Sunday, March 30, 2008

My thoughts exactly

Saturday, March 29, 2008

President Kennedy's Foreign Policy

I cringe whenever I hear progressives ding Kennedy's foreign policy record. They do so out of an ignorance not of their own making, but of one studiously foisted upon them.

It is important to remember, especially with President John Kennedy, that history is written by the victor. Kennedy wasn't just killed once. He was killed posthumously so that all he was trying to do, and stood for, would be washed away. By making him less than who he was, his assassination would seem less necessary. By painting him as a rabid cold warrior, no one would suspect cold warriors of having killed him.

Sadly, a whole set of generations are now growing up with false history about John Kennedy (and Bobby, albeit less so). I felt the need to correct a bit of that record.

Kennedy was inaugurated three days after Lumumba was killed in the Congo. Kennedy was known to be a supporter of Lumumba, and was devastated when he learned of his assassination.

As Gerard Colby so brilliantly noted in "Thy Will Be Done":
Within a month of Kennedy's election, some of Nelson [Rockefeller]'s closest allies ... were meeting in the White House's Cabinet Room or heading key offices in the new administration. Swiftly and quietly, they began implementing many of the changes in government structure and policy that Nelson advocated.

This secret victory [for Rockefeller] was the outcome of Kennedy's inexperience. Kennedy had spent the past five years running for office. He knew politicians, but not men who could run the government of a world power.
Kennedy turned to Robert Lovett, a former Truman administration veteran. Lovett was also a trustee of the Rockefeller Foundation.

So right from the start, without realizing it, Kennedy had brought the empire builders right into the top places in his administration. He'd be fighting them for the rest of his short term.

In his second full month in office, he ended support for the anti-communist dictator in Laos that the CIA-Pentagon forces had installed during Eisenhower's term. Kennedy said at a news conference that the US "strongly and unreservedly" supported a goal of a "neutral and independent Laos."

He inherited an already-in-motion operation in the Bay of Pigs when he stepped into the White House. In April, he gave a green light based strictly on the information the CIA had provided, which was that the CIA was simply supporting a native revolution, and was going to offer limited support.

That wasn't true, but Kennedy didn't know then that the CIA would deliberately mislead a president. During the mission, the CIA and Navy pressured Kennedy hard to send in the Marines, stationed offshore, in a full-scale invasion. Kennedy resisted, angering the forces hell-bent on overthrowing Castro.

When Kennedy saw the mission was not going as planned, the CIA figured he would not opt to lose, but would throw more forces at it for victory. But they guessed wrong. Kennedy took the hit, and then forced Allen Dulles, the Godfather of the CIA, from the Agency. Many in the Agency hated Kennedy from that point forward, and the feeling was mutual.

That's when Kennedy made the famous vow to splinter the CIA into 1000 pieces and scatter it to winds. He explicitly set up the Defense Intelligence Agency to corral the CIA's covert operations under strict military control. The DIA opened October 1, 1961, a move which made CIA operatives' blood boil even further.

In July of 1961, Allen Dulles and the Joint Chiefs of Staff present Kennedy with a preemptive nuclear strike plan to be launched against the USSR in late 1963, to be preceded by a period of escalating (and manufactured) events. Kennedy walks out, saying to Dean Rusk, "and they call us the human race."

In September of 1961, Khrushchev initiates a backchannel correspondence with Kennedy. He slips a letter into a newspaper carried to a Kennedy aide. Kennedy writes back. They agree to disagree on many things, but both agree keeping the forces surrounding them from launching a nuclear weapon is of paramount concern. Publicly, Khrushchev shakes a fist at Kennedy, refusing nuclear disarmament.

In October, Khrushchev escalates the Cold War by erecting the Berlin Wall.

In November of 1961, Kennedy resists pressure from the Joint Chiefs to send combat troops to Vietnam. Under intense pressure, he compromises - allows military advisors and support personnel.

Also in November, Kennedy authorizes "Operation Mongoose," which did not include plans to kill Castro. (The CIA, by their own admission in their IG report, kept the Castro plots from Kennedy.) Mongoose was designed to "help Cuba overthrow Castro" - meaning, aid them in a native revolution, the same thing Kennedy thought he was authorizing with the Bay of Pigs. But this time, he appointed an Army man, General Ed Lansdale, to keep the CIA in check. Kennedy would later say he wasted his brother in the AG position, and should have given him control over the CIA.

