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And Bonds, with the allegations of perjury at the Balco investigation hanging over his head and

mobs of drunken and racist fans in the nation's ballparks pelting him with verbal abuse,

continued his relentless march toward Hank Aaron's home run record.

 

 

Did the White House force the indictment of Barry Bonds?

 By Jean Damu    

 

The Barry Bonds, Strom Thurmond, Piggly Wiggly connection

Beware! This is a conspiracy theory alert: Did the White House lend a hand in pushing forward the indictment of ex-SF Giants slugger Barry Bonds?

"Preposterous!" you say? Maybe, maybe not.

The most obvious question is, why would anyone in the White House even want to be involved?

Possibly because Major League Baseball has a long, warm and congenial relationship with the government reaching as far back as 1922, when Oliver Wendell Holmes and his pals on the Supreme Court granted to white baseball leagues exemption from anti-trust laws.

Subsequently Congress has refused to exert any influence that might have urged baseball owners to come out of the 14th Century in regards to its labor policies, which have radically changed only due to political pressure on the part of the union.

In the current imbroglio surrounding performance enhancing drugs, the owners utilized their close connections to Congress to set up a fraudulent commission to "investigate" the players' drug usage, but it appears the commission's real purpose is to absolve the owners of any participation in the drug scandal.

Therefore, President George Bush, himself a former baseball owner, might be inclined to get the ball rolling on the Barry Bonds trial, which, it is hoped by many, will once and for all place the spotlight of the drug scandal totally on the players and away from the owners.

On Dec. 3, 2003, Bonds testified before a federal grand jury, charged with the investigation of the Balco drug scandal, that he had never knowingly taken steroids or other performance enhancing drugs. Balco was the South San Francisco drug company that had manufactured steroids and other performance enhancing drugs that were sold to numerous professional and amateur athletes.

Bonds' personal trainer Greg Anderson admitted to having a business relationship with Balco laboratories and said he had sold steroids to some athletes. But he refused to testify against Bonds.

Anderson claimed that, in exchange for his confession, he had been assured he would not have to testify before the grand jury. The judge, however, said no evidence existed of such a promise, and for consecutive terms he jailed the former trainer for refusing to testify.

Following the conclusion of the Balco hearings, U.S. Attorney Kevin Phillips refused or failed to file an indictment against Bonds. Meanwhile, Anderson remained incarcerated.

That is where matters stood until Nov. 15, 2007, when everything suddenly changed and Bonds was indicted. What happened?

In December 2006, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales infamously fired seven U.S. Attorneys in a move that was widely perceived as an attempt to replace them with others who were more responsive to political pressure.

For instance, in eastern Arkansas, Timothy Griffin was named the new federal prosecutor. Formerly, Griffin had been an assistant to presidential advisor Karl Rove and served as the head of research for the Republican National Committee.

In this role, Griffin was in charge of the scheme to remove Blacks, the homeless and soldiers from Ohio voting roles in the 2004 election.

In San Francisco, U.S. Attorney Kevin Ryan was removed allegedly because he mismanaged his office and was replaced by Scott Schools from South Carolina.

Enter the Strom Thurmond factor

In 2002, in a classic case of nepotism and as a retirement present to Strom Thurmond, President Bush - instead of giving Thurmond a gold watch - appointed Thurmond's son, Strom Jr., a recent graduate of the University of South Carolina's law school, to the lofty position of U.S. Attorney for South Carolina.

At 28, Thurmond was the youngest and probably least qualified person ever to be named a U.S. Attorney, a post he held onto for just two years, during which time he prosecuted seven cases.

To aid the inexperienced Thurmond, however, the Justice Department saw to it that Schools was named the deputy prosecutor, whose essential duties were to manage the office.

Like Thurmond, however, Schools is also from a Southern family of privilege.

Schools' grandfather, Joseph Newton, was the founder and CEO of the Piggly Wiggly Corp. For those unfamiliar with Piggly Wiggly outlets, think Safeway with a southern accent.

