Over the past weekend Wright has managed to change a lot of hearts and minds, by explaining and displaying that he is not the crazed militant blackified "wackadoddle" that the media has portrayed him as - but not all.
Even though his statement of "God Damn America" - if you listen to all of it - can be understood as stemming from Deuteronomy and the idea that God does not BLESS violence against innocents, and that God does not bless a nation that acts as if it where God Itself. We should not trust in government, any government, we should trust in God.
Even though his statement about "Chickens coming home to roost" can be understood as a quote by Ronald Reagan's Ambassador to Iraq, Edward Peck, as he spoke on Fox News and that the point he was making is simply that "Violence Begets Violence", and that proper response to 9/11 is to seek God's guidance , not lash out in indiscriminate rage.
But it's not so easy to understand or explain "The Government Lied about the invention of HIV/AIDS as a means of means of genocide against people of color."
(As I type this Barack is throwing Wright under the Bus on MSNBC)
In my last diary I tried to point out how the original report on Wright's sermons by ABC was a deliberate HIT PIECE. Wright was Swiftboated They had gone through all the footage and specifically chose to highlight the most incendiary statements made by the Reverend, while deleting the sections which would have made what he was saying fairly easy to understand.
It's become clear from Wright's appearance on Bill Moyer's that the rest of the news media, simply didn't bother to do any in-depth analysis and simply repeated what ABC reported. They were LAZY and as a result...
We were duped.
But even in that diary, some people just couldn't get over the HIV/AIDs issue.
The hatred and resentment being spewed by that man from the pulpit is a disgrace to every American in this age, of every race. It should be condemned by everyone.
Wright is trying to turn the battle against AIDS into a weapon in his war against white America. It's simply insane to believe such nonsense. And anyone who advocates such policies from the pulpit is simply a disgrace.
That's someone from Dailykos saying that.
Here's the clip, taken from O'Reilly, it appears at the 1:30 mark.
Look, I don't agree with the AIDS comment - I think his facts are wrong - but it's not like the only reason he could have said it is because he's some kind of white-hating racist. He was criticizing the lies of the U.S. Government, not white people.
In that particular segment Wright also criticized the U.S. Government for lying to us about links between Saddam and Al Qeada. Guess what - they did lie.
In order to justify the invasion of Iraq under requirements put forth in the Iraq Authorization of Force, the President was required to issue a document to Congress which explained why further diplomacy would not be effective. Besides the usual claims of WMD, which were mostly based on Secretary Powell's now completely discredited UN Report, and over-stated claims of foot-dragging by the Iraqis over weapons inspections, the report (pdf) says this:
In addition, the Secretary of State’s address to the UN on February 5, 2003 revealed a terrorist training area in northeastern Iraq with ties to Iraqi intelligence and activities of al Qaida affiliates in Baghdad. Public reports indicate that Iraq is currently harboring senior members of a terrorist network led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a close al Qaida associate. In addition, Iraq has provided training in document forgery and explosives to al Qaida.
Other terrorist groups have been supported by Iraq over past years. Iraq has a long history of supporting terrorism, and continues to be a safe haven, transit point, and operational node for groups and individuals who direct violence against the United States and our allies.
Those are Lies.
Saddam was not "harboring" Zarqawi who was in the UN controlled northern section of Iraq, he was trying to capture and kill him. It's like saying Bill Clinton "harbored" Ted Kazcinski the Unibomber because he took so long to figure out which shack he was hiding in.
Saddam did not provide "explosives training" to al Qaida, that was a lie which came from Ibn Sheik al-Libi, after he was tortured in Egypt
Our President used a lie - obtained via torture - to justify a War with an unarmed country.
Is this not a considerably worse situation than the AIDS claim?
Wright went on from that to say that the Government Lied to us about WMD's in Iraq. He said that if they don't find WMD's "they'll act like the L.A.P.D. and plant the evidence".
Ok, first of all, he's clearly referring the LAPD Rampart Scandal where a group officers actually committed bank robbery, shot unarmed suspects, stole drugs from the evidence room and Planted Evidence which led to the overturning of nearly 100 convictions.
The proof of what Wright was suggesting, that people in the government would make it up if they couldn't find weapons was proven true by Rep. Peter Hoekstra and Sen. Rick Santorum claimed "We Found the WMD", except that - they didn't.
While a small number of old, abandoned chemical munitions have been discovered, ISG judges that Iraq unilaterally destroyed its undeclared chemical weapons stockpile in 1991. There are no credible Indications that Baghdad resumed production of chemical munitions thereafter,
We have people in Congress today, who actually think Hoekstra was right, people who think Global Warming is nothing more than a kooky hoax and that the internet is a series of tubes - and Rev. Wright is supposed to be the crazy one?
Ok, so what about the AIDS?
The question is this - did the Government Lie to us about how HIV came about?
