHAPTER 118 > § 2441, § 2441. War crimes
It is not surprising that George W. Bush would instruct Alberto Gonzales and/or John Yoo to find ways to make his orders, his capital crimes legal after he had already committed them. The legality of his attempts to 're-write' the laws is in question and the timeline of events is not on his side.

The facts Bush would prefer hushed up are as stunning and verifiable as they are numerous. Hundreds of FBI agents witnessed thousands of incidents of torture, murder, and 'wrongful' death. Literally hundreds of FBI agents witnessed and reported acts of torture perpetrated by CIA personnel, the US military and private contractors! All are described carrying out illegal acts of torture, abuse, and, in various cases, murder. The graphic details are available to the public from the FBI.

Several agents reported beatings. Thirty agents witnessed and reported 'prolonged shackling of detainees in stress positions'. Seventy agents detailed instances in which detainees were subjected to sleep deprivation, extreme temperatures, and periods of extended isolation intended to 'wear down' resistance. Four FBI agents described instances in which 'detainees' were kicked or beaten to death. Two detainees in Afghanistan were shackled for long periods of time in a standing position.
The report confirms that senior FBI officials knew as early as 2002 that other agencies were using abusive interrogation methods,”“The report shows unequivocally, however, that the FBI’s leadership failed to act aggressively to end the abuse.”

--Jameel Jaffer, American Civil Liberties Union (tracks detainee issues), Torture Lawsuit News: Dept. of Justice Inspector General Report Details How US Torture of Prisoners Began in 2002
Let's talk about some specific instances where a man calling himself "President" of the United States has simply thumbed his nose at the law, the rule of law, the international conventions to which the US bound by treaty, US Codes, and convention. The FBI has opened a 'war crimes file' documenting torture as it was witnessed at the US torture gulag at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The “War Crimes” file documents torture as it was witnessed before George W. Bush ordered the FBI to stop writing the reports.
A survey of 493 FBI personnel who were asked whether they observed aggressive mistreatment, interrogations or interview techniques of GTMO yielded 26 positive responses and several additional responses that were "not purely negative." These responses culminated in a 9/2/04 request through FBI's OGC to conduct a "GTMO, Counterterrorism Division, Special Inquiry" re 9 of the incidents identified. The conclusion was that there was no FBI involvement in the target interview techniques -- only outside entities.

--Federal Bureau of Investigation, Guantanamo Bay Inquiry
As you read some of the following excerpts from the FBIs own report, remember that George W. Bush has repeatedly denied that the United States tortures. This FBI report is stark reading consisting of verifiable reports of war crimes perpetrated by the United States under orders from the 'President' of the United States. That there is probable cause now to try George W. Bush for having ordered the torture is bad enough. But Bush insists that it never happened. Following are but a very few instances that are found in the FBI report.
W observed women crying near the river, their homes had been destroyed by planes. Trucks full of people trying to surrender were blown up by planes. On 2d day after capture, d was put in a ditch by Northern Alliance people. Next day, he was allowed to jump into a truck and taken to Mazar-e-Sharif where he was forced into a metal "shipping"-type container w/about 100 men. The container was then closed and d blacked out due to lack of air. When he awoke, there were new holes in the container., The man next to him was dead. He thinks he was in the container 24 hours - only 20 men survived.

...occasionally ds [detainee] complained of inappropriate behavior i.e., incident in which d alleged female guard removed her blouse and, while pressing her body against a shackled and restrained d rom behind, handled his genatalia and wiped menstrual blood on his head and face as punishment for lack of cooperation


..on several occasions, witness ("W") saw detainees ("ds") in interrogation rooms chained hand and foot in fetal position to floor w/no chair/ food/water; most urinated or defecated on selves, and were left there 18, 24 hrs or more. Once, the air conditioning was so low that the barefoot d was shaking with cold. Another time, it was off so the unventilated room was over 100 degrees, d was almost unconscious on floor with a pile of hair next to him (he had apparently been pulling it out throughout the night). Another time, it was sweltering hot and loud rap music played - d's hand and foot was chanined and he was in a fetal position on the floor. Upon inquiry, W was told that interrogators [military contractors] ordered this treatment. Took place in Delta Camp


# d was kept in darkened cell in Naval Brig at GTMO, then transferred to Camp Delta where he gave no info. Then taken to Camp X-Ray and put in plywood hut. Interrogators yelled and screamed at him. One interrogator squatted over the Koran. Another day a German Shepherd was commended to growl, bark and show his teeth to the prisoner. Subsequently someone laughingly told the W "you have to see this" and took him to an interrogation room where W saw a d with a full beard whose head was wrapped in duct tape

# civilian contractor asked W (an FBI SA) to come see something. There was an unknown bearded longhaired d gagged w/duct tape that covered much of his head. SA asked if he had spit at interrogators, and the contractor laughingly replied that d had been chanting the Koran nonstop. No answer to how they planned to remove the duct tape.

