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Indybay Feature
Let’s Talk about Pacifica Radio’s Survival
by Akio Tanaka
Monday Apr 26th, 2021 10:51 AM
Pacifica needs a governance structure that can restore the health and strength of the network, so that it can continue to broadcast dangerous truths.
Pacifica stands for peace and social justice, working to reduce conflict and bring people together. Unfortunately, we are not practicing what we preach.

The authors of the current Bylaws “thought that the best way to protect Pacifica from any type of political or corporate interference was to write bylaws that incorporated the ideas of a Foundation run by super democracy... instead the exact opposite has occurred.” The Pacifica Board’s primary duty is to ensure the financial health and the future of this listener sponsored network; however, the Board has been engaged in 20 years of factional fighting, holding 40 meetings a year, yet always teetering on the edge of financial insolvency. Pacifica needs a change in governance.

Pacifica auditor, Rogers & Company, said: “As has been communicated by the predecessor independent auditors, we also agree it would be beneficial for the Foundation to review its Bylaws and consider any revisions to simplify them and encourage more productive meetings.”

The New Day Pacifica bylaws which will be voted on by Pacifica members in June incorporate whait the auditors have been recommending.
One auditor, Regalia and Associates noted “the disjointed nature of its various governance Boards … appear to be working at cross purposes”. With the new Bylaws, the power to oversee the finances and other items is taken away from the Local Station Boards, so the National Board can function. The elected Local Station Board will focus on supporting the local stations.
Another auditor, Rogers and Company recommended “restructuring their Boards with fewer members, which would hopefully reduce the number of disparate voices and result in more effective governance”. With the new Bylaws, the National Board is reduced from 22 to 15 Directors.

Critics of New Day claim that the new Bylaws do away with democracy, when in actuality the New Day governance changes provides more direct democracy:
The 4 national officers will for the first time be directly elected and accountable to the members, instead of being elected twice removed from the members and accountable only to the board majority.
Each stakeholder (5 stations’ listeners, paid staff, unpaid staff, and affiliates) has a place at the table, and are directly elected by their respective constituencies.
The 12 elected Directors then elect the 3 at-large Directors, who have experience and expertise that elected Directors might not have but the Board needs. This is especially urgent in the area of finance, with the financial crisis that beset the Foundation.

At one time Pacifica meant something, which is why KPFT got bombed off the air in 1970. Now our governance structure is doing the destroying from within. We need a governance structure that can restore the health and strength of the network, so that it can continue to broadcast dangerous truths.

First, the Pacifica community needs to come together. We must reject all the talk about East Coast vs West Coast, paid staff vs unpaid staff, black and brown vs white. That is not what Pacifica is about. What Pacifica is about is bridging the divide and bringing people together. The real divide is independent media versus corporate media. Tell all those people trying to divide us to go to hell.

Second, Pacifica needs a governance structure that has the chance of working. The current governance is an embarrassment. Pacifica’s auditor, Regalia and Associates said, “As auditors, we strongly recommend an end to the infighting and unproductive arguments which we have witnessed by listening to and reading Board minutes.”

The financial crisis has brought Pacifica at a crossroads. The crisis has laid bare the weakness in our governance. Now that we see it, we can fix it. The New Day Pacifica changes keep Pacifica’s democratic governance, but with less room for paralyzing dysfunction and more room for governance.

Dysfunctional governance imperils us all; functional governance will benefit us all.

For more information, people can read the provisions of the proposed Bylaws at:

by Ann Garrison
Monday Apr 26th, 2021 4:40 PM
I have written a counterpoint to this argument that was published in Black Agenda report, Black Star News, Counterpunch, and the San Francisco Bay View Newspaper. That's my most comprehensive response to Akio Tanaka's piece, so I'll just share a link to one of those publications here: .
by Bullshit Detector
Monday Apr 26th, 2021 8:18 PM
This guy really wants you to vote to make him a grand poobah.

The latest from Pacifica Radio.


A Tale of Revival:Pacifica emerges from the pandemic

On Wednesday March 31st, 2021, the Pacifica National Board reached an agreement with the FJC Foundation, the provider of a $3.1 million dollar loan, to extend the maturity date of the loan for 18 months. The agreement was reached following a careful review of Pacifica’s improving financial situation.

