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Leftist columnist Alexander Cockburn dead at 71.

 

Alexander Cockburn, radical columnist for The Nation and editor of the political newsletter CounterPunch, died Friday in Germany at age 71.

He had been receiving treatment for two years for cancer and lived in recent years in Petrolia, Calif. He was known for an acidic pen that spared few on either the left or right for hypocritical or corrupt policies.

His last column in The Nation covered the “culture of rabid criminality” in the international banking system. He predicted that even reform and tough enforcement wouldn’t save it from eventual collapse.

“He was an extraordinarily provocative, polemical, elegant columnist and writer. And he certainly was someone who never wavered in dissenting from what was the conventional line.”

 – Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor and publisher of The Nation.

Cockburn was born in Scotland in 1941 and raised in Ireland, the son of the British novelist and Communist Claud Cockburn. In the 1970s and 80s he wrote for the Village Voice, but was fired for taking a $10,000 grant from the Institute of Arab Studies to write a book about Israel’s invasion of Lebanon. He also had a column for a time in the Wall Street Journal.

While writing for The Nation he became known for his battles in print with fellow columnist Christopher Hitchens. He co-founded CounterPunch on line with St. Clair in 1996.

 

 

You Drill, You Spill

Here’s the opening clip of a Truthout Op Ed that was put out today by Alexander Cockburn.

Go in and read the whole thing… I recommend it. BT.

clipped from www.truthout.org
Sobering, is it not, to realize that the possible survival of a huge oil company, of several billion shrimp, assorted species of fish and birds, not to mention avoidance of a near lethal lurch in the fortunes of Louisiana’s fishing and ocean rec industries and the future of offshore drilling along the Atlantic coast could depend on a feat as tricky as rolling a condom on the end of a string onto the penis of a man at street level by remote control from the top of the Empire State building.
So-called accidents in oil extraction invariably produce numbers as whimsical and liable to sudden change as the currents that will menace British Petroleum’s gigantic steel cap, a telephone booth four stories high, scheduled to be lowered onto the leaking oil pipe on the ocean floor 5,000 feat down, putting out maybe 10,000 barrels of crude a day.
The central fraud here is perpetrated by the word “accident,” which should properly be defined as normalcy…
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