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About David Swanson
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David Swanson's books include "War Is A Lie." He blogs at http://davidswanson.org and http://warisacrime.org and works for http://rootsaction.org. He hosts Talk Nation Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @davidcnswanson and FaceBook.
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David Swanson's books include: War Is A Lie (2010), When the World Outlawed War (2011), and The Military Industrial Complex at 50 (2012). He is the host of Talk Nation Radio. He has been a journalist, activist, organizer, educator, and agitator. Swanson helped plan the nonviolent occupation of Freedom Plaza in Washington DC in 2011. Swanson holds a master's degree in philosophy from the University of Virginia. He has worked as a newspaper reporter and as a communications director, with jobs including press secretary for Dennis Kucinich's 2004 presidential campaign, media coordinator for the International Labor Communications Association, and three years as communications coordinator for ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now. He blogs at http://davidswanson.org and http://warisacrime.org and works as Campaign Coordinator for the online activist organization http://rootsaction.org Swanson also works on the communications committee of Veterans For Peace, of which he is an associate (non-veteran) member. Swanson is Secretary of Peace in the Green Shadow Cabinet.
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David Swanson's books include:
Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union (2009)
War Is A Lie (2010)
When the World Outlawed War (2011)
The Military Industrial Complex at 50 (2012)
The 35 Articles of Impeachment and the Case for Prosecuting George W. Bush (2008)
Tube World (2012)
Iraq War Among World's Worst Events (2013)
Swanson contributed a chapter to "Why Peace" edited by Marc Guttman, January 2012.
Swanson hosts Talk Nation Radio.
Swanson helped plan the nonviolent occupation of Freedom Plaza in Washington DC in 2011.
In December 2011, The Hook newspaper in Charlottesville, Va., named him a runner-up Person of the Year.
Swanson holds a master's degree in philosophy from the University of Virginia. He has worked as a newspaper reporter and as a communications director, with jobs including press secretary for Dennis Kucinich's 2004 presidential campaign, media coordinator for the International Labor Communications Association, and three years as communications coordinator for ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now.
In April 2012, Swanson began working for Veterans For Peace.
"David Swanson is a truth-teller and witness-bearer whose voice and action warrant our attention." —Cornel West, author.
"David Swanson is the most consistently great writer of this generation." —Jean Athey.
"The world needs more true advocates of democracy like David Swanson!" —Thom Hartmann, radio host.
"David Swanson will be remembered and well recognized as the citizen who held up a lamp in the darkness and cried, as did good Tom Paine: 'We have it in our power to begin the world over again.'" —John Nichols, columnist, The Nation.
"David Swanson predicates his belief that nonviolence can change the world on careful research and historical analysis." —Kathy Kelly, Voices for Creative Nonviolence.
"David Swanson’s War Is A Lie may be the most comprehensive antiwar statement available in the English language." —Kevin Young, Znet.
"Our times cry out for a smart, witty and courageous Populist who hasn’t forgotten how to play offense. Luckily we have David Swanson." —Mike Ferner, President of Veterans For Peace.
"David Swanson, who has been a one-man wonder leading the charge for accountability, writes a compelling narrative that inspires not just outrage, but ACTION." —Medea Benjamin, Code Pink and Global Exchange.
“David Swanson despises war and lying, and unmasks them both with rare intelligence. I learn something new on every page.” —Jeff Cohen, founder of FAIR.
"David Swanson's book is a masterful exposure of the emergence of a monarch-like president coupled with an effete, irresponsible, and constitutionally ignorant Congress." —Bruce Fein, former Associate Deputy Attorney General.
“David Swanson has written a fascinating account of how peace once became the law of the land. It is particularly pertinent in the era of the Endless War, by giving encouragement and suggestions of a path forward to those who want to give peace a chance.” —Liz Holtzman, former member of the U.S. Congress.
"Swanson's book is far more uplifting and inspiring than virtually any other book in its genre, as it devotes itself to laying out a detailed plan for how American citizens — through the activism to which he has devoted himself — can bring about a rejuvenation of our political values." —Glenn Greenwald, Salon.com.
“David Swanson is an antidote to the toxins of complacency and evasion. He insists on rousing the sleepwalkers, confronting the deadly prevaricators and shining a bright light on possibilities for a truly better world.” —Norman Solomon, author of War Made Easy.
David Swanson is also the author of the introduction to "The 35 Articles of Impeachment and the Case for Prosecuting George W. Bush," by Dennis Kucinich (2008).