The dramatic improvement in Pacifica’s prospects were highlighted by Pacifica’s auditor who wrote, in a communication to FJC, that:

"The Pacifica National Board and management of the Foundation has implemented various financial policies and directives which appear to have (or the potential to have) positive impacts to the Foundation’s financial condition."

The extension of the loan agreement gives Pacifica the time required to continue the process of financial and operational reforms that so far proved effective in restoring financial and organizational stability. 

Among the positive actions implemented by Pacifica’s management, working closely with the Pacifica National Board (PNB), the auditor mentioned the following:

* The COVID-19 pandemic's negative financial impact on Pacifica has been largely offset by the rapid response of Pacifica management which has successfully applied and received assistance in the first and second rounds of the Payment Protection Program (PPP), of the CARES Act.
In 2020, Pacifica received $1,256,000 in the 1st round which was fully forgiven in January 2021. In 2021, Pacifica received $1,200,000 in the 2nd round and expects that loan to be fully forgiven as well.

* The appointment of Lydia Brazon as Interim Executive Director, Pacifica's first Latinx Executive Director. She has donated her time and services since December 2019 thus saving the foundation $150,000-$200,000 per year in salary and benefits.

* Pacifica has engaged a specialized law firm to handle the 2020 and 2021 labor contract negotiations nationwide as well as other significant financial negotiations. A step in the right direction as prior negotiations were left up to the local station management and lacked follow through.

* Pacifica's management prevented the auction of the KPFA studio. The KPFA building had been put up for auction in 2020 by the tax assessor's office of Alameda County because KPFA had accumulated a debt for unpaid property taxes. KPFA had not properly filed for a non-profit exemption from property taxes and had not paid any property taxes for a number of years. Pacifica's specialized law firm has filed a writ of mandate in order to restore the bulk of the property tax exemption and save Pacifica hundreds of thousands of dollars.

*The ongoing negotiations of contractual changes with the union at KPFK, SAG-AFTRA, are expected to provide long-term, structural benefits for Pacifica’s bottom line.

"The Foundation’s proposed changes to the labor contracts are expected to result in its solvency while maintaining its commitment to labor rights."
-Pacifica's auditor

*Pacifica reached an agreement with SAG-AFTRA to retire one costly and redundant pension plan. Pacifica’s remaining pension plan is now fully funded.

* The Los Angeles station KPFK has implemented a 30% reduction in expenses in response a $700K deficit in 2020. Pacifica management, in consultation with the PNB, had to reluctantly make staff cuts as KPFK was reaching a crisis point, and getting close to not being able to make payroll or pay bills. Terms were negotiated with the unions involved in order to ensure that that all severance pay and other obligations were provided. This action, while not easy, should restore KPFK to fiscal sustainability.

* A permanent General Manager has been hired at the Houston station, KPFT, and will bring stability to the station.

In addition to the positive accomplishments listed by the auditor, we are now in a position to report that both 2019 and 2020 audits are on track for completion: the 2019 audit by April 30
and the 2020 audit by the end of June.

This is a game-changer. For the first time in six years Pacifica will be up-to-date with its audits and this has vast significance. Pacifica will be able to apply for a restoration of Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) funding, estimated at $1 million dollars per year.

Pacifica would become eligible for all sorts of grants from which we are currently excluded. For example, The New York City Council has a program offering discretionary grants to non-profits that can demonstrate they provide a valuable cultural service to New Yorkers. Our New York radio station, WBAI will become eligible for these grants after June 30, once the audits are completed.

This turn around in our financial operations is the result of a diligent effort made over the last three years by the Pacifica National Board, working closely with Pacifica management, its financial team at NETA and the auditors to get Pacifica’s financial affairs in order.

For the first time in several years, the National Finance Committee of the Pacifica National Board has reviewed and approved the budgets of the network's different business units. Significant progress is evident in the functioning of Pacifica’s business units.

Our Washington D.C. station, WPFW, has had a series of very successful fund drives and has been able to attract a significant share of listeners in the Capitol region.

Our New York station, WBAI, while still facing financial challenges, has significantly increased its listener base as a result of innovative programming changes.

Our Berkeley station, KPFA, continues to be a rock of financial stability and has successfully maintained a devoted listener base.

The Pacifica Affiliates Program now boasts 210 affiliates. These include low power radio stations that serve rural areas, college radio stations, as well as stations with a huge presence in key media markets such as Atlanta, Georgia and Boulder, Colorado. There are affiliates in 45 of the 50 states plus the Virgin Islands as well as International affiliates in Canada, France and Germany. A number of steps have been taken in the recent period to deepen the partnership between Pacifica and its affiliates.

The Pacifica Radio Archives holds the history of Pacifica since 1949 and remains a unique and invaluable source of historical recordings not available anywhere else. Since 2000, the Pacifica Radio Archives has been able to digitize just over 15,000 recordings. In the coming months and years, the Pacifica Radio Archives is working on a major grant to digitize the remaining 50,000 recordings by The Library of Congress deadline of 2025.

The Pacifica Radio Archives is looking to build a digital website so that listeners can stream any and all of the collection on demand. The goal of the Pacifica Radio Archives is to make these programs accessible to as wide an audience as possible. In 2013, Pacifica Radio Archives began tracking exposure to newly digitized audio through metrics provided by online audio distribution platforms; growth has been exponential, exploding from 817 listeners at the end of 2013 to over 335,658 listeners from 130 countries in 2021.

A strategic plan, aimed at transforming Pacifica into the media landscape of the 21st century has been adopted by the Pacifica National Board and sets the direction of Pacifica for the next few years. It prioritizes Pacifica's financial health and focuses on reaching new audiences while preserving its ties to local communities, and maintaining the fidelity of the Pacifica Mission.

The strategic plan addresses the immediate financial issues facing Pacifica. An important component is the adoption of a policy mandating that 50% of all revenue considered as a “windfall” (such as bequests) be set aside for the repayment of the loan with FJC. Given that Pacifica normally receives as much as $1,000,000 yearly of such unanticipated income, this will be a significant factor in the repayment of the loan.

As we look toward the future, we envision the integration of Pacifica’s broadcast radio technology with other media technologies such as webinars, podcasting, streaming on Twitch and Youtube, satellite radio, simultaneous cable broadcasts and much more to leverage the Pacifica brand into the world of multi-media content.

The Pacifica National Board and Pacifica Management recognize that the most important source of income we have are listener donors who wish to support their favorite programs. Therefore, Pacifica management has encouraged the Program Directors at all stations to explore new programming initiatives to reach a diversity of new audiences in terms of race, age and gender, while maintaining and improving popular traditional programming.

We are also exploring several new initiatives that can potentially create brand new sources of revenue. Among those are:

* A proposal to systematically implement podcasting as a subscription service.

* A proposal to create digital imprints of original content that can be offered to the public.

* A proposal to beef up our “emergency preparedness” facilities, making us eligible for grants set aside for that purpose.

* A proposal to float a bond to pay off debts.

* A proposal to create an Advisory Board of luminaries and experts that can assist us in reaching major donors.

It is not premature to say that Pacifica, while still facing many challenges, has turned the corner.  That’s good news for a change.

Thank you for your continued support,

Alex Steinberg, PNB chair
Lydia Brazon, interim ED
KPFA Akio Tanaka, KPFK Ian Masters & The Real Story Of The Financial Bankruptcy Of KPFK & The New Day Pacifica Cover-up

Supporters of the 2nd corporate bylaw proposal including bylaw supporter Akio Tanaka at KPFA and his ally CIA supporter Ian Masters have blamed the Pacifica National Board PNB for the financial crisis at KPFK and have argued that they were responsible for the financial crisis. The reality is far different than the PR put out by Tanaka & company.

Besides being an apologist and propagandist for the CIA, Ian Masters also supports the corrupt Philadelphia cops position that Mumia Abu-Jamal actually is a murderer. This is the alliance that Tanaka and his cronies at KPFA have. A supporter of the cops in Philadelphia.
Here is a report about what is really happening at KPFK by Kim Kaufman.

From: Kim Kaufman
To: Ian Masters
Cc: 'LSB' ; 'Pacifica National Board' ; 'Pacifica Executive Director' ; Moe Thomas ; Anita Sims
Sent: Monday, April 26, 2021, 05:26:42 PM PDT
Subject: Ian Masters' Sunday April 25 show.

Hi Ian –

I heard the beginning of your show yesterday. You said some things that are either intentionally misleading or just a display of ignorance and dishonesty.

You said about the current fund drive:

“We’re doing this… because we were just recently told we have to do this emergency fund drive because there’s no money in KPFK’s e bank account which presumably means that we’ll not make payroll at the end of this month.”