--Federal Bureau of Investigation, Guantanamo Bay Inquiry
The war against Iraq was begun upon a pack of lies and is, therefore, unlawful. Every incident following is therefore a war crime, every Iraqi death a count of murder. Colin Powell's address to the United Nation was a criminal fraud in which Powell cited a stolen, plagiarized student paper [See: Britain's Intelligence Dossier on Iraq was Plagiarized from a Grad Student], presented ten year old satellite photographs and other so-called evidence! It was upon this 'evidence' that Bush began a criminal campaign against Iraq, a campaign in which EVERY death is, by US codes, a capital crime.

Earlier, Bush boasted of the the state sanctioned murder of 'those who met a different fate', in other words, the 'summary executions' of some 3,000 people 'deemed' terrorists. These acts of state sponsored terrorism by the United States include summary executions, the abduction and detention of civilians without trial and, most repugnant of all, torture related war crimes violating international statutes and treaties to which the United States is a signatory. Bush's own words confirming this are admissible evidence against him.
All told, more than 3,000 suspected terrorists have been arrested in many countries. Many others have met a different fate. [smirking] Let's put it this way -- they are no longer a problem to the United States and our friends and allies. (Applause.)

Bush, State of the Union Address, 2003
It has been the position of this blog that the Bush administration is legally culpable for having launched a war of naked aggression against Iraq. This blog has insisted that there was sufficient probable cause in the public record to indict George W. Bush for violations of US Codes, Title 18, Section 2441 --capital crimes!

Worth remembering: the wars of naked aggression against Afghanistan and Iraq have, in fact, nothing at all to do with 911. Al Qaeda was created by the CIA; Bin Laden has been dead for years and was, when he was alive, one of Bush's business partners and a CIA asset.

I have pointed out for years that George W. Bush, his administration, and all those who are willingly complicit are subject to prosecution for capital crimes.

Now --with the information freely available from the FBIs own website --there is simply no excuse left NOT to impeach, indict and begin legal proceedings against Bush and his murderous gang! As this is written, one can be sure that the Bush administration is destroying evidence, covering tracks, rewriting the record of the most criminal regime since Adolph Hitler and Pol Pot. The time to act is now. True patriots will!

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Friday, May 23, 2008

Executive Privilege: Legitimate or 'Cover up'?

The ghosts of Richard Nixon --'executive privilege' and a 'Saturday Night Massacre' --haunt the House Judiciary Committee probing charges that Bush played politics when he fired some nine US attorneys back in 2006. The firings reminded one of Nixon's infamous 'Saturday Night Massacre' as do Bush's claims that 'executives' are 'privileged'.

Of course, Bush played politics as did Nixon before him. That's what idiots in office do! The question is: will Bush be allowed to get away with it? However carefully the courts have crafted the language of 'executive privilege', it is still nothing more nor less than an unprecedented exception to the rule of law. 'Executive privilege' is another way of saying that while everyone else must obey the spirit and the letter of the law, 'Presidents' are above it all and may not be held to account or even investigated. Not even English monarchs were so 'privileged'. And to make the point, the English chopped off Charles I's head!

Richard Nixon's resignation left several issues unresolved only to be summoned up by a 'President' even less mature, less intellectually equipped to fulfill the duties of the office than was Nixon himself. Though it should have been consigned to the intellectual graveyard with Nixon's resignation, the specter of 'executive privilege' still holds out for Bush the hope that he may yet get away with it all. The only problem for Bush is this: 'executive privilege' is pure bullshit.

There is no mention of 'executive privilege' in the Constitution. There is no mention of 'executive privilege' in the Bill of Rights. There is no mention of 'executive privilege' among those responsibilities and duties assigned to the office of President' by the Constitution. [See: US Constitution, Article 11] 'Executive Privilege' was apparently invented by Washington in 1796 when he cited it to justify his refusal to comply with a House request for documents relating to the negotiations leading to the Jay treaty with England.
The Senate alone plays a role in the ratification of treaties, Washington reasoned, and therefore the House had no legitimate claim to the material. Accordingly, Washington provided the documents to the Senate but not the House.

Eleven years later, the issue of executive privilege arose in court. Counsel for Aaron Burr, on trial for treason, asked the court to issue a subpoena duces tecum--an order requiring the production of documents and other tangible items--against President Thomas Jefferson, who, it was thought, had in his possession a letter exonerating Burr.