Swanson wrote the foreword to "Another Life" by Karen Malpede, 2011, and contributed two chapters to Fix America, 2011.
Swanson is Co-Founder of AfterDowningStreet.org, creator of ProsecuteBushCheney.org and Washington Director of Democrats.com, a board member of Progressive Democrats of America, the Backbone Campaign, Voters for Peace, and the Liberty Tree Foundation for the Democratic Revolution, and chair of the Robert Jackson Steering Committee.
Swanson joined the board of the National Coalition to Protect Student Privacy in December 2011.
Swanson is Secretary of Peace in the Green Shadow Cabinet.
Swanson received a Beacon of Peace award from the Eisenhower Chapter of Veterans For Peace.
In December 2011, The Hook newspaper in Charlottesville, Va., named him a runner-up Person of the Year:
When conservatives hear progressive political activist David Swanson coming, they might want to run away. But sometimes, they do so quite literally. After Vice President Dick Cheney announced plans to speak at the Miller Center on November 16, Swanson publicly called for Cheney's arrest for conspiracy to commit torture. "Were a local resident credibly accused of torture, I sincerely doubt you would hesitate to seek his or her immediate arrest and indictment," Swanson wrote in a November 14 letter emailed to Charlottesville and Albemarle law enforcement and posted on his website, warisacrime.org. Mere hours later, the Miller Center announced that Cheney's visit would be postponed for "personal reasons" and that he'd reschedule for early next year. Coincidence? Perhaps. But either way, Swanson will undoubtedly lead the welcome parade if the former Veep appears.
Swanson began working for RootsAction.org in March 2011.
Swanson is a commissioner on the North American Truth & Accountability Commission on Human Experimentation
Beginning in November 2009 Swanson served as an online organizer and blogger for a campaign to oppose First Amendment free speech rights for corporations: http://freespeechforpeople.org and served on a volunteer basis for another similar campaign at http://movetoamend.org
Swanson contributed a chapter to "Project Rewire: New Media from the Inside Out," by Judy Daubenmier.
Swanson contributed a chapter called "Flame-Broiled Shark: How Predatory Lending Victims Fought Back and Won," to "The Wealth Inequality Reader" by Dollars and Sense and United for a Fair Economy.
In 2011, Swanson created a website for a campaign to reform the EPA at http://eparafaelmustgo.org
In 2009, Swanson created a website for CODE PINK and Global Exchange to market a company investing in wind energy in Iran: http://windsofchangeiran.com and another website for Cindy Sheehan's counter recruitment effort: http://nomorecannonfodder.org He also created a website for a book by Les Leopold: http://lootingofamerica.org
He created, as well, a website for the Robert Jackson Steering Committee: http://lawsnotmen.org
And this one in 2010: http://protectourelections.org
Swanson has created Drupal websites for lots of peace and justice groups, including http://charlottesvillepeace.org and http://acpjva.org and http://www.vawn.org and many others, including sites for short-lived campaigns like this one http://johnsonmustgo.org
Swanson regularly serves as a judge in the annual labor media contest overseen by the International Labor Communications Association.
In 2008, Swanson hosted a weekly radio show at http://thepeoplespeakradio.net
In April and May 2007, Swanson consulted part-time for Kucinich for President 2008.
Swanson was the organizer in 2006 of Camp Democracy.
He has served on the steering committee of the Charlottesville Center for Peace and Justice (2006-2008).
He has served on the Executive Council of the Washington Baltimore Newspaper Guild (2005).
Swanson has been ...
Published in the Guardian, the Seattle Times, Baltimore Sun, Washington Examiner, Humanist, MicroMega, Charlottesville Daily Progress, Sojourner's, and many other publications.
Quoted in and reported on in the Nation, In These Times, Progressive, Mother Jones.
Published often on: DavidSwanson.org, Democrats.com, PDAmerica.org, AfterDowningStreet.org, Truthout.org, Alternet.org, TomPaine.com, HuffingtonPost.org, OpEdNews.com, American Chronicle, Democratic Underground, DailyKos.com, MichaelMoore.com, BuzzFlash.com, ConsortiumNews.com.
Heard often on Pacifica, Air America, other progressive radio.
Hosted programs on Pacifica, and a long-running show on The People Speak Radio.
Seen on Fox, CNN, PBS, C-Span, Democracy Now!, Free Speech TV, Link TV, RealNews.com.
Quoted in many newspapers and magazines.
