Annual Fundraising Appeal
Over the course of 21 years, we’ve published many unflattering stories about Henry Kissinger. We’ve recounted his involvement in the Chilean coup and the illegal bombings of Cambodia and Laos; his hidden role in the Kent State massacre and the genocide in East Timor; his noxious influence peddling in DC and craven work for dictators and repressive regimes around the world. We’ve questioned his ethics, his morals and his intelligence. We’ve called for him to be arrested and tried for war crimes. But nothing we’ve ever published pissed off HK quite like this sequence of photos taken at a conference in Brazil, which appeared in one of the early print editions of CounterPunch.
100716HenryKissingerNosePicking
The publication of those photos, and the story that went with them, 20 years ago earned CounterPunch a global audience in the pre-web days and helped make our reputation as a fearless journal willing to take the fight to the forces of darkness without flinching. Now our future is entirely in your hands. Please donate.

Day11

Yes, these are dire political times. Many who optimistically hoped for real change have spent nearly five years under the cold downpour of political reality. Here at CounterPunch we’ve always aimed to tell it like it is, without illusions or despair. That’s why so many of you have found a refuge at CounterPunch and made us your homepage. You tell us that you love CounterPunch because the quality of the writing you find here in the original articles we offer every day and because we never flinch under fire. We appreciate the support and are prepared for the fierce battles to come.

Unlike other outfits, we don’t hit you up for money every month … or even every quarter. We ask only once a year. But when we ask, we mean it.

CounterPunch’s website is supported almost entirely by subscribers to the print edition of our magazine. We aren’t on the receiving end of six-figure grants from big foundations. George Soros doesn’t have us on retainer. We don’t sell tickets on cruise liners. We don’t clog our site with deceptive corporate ads.

The continued existence of CounterPunch depends solely on the support and dedication of our readers. We know there are a lot of you. We get thousands of emails from you every day. Our website receives millions of hits and nearly 100,000 readers each day. And we don’t charge you a dime.

Please, use our brand new secure shopping cart to make a tax-deductible donation to CounterPunch today or purchase a subscription our monthly magazine and a gift sub for someone or one of our explosive  books, including the ground-breaking Killing Trayvons. Show a little affection for subversion: consider an automated monthly donation. (We accept checks, credit cards, PayPal and cold-hard cash….)
cp-store

or use
pp1

To contribute by phone you can call Becky or Deva toll free at: 1-800-840-3683

Thank you for your support,

Jeffrey, Joshua, Becky, Deva, and Nathaniel

CounterPunch
 PO Box 228, Petrolia, CA 95558

Bring in the Women Agents

Those Randy T-Men

by DAVID MACARAY

If you try to defend or make excuses for the actions of Obama’s Secret Service agents in Colombia (consorting with prostitutes), you’re probably going to come off as a pig or male chauvinist.  That said, unless these agents’ actions constituted dereliction of duty (i.e., resulted in the president’s security being compromised), the case can be made that they should have been given reprimands and suspensions rather than being fired.

First, as boneheaded and unprofessional as their conduct was (and no one can deny that the whole mess was a diplomatic embarrassment), give them credit for not having boasted to the prostitutes—even while drunk—that they were part of Obama’s security detail.  Considering how readily men succumb to the urge to show off for women, these guys didn’t do that.  They didn’t brag.  According to the reports I’ve read, the Colombian prostitutes said they had no idea these “customers” were Secret Service agents. [But they did know they were being stiffed by at least one gringo. Editors.)

Which, integrity-wise, is more than we can say for Dick Morris, Bill Clinton’s former political advisor, who was reported to have bragged to a prostitute that he was so “connected” to the Oval Office, he could get the president on the telephone any time he liked.  To prove it, Morris went ahead and called the White House, got Clinton on the phone, and allowed the woman to listen in.

Second, it’s one thing to insist that public servants representing the United States behave responsibly, but it’s another thing to wallow in self-righteous indignation.  Let’s not be hypocrites.  Despite the shrieking outrage expressed by pundits and commentators, male visitors to foreign cities tend to do much the same thing as these agents did.  U.S. soldiers did it in Saigon and Bangkok; Southern California teenagers did it in Tijuana, Mexico; and even some of my fellow Peace Corps volunteers—noble and idealistic as they were—did it in India’s larger cities.

What kept me personally from doing it wasn’t moral rectitude or piety.  It was  fear.  Fear of being robbed, fear of catching a disease, fear of word getting back to Peace Corps officials and being sent home in disgrace, and fear of the Communists.  I cringe at admitting to that last one, but it’s true.

The U.S. State Department had warned us volunteers that there were Indian Communists lurking about, waiting for an American fool like me to do something stupid or reckless or illegal, so they could report it to the media and embarrass the United States.  And I was just dumb and naïve enough to believe it.

When it comes to being de facto ambassadors, young, testosterone-fueled American males are bad choices.  That’s because they view foreign countries not as exotic cultures, with unique histories, languages and artifacts, but as “playgrounds.”  This viewpoint is exacerbated by the fact that in many countries prostitution is not only tolerated, but statutorily legal.  Which brings us back to the Secret Service.  As wrong as their actions were, it’s doubtful these same agents would have gone out trolling for whores had they been on assignment in Denver or St. Louis.

If we’re serious about fixing this problem, there’s a way to do it. We can do what Hollywood did to resolve the “casting couch” phenomenon (where casting directors extracted sexual favors from eager young actresses in return for giving them roles).  Hollywood fixed that problem by putting women in charge of casting.  And that’s what we should do with the Secret Service.  Assign only women agents on these foreign junkets.

DAVID MACARAY, an LA playwright and author (“It’s Never Been Easy:  Essays on Modern Labor”), was a former union rep.   He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion, forthcoming from AK Press.  He can be reached at dmacaray@earthlink.net