After hearing several days of argument on the issue, Chief Justice John Marshall issued the order commanding Jefferson to produce the letter. Marshall observed that the Sixth Amendment right of an accused to compulsory process contains no exception for the President, nor could such an exception be found in the law of evidence. In response to the government's suggestion that disclosure of the letter would endanger public safety, Marshall concluded that, if true, this claim could furnish a reason for withholding it, but that the court, rather than the Executive Branch alone, was entitled to make the public safety determination after examining the letter.

Jefferson complied with Marshall's order. However, Jefferson continued to deny the authority of the court to issue it, insisting that his compliance was voluntary. And that pattern persists to the present. Thus, President Clinton negotiated the terms under which he appeared before Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr's grand jury, rather than simply answering a subpoena directing him to appear.

--MICHAEL C. DORF, A Brief History of Executive Privilege, Findlaw
But it would appear that the shoe is on the other foot. Starr had insisted that 'no one was above the law'. But now, as was the case in the early '70s, it is the GOP that would seek to find in 'executive privilege' a 'no man's land' where GOP office holders might break the law with impunity. It was, after all, the height of the Watergate Scandal in the early 1970s, when then President Nixon cited 'executive privilege' to justify his refusal to release the so-called 'White House tapes', his secret recordings of every conversation held in the Oval Office.
The Supreme Court considered this argument in the 1974 case of United States v. Nixon. A grand jury convened by Watergate special prosecutor Leon Jaworski issued a subpoena to President Nixon requiring that he produce Oval Office tapes and various written records relevant to the criminal case against members of Nixon's Administration. Nixon resisted on grounds of executive privilege.

The Court recognized "the valid need for protection of communications between high Government officials and those who advise and assist them in the performance of their manifold duties." It noted that "[h]uman experience teaches that those who expect public dissemination of their remarks may well temper candor with a concern for appearances and for their own interests to the detriment of the decision making process."

Nonetheless, the Justices concluded that the executive privilege is not absolute. Where the President asserts only a generalized need for confidentiality, the privilege must yield to the interests of the government and defendants in a criminal prosecution. Accordingly, the Court ordered President Nixon to divulge the tapes and records. Two weeks after the Court's decision, Nixon complied with the order. Four days after that, he resigned.

--MICHAEL C. DORF, A Brief History of Executive Privilege, Findlaw
As Dizzy Dean might have put it: "It's deja vu all over again!" The House Judiciary Committee has subpoenaed Karl Rove in connection with the Siegelman case. Committee chairman, Representative John Conyers Jr. of Michigan, says the committee wants to find out if Rove knows anything about a decision to prosecute former Gov. Donald E. Siegelman of Alabama, a Democrat, who was, in fact, never convicted of bribery and is free pending an appeal.

The claim of executive privilege is always suspect. SCOTUS' concession that there exists a privilege about matters not concerning 'national security' is overly broad, an invitation to folk like Bush or Nixon to plot and scheme against the people. There is no justification for this kind of cover and its defense is a neat circular argument that places 'public servants' above the law, raising them above any method by which they may be held to account. In secrecy, the cover of 'national security' is predictably abused by Presidents of any party. What are and what are not matters of 'national security' are subjective, ideologically based 'opinions' deliberately cited to cover the substance of what are, in fact, meetings of a criminal conspiracy.

It's time to call 'executive privilege' what it is: bullshit! American presidents have proven themselves undeserving of any privilege. American presidents should be assumed to be crooked. Americans presidents have a 'burden of proof' , a responsibility to the American people. Like Medieval Knights, they should be required to prove or demonstrate their worthiness. Of late, all of them have failed miserably.

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Thursday, May 22, 2008

Exposed: A World Wide Epidemic of Idiots and Ideologues

The American 'right wing', 'conservative' mentality has gone global and wherever it is found it is ugly, mean, and evil. A 'New World Order' of corporate robber barons, privileged elites and US militarists is international in scope, respecting no borders, no peoples, no local authorities. Not only progressives in America must resist, but good people all over the world.

Recently, the 'Roma', otherwise known as 'Gypsies', have become as pressing an issue in Rome as were the 'homeless' made that way by the policies of Ronald Reagan in the US. The ability of rapacious wealth to blame its victims knows no national boundaries. It is tragically universal.

The current Roman response is a typical 'conservative', authoritarian knee jerk which exacerbates the problem. It doesn't address causes; it simply shifts responsibility and, ultimately, location. A people denied jobs based on prejudice can hardly be blamed for being poor.