Yep, having no money in the bank account means payroll cannot be met. This is not news! KPFK has not been able to pay its payroll at least three times in the last year. It borrowed funds from other units, which I believe still have not all been paid back. Fun fact: not being able to pay bills is what happens when expenses are higher than revenue!

“This contradicts the recent rosy message from the Pacifica Foundation saying the $3.1m unpaid loan due to covering the unpaid bills run up by NY station WBAI does not have to be repaid for 18 months. They didn’t of course say how that would be repaid.”

No, of course they didn’t. Nor has Jan Goodman, leader of the campaign to take over and run Pacifica with new new bylaws and installing herself as Vice-Chair of the new board. The loan never had a payback plan - a loan for which Jan advocated very aggressively. She hasn’t said how she and her new team will do this either. Nobody’s found a way to raise KPFK’s revenue either in over a decade.

“… and that Pacifica got two payments of $1.2 from the PPP program… that’s $2.4 m from the government’s PPP program. Of course the $2.4m from the taxpayer apparently has disappeared because there’s no money in KPFK’s bank account or at least KPFK didn’t get its share of that money even though of course you our listeners here in southern CA have been subsidizing the mismanagement of WBAI for many many years.”

This is just sleazy insinuation. That money did not “disappear.” Pacifica got that money and KPFK got its share of that money this year and last. It got $322k in January, without which KPFK would have been unable to fund payroll starting then. With KPFK’s expenses continuing to be more than revenue – surprise! - the money gets spent quickly but still can’t cover its expenses.

KPFK had an operating deficit of $700k in FY2019. That means, without the $550k of bequests that year, KPFK still had a deficit of $130k and in effect KPFK was not paying its bills on its operations but only from the generosity of those who passed onto the next world, never to donate again. This is not a reliable source of revenue. But neither the now former GM, nor his BM, noticed this and kept on doing the same thing with no adjustments to expenses, KPFK’s revenue continued to decline and ended FY2020 with an actual $700k deficit. Further, there were 138 fund drive days in FY2019 and over 170 days in FY2020. This financial mismanagement must be handed to the recently resigned GM and his lack of management and oversight of the BM and the rest of the operations. Of course, added to that was a lack of oversight by the LSB, PNB and iED, including would-be queen of Pacifica Jan Goodman. This being Pacifica, there’s plenty of blame to go around and there was dereliction of fiduciary duties from many.

This isn’t magic, Ian. These numbers are all readily available. Insinuating what you did only shows dishonesty and laziness, in my opinion. And I get it that you’ve been doing your “rants against Pacifica” for years and it jacks up some listeners to donate – for a day or so. But this is clearly tired and not working. The returns are diminishing in more ways than just daily fund drive totals. This is a comparison of recent fund drive totals from three of our other Southern CA public radio stations:

KCRW raised $300k in 3 days in a soft drive.

KUSC raised $500k in 5 days

KPCC raised $422k in 2 days in a soft drive

KPFK raised $409k in 34 days – or about $12k a day (recent fund drive).

I have never heard these stations badmouth their own station in order to raise money.

And then of course, after dumping a number of crackpot insinuations, you end it with:

“But this is something we can’t discuss in any honesty or detail because it’s considered the airing of dirty laundry.”

I rarely listen to your show anymore because of this kind of broadcasting. It’s unprofessional – and apparently unlistenable to not only me but most of Southern CA.

Kim Kaufman

Ian Master Statement That Mumia Is A Murderer
From: Background Briefing Production
Date: Sat, Apr 17, 2021 at 6:46 PM
Subject: Mumia
To: sheila.hamanaka

Dear Sheila,
If you talk to reporters who covered the case and those who knew Mumia as fellow journalists when he got involved with MOVE then was understandably outraged by the Philadelphia police's massacre of the movement and the burning alive of the children, it is no surprise he killed the cop which is what he admitted to to the EMS crew who treated him at the scene. I frankly don't understand why he doesn't tell the truth and own what he did instead of feeding the martyr myths to his gullible followers. There are plenty of black men in jail who shouldn't be there. He just happens to be less deserving of adulation.
But since I'm against capital punishment, he should not be on death
Ian Masters

December 10, 2009
By Alex Constantine (Revised; originally posted in 2007)
Also see: “American Support of Global Terrorism”


Vincent Cannistraro is a well-known “authority on terrorism,” and has appeared repeatedly on Ian Masters’ Background Briefing, aired Sunday mornings on KPFK in Los Angeles. The CIA’s Cannistraro has been a ubiquitous presence in the media since his name surfaced in connection with Iran contra.