Swanson works for Democrats.com as its Washington Director and spends a lot of time in our nation's capital. He does paid work for other peace and justice groups, including creating websites and organizing campaigns. He consults for Dennis Kucinich each time he runs for president. He also earns money speaking at events, selling ads and raising donations on AfterDowningStreet.org, and writing articles and books. The AfterDowningStreet website is funded by VelvetRevolution.us.
Swanson lives in Charlottesville VA with his wife Anna Swanson and son Wesley Swanson, and can see Thomas Jefferson's house Monticello from his window. James Madison's house is also close enough for Swanson to feel it when he rolls in his grave. Here are photos, family links, family photos, and more family photos.
The Charlottesville Daily Progress published a profile of Swanson on March 18, 2008, which said:
"For Swanson, advocating for a withdrawal from Iraq is not just passion - it's a living. Swanson is paid to help run Democrats.com, an "aggressive" progressive Web site, as well as working for myriad other antiwar groups. Additionally, he created a Web site for renowned activist Cindy Sheehan when she first gained notoriety. Swanson immersed himself in activism while a graduate student at the University of Virginia in the mid-1990s, when he worked on the living wage campaign. After a brief career in journalism, he became a communication specialist for labor organizations. Now, though, he coordinates antiwar activities across the country from his house."
The Hook published a profile of Swanson on August 26, 2010.
What People Say About Swanson and his website, After Downing Street:
A comment on one of Swanson's articles in 2011:
"Let me add my thanks and congratulations to those others for this profound and passionate statement. You are a VERY valuable American, and human being." -- Daniel Ellsberg
"David Swanson writes faster than anyone I know, and is always worth reading. He wields a wicked pen (well, technically a wicked keyboard), a la Swift or Twain. He thinks with precision and intelligence, with the powerful logic of an undefeated chess-playing computer program. He is fearless, speaking truth to both power all the time. He bears daily witness to the decomposition of our would-be democracy, and he carries that same crusading spirit into this book.
"Read it. Buy it for your friends, especially your younger ones. Get together and argue about it. Ask John Stewart and Stephen Colbert to have him on their shows. Because a better world is still possible, and to get there, a more democratic America is necessary." -- Steve Cobble
"I was just on a 10-day speaking tour in England, Wales and Scotland. While there, during the Q & A's after my talks, people would ask me what is going on in the U.S. They would say they hear nothing about the peace movement in their country. I told them to check your web site. I told them it was the best place to find out what is going on at the grassroots level in the U.S. I told them I check it 3 times a day. It was good to have your site as a resource to refer to. Best wishes.
Bruce K. Gagnon, Coordinator, Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space
"AfterDowningStreet is courageously teaching us Constitutional process. Clinton's tawdry impeachment, a transparent punishment for sex, the right-wing's constant preoccupation, has made our nation wary of further disruptive inquiry, especially while we're at war. But war is precisely the matter; Congressional inquiry into the Downing Street memo is mandated by checks and balances constructed by our Founders to preserve government by the people in the face of a president who would, for example, engage us, by covert means, in a war of choice, like a divine-right king."
Mimi Kennedy, Progressive Democrats of America National Board Chair
"David Swanson, Tim Carpenter, and friends took the evidence of deliberate pre-war intelligence manipulation and made it their mission for truth and accountability. While the mainstream first helped lead us into war and then ignored stories of the blatant lies of this administration, ADS kept the pressure on and in doing so grew into a movement of conscience. I am proud to lend my name and my time in support of this wonderful group of people who through their hard work took the facts and fixed them into open debate - something of a rare commodity these days."
Larisa Alexandrovna, journalist, writer
"AfterDowningStreet.org has been the movement hub for Executive Branch accountability. David Swanson and all the folks associated with the ADS coalition have modeled a spirit of collaboration, intelligent analysis, and strategic action. In our collective effort to pull this country out of a Constitutional crisis, brought on by an administration infected with a blatant disregard for the balance of powers, not to mention the truth, we could ask for no better partner than AfterDowningStreet.org."
Bill Moyer, Executive Director, Backbone Campaign
"The folks at AfterDowningStreet.org are doing vital, important work, and need all of our support!"
Thom Hartmann, bestselling author and nationally syndicated host on Air America Radio
"The founders of AfterDowningStreet.org have remained true to their ideals and that’s why I can trust what I read there. We not only need a source for the news not being reported by the MSM, we also need a soapbox for the thoughts and ideas of ordinary citizens who have found their voice and their spine. That’s why a visit to AfterDowningStreet.org is an important part of my daily routine."
