For millennia, farmers all over the world have bred crops for their resistance to disease, productivity, and nutritional value. Over the past century, scientists have used increasingly more sophisticated methods for modifying crops at the genetic level. But only since the 1970s have advances in gene-splicing and other aspects of biotechnology upped the ante with the promise of dramatically improved agricultural products. Today, few topics have the power to inspire as much international furor and misinformation as the development and distribution of genetically altered foods. Is public resistance far out of synch with the potential risks? Please join us as Henry Miller, co-author of the new book The Frankenfood Myth, and Bruce Ames, U.C. Berkeley professor of biochemistry and molecular biology, address this critical 21st century issue.
For millennia, farmers all over the world have bred crops for their resistance to disease, productivity, and nutritional value. Today, few topics have the power to inspire as much international furor and misinformation as the development and distribution of genetically altered foods.
Daniel Ellsberg began his Vietnam-era career as a U.S. Marine company commander, a Pentagon official, and a staunch supporter of U.S. global interventionism. But, in October 1969, Ellsbergfully expecting to spend the rest of his life in prisonsmuggled out of his office and made public a seven-thousand-page top secret study of decision making in Vietnam, the Pentagon Papers. At this upcoming Independent Policy Forum, Ellsberg will tell the story of his becoming the most important whistle-blower of the last fifty years, risking his career and his freedom to expose the deceptions and delusions of U.S. leaders from Truman onward.
Based on his new book, Secrets, Ellsberg provided an insiders view of the secrets and lies that have shaped decades of U.S. foreign policy to the present. His exposure began on his first day at the Pentagon, August 4, 1964, which was also the day of the infamous Gulf of Tonkin incident. In time, the more he learned from top decision-makers, confidential documents, and reports of secret maneuvers, the more skeptical he became about the conduct and impact of U.S. foreign policies.
The release of the Pentagon Papers set in motion a chain of events that included a landmark Supreme Court decision, the arrest and trial of Ellsberg, the crimes of Watergate, and the end of the Nixon presidency and the Vietnam War.
As the U.S. pursues the current War on Terrorism, Ellsbergs insights into governmental intoxication with power could not be more timely or important.
This special evening with Daniel Ellsberg and a distinguished panel of scholars, Barton J. Bernstein, Edwin B. Firmage, David R. Henderson, and Jonathan Marshall discussed Secrecy, Freedom and Empire: Lessons for Today from Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers.
"Nothing will be the same after September 11." This is the view offered since the announcement of the war on terrorism, a "permanent war" declared with an ill-defined objective and unclear enemies. At this upcoming Independent Policy Forum and based on his new book, Theater of War, Lewis H. Lapham will instead discuss with intelligence and wit why the recent behavior of the U.S. government is consistent with that of past administrations. Politicians have long fostered pork, corporate welfare, government surveillance, and global interventionism that have created a more dangerous world. Now, we face the prospects of a major war in Iraq combined with the Orwellian USA PATRIOT Act, TIPS domestic spying program, Department of Homeland Security, incarcerations without charge or trial, militarized domestic law enforcement and airport security, and national ID cards.
Until recently, hearing skeptics of the "permanent war" has largely been a rarity. For example, as Lapham points out: "Ted Koppel struck the preferred note of caution on November 2 when introducing the Nightline audience to critics of the American bombing of Afghanistan: 'Some of you, many of you, are not going to like what you hear tonight. You don't have to listen.'" Unpopular, informed opinions seldom appear on the network news, and since the destruction of the World Trade Center, dissenting voices have been few and far between. However, Lewis Lapham is a major exception, questioning the motive, feasibility and morality, as well as the imperial pretension, of an infinite and dangerous, U.S. global-war crusade.
This special program with Lewis Lapham and a distinguished panel of journalists, Alan W. Bock, Jonathan Marshall, Seth Rosenfeld, and Paul H. Weaver, discusses the "U.S. War on Terrorism: Myths and Realities."