Well, even if wasn't invented as a "means of genocide against people of color" - it has Become a means of genocide against people fo color. The AIDS epidemic in Africa has become practically catostrophic. From Time Magazine.
AIDS is taking lives in Sub-Saharan Africa, swallowing families, communities, hopes. So far 17 million have died. At least 25 million may follow.
25 Million People! Y'know what? That's Genocide.
So has the U.S. Government lied to us about it?
Yes, they have.
The U.S. Government claims that their Abstinance initiatives are "working
" in Africa.
Earlier this year, the Bush Administration persuaded Congress to authorize $15 billion over the next five years to fight the AIDS pandemic in Africa and the Caribbean. The U.S. Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Act of 2003 is a bold legislative effort.1 About 42 million people worldwide are dying of AIDS or are infected with the HIV virus that causes the disease. Of these individuals, 29 million live in Africa. In addition, Africa is home to a staggering 11 million orphans who have lost their parents to AIDS.
The Bush Administration is basing its AIDS initiative on the success of Uganda, which has experienced the greatest decline in HIV prevalence of any country in the world.2 Studies show that from 1991 to 2001, HIV infection rates in Uganda declined from about 15 percent to 5 percent. Among pregnant women in Kampala, the capital of Uganda, HIV prevalence dropped from a high of approximately 30 percent to 10 percent over the same period.3 How did Uganda do it?
The best evidence suggests that the crucial factor was a national campaign to discourage risky sexual behaviors that contribute to the spread of the disease. Beginning in the mid-1980s, the Ugandan government, working closely with community and faith-based organizations, delivered a consistent AIDS prevention message: Abstain from sex until marriage, Be faithful to your partner, or use Condoms if abstinence and fidelity are not practiced.
This sounds all well and good, but the U.S. has place a high priority on abstinence and both in Africa and America implemented a dangerous campaign that Condoms Don't Work.
The religious right has begun whipping up the hysteria, calling the Lantos bill the "Pro-Aborts Emergency Plan for Abstinence Reduction." In fact, the bill would do nothing to alter the long-standing ban on U.S. funding for abortion. What it would do is increase the availability of contraception for poor African women -- and that is desperately overdue.
Religious groups are fixated on the need to stop HIV transmission through premarital and extramarital sex, but what's killing African women by the millions is unprotected sex with their husbands. Yet the United States spends more on promoting abstinence and fidelity programs ($198 million in fiscal 2007) than on promoting condom use ($147 million in 2007). Roughly 10 million African girls under the age of 18 are married each year, many to older men who seek HIV-free brides. To those wedded to HIV-positive men [sic], marriage often means a death sentence. They have little power to control their husbands' condom use or extramarital behavior; they are more likely than young men to contract HIV; and those who know they're infected and do not want to bear children often have no access to contraception.
The fact is that Bush's polices are hurting the the fight against AIDS.
FACT — BUSH’S AIDS POLICIES DIVERT FUNDS TO FAILED ABSTINENCE-ONLY PROGRAMS: Bush’s policy states that one-third of money allocated for HIV prevention overseas go to abstinence-only programs. "In fact, a full two-thirds of the money for the prevention of the sexual spread of HIV goes to abstinence." [American Prospect, 7/10/07]
FACT — BUSH’S ANTI-CONDOM STANCE ‘DOING DAMAGE TO AFRICA’: The Center for Disease Control states that latex condoms are "highly effective in preventing...sexual transmission of HIV." Yet Bush’s ABC policy — Abstinence, Be Faithful, Condoms — relegates condom use to a last resort option. In 2005, the UN special envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa said, "There is no doubt in my mind that the condom crisis in Uganda is being driven by [US policies]. To impose a dogma-driven policy that is fundamentally flawed is doing damage to Africa." [CDC, 10/20/06; The Observer, 7/11/04; The Guardian, 8/30/05]
FACT — GLOBAL GAG RULE FORCES ‘A CRUEL CHOICE’ ON FOREIGN NGOS: Bush’s "global gag rule" withholds U.S. aid from any organization that mentions abortion as an option in family planning. The report found that the "the leading providers of family planning" in 13 developing nations are "no longer receiving USAID contraceptives." [Memo for the Administration of United States Agency for International Development, 1/22/01; Global Gag Rule Impact Project]
Not only is there evidence that these wrong-headed policies are proving increasing dangerous for Africa, they are proving dangerous in America where HIV infection within the Black community is rising dangerously.
"After 10 years and $1.5 billion in public funds these failed abstinence-only-until-marriage programs will go down as an ideological boondoggle of historic proportions," said James Wagoner, President of Advocates for Youth.
"The tragedy is not simply the waste of taxpayer dollars, it is the damage done to the young people who have been on the receiving end of distorted, inaccurate information about condoms and birth control. We have been promoting ignorance in the era of AIDS, and that’s not just bad public health policy, its bad ethics".
So the final question is - was HIV/AIDs "invented"?