Jeeni Criscenzo, Candidate for U.S. Congress, CA Dist 49
"After Downing Street is a vital player in the UFPJ Legislative Working Group. In addition, AfterDowningStreet.org is one of the best sources on the web for up-to-the-minute news on Congressional action on the war."
Sue Udry, Legislative Coordinator, United for Peace and Justice.
"AfterDowningStreet.org is one of the most dynamic 'movers and shakers' around. This coalition brings constant attention to the fact that a country like ours does not just slip into wars of aggression -- we have to be carefully led into this behavior by a steady stream of lies and manipulations. With the steady drumbeat for new wars always in our ears, AfterDowningStreet.org will remain relevant long after the Iraq War comes to an end."
Bill Scheurer, Editor of the Peace Majority Report, Independent candidate for Congress
Newsday, June 23, 2005:
"An online movement of bloggers and political activist groups is trying to keep the Downing Street memos in the public eye and stoking support for a congressional investigation. The memos, sent among top British foreign intelligence officials, state that President George W. Bush was predisposed to going to war with Iraq and 'intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.' The After Downing Street movement wants Congress to examine whether Bush's path to war is grounds for impeachment."
John Nichols in the Nation Magazine in 2005:
* MVP -- Watchdog Branch:
The media did a slightly better job of monitoring political wrongdoing in 2005 than it did during the first four years of the Bush-Cheney presidency -- when it actually would have mattered. But the real work of exposing the misdeeds of the administration is still being done by activist groups. And the most inspired of these in 2005 was After Downing Street, the coalition of groups that describes itself as "working to expose the lies that launched the war and to hold accountable its architects, including through censure and impeachment." In conjunction with Progressive Democrats of America, the able activist group that seeks to create an actual opposition party in America, After Downing Street is pushing the political envelope in exactly the direction it needs to go. Check out their website at www.afterdowningstreet.org website and keep ahead of the action in 2006.
John Nichols in the Nation Magazine in 2006:
* MVP – ACCOUNTABILITY BRANCH
When Russ Feingold moved to censure Bush, the activists of the AfterDowningStreet.org coalition – who had been pushing for the better part of a year for a congressional inquiry into the administration's warping of intelligence to fit its Iraq War goals – adjusted their focus to promote an even broader and more aggressive critique of the Bush presidency. Nancy Pelosi may have tried to take impeachment off the table, but the AfterDowningStreet.org crew, led by the indomitable David Swanson, kept forcing it back on. Their coalition's website remains the "go-to" place for the latest on investigations, inquiries, subpoenas, legal actions and every other move to hold this president and vice president to account. And their passion for empowering citizens to promote "impeachment from below" and other accountability initiatives has forged a loose-knit but very real national movement. Watch for this movement to get a lot more attention in March, when a drive organized by Newfane, Vermont, town selectman and impeachment impresario Dan DeWalt and others will see dozens of town meetings endorse articles of impeachment.
John Nichols in the Nation Magazine in 2007:
* Most Valuable Internet Site: When people ask about how and where to follow what is happening with the movements to end the war in Iraq, to prevent a war with Iran and to hold to account those who launched one mad war and now seek to initiate another, the answer is always www.AFTERDOWNINGSTREET.org site. Constantly updated by the indefatigable DAVID SWANSON, the site is fresh -- there were even six posts on Christmas Day -- and it features local actions (via YouTube) as well as national interventions. Because it is so thorough and so engaged with local and regional protests and events, the AfterDowningStreet site provides the best illustration of the extent to which mainstream media has neglected the most vital movements of the moment.
Swanson is not a military veteran but is honored to have been made a member of Veterans for Peace.
Swanson is a Bright!
He likes to distinguish two types of thinking.
Send your strangest thoughts because I want to try them on for size. According to Stanley Fish, "...openness to revision and transformation are not methodological programs any individual can determinedly and self-consciously enact.... openness is nothing more (or less) than a resolution to be differently closed." But without having ever desired the silly sort of philosophical and absolute tabula-rasa openness the existence of which Fish is rather undisappointingly denying, it is perfectly possible to seek out the unfamiliar, to show others what is familiar to you and ask if they've seen anything different, to be rapidly and repeatedly differently-closed. It is possible to refuse to declare certain beliefs unalterable, including refusing to declare unalterable this belief in that possibility.
Here's David Swanson's resume.
Write to David Swanson at email@example.com
photo by William Hughes, Baltimore Sun
photo by William Hughes
photo by William Hughes
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Robert Shetterly and his portrait of David Swanson and Leah Bolger