Whitehouse has been tweet-bombing Thomas and the SCOTUS, while also questioning how relevant the Judicial Conference referral may be, since the same body considered alleged ethics breaches by Thomas in 2011, and gave the Justice — and lowercase justice, too, according to Whitehouse — a pass.
[NOTE: The Judicial Conference did review Justice Clarence Thomas’s disclosure failures in 2011 and made findings. In 2011, it was reported that Justice Thomas had failed to disclose his wife’s income on financial disclosure forms for several years. The Judicial Conference, which is the national policy-making body for the federal courts, conducted an investigation into the matter and concluded that Justice Thomas had “inadvertently” failed to disclose his wife’s income. Based on these findings, the Conference did not recommend any disciplinary action against Justice Thomas.]
Whitehouse continues to drop a series of truth bombs on Thomas and the SCOTUS in general, calling “the facts” about Justice Thomas “indefensible” and warning that his backers will “throw whatever they can at the wall to try & distract.”
It’s been over 30 years since Justice Clarence Thomas was confirmed to the Supreme Court seat once held by the great Thurgood Marshall, and it’s safe to say that his reputation for unethical behavior – which was poor to start with – has only gotten worse.
What are we supposed to think about a justice’s career that started with allegations of sexual harassment, moved on to extreme coziness with conservative political donors, then multiple instances of questionable gifts and payments to himself and his wife, and now revelations that years of free trips and perks lavished on him by right wing billionaire Harlan Crow went unreported—despite laws that clearly say they should be? Even after the news of Mr. Crow’s largesse first broke, it got worse: the billionaire had also bought Justice Thomas’ mother’s house in Savannah, Ga., a helpful real estate deal that Justice Thomas never reported, either.
We could think that Justice Thomas either doesn’t know or doesn’t care about the ethical standards expected of a Supreme Court justice, or the laws that apply to him as a public employee. But Clarence Thomas is a graduate of Yale Law School. Ignorance is not a believable defense here. So we have to conclude that Justice Thomas just doesn’t care about the rules, or thinks that he can ignore them.
We saw a war of attrition waged by Egypt and other Arab states in the ensuing years.
We saw a war on Yom Kippur.
We saw Israel eliminate Iraq's nuclear reactor.
We’ve seen Intifadas and the increase in rise of Palestinian Arab terrorism.
International bodies were quick to respond. The International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) Board of Governors condemned the attack in mid-June 1981, and in September the IAEA Conference both condemned the strike and suspended all technical assistance to Israel. On June 19, the United Nations Security Council condemned the attack as a violation of the United Nations charter, stating that Iraq should be compensated and calling for Israel to sign the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and place its own nuclear program under IAEA safeguards. In November, the United Nations General Assembly followed suit, condemning Israel for a premeditated act of aggression.
Condemning the attack, the United States suspended the shipment of F-16s to Israel because the strike raised questions whether they had been used for legitimate self-defense purposes as required by law. Nevertheless, the Reagan administration was not about to re-evaluate policy toward Israel and the deliveries resumed in a few months.
AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman, as we continue our coverage of the life and legacy of Harry Belafonte. He died Tuesday at the age of 96 here in New York of congestive heart failure.
In 2003, on February 15th, he spoke before hundreds of thousands of people in New York City. It was a freezing cold day. It was a massive rally calling on the United States and President Bush not to invade Iraq.
HARRY BELAFONTE: Today is a historic and a proud day in the name of America. The world has sat by with tremendous anxiety and with a great fear that we did not exist. They had been told and they had felt that what our country, with its press and the leaders in the administration have said, we, today, invalidate all that. We stand for peace. We stand for the truth of what is at the heart of the American people.
This is not the first time that we as a people have been misled by the leadership. We were misled by those who created the falseness of the Bay of Tonkin, which falsely led us into a war with Vietnam, a war that we could not and did not win. We lied to the American people about Grenada and what was going on in that tiny island. We lied to the American people about Nicaragua, El Salvador, Cuba and many places in the world. And we stand here today to let those people and others know that America is a vast and diverse country, and we are part of the greater truth of what makes our nation. Dr. King once said that if there is — if mankind does not put an end to war, war will put an end to mankind.
AMY GOODMAN: On that day, February 15th, 2003, Harry Belafonte also spoke to Democracy Now! during our live broadcast right behind the stage of the global antiwar protest. Harry detailed his criticism of George W. Bush’s Secretary of State Colin Powell for his role for pushing for the invasion of Iraq.
HARRY BELAFONTE: My comments about General Colin Powell is really not a personal confrontation. Black Americans and many peoples of color have always taken great pride in what those of us who have come from a history of oppression have achieved. And when an individual breaks through and comes into the place where decisions are made that can make a difference, we then have high expectations. Once that is rejected by those who have acquired this position, we may sit in quiet disappointment. But when the person who achieves that distinction then puts him or herself in the service of our oppression and those who create new ways in which to oppress us, that is morally unacceptable. And that is my argument with General Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice. I expect, as do others, that their history should have prepared them for a much better articulation about how to treat people globally.
Most of the people in the world who suffer from tyranny, most of the people who suffer from the tyranny of oppression, the tyranny of hunger, the tyranny of ignorance, the tyranny of HIV/AIDS, there sits terror. And when you look very carefully at what it is that has caused this constant oppression, you will see that somewhere in there, America plays the game. And this gathering here today helps us understand that there is another America that is strong, that is resolute and is made of millions and millions of people. As a matter of fact, we do make the majority voice in this nation, and that we have let the world know that we are in solidarity with those who seek to have other ways than war to settle our grievances.