The answer to that may not be as simple as it might seem. There has been a debate between doctors and scientist about whether or not the early testing of the Oral Polio Vaccine in Africa had anything to do with causing the HIV virus to spread from monkey's to humans.
San Antonio physician Eva Lee Snead was the first person to propose the hypothesis that AIDS could have crossed to humans via an infected polio vaccine. However she also argued, incorrectly, that SV-40 might be a precursor to HIV.
In May 1987, Louis Pascal heard a radio broadcast by Dr. Snead explaining her hypothesis. Based on information in medical journals published in the 1950s and 1960s, and the information about the the first cases of HIV infection, he concluded that Dr. Hilary Koprowski's CHAT Type 1 vaccine administered in Belgian Congo between 1957 and 1960 was a likely source
But the theory has had it's critics.
Journalist Edward Hooper, who had already begun to investigate the origin of AIDS when the OPV hypothesis was first put forward gradually became convinced of its truth. After nine years of investigations, he detailed the hypothesis and evidence in his 1999 book, The River. Hooper further expanded on these allegations in a 2000 meeting in London, at the Royal Society, although these claims were later rebutted in detail by some of the scientists who were present at the meeting. In 2001, Dr. Hilary Koprowski responded by making a detailed rebuttal of the points made in the book, also in a talk to the Royal Society. However in 2004, the Origin of Aids, a TV documentary strongly supportive of the OPV hypothesis, appeared on television stations globally.
Now I'm not particularly convinced on this issue one way or the other. But it looks to me like the detracters of the theory currently have the upper hand. Still, the point is what Wright said about the government LYING, about HIV/AIDS becoming a genocide for black people, particularly in Africa, is true. The "invention" part - not so much. However, even that is not completely out of the question. Not yet.
I admit this is a certain amount of speculation on my part about what Rev. Wright was actually talking about with that statement and as far as I have seen he hasn't been asked about it or given a detailed answer. I may be completely wrong just as much of the media has been totally wrong about Wright, but frankly, has anyone even serious bothered to think about this?
Haven't they all just considered it a "wacky conspiracy theory", just like the idea our government lied to us about WMD's, they lied to us about torture, and they lied to us about domestic spying?
If the wing-nuts had their way - all us this stuff would be just considered wacky left-wing craziness. Bill Keller at the New York times would be up on treason charges for reporting about the CIA's secret prisons, and Scooter Libby - who actually did commit treason - has been unfairly persecuted.
Update Right now Barack is distancing himself completely from Wright, and comments such as these and his performance at the National Press Club (which I haven't seen). Barack sounds personally ticked-off, and he feels that Wright was Grandstanding and that I can understand. He doesn't agree with Wright sure - if you don't really dig under the surface, of course the comments seem inflammatory and offensive - but I wonder if he isn't playing directly into the false media meme's that have been put forward on all of this? On the other hand, I'm finally glad to see Barack being willing to Start A FIGHT!. Good on 'em, even if had to be Wright he started the fight with.
Now he can finally show us some toughness.
Both Wright and Obama have a right to stake their own independent ground I'm staying with Obama, but that doesn't mean we should simply turn a blind-eye to the truth (and even the problematic parts) of what Wright actually has said. Not all of it was wrong, and quite a bit of it was dead-on-target.
Update 2: Wright was asked the AIDS question at the National Press Club.
MODERATOR: In your sermon, you said the government lied about inventing the HIV virus as a means of genocide against people of color. So I ask you: Do you honestly believe your statement and those words?
WRIGHT: Have you read Horowitz’s book, "Emerging Viruses: AIDS and Ebola," whoever wrote that question? Have you read "Medical Apartheid"? You’ve read it?
(UNKNOWN): Do you honestly believe that (OFF-MIKE)
WRIGHT: Oh, are you — is that one of the reporters?
MODERATOR: No questions -
WRIGHT: No questions from the floor. I read different things. As I said to my members, if you haven’t read things, then you can’t — based on this Tuskegee experiment and based on what has happened to Africans in this country, I believe our government is capable of doing anything.
"Emerging Viruses: AIDS and Ebola" by Dr. Leonard Horowitz is described by Amazon this way:
Health professionals and those involved in infectious disease research will find Emerging Viruses startling: Harvard researcher Horowitz's studies gather evidence to conclude that AIDS and the Ebola viruses evolved during cancer virus experiments in which monkeys were infected with viral genes from other animals. Certain to spark controversy, this provides quite a different view of virus mutations and evolution.
So we have a Harvard researcher who'se been writing about this. He may be a wackadoddle, but I don't know. H seems to be following a Different theory than the one involving Polio, in this case we're talking about Cancer virus experiments and I admit I know nothing about that subject.
The other book "Medical Aparthied" is about Tuskegee.
Again, I don't know if it's fair to completely blow this off without doing the research - problem is, we can bet that no one in the press will do that.