Leaving aside my increasing need to make a few copeks from writing, somehow, I have been writing recently to survive. I’ve been writing out, as clearly as I can, what I need to try to digest in order to keep my frustrations from crushing me. There is something to be said for closely studying a hideous monster, setting the monstrousness out on a page as plainly as possible. It is preferable, in my view, to squeezing the eyes shut and groaning “no… fucking no…. arrghhh….”
So on that theory, and to keep my writing pencil sharp, I tap out these words every day. It feels like a psychic necessity. I have two things I need to write, two things I’ve been too preoccupied to tend to as I worry about the long difficulty of finding a nephrologist, as I struggle against Death by American Healthcare. I have an appointment with a nephrologist tomorrow, so I am once again thinking of the future.
One thing I need to write is my long-planned letter to NYS Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. He is one of the few AGs who proposes legislation and advocates for it. I wrote an untenably long letter to him in January that I never sent. I need to write a short, persuasive letter, with many attachments. It needs to proffer a kiss or two for his activism against creeps and corporate malefactors. It needs to alert him to the need for a NYS regulatory agency to intervene in the epidemic of frauds committed by health insurance companies in NYS, corporations not presently regulated in any way in New York State, except in the most cursory regard.
Sounds like a simple enough letter. Its last paragraph would set out what the attachments are, as in a legal brief. #1 sets out the useless cul de sac of helpline numbers NYS consumers currently have access to. #2 is a series of examples of seemingly fraudulent practices I can testify to. #3 is a description of the dysfunctional practices of the NYS of Health Marketplace. Just writing it out this way makes me feel that the project, though important and proposing sorely needed oversight that could help thousands presently screwed, is also mad.
The other thing I need to write is a note to Jeremy Scahill, both as a letter of introduction and to have him confirm something that has been gnawing at me since the extra-judicial execution of the American Muslim Anwar al-Awlaki. Everywhere but in Scahill’s detailed discussion in Dirty Wars, Awlaki is referred to as a top al Qu’aeda leader and the organization’s number one English-speaking recruiter. When I say everywhere I mean: NY Times, PBS, NPR, Fox News, CNN, Washington Post, Wikipedia, any other source you can turn to for information on the first American citizen killed by the US president as an enemy that must be “killed or captured”.
Scahill describes an initially non-political American imam targeted for blackmail by the FBI, fleeing with his family to Yemen, locked up in Yemen, at the request of America, and held in solitary for a year or more, a man increasingly outraged by the worldwide war against Islam unleashed by his own country after 9/11. Scahill reports that there was no proof of Awlaki’s involvement with al Qua’eda and no charges against him at the time of his murder by drone launched missile.
No charges against this dangerous al Qua’eda leader? US Government agencies involved in the killing refuse to comment on whether there were charges against him at the time of his killing. You can read that everywhere too, right next to the claim that he was a supremely dangerous terrorist leader. We had to kill him because he hated our freedom and inspired other terrorists to hate us, goes the official story. No need for a showing of any kind in any court, there is no appeal once placed on the new Presidential Kill List. Appeal denied. End of story. Freedom on the march, nothing to see here.
The history of the world, of American Empire, is written in the blood of people whose deaths were used to tell one story or another. I think of the widely disseminated lie about the death of American hero Pat Tillman. The heroic legend Bush and Cheney’s people concocted about Tillman makes anyone who learns the real story want to vomit. Tillman was killed by Rumsfeld’s inept handling of the war in Afghanistan, a victim of an idiotic policy, shot in the face by a guy in his own platoon.
His uniform and journals were burned before his mostly headless body was flown back to the US for a hero’s funeral. The journals were burned, presumably, to get rid of the evidence of how critical he’d become of America’s misguided and mismanaged “War on Terror”. Tillman’s family doggedly pursued the truth, eventually got it, put it out there. Jon Krakauer wrote a powerful book about Tillman, that’s how I know. Most people don’t give a rat’s ass. Something is wrong, something smells bad, better spray some Febreze. Ah, that’s better.
I cannot turn my eyes away, some how. If you can kill an American citizen without trial, without charges, even — what the fuck? Why isn’t everybody fucking angry? An idealistic American hero, killed by the ineptitude of the Secretary of Defense, his death lied about before his burial as a martyr to American Exceptionalism? What? Oh, wait, America’s Got Talent just started, got to get ready to vote. Thank God I recorded Dancing With the Stars, though, regrettably, I won’t be able to vote. Sucks to watch the show with absolutely no say on who advances to the next round…