Schools' father, Burt Schools, and Newton's son in law, became the second in command at Piggly Wiggly, and today Scott's brother, David, serves as a high level exec at the firm.

As an attorney and prosecutor in South Carolina, Schools earned a reputation as someone who practiced law to advance an agenda.

"Schools has enough money that he doesn't have to practice law. It's more a form of recreation for him. He's been programmed as a Republican operative for the past 20 years and is a perfect stalking horse for an ideologue like George Bush," noted Charleston attorney and Democrat Waring Howe Jr. in an article published by BeyondChron.com.

Brett Bursey is another Schools critic from South Carolina. In 2002, Bursey was arrested in Columbia, South Carolina, for holding up a sign at a Bush press conference that said, "No more war for oil."

Though the state charges were dropped against Bursey, deputy federal prosecutor Schools immediately filed federal charges under the Presidential Assassination, Kidnapping and Threats statute, thus making Bursey the first citizen prosecuted under this law.

He was convicted and paid a $500 fine.

Bursey, who was recently interviewed by labor journalist Steve Zeltzer, says that among some, Schools is seen as a practicing politician as opposed to a practicing attorney, "willing to expend energy and resources in the pursuit of trivial cases."

Though Schools was named merely an interim federal prosecutor, it was felt by many observers of the office that either Schools would attempt to win the permanent nomination for himself or Joseph Russionello, a popular previous U.S. Attorney here, would be nominated.

For months however, no nomination was forthcoming.

And Bonds, with the allegations of perjury at the Balco investigation hanging over his head and mobs of drunken and racist fans in the nation's ballparks pelting him with verbal abuse, continued his relentless march toward Hank Aaron's home run record.

But through the summer months and into the fall there was no word - no word on the indictment and no word on a permanent replacement at the U.S. Attorney's office.

Finally, on Nov. 15, just days after the conclusion of the baseball season, everything came together.

At the same moment George Bush was naming Joseph Russionello, who, as a previous U.S. Attorney, had once returned $35,000 to Nicaraguan cocaine traffickers, to the post of federal prosecutor in Northern California, Scott Schools was signing the Bonds indictment and releasing it to the press for scrutiny.

Simultaneously, the nearly forgotten Anderson was released from prison.

Lance Williams, the San Francisco Chronicle reporter who co-wrote the original articles on the Balco and Bonds events and who has written a book, the rights of which have recently been sold to HBO to make a film, once marveled how President Bush had called him and told him what a public service he (Williams) had performed by exposing the steroids-in-baseball scandal.

A public service or a service to the baseball owners and their friend, the president?

Does one need to be paranoid to think there is a likely connection between the White House and the remarkable events of Nov. 15?

If reading any of the above causes a sense of paranoia, don't despair. You can rest assured all your enemies are real!

Wednesday, 05 December 2007

Jean Damu is a former member of the International Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, taught Black Studies at the University of New Mexico, has traveled and written extensively in Cuba and Africa and currently serves as a member of the Steering Committee of the Black Alliance for Just Immigration. Email him at jdamu2@yahoo.com.

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AALBC.com's 25 Best Selling Books


 

Fiction

#1 - Justify My Thug by Wahida Clark
#2 - Flyy Girl by Omar Tyree
#3 - Head Bangers: An APF Sexcapade by Zane
#4 - Life Is Short But Wide by J. California Cooper
#5 - Stackin' Paper 2 Genesis' Payback by Joy King
#6 - Thug Lovin' (Thug 4) by Wahida Clark
#7 - When I Get Where I'm Going by Cheryl Robinson
#8 - Casting the First Stone by Kimberla Lawson Roby
#9 - The Sex Chronicles: Shattering the Myth by Zane

