Dec 042012
 

December 2012

Dear Mr. President Obama: I wrote the following letter when you were first elected, but it looks as if it got filed away in one of your bureaucrats’ drawers. As the subject remains unresolved I write to you again with the same stress and feelings as the previous letter. I hope this time you take on board the extradition issue and return to Bolivians the trust in justice which you have preached and which I hope is not only paying lip service or electoral campaign point.

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Mar 042012
 

ISBN:978-84-9942-001-1/522 pages

Paul Sharkey has brought another important recent book on Spain to my attention. This one focuses on the blood price of the much-lauded and so-called ‘peaceful’ 8-year transition from Francoism to a ‘well-tied-up’ and Franco-endorsed monarchic democracy, a period in which upwards of 600 people were murdered for ‘reasons of state’. ‘La transición sangrienta’ (‘Bloody Transition. A violent history of the democratic process in Spain 1975-1983) — by 58-year old journalist and lecturer Mariano Sánchez Soler —  exposes the vicious policies implemented by the unchanging repressive organs of the rump of the Francoist state, desperate to avoid justice and to retain its power and privileges. The author traces the links between the Establishment’s ‘dirty war’ against ETA, GRAPO and other anti-State groups during the eight-year period that saw the regime revert to state-sponsored covert terrorism (GAL — Grupos Antiterroristas de Liberación — Anti-terrorist Liberation Groups) backed up by special criminal legislation, and a systematic policy of brutal repression bearing the hallmarks of the immediate post-civil war period —  all deployed to control the streets and political opposition to the disgraceful ‘Pact of Silence’ that gave immunity to some of the bloodiest criminals in European history since 1945. The victims of Francoist violence have suffered a double-death; they have been murdered, and their murders — and murderers — ignored!

 Interview with Mariano Sánchez Soler

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Jan 302012
 

Banca Nazionale dell'Agricoltura, Piazza Fontana, Milan, December 12, 4.37 p.m. 1969

The Piazza Fontana massacre of 12 December 1969 is a crucial milestone in post-war Italian history. It was on that date that the criminal intentions of a political class — which demonstrated it would shrink from nothing to cling on to power in the face of ‘the onward march of communism’ — was made flesh. This class did not baulk at leaving a trail of corpses in its wake in order to prevent its leadership being called into question. The Piazza Fontana massacre is not some ‘obscure episode’ in Italy’s history — ‘the nightfall of the republic’. It is a clearly defined chapter whose narrative is that dead bodies are preferable to political change and over the years that followed many more would perish — mainly at the hands of the right, but also some at the hands of the left. It was a perverted game. The right had attacked, therefore the left had a duty to retaliate, thereby cranking up the ‘index of conflict’.

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Dec 282011
 

Rogue Agents (2011 update) Click on image to read

FOREWORD (2011) This third and final edition of Rogue Agents extends biographical information up to 201 1, particularly of the American allies of the complex, and of the core complex members — January 2011 marked the death of both Huyn and Richardson, and Habsburg died in July 2011 aged 98, whilst Fraga and Crozier live on. Violet – well, no-one has ever known. Recent university research on Interdoc and Franco’s Spain has been summarised and referenced; the section on CEDI has been much expanded; considerable information has been added on the Catholic groups Conseil international pour l’ordre Chrétien (CIOC) and the Comité International pour la Défense de la Civilisation Chrétienne (CIDCC) which involved Pinay, Violet, Dubois and Franco’s ministers in the 1950s and 1960s.

Pinay Circle - Rogue's Gallery (click to view)

This final edition has therefore swollen to nearly 150,000 words; the full version now includes a documentary annex of some 175 pages of intemal documents as well as photographs of the main participants covered in this twenty-year investigation. This work has also expanded from text to video: the reader will find, in the footnotes, links to online footage of Crozier and his key American 6I allies such as Romerstein for the International Freedom Foundation, and Huyn for the Center for Intelligence Studies (search for ‘c-spanarchives’ to find all video links). As the documentary and picture annexes considerably increase the size of the PDF file, two versions of the book are now published: this full version, best viewed as a PDF (481 pages, 41 MB), and a shorter version (‘text only‘, 290 pages, 1.4 MB), containing the complete text, footnotes, sources and NSIC and IFF annexes, but without the documentary and picture annexes, suitable for emailing or printing.

David Teacher

Nov 242011
 

Monza, July 29 1900 (Flavio Costantini)

Blow to the Heart (Colpo al cuore) non-accidental death of a monarch: an Italian documentary (English subtitles), with interviews and analysis examining two different strands of the life and motivation of anarchist regicide Gaetano Bresci, the slayer of Italian tyrant Umberto I. The film assesses Bresci’s action in the context of his age and considers the nature of redemption through propaganda by the deed; at what point do people like Bresci say: ‘Enough! Time to do away with the symbols of our oppression’, and respond with violent gestures when faced with cruel injustices. (See ChristieBooks FILMS – or view HERE, please allow time for film to load)

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Nov 022011
 

 

José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero (PSOE)

Rojo y Negro, 17 October 2011-11-02

Gee, thanks Mr Zapatero!

Thanks for what you, with your government and the help of your PSOE party, have done over two parliaments for historical memory and for the rehabilitation of the victims of the Francoist dictatorship.

Not forgetting, of course, what you have done to preserve the social gains bought at the price of so much struggle and sacrifice in the past.

Oh, and thanks for leaving the ground so ripe for Rajoy and  his PP party to carry on with the consolidation of the Democracy so blighted by social injustice and amnesia and “stitched up” by Franco when he departed.

A Democracy which, thanks to its “stabilisation” measures, has brought about a 4.4% cut in average household income in 2010, hoisting the numbers of Spaniards living below the poverty line to 21.8%. According to the “Living Conditions Survey” of the National Statistical Institute, that is: a one per cent increase on 2009!

