The Night of the Generals: When Brazilians Were Tortured and Disappeared.

Brazil' 64 Coup #2 "The Face of Evil,” flashed the eye catching headline in Brazil’s major daily on a morning late this March, and the accompanying photo of Army lieutenant-colonel Paulo Malhaes, retired, could not have portrayed a more convincing ogre had it been photo shopped by central casting.  Malhaes, a self-described torturer and murderer operated in the early 1970's, the most repressive period in … [Read more...]

Brazil’s 1964 Coup: What ‘Communist Conspiracy’?

UHL Coup FEA

It all began with Cuba in 1959. That was a line in the sand for Tio Sam. Kennedy launched the Alliance for Progress in ‘61, and caudillos throughout South and Central America lined up for lessons on how to prevent their own homegrown communists from reproducing what Fidel and El Che had brought down from the Sierra Maestras. The School of the Americas’ manual of torture, originally drafted in Scotland and likely … [Read more...]

Rio de Janeiro in 1964…

            Rio de Janeiro in 1964 remained the de facto seat of the Brazilian government and home to its corps of international diplomats.  Despite the fact that Brasilia, the modernist architectural ghost town erected in the scrublands of the country’s isolated interior was designated Brazil’s new capital in 1960, the foot dragging went on for years before the embassies and the governing bureaucrats … [Read more...]

The Chomsky Thread

The long stream of commentary and observations which follows was prompted by a series of staccato exchanges on email between Professor Noam Chomsky and me, Michael Uhl.  In the first exchange I received some unanticipated support from Chomsky about my critique of Nick Turse's book, Kill Anything That Moves.  But it is the second exchange that I would really wish to bring to the attention of a larger, albeit highly … [Read more...]

Of War and Syria: Two Views Against

Common Sense Says Don't Bomb Syria White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough recently claimed, "The common-sense test says he (Syrian President Assad) is responsible" for the alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria and "should be held to account" (http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/U-S-Common-sense-test-shows-Syria-used-gas-4797534.php).  In fact, "common sense" would dictate just the opposite: That Assad would … [Read more...]

2 Poetic Remembrances of 911

1. September 11, 2013, Twelve Years After Twelve, a most significant number Twelve Jacobian elliptic functions and twelve cubic distance-transitive graphs Twelve items in a dozen and a dozen dozens in a gross Twelve cranial nerves in the human body Twelve hours in the a.m. and twelve in the p.m. Twelve days of Christmas and twelve months in a year Twelve signs in both the Western and Chinese … [Read more...]