#10 - Covenant: A Thriller  by Brandon Massey

#11 - Diary Of A Street Diva  by Ashley and JaQuavis

#12 - Don't Ever Tell  by Brandon Massey

#13 - For colored girls who have considered suicide  by Ntozake Shange

#14 - For the Love of Money : A Novel by Omar Tyree

#15 - Homemade Loves  by J. California Cooper

#16 - The Future Has a Past: Stories by J. California Cooper

#17 - Player Haters by Carl Weber

#18 - Purple Panties: An Eroticanoir.com Anthology by Sidney Molare

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#25 - I Dreamt I Was in Heaven - The Rampage of the Rufus Buck Gang by Leonce Gaiter

Non-fiction

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#6 - Selected Writings and Speeches of Marcus Garvey by Marcus Garvey
#7 - The Ebony Cookbook: A Date with a Dish by Freda DeKnight
#8 - The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors by Frances Cress Welsing
#9 - The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter Godwin Woodson

#10 - John Henrik Clarke and the Power of Africana History  by Ahati N. N. Toure

#11 - Fail Up: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure by Tavis Smiley

#12 -The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

#13 - The Black Male Handbook: A Blueprint for Life by Kevin Powell

#14 - The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore

#15 - Why Men Fear Marriage: The Surprising Truth Behind Why So Many Men Can't Commit  by RM Johnson

#16 - Black Titan: A.G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire by Carol Jenkins

#17 - Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority by Tom Burrell

#18 - A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

#19 - John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism by Keith Gilyard

#20 - Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher by Leonard Harris

#21 - Age Ain't Nothing but a Number: Black Women Explore Midlife by Carleen Brice

#22 - 2012 Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino
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#24 - 101 Things Every Boy/Young Man of Color Should Know by LaMarr Darnell Shields

#25 - Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class  by Lisa B. Thompson

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The Heart of Whiteness

By Robert Jensen

The first, and perhaps most crucial, fear is that of facing the fact that some of what we white people have is unearned. It's a truism that we don't really make it on our own; we all have plenty of help to achieve whatever we achieve. That means that some of what we have is the product of the work of others, distributed unevenly across society, over which we may have little or no control individually. No matter how hard we work or how smart we are, we all know — when we are honest with ourselves — that we did not get where we are by merit alone. And many white people are afraid of that fact. A second fear is crasser: White people's fear of losing what we have — literally the fear of losing things we own if at some point the economic, political, and social systems in which we live become more just and equitable.Robert Jensen  

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1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created

By Charles C. Mann

I’m a big fan of Charles Mann’s previous book 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus, in which he provides a sweeping and provocative examination of North and South America prior to the arrival of Christopher Columbus. It’s exhaustively researched but so wonderfully written that it’s anything but exhausting to read. With his follow-up, 1493, Mann has taken it to a new, truly global level. Building on the groundbreaking work of Alfred Crosby (author of The Columbian Exchange and, I’m proud to say, a fellow Nantucketer), Mann has written nothing less than the story of our world: how a planet of what were once several autonomous continents is quickly becoming a single, “globalized” entity.

Mann not only talked to countless scientists and researchers; he visited the places he writes about, and as a consequence, the book has a marvelously wide-ranging yet personal feel as we follow Mann from one far-flung corner of the world to the next. And always, the prose is masterful. In telling the improbable story of how Spanish and Chinese cultures collided in the Philippines in the sixteenth century, he takes us to the island of Mindoro whose “southern coast consists of a number of small bays, one next to another like tooth marks in an apple.” We learn how the spread of malaria, the potato, tobacco, guano, rubber plants, and sugar cane have disrupted and convulsed the planet and will continue to do so until we are finally living on one integrated or at least close-to-integrated Earth. Whether or not the human instigators of all this remarkable change will survive the process they helped to initiate more than five hundred years ago remains, Mann suggests in this monumental and revelatory book, an open question.

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery / George Jackson  / Hurricane Carter

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posted 7 December 2007 / update 7 February 2012

 

 

 

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Related files: Indictment of Barry Bonds  Home Runs, Heroes, and Hypocrisy   White House and Indictment of Barry Bonds