Mariano Rajoy (leader of the Partido Popular)

A Democracy that, some 30 years on from the death of the Dictator, shamefully upholds all of the sentences handed down by the Dictatorship’s repressive courts on those who fought for the freedoms now ironically enshrined in its constitution.

Thanks, Mr Zapatero, for going away smug about having passed the craven Historical Memory Law that never even managed to overturn the sentences passed on the Catalan president Lluis Companys and the poet Miguel Hernández. An ignominious law that has introduced and enshrined in lawl the distinction to be made between the victims of Francoism, by splitting them into two types and affording the families of those who perished between 1936 and 1968 compensation payments fourteen times less than the sums afforded to those who lost their lives between 1968 and 1978.

A law which has also done nothing to “transform” the basilica in the Valle de los Caídos into what you said would be a space for “reconciliation in the best spirit of the Transition”, since the panel of experts appointed by your government decided to deliver, after 20 November, the “report” that was to have been ready this month. Yet another display of your cowardice … So Franco stays on and will stay on in the Valle de los Caídos: since Rajoy is not going to be the one who gives the go-ahead for his exhumation.

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Oct 082011
 

See ChristieBooks Films:
Lady Snowblood (Shurayuki-hime) is arrested by the police and sentenced to death for her crimes (in Lady Snowblood I). As she is sent to the gallows she is rescued by the mysterious Kikui Seishiro, head of the Secret Police who offers her a deal to assassinate Tokunaga Ransuit, an anarchist “enemy of the State”. The anarchist is in possession of a critical document which which Kikui is obsessed, deeming it highly dangerous to the stability of the government. If Kashima can obtain and deliver the document to Kikui, he will grant her immunity from her crimes.

May 052011
 

The FBI’s War on Black America is a documentary exploration of the lives and deaths of people targeted by the FBI’s COINTELPRO programme targeting organised efforts by African-Americans to secure their civil liberties and basic human rights. The FBI’s War on Black America offers a thought-provoking look at a government-sanctioned conspiracy, the FBI’s secret counter-intelligence programme known as COINTELPRO, a concerted effort to subvert the will of the people to prevent the rise “of a black Messiah” that would mobilise the US’s African-American community into a meaningful political force. This documentary establishes an historical perspective on the measures initiated by J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI, which aimed to discredit and connive at the assassination of black political figures and forces of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Combining declassified documents, interviews, rare footage and exhaustive research, the film investigates the US government’s role in the assassinations of Malcolm X, Fred Hampton, and Martin Luther King Jr. and asks were their murders the result of this concerted effort to avoid “a black Messiah”?

Reviews: Combining declassified documents, interviews, rare footage and exhaustive research, it investigates the government’s role in the assignations of Malcom X, Fred Hampton and Martin Luther King Jr. The film reflects the rigorous research which went into its making, and portrays the nation’s unrest during the period it recounts. Sally Barber, All Movie Guide

“History tells us that whoever is in the White House, the secret arms of government are always at work, carrying on their deadly practices of surveillance and worse. The film, ‘FBI’s War on Black America’ by Denis Mueller and Deb Ellis is therefore important as a warning and as a call for all of us to be watchful in defending our freedoms…” Howard Zinn

“In this illuminating and compelling expose, Mueller and Ellis chronicle the long, sorry and enduring history of black disenfranchisement during a period of social upheaval, racial conflict and revolt in America. Foregrounding COINTELPRO, the FBI’s covert program of disinformation, counterinsurgency, and deliberate and systematic violence against and oppression of civil rights and black nationalist organizations and leadership, The FBI’s War on Black America anticipates the George W. Bush government’s “dirty tricks” and renewed assault on civil liberties and working people home and abroad.” Michael T. Martin, Ph.D, Director Black Film Center/Archive, University of Indiana

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Apr 212011
 

Dalton Trumbo - Hollywood screenwriter (1905-1976)

Through the life of blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo (1905-1976), this documentary examines the effects on individuals and families of the US Congresss pursuit of Hollywood radicals after World War II. Trumbo was one of a number of writers, directors, and actors who invoked the First Amendment in refusing to answer questions as to their beliefs under oath. The film follow the resilient Trumbo to prison, to exile in Mexico with his family, to poverty, to the public shunning of his children, to his writing under others’ names, and to an eventual but incomplete vindication.

Mar 282011
 

The Mark of Cain (Russian – English subtitles), a feature-length documentary by Alix Lambert, is an exploration of life in The Zone, a term for the Stalinist Gulag, the Russian prison system, and chronicles the vanishing practice and language of Russian Criminal Tattoos. Filmed in some of Russia’s most notorious prisons, including the fabled White Swan, the documentary traces the animus of the flowers of this carnal art by way of the brutality of its origins – the penitentiary and the criminal environment. Through interviews with inmates, family members and prison officials, Lambert paints a grim picture. Life in any prison is tough, but the conditions recorded by Lambert are barely credible with cells  so overcrowded that inmates must agree on who will stand and who will sleep. Lambert does a great job of imparting to us the importance of The Thieves Tradition of the caste system, without which arbitrary clashes would surely take a toll. From the Downcasts to the Godfather-esque Thieves-in-the-Law, inmate skins boast markings that measure a man’s provenance – a second passport stamped with crimes committed and sentences served. The quality of the artwork is surprising, considering that the tattooing must be completed covertly with nothing more than a customized electric razor.The ageing generation of inmates offers observations that are cross-cultural. They frown upon the newer generation of inmates buying, rather than earning, the ink intended draw the required respect.The Mark of Cain stamps an honour and order to an otherwise caged chaos.

See also FILMS:  TATTOO (1976 — John Samson)