Also in 1961, Kennedy reaches out to Sukarno in Indonesia. His nationalism leans in a communist direction. Under the Eisenhower administration, the CIA tried to kill Sukarno. But Kennedy wanted to work with him, and to offer him not arms, but aid of a more productive kind. He appointed a team of economic advisors to study the problem.

Meanwhile, Indonesia was having a crisis in what is now called West Papua, but then called West Irian or Irian Jaya. This site contained a mountain so rich in ore it was called "Copper Mountain". The mountain is long gone, but the area is now home to the world's largest gold mine (operated by Freeport McMoRan).

The Dutch had conceded their entire former colony of Indonesia independence except this region of riches. And Sukarno wanted to keep Indonesia whole. The US, allies to both, was caught in the middle. Kennedy asked Ellsworth Bunker to broker an agreement, which led to a promise of West Irian independence. To soothe Sukarno, Kennedy issued a national security memorandum in which he included these instructions:
To seize this opportunity, will all agencies concerned please review their programs for Indonesia and assess what further measures might be useful. I have in mind the possibility of expanded civic action, military aid, and economic stabilization and development programs as well as diplomatic initiatives.
Where the Cold Warriors tried to destroy Sukarno, Kennedy tried to help him. Sukarno was particularly affected when Kennedy was killed. Separately, the Rockefellers were involved in Freeport McMoRan's predecessor, Freeport Sculpture in Indonesia, which benefited when a coup overthrew Sukarno and brought Suharto to power. (For the tangled story there - see JFK, Indonesia, CIA and Freeport Sulphur.)

Meanwhile, back in the states, on April 11, 1962, Kennedy took on the steel industry with words stronger than anything John Edwards ever said:
Simultaneous and identical actions of United States Steel and other leading steal corporations increasing steel prices by some $6 a ton constitute a wholly unjustifiable and irresponsible defiance of the public interest. In this serious hour in our Nation's history when we are confronted with grave crises in Berlin and Southeast Asia, when we are devoting our energies to economic recovery and stability, when we are asking reservists to leave their homes and their families for months on end and servicemen to risk their lives--and four were killed in the last two days in Viet Nam and asking union members to hold down their wage requests at a time when restraint and sacrifice are being asked of every citizen, the American people will find it hard, as I do, to accept a situation in which a tiny handful of steel executives whose pursuit of private power and profit exceeds their sense of public responsibility can show such utter contempt for the interests of 185 million Americans.
In May of 1962, Kennedy instructed McNamara to find a way out of Vietnam. McNamara turns to General Paul Harkins and orders him to "devise a plan for turning full responsibility over to South Vietnam and reducing the size of our military command, and to submit this plan at the next conference." Harkins ignores this order, but McNamara won't learn this for several months.

In July of 1962, the US becomes one of fourteen nations signing the "Declaration on the Neutrality of Laos" in Geneva. The CIA and Pentagon see this as treason, capitulation to the communists.

I could go on all night, but I won't. I'll summarize with a quote from Don Gibson's book "Battling Wall Street":
When Kennedy went against his advisors on foreign policy, it was because he rejected the idea that the US had a right to control economic and political event sin other nations. In quite sharp contrast to his strong military stand against the powerful Soviet Union, Kennedy was reluctant to employ military force against smaller and weaker nations. This reluctance was completely consistent with his comments in 1959 ... where he rejected "the pageantry of imperialism."

Chester Bowles cited the following decisions made by Kennedy against a majority of his advisors: refusing to invade Cuba during the Bay of Pigs disaster; refusing to intervene in the Dominican Republic following the assassination of Trujillo; refusing to introduce ground forces into Laos; refusing to escalate our involvement in Vietnam; backing U.N. policy in the Congo, and backing India in a dispute with China and Pakistan. In making these decisions, Kennedy was repeatedly affirming his idea of a US foreign policy against those who either shared the neo-colonialist attitudes of various economic interests in Europe and the US or viewed all interests of the Third World nations as unimportant compared to the ongoing conflict with communism.

