the-pentagon-papers

Trump claims “no politician in history has been treated worse”

So I decided to dispute this claim for him in a list form. I even just stuck to presidents, though he left it open to “all politicians.” Here are some examples of criticism our former presidents received:

  • President George Washington: had to borrow money to attend his own inauguration; Jefferson repeatedly accused him of treason especially regarding the Jay Treaty
  • President John Adams: entire reputation scourged by a scathing 72-page letter written by Alexander Hamilton (a member of his own party) about how horrible he was
  • President Thomas Jefferson: election called the “greatest misfortune our nation has ever experienced” by Martha Washington; also historically despised by many of his colleagues
  • President James Madison: was frequently made fun of for being small/frail/weak (5'4", about 100 pounds, very sickly); the wife of a Virginia politician once labeled him “the most unsociable creature in existence"
  • President James Monroe: was nicknamed “The Last Cocked Hat” due to his outdated revolutionary-era fashion sense he still kept later in life; also…he acquired Florida
  • President John Quincy Adams: constantly plagued by calls of illegitimacy for his term because of the backroom deal he made with the House to be elected over Jackson
  • President Andrew Jackson: basically almost caused mutiny of Southern states over a tariff; was chastised for his nepotism and also nicknamed “King Andrew” for his selfish/monarch-like tendencies as president (also committed genocide but I’m not counting that in here because he was actually LAUDED for it)
  • President Martin Van Buren: nicknamed “Little Magician,” “Sly Fox,” and “Red Fox of Kinderhook” for his shitty political skills, small stature, and red hair; Charles Ogle called him “Martin Van Ruin” on the floor of the House of Representatives
  • President William Henry Harrison: gave an ill-advised address in the freezing cold rain & was literally president for 30 days 12 hours and 30 minutes before he died of pneumonia, after which the nation quickly forgot about him
  • President John Tyler: nicknamed “His Accidency” after inheriting the presidency from Harrison
  • President James K Polk: so obscure that one of his rivals coined the slogan “Who is James K. Polk?” during his campaign; highly criticized for his war with Mexico
  • President Zachary Taylor: though only president for 16 months, often remembered as one of the worst presidents in history; as a total outsider he completely demolished the Whig party after his victory
  • President Millard Fillmore: entire cabinet unanimously resigned after disagreeing with him over a free vs. slave state issue
  • President Franklin Pierce: was abhorrently despised for his hand in the Kansas-Nebraska Act and failed to be re-nominated for a second term
  • President James Buchanan: pre-civil war, became so hated during his presidency part of his cabinet resigned; said to Lincoln upon leaving, “If you are as happy entering the presidency as I am leaving it, then you are a very happy man.” Also has evidently been ranked among 3 worst presidents in every poll and survey conducted since 1948
  • President Abraham Lincoln: shot & killed
  • President Andrew Johnson: literally faced impeachment over his failure to work with Congress; during his trial he blamed his troubles on “a mendacious press” that continually criticized him
  • President Ulysses S Grant: no political experience entering office; was loyal to people close to him and as a result failed to remove ineffective people; presidency riddled with scandals and corruption, though none involved him directly it caused him to be remembered as guilty by association
  • President Rutherford B Hayes: official inauguration secretly held inside the White House for fear of the trouble his opponents might stir up
  • President James A Garfield: shot & killed
  • President Chester A Arthur: plagued by a negative reputation of cronyism garnered in his early political career
  • President Grover Cleveland: sexually abused a widow (which he threw into an asylum) and fathered an illegitimate child (which he threw into an orphanage); was criticized with chants such as “Ma, Ma, where’s my pa?”
  • President William McKinley: shot & killed; also had a poor reputation due to his relationship with Republican party leader Mark Hanna who was seen as manipulating McKinley
  • President Theodore Roosevelt: shot & lived; also seen as egotistical and somewhat of a bully, greatly expanding executive powers
  • President William Howard Taft: Ballinger-Pinchot controversy gained so much bad press it led to the split of the Republican party
  • President Woodrow Wilson: aside from massive criticism over his handling of WWI, also garnered criticism for an investigation launched during his presidency over claims of homosexual interactions between naval personal and civilians
  • President Warren G Harding: Teapot. Dome. Scandal.
  • President Calvin Coolidge: actually criticized for saying too LITTLE
  • President Herbert Hoover: severely criticized for his handling of the Great Depression; also ordered Army to break up protesting veterans & his harsh methods got him a lot of public dissent
  • President Franklin D Roosevelt: faced allegations from Republican leaders in Congress who said he left his dog in the Aleutian Islands after a family trip & sent a Navy destroyer to rescue said dog at the taxpayers expense
  • President Harry S Truman: involved in a scandal when an investigation into the IRS lead to the firing of 166 IRS employees; stained with allegations of corruption in the aftermath
  • President Dwight D Eisenhower: many in his administration under investigation as to how many of their “gifts” and personal purchases were allegedly funded by taxpayer money
  • President John F Kennedy: shot & killed; also had a lot of alleged affairs
  • President Lyndon B Johnson: Pentagon Papers indicated he systematically lied to the American people about American involvement and actions in the Southeast Asian region
  • President Richard Nixon: …do I really have to say anything about this one?
  • President Gerald Ford: pardoned Nixon & hated for it
  • President Jimmy Carter: shit ton of criticism for Iranian Hostage Crisis
  • President Ronald Reagan: shot & lived; Iran-Contra affair; AIDS crisis…yet somehow remembered as America’s sweetheart
  • President George HW Bush: secretary of treasury arrested and sentenced to prison for tax evasion and obstruction of justice
  • President Bill Clinton: almost impeached over Monica Lewinsky
  • President George Bush: a journalist literally threw shoes at him
  • President Barack Obama: birth certificate fiasco, “THANKS A LOT, OBAMA”

