William Rivers Pitt
William Rivers Pitt (November 9, 1971 – September 26, 2022) was an author, senior editor and lead columnist at Truthout. He was also a New York Times and internationally bestselling author of three books: War on Iraq: What Team Bush Doesn’t Want You to Know, The Greatest Sedition Is Silence and House of Ill Repute: Reflections on War, Lies, and America’s Ravaged Reputation. His fourth book, The Mass Destruction of Iraq: Why It Is Happening, and Who Is Responsible, was co-written with Dahr Jamail.
- Someday, if we survive the mess we’ve made of the planet, someone will compile a detailed sociological examination of how this constant torrent of mind bombs came to affect the population. For many, I fear, the ultimate result is inaction due to confusion, consternation and livid frustration.
- It’s not “fake news,” because “fake news” is almost always real news the president doesn’t want you to know. This is bad noise aimed with purpose and intent... We are deliberately polluted by a sewage spigot of cognitive dissonance and rank nonsense pouring into our minds on a daily basis... This is bad noise aimed with purpose and intent. Half the country ingests this swill and then, for example, abandons their right to vote because the pursuit of finding the point to it all requires hip waders and a stronger stomach than most possess. It’s the Gish Gallop deployed nationally, and it has proven to be brutally effective.
- There is a name missing from that Al Jazeera report (on the 40th anniversary of the 1979 Iranian revolution)...That name is Mohammad Mosaddegh, the democratically elected prime minister of Iran... deposed and imprisoned at the behest of powerful interests by Dwight Eisenhower and Winston Churchill over access to Iranian oil. Western politicians and the mainstream journalists... shy away from the name Mosaddegh, for his name is an incantation summoning the bloody specter of blowback and the carnage that comes whenever the game of thrones is played for petroleum... “Mosaddegh” is a condemnation, a warning, and a lesson yet to be heeded by those in Washington, D.C., who believe their power and wealth means they can outrun consequences.
- Those 40 years of failure belong to the United States and Britain, to actions taken 66 years ago by politicians who also believed they could run through the raindrops as they played God for profit with the lives of others. The suffering of the Iranian people has “Made in the USA” and “God Save the Queen” stamped across it, a history lesson inked in blood. Remember the name Mohammad Mosaddegh the next time you hear a politician or businessman talk about bringing freedom somewhere. Like as not there’s a buck to be turned, and the bodies will be buried where they drop. All the oil money in the whole wide world cannot outrun consequences.
- Adding climate change to school curriculums. Geoengineering. Thorium fuel reactors. A Blue New Deal. The Syrian war was a climate war. Climate distress included in asylum petitions. Food deserts. Climate denial is a literal sin. “Democracy” is a verb. For the first time in the history of the country, these topics and others like them were discussed in detail by presidential candidates on live television
"Can Trump’s Wall Survive His Fake Emergency?" Truthout (16 February 2019) edit
"Can Trump’s Wall Survive His Fake Emergency?" Truthout (16 February 2019)
- If you’re going to cause a constitutional crisis, you may as well make it fun, right?...When Trump unleashed a disorganized, rambling, snarling, sniff-riddled word cloud on China, Korea, Syria, missiles, Obama, wars, duct tape, “bob” wire, Democrats, singsong Beat poetry, caravans and the stock market while announcing his illegal emergency declaration, it wasn’t fun. It was surreal to the point of brown-acid psychedelia, and it was perfectly terrifying in the main, but it wasn’t fun...
- One of the most significant obstacles Trump’s declaration will face is sure to come from landowners, particularly in Texas. “More than 90 lawsuits involving landowners opposing the federal seizure of their property in South Texas remain open from 2008,” reports Ron Nixon for The New York Times. “The property owners have the support of many Texas politicians...and their opposition to a border wall could delay any construction by years while lawsuits wind through the court system.”
- Everything about this border wall situation — Trump’s extralegal tantrum, the craven capitulation of McConnell and the Republicans, the shameless lies, the howling mobs, all of it — is a disgrace... Most disgraceful of all is the idea of the wall itself: a monument to vicious nativism, white nationalism, toxic masculinity and perfect cowardice.
Trump and McConnell Aren’t Waging War on COVID. They’re Waging War on Us. (April 28, 2020) edit
- Trump and McConnell Aren’t Waging War on COVID. They’re Waging War on Us. (April 28, 2020), Truthout
- Donald Trump and his top Republican allies in Congress are fighting a war, and the battle lines have begun to clarify themselves. Their war is not being waged against COVID-19, the pandemic that has killed tens of thousands in this nation alone. Their war is being waged against the nation itself, and specifically against areas of the nation that are heavy on population but light on Trump supporters. In other words, the big-city blue states, whose governors have refused to fawn over Trump's gibberish-flecked "leadership" during this crisis.
- Trump has been treating the delivery of federal aid to the states like his own personal spoils system: rewarding loyalty, punishing critics, and demanding to be praised for doing his job whenever he actually does it, but especially when he doesn't. The issue has come to a head as governors from both parties are screaming for desperately needed federal aid for their respective states. Congress, particularly the Republican Senate, has been dragging its feet over passing a bill to provide states-specific aid, because doing so would be an example of government working to help the people, and such a thing is ideologically unsound on McConnell's side of the aisle.
- The only reason Florida can claim to be living within its budgetary means is by denying hundreds of thousands of residents, many in the service industry, clear access to the unemployment compensation they desperately need. If you don’t pay your bills, your bank account stays full. It’s a trick Trump learned a long time ago.
- Illinois, New York, California … all big-city blue states hit hard by COVID, all states that have felt the failures of the Trump administration acutely, now singled out as states that do not deserve federal aid. COVID does not care who you voted for, but Trump does, and he seems happily willing to increase the nation's suffering while helping to expand the reach of the pandemic in order to settle some grudges and score points with his weirdly death-seeking base. And Senate Republicans led by Mitch McConnell, i.e. the ones who can put a stop to this by making common cause with House Democrats against the menace in the White House, say nothing. Well, that’s not entirely accurate. Mitch McConnell is saying plenty, and in doing so, he has given away the game. The Senate majority leader will be perfectly happy to allow a vote on an aid package for the states, but with one catch: Any legislation must contain liability protections for businesses and employers.
- States with large cities have taken the pandemic straight in the teeth, and are hurting badly. Many of these states did not support Trump in 2016, particularly New York and California. The leaders in these states will likely be willing to swallow any number of compromises to get the aid money flowing.
- Trump and McConnell know these states are reopening too soon, but they don’t care, because they need to make the money happy. To protect the money, McConnell wants to shoehorn in a provision to the states' aid package that prevents businesses from being sued by employees or customers because they got sick after businesses opened too soon. The blue states need that aid, and McConnell knows he has their congressional representatives over a barrel. The utter cruelty of these tactics, the nihilistic self-destruction of it in the face of more than 55,000 dead and thousands more to follow, has scarce precedent in the annals of U.S. politics. Instead of helping the entire country in this time of grievous crisis, Trump and McConnell are putting their boots to the neck of every state they deem ideologically unfit. It will be a damn miracle if the nation survives this, and them.