In loving memory, William Blum, my friend and mentor

While I was out of the country, I was sad to hear of the passing of one of the finest American’s I have ever had the pleasure of friending, being mentored by, and one of the finest blogger’s that America will ever read, William Blum.

I was introduced to William Blum by my father in 2003.  My father and Blum shared disdain for US Foreign policies, while I did not share their opinion that America should not never be involved in foreign relations, I had the utmost respect for their opinions.  Opinions that are based on years of research and writing, every American should read. After all, free speech is the pillar of any free society. Erode it, you destroy America.

I remember reading ” Killing Hope” and thinking Henry Kissinger should be in prison for his crimes against Americans, especially in the Charles Edmund Horman case. After reading Killing Hope, we’ve been good friends ever since.

Charles Edmund Lazar Horman (May 15, 1942 – September 18, 1973[1][2]) was an American journalist documentary filmmaker[3][4] killed during the 1973 Chilean coup d’état led by General Augusto Pinochet[4][5][6]that deposed the socialist  president  Salvador Allende. Horman’s death was the subject of the 1982 Costa-Gavras film Missing, in which he was portrayed by actor John Shea.[3][4]

In June 2014, a Chilean court ruled that the US played a “fundamental” role in Horman’s murder.[7][8] In January 2015, two former Chilean intelligence officials were sentenced in the murders of Charles Horman and Frank Teruggi.[9] 

William Blum’s ” Killing Hope” outlined US CIA involvement overseas since World  War II. William Blum’s ” Killing Hope” should be mandatory reading material in every college American history class.

1280px-NLN_William_Blum

In memory of William Blum.

Blum was born in Brooklyn, New York City, to Ruth (née Katz) and Isidore Blum, who were Polish Jewish immigrants. His father was a machinist. He was a graduate of Erasmus Hall High School and gained a degree in accountancy in 1955 from the City College School of Business and Civic Administration, which later became Baruch College of the City University of New York.[2][3] Beginning as a computer programmer for IBM, he was later taken on by the State Department. He had the ambition of becoming a foreign service officer to, as he explained, “take part in the great anti-Communist crusade”. Bloom became disillusioned by the Vietnam War and was persuaded to leave his government post in 1967.[2]

Bill one time told me” Anne, I had much more important duties in life than being a peasant for the government.” My feelings about government are two fold, and were quite different than Bill’s views. First, I have always believed that our founding  fathers intentionally implemented the First Amendment to the United States Constitution for the sole purpose of ensuring that America supports no one religion, and shall not punish free speech. To allow punishment of Free Speech or religious ( or non-religious) persecution, America would be no better than Communist Russia, China or Saudi Arabia ( where First degree murder is instigated by Saudi dictators who murder journalists who they disagree).

In other words, Free Speech and the exercise thereof, is the single most important law that Thomas Jefferson  wrote into the Bill Rights.  As many of my readers know, I value the First Amendment more than any other tangible item on this planet. As sworn in as a lawyer in 2006, I  pledge and swore to protect the US and WA Constitutions against all invaders, regardless who is attacking it.

Most important, our founders intended citizens to be the checks and balances against corrupt government officials, the Washington State Bar Association was no exception.  The First Amendment was written into the United States Constitution to protect citizens who question government officials, lawyers and non-lawyers alike. However, lately,  what America needs is more citizens like William Blum, as my generation has failed America by being silent on politics and ill read/educated when it comes to politics.