Note that this is an insanely brief overview of criticisms, but the point is IT’S PART OF THE DAMN JOB, DON. NOW GET THE FUCK OVER IT BECAUSE NO ONE IS ATTENDING YOUR PITY PARTY.

“The public is lied to every day by the President, by his spokespeople, by his officers. If you can’t handle the thought that the President lies to the public for all kinds of reasons, you couldn’t stay in the government at that level, or you’re made aware of it, a week. … The fact is Presidents rarely say the whole truth—essentially, never say the whole truth—of what they expect and what they’re doing and what they believe and why they’re doing it and rarely refrain from lying, actually, about these matters.”

- Daniel Ellsberg, whistleblower, activist and former military analyst for the RAND corporation who, in 1971, released The Pentagon Papers, a top secret Pentagon study of U.S government decision making about the Vietnam war. He was the first whistleblower to be tried under the espionage act.

In the photo above, Washington Post Publisher Katharine Graham and Executive Editor Ben Bradlee leave U.S. District Court after a ruling allowing Post to continue publishing the Pentagon Papers. 

And now, Oscar winners Tom Hanks, Meryl Streep and Steven Spielberg are joining forces for a new drama about the fourth estate called “The Post,” which chronicles The Washington Post’s legal battle to publish the classified Pentagon Papers in 1971. Spielberg will direct, Hanks will play the Post’s larger than life executive editor Ben Bradlee and Streep will play Katharine Graham, the newspaper’s publisher. 

Spielberg assembles stellar cast for 'The Papers'

Sarah Paulson, Bradley Whitford, Bruce Greenwood and Alison Brie are among the actors who have joined Spielberg’s Pentagon Papers film, Variety has revealed.

Newly re-titled, The Papers will focus on the Washington Post’s publication of The Pentagon Papers in 1971, a decision fraught with risk and controversy.

Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep have already been cast in the leads, but today Paulson, Whitford, Greenwood and Brie have been announced too, alongside Bob Odenkirk, Matthew Rhys, Carrie Coon, Jesse Plemons, David Cross, Tracy Letts, Michael Stuhlbarg, and Zach Woods.

The film is based on Liz Hannah’s script and will be given a limited release on December 22nd, before going wide on January 12th 2018.