Never mind his abject track record … Cannistraro has shared his “wisdom” on terrorism in the past to “explain” the Oklahoma City bombing, for instance. There has been, since 9/11, a concerted attempt by Vincent Cannistraro, an Iran-contra player, and sundry federal “experts” and CIA spin doctors to pin ultimate responsibility for the Alfred P. Murrah FB bombing on Osama Bin Laden’s mystery terrorists.

Incredibly, Cannistraro ONCE blamed the murders In Oklahoma City on “ENVIRONMENTALISTS out to DESTROY all human life on earth.”

He NOW claims (see the June 11, 2001 issue of The New American, published by the insidious John Birch Society) that he had intelligence information BEFORE the blast concerning Middle Eastern terrorists. The contradiction is glaring: If his claim has any weight, if he indeed KNEW that Muslim extremists had designs on a major American target, WHY did he tell reporters immediately after the blast that ENVIRONMENTALISTS were responsible?

“Environmentalists out to destroy all human life on earth … ” (?)

Credible? Or is this the land of dupes accustomed to spoon-fed disinformation, even on the activist left – shallow state propaganda that paves the way for phony wars, places fascists in public office, conceals fascist covert operations including political assassination?

Ian Masters is obviously proud of his guest, Vincent Cannistraro, whom he lauds highly. Masters often boasts that the “former” CIA officer gave him a “scoop”: The transcript is from AlterNet, financed by Pew’s Tides Foundation, another popular asylum of the “Controlled Left”: “Who Forged the Niger Documents”

Ian Masters with friend


How the mass media cover for Vincent Cannistraro, terrorist, and creator of the Nicaraguan Contras
Concerning the 1988 bombing of Pan-Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, the Washington Postreported in November 1990 as follows:

“Vincent Cannistraro, who was chief of operations and analysis at the CIA’s counterterrorism center, said investigators have made ‘substantial progress in identifying the modus operandi by which that bomb got on board.’”[1]

What is the point of describing Vincent Cannistraro as former “chief of operations and analysis at the CIA’s counterterrorism center”? To make the reader feel that Cannistraro can be trusted as a source on the topic. The Washington Post was reporting on the investigation of a terrorist attack against Pan-Am flight 103. To leave no doubt, the Washington Post maintains:

“Cannistraro’s remarks, made to reporters at a luncheon seminar, were the first indication that the international inquiry, already the largest criminal probe in history, may have turned up enough solid evidence to stand up in a court of law.”

Moonshine. In other words, if Cannistraro says that “investigators have made ‘substantial progress,’” this to the Washington Post becomes “the first indication that [there is] enough solid evidence to stand up in a court of law.”

The Post doesn’t waste an opportunity to burnish Cannistraro’s luster: “Cannistraro made his remarks at a luncheon signaling his debut as a senior fellow at the National Strategy Information Center,” a supposedly “nongovernmental organization” according to their website.[2] This identifies Cannistraro as quotable, mainstream, an authority “formerly” with the government but no longer, now at an independent policy think-tank, an expert.

But this is remarkable because the year in question is 1990, which is to say a period when Cannistraro was still appearing in the news for his role in the Contra affair. Why then doesn’t the Washington Postintroduce him as “Vincent Cannistraro, formerly an operative of the illegal terrorist-supply Contra program”? Because the Post’s readers would immediately wonder why this person is being quoted as a trusted authority on anything, especially when he is supposed to be speaking as a ‘counter-terrorist.’

Is the Washington Post that blatantly dishonest?

The Washington Post can only be defended if we hold that the people running the newspaper are spoon-fed coma patients. In fact, they have to be so bad at running a newspaper that in 1990 they no longer had any recollection of Cannistraro’s Contra role, one I manage to recall two decades later. Further, they are so incompetent that they cannot do the most basic research in their own archives to refresh their cloudy memories about Vincent Cannistraro. With this proviso, we may defend the Washington Post, but the monumental incompetence that must be imputed would still leave us without a good reason to trust it.

There is a different hypothesis, however, and it does not require us to believe anything so absurd as that.

First, I give you a vivid picture of the Contra “freedom fighers”:

“The Contras have ambushed religious-aid workers, beheading a nun and riddling her body with bullets. They have also eviscerated a pregnant woman, shot campesinos (peasants) and slaughtered their animals, cut down Red Cross workers and bombed towns with their schools and hospitals.”[3]

One of the people responsible for blowing the whistle on the Contras was former Contra Edgar Chamorro:

“At the World Court in the Hague, where he recently testified on behalf of the Sandinista government, Chamorro said the CIA ‘did not discourage’ atrocities, such as Contras terrorizing villagers, slitting throats and mutilating bodies.

He described the Contras as a gang of professional criminals who don’t know why they are fighting.

‘The CIA had to send a man to train Contras to teach them what they were fighting for. It was ridiculous,’ he said.

‘I wondered how can democracy come to Nicaragua with all these fascists?’

Chamorro returned to Nicaragua last October under a government amnesty. He was expelled from the Contras in 1984 after revealing corruption within the rebel movement and a CIA manual on jungle warfare, which advocated assassination as a political means.”[4]
After the 1984 scandal over a CIA-sponsored Contra manual that advocated political assassination, Oliver North helped arrange a job on the NSC staff for Vincent Cannistraro, the CIA officer who formerly ran the agency’s Contra Task Force.

It is important to digest this with the utmost attention to detail: Cannistraro ran the CIA’s task force on the contras, and it became mired in controversy when Edgar Chamorro publicized that the CIA manual for the Contras – for which Cannistraro was responsible – “advocated assassination.”

Cannistraro was the man teaching the Contras to commit atrocities.

Olliver North transferred Cannistraro to the NSC staff in part to protect him from this controversy, and also because he wanted Cannistraro to continue running the Contra program from the NSC.

Now, guess who reported that North brought Cannistraro to the NSC when Cannistraro’s terrorist strategy should have created a controvery?

That was David Ignatius from … the Washington Post.[5] This would be in 1986 – only four years before the same Washington Post would rehabilitate Cannistraro and present him to its readers as a counter-terrorism expert who could be trusted in his new role as opinion-shaper.

Is this shocking? That’s nothing. In 2001 the same Washington Post published an editorial with the title “Assassination is wrong.”[6] Guess who wrote it? Yes: Vincent Cannistraro, the man who, as the Washington Post reported in 1986, taught the Contra terrorists … what did he teach, tolerate and cover-up? Assassination. So the Washington Post clearly cannot be accused of incompetence. Even the greatest paroxysm of incompetence will not make anything like this possible.

The Post, however, can certainly be accused of dishonesty … and cynicism.

And Mockingbird Central is not alone: The entire Western mass media treats Cannistraro as a trusted expert, so much so that he now parades himself, I remind you, as “Vince Cannistraro, an ABC News analyst and former CIA counterterrorism chief.”[7]

Footnotes and Further Reading

[1] Pan Am Bombing Probe Progressing; U.S. ‘Very Close’ to Securing Indictments, Ex-CIA Official Says, The Washington Post, November 21, 1990, Wednesday, Final Edition, FIRST SECTION; PAGE A6, 1037 words, George Lardner Jr., Washington Post Staff Writer, NATIONAL NEWS, FOREIGN NEWS


[3] Contras cling to their war, The Toronto Star, April 29, 1990, Sunday, SUNDAY SECOND EDITION, NEWS; Pg. H1, 1030 words, By Linda Diebel Toronto Star, MANAGUA

[4] U.S. operating 70 covert schemes ex-CIA man says, The Toronto Star, March 26, 1988, Saturday, SATURDAY SECOND EDITION, NEWS; Pg. A15, 449 words, By Robert Brehl Toronto Star

[5] Tale of Two White House Aides: Confidence and Motivation; North Viewed as a Can-Do Marine Who Went Too Far in Zealousness, The Washington Post, November 30, 1986, Sunday, Final Edition Correction Appended, FIRST SECTION; PAGE A1, 2694 words, David Ignatius, Washington Post Staff Writer, FOREIGN NEWS, NATIONAL NEWS, BIOGRAPHY

[6] Assassination Is Wrong — and Dumb, The Washington Post, August 30, 2001 Thursday, Final Edition, EDITORIAL; Pg. A29, 820 words, Vincent Cannistraro