As early as 1967,  Blum had already taken part in anti-war protests and had become a founder and editor of the Washington Free Press, an alternative bi-weekly newspaper which did not last long.[2]

In 1969, he wrote and published an exposé of the CIA in which were revealed the names and addresses of more than 200 CIA employees. He worked as freelance journalist in the United States, Europe and South America. In 1972–1973, Blum worked as a journalist in Chile where he reported on the Allende government’s “socialist experiment”. In the mid-1970s, he worked in London with ex-CIA officer Philip Agee and his associates “on their project of exposing CIA personnel and their misdeeds”.[4] He supported himself with his writing and speaking engagements on college campuses.[1]

In his books and online columns, Blum devoted substantial attention to CIA interventions and assassination plots. Noam Chomsky has called Blum’s book on the CIA, “far and away the best book on the topic.”[5] Blum supported Ralph Nader‘s presidential campaigns.[6]He circulated a monthly newsletter by email called “The Anti-Empire Report”. Blum described his life’s mission as: “If not ending, at least slowing down the American Empire. At least injuring the beast. It’s causing so much suffering around the world.”[1]

Blum and I disagreed in part; I disagreed that America’s government is causing so much suffering around the World, and supported the concept that ” we the people’ have a civic duty to question government officials, and by not doing do, Americans are responsible for the pieces shit in public office today.  Donald Trump is a product of Americans looking for simple solutions instead of implementing our founding fathers plan ” what can I do to make America better…”

In 2006, Blum briefly became the subject of widespread media attention when Osama bin Laden issued a public statement in which he quoted Blum and recommended that all Americans read Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower. As a result of the mention, sales of his book greatly increased.[3]

“I was quite surprised and even shocked and amused when I found out what he’d said,” Blum commented. “I was glad. I knew it would help the book’s sales and I was not bothered by who it was coming from. If he shares with me a deep dislike for certain aspects of US foreign policy, then I’m not going to spurn any endorsement of the book by him. I think it’s good that he shares those views and I’m not turned off by that.”[7] On the Bin Laden endorsement, Blum stated, “This is almost as good as being an Oprah book.”[1] In an interview on MSNBC Countdown, he said: “Basically it’s US foreign policy which creates anti-American terrorists. It’s the things we do to the world. It’s not, as the White House tells us, that they hate our freedom and democracy. That’s just propaganda.”[8]

In a May 22, 2006 article entitled, “Come Out of the White House With Your Hands Up”, Blum wrote, “Since the bin Laden recommendation, 19 January, I have not been offered a single speaking engagement on any campus. . . . This despite January–May normally being the most active period for me and other campus speakers.”

In 2016, Blum wrote me stating ” Why I support Donald Trump.”  he also shared with me that because of his support he had lost many long time followers. I wrote ” Bill, I don’t share your support of Trump, as I cannot and will not support a man who holds America’s checkbook, who filed bankruptcy six times and doesn’t read.  I suspect his foreign investors are the ones who bailed him out. When foreign governments are paying you, your interests are not with America. Thus I cannot support a man who is beholden to a foreign government for President. ”

In 2017, Bill said ” I made a mistake about Trump. I just wanted change… boy was I wrong.” I wrote ” Bill , you were not alone. Forgive yourself and get back to work. ”

Just because I disagree with someone, does not mean I do not respect his or her views and understand why someone might fall victim to Trump’s lies. As I told Bill, the only ones that can change America is “we the people” and sitting behind a desk bitching is not something I can do.  Solutions require drastic action, and change never comes without years of hard work, persistence, and sweat. We must work peacefully within the structure of government that we have, work to change it, and work with other like minded people to instigate change where change is needed. ”

My good friend , mentor and the best American historian America will ever have as it relates to US CIA Intervention abroad, William ( Bill) Blum, who died on December 9, 2018 in Arlington, Virginia from kidney failure at the age of 85, died while I was out of the country. [2]

William Blum’s books:

 

 

I was fortunate to have known Bill, and mentored by Bill to always stand on principle even if you stand alone.  A quote taken by John Adams, and a principle I will always live my life by.

To Bill’s family in Germany, may they know how much I treasured his writings, and his friendship. He was a great American. May his Blog live on for my grandchildren’s children to read.

https://williamblum.org/books/killing-hope

 

 

Source Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Blum

and, personal writing between William Blum and myself

 

 

 

%d bloggers like this: