Faith & Social Justice: In the spirit of Richard Overton and the 17th C. Levellers

Investigative Journalism?

Jed Lewison asks the disturbing question, “If the mainstream media put had put 10% of the effort they are expending into finding out if Treasury Sec. Tim Geithner or Sen. Dodd (D-CT) stripped anti-bonus legislation out of the stimulus bill into examining the Bush admin.’s bogus claims about WMD in 2002, what are the chances we’d have gone to war with Iraq?”  Considering that Thursday marked the 6th anniversary of that invasion, 6 LOONG years for an illegal, unnecessary, war of choice against a nation which had not attacked us and had NO MEANS TO DO SO, that”s a very important question.  (As just one example of the journalistic malpractice that happened in the run up to the invasion, how many “journalists” STILL owe apologies to Lt. Col Scott Ritter, a highly decorated marine veteran of Gulf War I, who had been chief weapons inspector in Iraq under both Pres. Bush I and Pres. Clinton.  When Col. Ritter kept refuting the Bush admin.’s claims that Iraq had WMD, numerous TV talking heads questioned his patriotism–even accusing him of being in Saddam Hussein’s pay.  He was right; they were wrong; no one has apologized. The Obama  admin. should give Col. Ritter the Medal of Freedom.)

March 20, 2009 Posted by | Iraq, media reform | 3 Comments

Thank-You, Governor Richardson!

On Thursday, 18 March 2008, Governor Bill Richardson SIGNED legislation abolishing the death penalty in New Mexico and replacing it with life imprisonment without possibility of parole.  I urge all who greet this development as good news to contact Gov. Richardson and thank him  for signing this historic legislation.

You can call Gov. Richardson’s office at 505-476-2200, drop him a postcard or letter at:

Governor Bill Richardson, Office of the Governor, 490 Old Santa Fe Trail, Room 400, Santa Fe, NM 87501.

Or email the governor at this web page: http://www.governor.state.nm.us/emailchoice.php?mm=6

Just as it is important to complain to politicians when they do  wrong (and to complain about them in the press), petition them, etc., so also it is important to thank them and praise them when they do right.  In America, any politician who works on prison reform or the abolition (or even restriction) of the death penalty, or defends the rights of prisoners or the accused, etc. will face public criticism and be accused by the Right of being “soft on crime.” So they have to know that many people appreciate their efforts and moral courage.

If you share the abolitionist stance of this blog (and, as I promised a reader, I will make a careful case for the abolition of the death penalty in a series of posts in April), then I urge you to contact Governor Richardson and thank him for his efforts–and tell him to thank the people of the New Mexico legislature that passed the bill.

Also, the repeal was not retroactive,  so New Mexico still has people on death row.  Ask Gov. Richardson to commute the sentences of the remaining death row population to life imprisonment.

As I have chronicled in this space, similar legislation is pending in many U.S. states.  I expect that either New Hampshire or Colorado will be the  next to join the 15 states and the District of Columbia where the death penalty is outlawed, but there are several other possibilities.

March 20, 2009 Posted by | death penalty | Comments Off on Thank-You, Governor Richardson!