Considering the multitude of factors involved in any significant foreign policy decision, it is reasonable to conclude that consistency across a series of such decisions indicates underlying principles.
On June 10 in the last year of his life, Kennedy spoke these words:

I have, therefore, chosen this time and place to discuss a topic on which ignorance too often abounds and the truth too rarely perceived. And that is the most important topic on earth: peace. What kind of peace do I mean and what kind of a peace do we seek? Not a Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war. Not the peace of the grave or the security of the slave. I am talking about genuine peace, the kind of peace that makes life on earth worth living, and the kind that enables men and nations to grow, and to hope, and build a better life for their children -- not merely peace for Americans but peace for all men and women, not merely peace in our time but peace in all time.
Show me a better foreign policy than that.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

RFK assassination on MSNBC this morning

I woke to find to my astonishment coverage of new evidence in the RFK case on MSNBC this morning. The MSNBC coverage was cursory, so allow me to fill in the bigger picture here.

I was the first person to make public the fact that a new audiotape had surfaced in this case when I testifed to the Los Angeles Unified School District at a hearing regarding the tearing down of the Ambassador Hotel. I begged them not to do that, in light of this new tape. I brought with me statements of support from nearly 40 people from multiple countries begging the LAUSD not to destroy the hotel. Sadly, this pitted me against Max Kennedy, one of the many sons of Robert Kennedy, as he and the family thought RFK would be better served by the building of a school on that lot.

A newsman at a mainstream media organization who has a personal fascination with the case first alerted me to this tape, and I confirmed with Phil Melanson that indeed, such a tape was a completely new find. It had languished unheard in the California State Archives, which houses the evidence the Los Angeles Police Department collected during their "Special Unit Senator" investigation of the Robert Kennedy case. A freelance reported named Stanislaw Pruszynski had accidentally left his audio recorder on after Robert Kennedy finished his acceptance speech, having just won the California primary. Pruszynski followed Kennedy into the pantry while his recorder was still running.

Phillip Van Praag, a man with over 35 years of forensic experience analyzing magnetic media and over 45 years in the audio field, got a copy of this tape and studied it. He concluded that at least 13 shots appear on the tape, which would, of course, prove that at least two guns were fired in the pantry, since Sirhan's gun could hold, at most, eight bullets.

Separately, Robert Joling, a lawyer and former President of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, had also come to a conclusion, through his analysis of the physical evidence in the case, that the truth is not as has been presented. While neither would welcome the label of conspiracy advocate, if two shots were fired, there are only two possible conclusions: either there was a conspiracy to kill RFK, or a conspiracy to cover-up the accidental firing of a second gun. I think the latter scenario is laughable, and I don't know what Joling and Van Praag advocate, because I am still awaiting my copy of their book An Open and Shut Case.

Van Praag and Joling submitted a paper on their findings to the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. I'm awaiting the results of that peer review.

I have not been as excited about the discovery of the audio tape as others because I know what happened when similar audio evidence surfaced in the JFK case. A policeman's Dictabelt recorder had been stuck on in Dealey Plaza, capturing the shots on tape. This evidence was analyzed by two separate professional acoustical firms for the House Select Committee on Assassinations, and both concluded there were at least four shots fired from at least two different places. It was that evidence that led the HSCA, against the will of its leaders, to conclude a "probable conspiracy" in the assassination of John Kennedy.

Fast forward to 2005. I'll quote the relevant part from a longer piece I wrote on a JFK conference in DC in which numerous issues relating to the JFK case were discussed:
Richard Garwin, whose program biography did not include his work for the CIA (which he acknowledged during the Q&A), presented an opaque argument that the sounds on the Dictabelt tape came a minute too late to have been any of the shots in Dealey Plaza. Presenting charts and graphs that confused most people in the audience, and fumbling over his sound files, Garwin was not well received.

Garwin was followed by Donald Thomas, who had written an article on the acoustical evidence for the well-respected British publication Science & Justice (2001 – see

Dr. Thomas presented a stark contrast to Garwin. Thomas began by asserting that the number on the tape Garwin tested was not the number of the tape the House assassination committee tested. He also pointed out that there is a difference in recording speed and playback speed, and that Garwin’s team had applied one which made the shot sounds no longer line up with the House committee analysis.

Thomas provided slides that made clear the points he was making. One could feel the change in the room. People now felt they could follow along as Thomas lined up each sound with the motorcycle’s probable position, and then showed us pictures from the Zapruder film and others that confirmed that the motorcycle cop, Officer H.B. McLain, was indeed in those positions at those times.
I believe strongly that the CIA was deeply involved in both Kennedy assassinations, based on the more than 15 years of evidence I've read on those cases. (Robert Kennedy himself suspected the CIA's involvement, and called the duty officer at CIA HQ right after the assassination asking if their people were involved.)