[7] BIN LADEN IS AT LARGE: CIA; FLED AFGHANISTAN IN DECEMBER, REPORT CLAIMS, The Toronto Sun, January 16, 2002 Wednesday,, Final Edition, News;, Pg. 12, 273 words, SPECIAL

Ian Masters CIA/Contra Drugs, Intelligence Reform, and Oliver North with Senate Investigator Jack Blum (1996)

Jack Blum was special counsel to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and he was Chief Investigator for the Kerry Committee (The Senate Subcommittee on Narcotics, Terrorism and International Operations) which investigated, among other things, the CIA-Contra drugs connection. In 1996, he was the lead witness during hearings before the Senate Select Intelligence Committee about the Contra/Cocaine connection which were prompted by the series of articles authored by Gary Webb that appeared in The San Jose Mercury News.

RECORDED: November 3, 1996.
BROADCAST : November 3, 1996 / KPFK

YouTube Audio

Ian Masters: Welcome to Background Briefing. I am Ian Masters today we'll deal with one subject and that is the recently conducted hearings before the Senate Select Intelligence Committee, chaired by Senator Arlen Specter, co-chaired by Bob Kerrey. The lead off witness in that hearing, which was prompted by the series of articles in The San Jose Mercury News alleging Contra-cocaine connection into South Central Los Angeles involving the Central Intelligence Agency, was Jack Blum and we're privileged to have Jack Blum with us today. Jack Blum was special counsel to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for some time and he was Chief Investigator for the Senate Subcommittee on Narcotics, Terrorism and International Operations chaired by Senator John Kerry. These hearings took place in 1988. Where you looked at the Contra-drug connection and just to begin with Jack Blum, I'm astounded first of all in the press coverage of the hearings, you're the lead off witness, you're followed by Mr. Hitz, the CIA's Inspector General and then Mr. Bromwich of the Justice Department, but there was no mention of your testimony, which I found fascinating, in both the Los Angeles Times and The New York Times. What is it? Did they think that somehow this is an old story?

Jack Blum: I'm not really sure as to why there was no coverage. I don't know whether it was reportorial laziness or whether they simply felt there was nothing new that was added, but I can tell you even where there was coverage, what you thought happened at that hearing depended on what city you were in.

Ian Masters: Well it is strange that people would see this as an old story in the sense that, I mean, none of this has been resolved has it? I mean, a great deal of reportorial effort has been put into analyzing and debunking the San Jose Mercury's news story, but absolutely no effort has been put into looking at the evidence that's extant and that's been hanging since the mid-80s.

I think we should be doing a full review of the entire history of intelligence operations and how they connected with both drug trafficking and organized crime.

Jack Blum: I think the place to begin is to talk about the complete failure of congress and the administration to deal intelligently with intelligence reform. The Cold War is over, the demands on the intelligence community have changed radically. The time has really come for a serious public review of what we mean by intelligence and what is appropriate for the government to be doing in a world where we don't face the threats that people saw before in international communism. Now, that kind of review simply hasn't occurred. In fact, the CIA budget is up, the intelligence community budget is up, even as we're cutting the budget of the State Department and other agencies involved in foreign policy and I think we should be doing a full review of the entire history of intelligence operations and how they connected with both drug trafficking and organized crime.

Ian Masters: In the sense that we'd gone through this tremendous geopolitical transformation since the Cold War where, out 50 years we're focused on national security and national defense and we're suddenly in a world in which there are no nation states effectively threatening each other, but the threats come from sub-national disintegration of borders and cultures and religious differences and the trans national phenomenon which I'd like to talk about today, which is drugs and crime and that is clearly on the rise and indeed the former country of the Soviet Union, now Russia is a country completely beset by sub-national and trans-national security threats.

the Bosnian war was financed by drug dealing. The people in Europe know the former Yugoslavia became a center for drug trafficking as this war went on because people had the opportunity in the war zone to smuggle and deal in narcotics coming out of South Asia.
by Grace Aaron (graceaaron [at]
Tuesday Apr 27th, 2021 12:40 PM
Media Consolidation = Direct Democracy
Corporate = Professional
Spirited debate and free speech = Dysfunctional governance
Local Station Boards = threat to centralized control
Censorship and cronyism = improved governance
Oligarchy = Democracy
Bankruptcy and shutting down stations = good governance
Pacifica Mission is outdated, inefficient and obsolete = Quoting accountants and auditors who love authoritarian appointed boards

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