During Ronald Reagan's depression of some 2 years (the worst since the Great Depression) jobless people found themselves living in squalid tents under freeway overpasses in Houston, TX! Like the Roman establishment now, GOP poohbahs and Ronald Reagan himself blamed the victims of his fiscal incompetence. Reagan called them 'mentally ill'. Right wings everywhere will always blame immigrants though it is most often 'establishment' governments themselves to blame --NOT the victims. In this case, how many 'tent cities' would simply disappear overnight if residents had jobs? Denying them jobs and shelter is stupid, non-productive, and makes matters worse.

The 'immigrant' issue in the mouths of Reagan, Bush and other icons of the rapacious right wing should be enough to incite riots and revolution. The real 'immigrants' in America are, in fact, the so-called European settlers from whom Bush et al descended. Bush is not merely a 'new' (and phony) Texan, his crime family is, historically speaking, newly arrived on the North American continent. Predating these 'immigrants' was a diverse Native American population of some 900,000 speaking 300 languages, exhibiting almost as many cultures. These people are my people of whom I am descended!

They are my ancestors! They crossed a great land bridge from Asia to get here and we were here for thousands of years before a 'white man' ever set eyes upon the continent.

I've often think how lucky I am to be here at all. My ancestors were very nearly wiped out by subsequent, 'white' immigration, broken treaties, the relatively recent 'Trail of Tears'.
In 1830 the Congress of the United States passed the "Indian Removal Act." Although many Americans were against the act, most notably Tennessee Congresssman Davy Crockett, it passed anyway. President Jackson quickly signed the bill into law. The Cherokees attempted to fight removal legally by challenging the removal laws in the Supreme Court and by establishing an independent Cherokee Nation. At first the court seemed to rule against the Indians. In Cherokee Nation v. Georgia, the Court refused to hear a case extending Georgia's laws on the Cherokee because, it was alleged, the Cherokee did not represent a sovereign nation. In 1832, the US Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Cherokee on the same issue in Worcester v. Georgia. In this case Chief Justice John Marshall ruled that the Cherokee Nation was sovereign, making the removal laws invalid. The Cherokee would have to agree to removal in a treaty. The treaty then would have to be ratified by the Senate.

--Trail of Tears
But Andrew (0l' Hickory) Jackson set a dangerous precedent which must continue to inspire the likes of George W. Bush. Jackson ignored the decision of the high court and ordered the forcible removal of the Cherokee from their homes and a forced march to Oklahoma. Many died along the way. A handful --my ancestors --escaped! My ancestors defied a lawless 'President' and survived!

This tragedy is not adequately taught in the public schools. It was not until Howard Zinn [See: A People's History of the United States] confronted this history forthrightly that the plight of the Arawaks --a tribe that was wiped out entirely by Cristoforo Colomb (Columbus) --became widely known.

For more than one hundred years, the US approached each tribe as an independent nation. But, in 1786, the US government established its first Native American reservation. It was President James Monroe, in his second inaugural address of 1821, who spoke of US policy as 'flattering their pride'. It was because the rightful owners of the land had been 'flattered', then, that the US government proceeded upon a policy of genocide and ethnic cleansing for which it has yet to pay! Perhaps it is the source of US arrogance and false pride that it has gotten away with a crime that not even Hitler's Third Reich got away with: genocide!

A society that denies an entire class jobs and then blames that class for not having jobs or money is a crooked, sick society! It doesn't get any more stupid than that. I grew up among fundies who told me that Israel was "God's chosen" country and in the next breath denounced the Jews who killed "Christ". I am still amazed at the human capacity for compartmentalization, as if some parts of the brain never communicate with other parts. In fact, acts of genocide are genocide whether they are perpetrated by Hitler against the Jews or by Jews against the Palestinian or by the American government against the Native American, the Negro, or those of Hispanic descent.

I have a solution to the Palestinian 'problem'. Give them back THEIR land!

On behalf of the Cherokee, I say to Bush: give us back our land as you have brought upon it utter disgrace, ignominy, and ultimate ruin!

I also have a solution for George W. Bush: lock him up forever for the seemingly innumerable counts of mass murder that he has committed. Dissolve, perhaps destroy, a government that is no longer legitimate, no longer accountable to the people, a government that was described by Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence.
Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government ...

--Thomas Jefferson, Declaration of Independence
Che Guevara had just this situation in mind, justifying revolution when it was government itself that broke the peace with the people [See: Guerilla Warfare, Che Guevara]. The US government is, in fact, owned outright by a handful of huge corporations who would have you believe the utterly absurd notion that they are, in fact, 'people'! Corporations are 'people' only by legal abstraction, linguistic legerdemain, and the brute economic force that manages to get such bullshit made law by the ass kissers in Congress!