I believe that, in light of the publicity Joling and Van Praag are receiving, that some CIA guy like Garwin (and perhaps Garwin himself) will step up next and tell us that the Pruszynski tape has been incorrectly analyzed, that no more than eight shots can be heard on the tape. I believe this because I've seen how this works for too many years now. Honest evidence of conspiracy is constantly supplanted with dishonest "proof" of nonconspiracy.

But maybe. The fact that Obama has gotten this far in a process from the outset somewhat rigged against him gives me hope. The fact that the media coverage is so obsessively watched and detailed by people involved in politics means that for once, the media is being held more accountable than usual. And more people are seeking their own information, no longer trusting that the mainstream media will give them "all the news that's fit to print." Maybe this time, the truth will out. I'm not holding my breath. But I'll allow an ounce of hope in that regard.

If you're interested in the real history of the RFK assassination, please read the two pieces below.

Sirhan and the RFK Assassination: Part 1 – The Grand Illusion

Sirhan and the RFK Assassination: Part 2 – Rubik’s Cube

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Reclaiming our real future

I've been thinking about this for a while now. History has been off course. I don't just mean the accounts of what happened. I feel as if someone grabbed our future and put a noose around it, forcing us all down a different, much darker path. What if that hadn't have happened?

What if Medgar Evers, John Kennedy, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy had all lived long and full lives? What kind of country would we have had? Where would the racial divide be today? Where would our politics be like? Would the right wing have risen to the same kind of power? Or would creativity flourished and the economy soared as the middle class expanded, presenting an ever-larger market for goods?

What if Jacobo Arbenz had not been overthrown in Guatemala in 1954? What if Mohammed Mossadegh had not been killed for nationalizing oil in Iran? What if millions of dollars of our taxes never got spent trying to overthrow Fidel Castro? What if we had let Salvador Allende rule Chile without interference?

What kind of world would we be living in now? What if we hadn't decided, years ago, that it was okay to hand over oil rights to private individuals, instead of ensuring that, as a national resource, the profits from such were plowed back into our nation? What if, as we started to run out, instead of going to war to secure more oil, we instead spent the same amount of money to create a green economy, inventing new technologies, employing hundreds of thousands of people in a life-making effort, not a death-making one?

For most of my life, I've seen evil triumph over good, hate trump love, incompetence edge out brilliance, disinformation bury truth.

Can someone please make it stop? Remove the noose from our real future?

As I watch Obama and listen to him, it's not that he's as good as Kennedy. Yet. But for the first time in my life, I feel I'm watching someone who has the capacity and desire for greatness, who isn't just trying to win at all costs, but who wants to change the paradigm, to lead by example, to have a lasting, positive impact on the world. I feel like I'm seeing the future that was stolen from us 40 years ago by the assassinations of RFK and MLK, and earlier, JFK.

I want our future back.

When King and the Kennedys were in the media, we heard John Kennedy say, "ask not what the country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country," and this:

I believe in an America that is officially neither Catholic, Protestant nor Jewish--where no public official either requests or accepts instructions on public policy from the Pope, the National Council of Churches or any other ecclesiastical source--where no religious body seeks to impose its will directly or indirectly upon the general populace or the public acts of its officials--and where religious liberty is so indivisible that an act against one church is treated as an act against all.

For while this year it may be a Catholic against whom the finger of suspicion is pointed, in other years it has been, and may someday be again, a Jew--or a Quaker--or a Unitarian--or a Baptist. It was Virginia's harassment of Baptist preachers, for example, that helped lead to Jefferson's statute of religious freedom. Today I may be the victim--but tomorrow it may be you--until the whole fabric of our harmonious society is ripped at a time of great national peril.

We heard Dr. King say: "I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.'" And we heard him say this:

Even when pressed by the demands of inner truth, men do not easily assume the task of opposing their government's policy, especially in time of war. Nor does the human spirit move without great difficulty against all the apathy of conformist thought within one's own bosom and in the surrounding world. Moreover, when the issues at hand seem as perplexed as they often do in the case of this dreadful conflict, we are always on the verge of being mesmerized by uncertainty; but we must move on.

And some of us who have already begun to break the silence of the night have found that the calling to speak is often a vocation of agony, but we must speak. We must speak with all the humility that is appropriate to our limited vision, but we must speak. And we must rejoice as well, for surely this is the first time in our nation's history that a significant number of its religious leaders have chosen to move beyond the prophesying of smooth patriotism to the high grounds of a firm dissent based upon the mandates of conscience and the reading of history. Perhaps a new spirit is rising among us. If it is, let us trace its movements and pray that our own inner being may be sensitive to its guidance, for we are deeply in need of a new way beyond the darkness that seems so close around us.

