Saturday, December 12, 2015

Chicago Mayor on the Hot Seat

Chicago’s Mayor on the Hot Seat

by Stephen Lendman

Career Democrat party member, former congressman, Obama White House chief of staff, Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel took office in May 2011 - reelected last April for another four-year term.

He’s notoriously hard-line, neoliberal and pro-Israeli to a fault. The late Chicago-based Citizens Committee to Clean up the Courts chairman Sherman Skolnick called him the “acting deputy chief for North America of Mossad.”

His father, Benjamin, was involved in smuggling weapons to the Jewish Irgun underground terrorist group (co-led by future Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin) in Palestine pre-1948.

Their elements were notoriously involved in bombing Jerusalem’s King David Hotel (July 1946 - slaughtering 92 Brits, Arabs and Jews, along with wounding 58 others), as well as the horrific Deir Yassin massacre (April 1948), randomly killing up to 120 defenseless Palestinians mercilessly, including women and children, dozens more in continued fighting - part of the future state of Israel’s genocidal ethnic cleansing master plan.

Emmanuel is a former civilian IDF volunteer during the 1991 Gulf War. It’s believed he holds dual citizenships - a dubious status for any US politician.

Throughout his political career, he’s been unabashedly pro-war, neoliberal and anti-populist. His abrasive style alienates him from anyone opposing his hard-line views.

Chicago notoriously earned a reputation as the police repression capital of America. A Gitmo type operation on the city’s west side is Exhibit A - operating off-the-books in a nondescript Homan Square warehouse, the domestic equivalent of a CIA or Pentagon black site.

Mostly Blacks are lawlessly arrested, detained, painfully shackled, interrogated, terrorized and beaten without access to counsel for a day or longer - to coerce confessions to offenses never committed or ones too minor to matter.

City police have virtual carte blanche authority to operate with impunity. Responsibility goes right to the top - Emanuel complicit with what goes on, likely much more illegally than now known, including cops killing Chicagoans unaccountably.

In late November, a seven-minute video surfaced, showing officer Jason Van Dyke extrajudicially executing 17-year-old Lanquan McDonald - guilty of being Black, threatening no one, innocent of any crime.

Van Dyke lawlessly shot him 16 times, twice in the back first, mostly as he lay dying. The incident occurred on October 20, 2014. Coverup and denial followed, police authorities calling cold-blooded murder justifiable self-defense.

Emanuel and other city officials lost a 13-month Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit battle to prevent release of the video. It’s damning. 

A knife planted on McDonald’s body was exposed as a Big Lie. Video evidence showed him moving away from Van Dyke unarmed when gunned down from behind in cold blood.

Chicagoans are justifiably outraged. Thousands have been protesting outside City Hall for days, calling for Emanuel’s resignation, along with complicit city and police officials. 

Police chief Garry McCarthy was sacked. So was chief of detectives Dean Andrews. Protesters want Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez removed for complicity in months of coverup.

Emanuel’s administration is a cesspool of corruption and other forms of lawlessness, perhaps the worst in city history - ill-serving the vast majority of Chicagoans.

On Thursday, state Rep. La Shawn Ford said “(p)eople are (being) hurt. People have died. People feel they are forgotten about in” a city serving powerful monied interests exclusively.

He introduced legislation to amend state law, authorizing a recall election, letting Chicagoans decide up or down if Emanuel should stay or go.

On Thursday, city medical students staged a silent “die-in” outside City Hall for 16 minutes - symbolizing 16 bullets Van Dyke fired into McDonald’s body.

They lay supine, at least one holding a sign saying: “DO NO HARM.” A much larger “die-in” protest occurred Thursday evening.

Some critics called for abolishing the so-called Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA) - notorious for covering up cop killings. A criminal code of silence prevails.

Almost never are officers responsible for killing civilians held accountable. Even the right-wing Chicago Tribune said “it’s common knowledge that Chicago’s system of investigating shootings by officers is flawed…at so many levels…by design…”

Critics want a new independent, citizen-controlled police audit authority established, empowered to sue the city administration and police so killer cops and their superiors up the chain of command to the top can be held accountable for crimes too serious to ignore.

An Illinois Better Government Association study, covering the period 2010 - 2014, called Chicago tops among America’s largest cities in fatal shootings by police, most often targeting defenseless Black males.

Rarely do incidents make headlines. Video evidence showing officer Van Dyke murdering McDonald in cold blood is a rare exception - whether enough to convict him another issue altogether.

Almost never are cops prosecuted imprisoned, especially in cases involving extrajudicial assassinations. Emanuel’s hollow apology for McDonald’s murder and duplicitous promised “complete and total reform of the system” fooled no one.

Protesters outside City Hall chanted “no more killer cops” and “Rahm must go.” Chance for real reform by his or any other city administration is virtually zero.

Last of Chicago’s saloon keeper aldermen, Paddy Bowler, was right, saying: “Chicago ain’t ready for reform” - for sure not with Emanuel as mayor.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

Visit his blog site at 

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