On This Day: June 18
  • 1873: Anarcho-syndicalist Marie Capderoque, aka Marion Bachmann, born in Lyon, France. She was a member of the anarcho-syndicalist group Dames Réunies.
  • 1882: Georgi Dimitrov was born in Kovachevtsi, Bulgaria. He was the first communist leader of Bulgaria, from 1946 to 1949. Dimitrov led the Communist International from 1934 to 1943.
  • 1891: Emma Goldman addresses a mass meeting to protest the second imprisonment of Johann Most at Blackwell’s Island after the Supreme Court rejects the appeal of his 1887 conviction for illegal assembly and incitement to riot following the Haymarket executions.
  • 1921: Anarchist José Martínez Guerricabeitia, aka Felipe de Orero, born in Villar del Arzobispo, Spain. He was a member of the Federación Ibérica de Juventudes Libertarias (FIJL) during the Spanish Civil War.
  • 1923: A nationwide General Strike, protesting the assassination of the anarchist Kurt Wilckens in his prison cell, paralyzes Argentina.
  • 1935: Battle of Ballantyne Pier: Over a thousand striking Vancouver waterfront workers are attacked by armed police.
  • 1941: Union & civil rights leader A Philip Randolph meets with President Roosevelt about the July 1 march over discrimination in war industries.
  • 1946: Socialist Ram Manohar Lohia calls for Direct Action Day against the Portuguese in Goa.
  • 1950: In Chile the central anarchist syndicalist National Unitarian Movement of Workers (MUNT) is created.
  • 1965: Last issue, #110 of Free Association is published. It was the publication of the Japanese Anarchist Federation (JAF).
  • 1971: The Washington Post publishes excerpts from the Pentagon Papers, halted by court order the following day.
  • 1984: Battle of Orgreave: During the UK Miner’s Strike, police attack 5,000 strikers on the pickets at a British Steel Corporation (BSC) coking plant in Orgreave, South Yorkshire. It was one of the most violent clashes in British industrial history.
  • 1999: Carnival against Capitalism worldwide, including London, England / Eugene, US / Cologne, Germany, J18 or Global Action Day protests.
  • 2010: G-20 Toronto summit protests begins.
On This Day: June 22
  • 1859: Sheffield Trades Council forms with 17 branches & 3100 members.
  • 1861: Félix Fénéon born in Turin, Italy. He was an anarchist, art critic and coined the term “Neo-Impressionism”.
  • 1890: The United Mine Workers of America is founded in Columbus, Ohio.
  • 1899: Emma Goldman arrives in San Francisco, where she begins a seven-week series of lectures in San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, and Stockton.
  • 1907: First appearance of the Chinese anarchist weekly, Hsin Shih-chi (or Xin Shiji; The New Century), in Paris.
  • 1908: Tokyo anarchists, after meeting a friend being released from jail, mount a demonstration and are attacked by police.
  • 1912: A group formed by the Colombian anarchist Juan Francisco Moncaleano, takes the name of “Grupo Luz” (Light) and creates a school based on the Modern School model of Francisco Ferrer, in Mexico City.
  • 1914: After numerous calls by some of the anarchist press for revenge on Standard Oil for the Ludlow massacre, a bomb intended for the Rockefeller mansion unintentionally detonates in the Ferrer Center, killing three anarchists.
  • 1922: During a coal miners strike in Herrin, Illinois, strikers kill 19 strikebreakers. It was the day after three union members were killed.
  • 1927: Anarchist author Stan Iverson born.
  • 1929: Bruce Kent born in London. He was a long standing peace activist and leading figure in Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND).
  • 1939: Individualist anarchist Benjamin Tucker dies in Monaco.
  • 1942: August Froehlich dies in Dachau. He was a priest who opposed Nazis & campaigned for Polish forced labourers.
  • 1971: The Boston Globe publishes Pentagon Papers excerpts; this is halted by injunction on the 23rd and the newspapers are impounded.
  • 1976: Canada abolishes the death penalty.
  • 1977: Grunwick Film Processing Lab strike committee & Brent Trades Council call successful mass picket to stop bussing in of scabs.
  • 1990: Checkpoint Charlie is dismantled in Berlin.