Bobby Kennedy told us:

We must recognize the full human equality of all of our people -- before God, before the law, and in the councils of government. We must do this, not because it is economically advantageous -- although it is; not because the laws of God command it -- although they do; not because people in other lands wish it so. We must do it for the single and fundamental reason that it is the right thing to do.

He also spoke these words upon the death of Martin Luther King:

What we need in the United States is not division; what we need in the United States is not hatred; what we need in the United States is not violence and lawlessness, but is love and wisdom, and compassion toward one another, and a feeling of justice toward those who still suffer within our country, whether they be white or whether they be black.

So I ask you tonight to return home, to say a prayer for the family of Martin Luther King, yeah that's true, but more importantly to say a prayer for our own country, which all of us love - a prayer for understanding and that compassion of which I spoke. We can do well in this country. We will have difficult times. We've had difficult times in the past. And we will have difficult times in the future. It is not the end of violence; it is not the end of lawlessness; and it's not the end of disorder.

But the vast majority of white people and the vast majority of black people in this country want to live together, want to improve the quality of our life, and want justice for all human beings that abide in our land.

Let us dedicate ourselves to what the Greeks wrote so many years ago: to tame the savageness of man and make gentle the life of this world.

For the first time in my life, someone living is talking boldly about the values I hold most deeply. I support Barack Obama not just because he's intelligent, an experienced legislator, someone who has traveled the world, and is himself a mirror of the multicultural world we live in. I support Obama because he gives me hope, and in these dark times, when hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis and loyal Americans have been murdered in my name, that is no small feat. Obama inspires me. He caresses my mind. He evokes something from my soul, that better part of myself, that says, yes, this is possible. Yes, we can.

We the people, in order to form a more perfect union...

Those words never fail to inspire. Our founding documents contain some of the most beautiful collections of words on the planet. When Obama opened with those words, I felt my heart leap a little. I was on my way to work, grateful for once that I had a long commute, so that I could listen to his entire speech.

Two hundred and twenty one years ago, in a hall that still stands across the street, a group of men gathered and, with these simple words, launched America's improbable experiment in democracy.

Farmers and scholars; statesmen and patriots who had traveled across an ocean to escape tyranny and persecution finally made real their declaration of independence at a Philadelphia convention that lasted through the spring of 1787.

The document they produced was eventually signed but ultimately unfinished. It was stained by this nation's original sin of slavery, a question that divided the colonies and brought the convention to a stalemate until the founders chose to allow the slave trade to continue for at least 20 more years, and to leave any final resolution to future generations.

Of course, the answer to the slavery question was already embedded within our Constitution -- a Constitution that had at its very core the ideal of equal citizenship under the law; a Constitution that promised its people liberty, and justice, and a union that could be and should be perfected over time.

I'm still in awe of his speech yesterday. Don't just read it. Hear it. See it. It's no wonder it's had over 1.6 million views and is the number one video on YouTube.

I feel strongly that, years from now, we'll see this as a major turning point in the national character of racial divisions and discussions.) It was so frank. So direct. So clear as to the pain of so many fellow citizens, unfairly judged simply because of the color of their skin. And then there are the white citizens who would never consider themselves racist, but who nonetheless make insensitive comments and truly don't understand the depth of the hurt some of our multicolored family members have suffered. Our country is one big family. Like it or not, we're all stuck with each other. We should try harder to get along.

I have said things that were insensitive before, and frankly welcome being called on it, because I do not intend to hurt. If I say something that causes someone pain I want them to let me know, that I may avoid it in the future. But I also want them to own the pain they inflict on others. I have no patience for those who come to remove the plank in my eye while sporting one of their own, unaware. We all need to remember it's easier for someone outside our immediate circle of comfort to see our flaws. We have to be brave enough to listen to them, and consider what truth may be there.

In nearly all the elections I've been old enough to vote in, I've essentially held my nose and picked the lesser of two evils. Not this time. This time, I have a real chance to vote for someone I want. Someone who inspires me. Someone I long to learn from, who would be a teacher not just to this country, but to the world. My most frequent comment to people about Obama is that he describes the world I want to live in. His vision is a beautiful one, but not a naive one. He calls upon us to challenge ourselves to do better, to be better people, and I'm listening.