AMY GOODMAN: In 2006, Harry Belafonte traveled to Venezuela, where he met with President Hugo Chávez. Belafonte’s trip made international headlines when he described President George W. Bush as the “world’s greatest terrorist.”
HARRY BELAFONTE: No matter what the greatest tyrant in the world, the greatest terrorist in the world, George W. Bush, says, we’re here to tell you: Not hundreds, not thousands, but millions of the American people — millions — support your revolution, support your ideas, and, yes, expressing our solidarity with you.
AMY GOODMAN: President Chávez was standing right next to Harry Belafonte. Shortly after Harry returned from Venezuela, he came into our firehouse studio to talk about why he called President George W. Bush a terrorist.
HARRY BELAFONTE: When Katrina took place, there was a great sense of tragic loss for many Americans who saw that terrible tragedy. What we had not anticipated was that our government would have been so negligent and so unresponsive to the plight of hundreds of thousands of people in the region. And in a dilemma that we all face as to what we could do as private citizens to help the folks that were caught in that tragedy, we began to listen to voices that were outside the boundaries of government, the United States government. We listened to voices that came from as far away as Denmark, who offered to send goods and services in emergency, and we also heard the voices of people from Venezuela through their leader, Hugo Chávez, who said that “In this moment of your great tragedy, we, the Venezuelan people, extend all the resources we can summon up to help the plight of those people caught in the Gulf region.”
The United States very abruptly and very arrogantly rejected that offer, while in its stead, we did nothing to bring immediate relief. And as a matter of fact, I must tell you, we’re still quite delinquent in what the peoples of that region need, because we still failed to fully mobilize and meet the needs of the people, particularly in New Orleans, but other places within that region.
I and many other private citizens decided that we would listen very carefully to what people outside of the government were saying, because there was no immediate sense of relief and response to what we were experiencing, the people in Katrina. And so, like others, I went with a delegation of 15 people, at the invitation of the Venezuelan government, to come and to meet with President Chávez and members of his Cabinet to talk about what we could do to help American people caught in this tragedy. …
It is quite curious that we can find billions and billions of dollars to sustain an illegal and immoral war in the Middle East, invading a country that did not provoke us and moving into this this conflict unconstitutionally, even though it had the approval of the Congress. Even the Congress violated the statutes of the Constitution. We were not invaded. There was no threat of an enemy. We unilaterally walked into a country that had no threat to this country, and we invaded it. That’s against the Constitution.
AMY GOODMAN: You call President Bush a terrorist?
HARRY BELAFONTE: I call President Bush a terrorist. I call those around him terrorists, as well: Condoleezza Rice, Rumsfeld, Gonzales in the Justice Department, and certainly Cheney. I think all of these men sit — and women — sit in the midst of an enormous conspiracy that has been unraveling America for the last eight years — six years. It is tragic that the dubious way in which this president acquired power should have begun to unravel the Constitution and the peoples of this country.
Yes, I say that there are people in this country who live in terror. Poverty is terror. Having your Social Security threatened is terror. Having your livelihood as an elderly person slowly disappearing with no replenishment is terror. Students who are dropping out of school because there are no resources to keep us in school is terror. You find people in the streets, watching drugs permeate our communities and destroy our young, it’s a life of terror. And men who sit in charge of that distribution mechanism, which can help the American people overcome these problems and refuse to do so, while giving the rich more money than they’ve ever dreamt of having, while turning around our institutions and redirecting resources from those who are truly in need to those who are already generously endowed, if not hedonistically so, it’s a great tragedy.
AMY GOODMAN: That was Harry Belafonte on Democracy Now! January 30th, 2006. After that interview, we learned Coretta Scott King had died. A dear friend of Coretta Scott King, Harry Belafonte was invited to speak at her funeral. But the invitation to speak was rescinded after George W. Bush announced he was attending Coretta Scott King’s funeral.
Czech-Swedish filmmaker Greta Stocklassa was only eight when the War on Terror began in 2001. In the years that followed, fellow Swede and former UN weapons inspector, Hans Blix, became a central figure in the investigation into weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. In her documentary “Blix Not Bombs,” Stocklassa interviews Blix, now 94 years old, about the period running up to the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq 20 years ago.
In the docu, Blix describes his meetings with George W. Bush and Tony Blair, his frustration when Colin Powell gave his pivotal speech in the UN Security Council, and his feeling of emptiness when the U.S. started the invasion, despite his reports that his team had found no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
This report updates previous Williams Institute estimates of the transgender population released in 2016 and 2017. Results show that the percentage and number of adults who identify as transgender in the U.S. has remained steady over time. With the availability of better data, our estimate of the number of youth who identify as transgender has doubled from our previous estimate.
“Advances in gender identity data collection over the past five years have provided a more accurate picture of youth in the U.S. who identify as transgender. Previously, we could only estimate that based on adult data,” said lead author Jody L. Herman, Senior Scholar of Public Policy at the Williams Institute. “These new estimates show us that current policy debates regarding access to gender-affirming care and the ability to participate in team sports likely impact more youth than we previously thought.”