Throughout Anglo/American history, high treason consists of a government 'waging war upon its own people', precisely the condition achieved by George W. Bush now. It is a state of war in which his 'base', a tiny elite of rich military/industrialists gained control of the Washington apparatus and now wages war upon the people, their rights, their properties, and their persons.
WASHINGTON — The Pentagon is moving forward with plans to build a new, 40-acre detention complex on the main American military base in Afghanistan, officials said, in a stark acknowledgment that the United States is likely to continue to hold prisoners overseas for years to come.

The proposed detention center would replace the cavernous, makeshift American prison on the Bagram military base north of Kabul, which is now typically packed with about 630 prisoners, compared with the 270 held at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

Until now, the Bush administration had signaled that it intended to scale back American involvement in detention operations in Afghanistan. It had planned to transfer a large majority of the prisoners to Afghan custody, in an American-financed, high-security prison outside Kabul to be guarded by Afghan soldiers.

--US Planning Big New Prison in Afghanistan, New York Times
I propose an iron clad addendum to the Geneva accords: a prohibition of the practice of outsourcing warfare. It should be banned outright! Signatory nations should be encouraged to codify penalties to include death for violations thereof. Blackwater, a worst offender, is nothing more than Murder, Inc. By contracting to murderers, the 'state' sanctions murder and presumes to make it legal. It is not sufficient in a world ruled by Bush that 'state' sanctioned murder is merely denounced. It must be made unlawful and punishable by death. 'States' --in the face of world wide revulsion and/or revolution --must be compelled to abide by the principle of 'Due Process of Law', that powers exercised by 'states' derive ONLY from the people who are sovereign.

These 'immigrants' to the new world waged war upon and, in some cases, imprisoned a Native American population. Having assumed only recently control of a continent, the Bush administration proposes to build an ugly, fascist wall along the Rio Grande, the border between Mexico and Texas. But this is not the end of American problems. GOP policies create poverty by enriching only the upper one percent of the population while impoverishing everyone else. It's not a local problem; it's world wide. Eventually, idiots and ideologues will have killed the goose that lays golden eggs. Bush, meanwhile, can be depended upon to round up and imprison in FEMA camps all those in the bottom quintile who fall off the ladder. The camps have been built. The trains are ready. The sub-contractors represent America's last viable industry: the construction and maintence of concentration camps.

The following is an 'extra', a nod to a man whose entire life seemed dedicated to thinking 'outside the box', shaking up conservative orthodoxy, waging war on war, stupidity and ideology ---Bertrand Russell.
Russell's social activism stretches back at least as far as1910, when he published his Anti-Suffragist Anxieties,and to 1916, when he was convicted and fined in connection with anti-war protests during World War I. Following his conviction, he was also dismissed from his post at Trinity College, Cambridge. Two years later, he was convicted a second time. The result was six months in prison. Russell also ran unsuccessfully for Parliament (in 1907, 1922, and 1923) and, together with his second wife, founded and operated an experimental school during the late 1920s and early 1930s.

Although he became the third Earl Russell upon the death of his brother in 1931, Russell's radicalism continued to make him a controversial figure well through middle-age. While teaching in the United States in the late 1930s, he was offered a teaching appointment at City College, New York. The appointment was revoked following a large number of public protests and a 1940 judicial decision which found him morally unfit to teach at the College.

In 1954 he delivered his famous "Man's Peril" broadcast on the BBC, condemning the Bikini H-bomb tests. A year later, together with Albert Einstein, he released the Russell-Einstein Manifesto calling for the curtailment of nuclear weapons. In 1957 he was a prime organizer of the first Pugwash Conference, which brought together a large number of scientists concerned about the nuclear issue. He became the founding president of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament in 1958 and was once again imprisoned, this time in connection with anti-nuclear protests in 1961. The media coverage surrounding his conviction only served to enhance Russell's reputation and to further inspire the many idealistic youths who were sympathetic to his anti-war and anti-nuclear protests.

During these controversial years Russell also wrote many of the books that brought him to the attention of popular audiences. These include his Principles of Social Reconstruction (1916), A Free Man's Worship (1923), On Education (1926), Why I Am Not a Christian (1927), Marriage and Morals (1929), The Conquest of Happiness (1930), The Scientific Outlook (1931), and Power: A New Social Analysis (1938).

Upon being awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1950, Russell used his acceptance speech to emphasize, once again, themes related to his social activism.

Russell's Writings

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