But many are not listening. Sean Hannity is not listening. Rush Limbaugh is not listening. Or rather, they are listening with only their hateful ear open, their heartful ear missing, or blocked, or too long closed.

How can such people be reached? Because we must reach them. Hate begets hate, and with so much of it on the airwaves our country is in peril. This country will not perish through famine. It will not perish from disease. It will not perish in self-defense. But it may well perish from hate. Hate is the most destructive force on earth, but not the most powerful. Love is stronger still.

Obama offers love, purely and simply. Not a fairytale kind of love, but the deep love that comes from knowing we are all connected, that if I cut you, I bleed. Love that sees the positive instead of the negative, that sees hope and opportunity instead of cynicism and despair. Love that breeds selflessness, not selfishness.

The housing crisis is born of hate, manifesting as greed. The loss of connection. People thinking if they can rip someone else off, they will improve their position. But as so many of them are finding out, if they gather all the wealth for themselves, who will be able to buy what they want to sell us next?

We have to think bigger. We have to work together better. We have to be open to those who disagree with us. They may have some truth we haven't yet seen.

But most of all, we have to open our hearts. I have always felt that this is the key to our future. Anything less leads to a future I do not want to enter.

I want the future Obama gives us a glimpse of. I want to live in the country he describes. I want to have that voice giving me the weekly update on the country's affairs. And most of all, I want that calm, sound judgment, questioning, thinking, articulating, persuading us to do the right thing.

I don't think he's perfect. I'm sure we'll learn more about him that will disappoint. He is, after all, only human. But he is of the kind that aspires to be something more. And for that, he has not just my vote, but my heart. I want the future that includes him in it.

Please, powers that be. Please, give us back our future. You deprived us of it 40 years ago. We want to pick up where we left off.

There are three things that will save this planet from self-destruction. One is regaining an accurate vote. Right now, our system of elections is so frought with possibilities that we cannot now know if our votes are being counted as cast. I believe strongly one of the reasons our future was taken from us was that elections were gamed, without our knowledge.

Another factor is the media. If you spew hate all day, how are people to learn to rise above? I fear for a nation that considers Hannity and Limbaugh anything more than fringe freaks. They speak from fear, hate, and ignorance. These are horrible things to allow to enter your mind on a daily basis. Our Democracy is only as safe as our access to good information. Hannity and Limbaugh imperil that access.

The third element is love. It's not "all you need," contrary to popular culture. But any two of these without the third will not get us to the promised land. We have to have an informed electorate whose vote counts, but whose vote is informed by compassion and connectedness.

Thanks for listening. That's an act of compassion in itself, and I am deeply grateful.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

OBAMA is winning Texas, NOT Clinton!

The media has been reporting that Clinton won Texas. But in reality, she only won one step of the "Texas Two-Step." In Texas, you see, you can vote twice. And must, if you want your candidate to "win" Texas.

In order to participate in the caucus, you have to vote in the primary. But many fewer people participate in the caucus.

This is actually a really smart system, because it helps vet the candidate against their base. Those with the most committed activists can win over those with better name recognition.

And let's face it. In the rural areas of the state where neither Clinton nor Obama campaigned, Clinton won based on name recognition.

So the caucus vote is important in three ways: 1) it shows who has the better "Get out the vote" (GOTV) operation and therefore the better campaign staff and volunteers, and 2) it shows whose voters are more passionate about their candidate. Those who are only lukewarm about their candidate will vote in the primary, but will not caucus. But those who strongly believe they have the best candidate will attend the caucus to give their vote maximum impact.

In other words, the big winner in Texas is not Hillary Clinton, but Barack Obama. Let me explain.

Texas apportions delegates as follows:

Total Texas delegates (not counting superdelegates): 193
Number of delegates assigned via the primary: 126 (2/3)
Number of delegates assigned via caucus winners: 67 (1/3)

Currently, the counts are as follows:
Primary delegates6165
Caucus delegates3730

In other words, Obama is winning the pledged delegate vote in Texas.

The press is in too much of a hurry to annoint winners before all the data is in. This is outrageous, in a Democracy.

What's the rush?

Let the votes be counted first. And now Hillary Clinton has egg all over her face for claiming a victory that wasn't.

Obama is winning Texas. And that doesn't look likely to change, the way the numbers have been trending all morning.