Chelsea Green Publishing

Chelsea Green Blog

Parade magazine sues Rumsfeld for copyright infringement

April 8, 2008; New York. Parade magazine, the popular Sunday newspaper insert, has filed suit in District Court today against former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld claiming copyright infringement. The suit follows on revelations in former Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith’s new book, War and Decision, that Rumsfeld presented a “Parade of Horribles” to high-level officials in the White House prior to the launching of the war with Iraq in 2003. Lawyers for Parade magazine claim that Rumsfeld signed his own name to the list of possible disasters that might result from a war with Iraq, despite the fact that the list had originally appeared in the July 6, 2002, issue of Parade as part of a quiz, “Fire or Ice?” In the quiz, readers were asked to rank potential problems in pursuing a war, jumbled in with a set of random letters, numbers, and diacritical marks. (The correct ranking for most likely problem was “all of the above.”) The lawyers state that Rumsfeld was not the author who supplied the quiz, under contract, to Parade. Rumsfeld’s creation of this list from previously published material, and the photocopying and distribution of the list among White House staff, if true, would constitute a clear violation of U.S. and international copyright law. Michael Ratner, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights and a frequent critic of Rumsfeld, noted the irony that Feith is now claiming that the most ardent of pro-war advocates also had had the best foresight regarding potential problems resulting from the war they lusted after. “Feith’s book forces us to make one of two conclusions. Either he’s a lying sumbitch trying to conduct cosmetic surgery on his and his colleagues’ war-crime past, or they are even more imcompetent than we ever imagined. Even after taking the Parade quiz, they still went ahead and launched this bumblefuck war? Lord help us!” Walter Anderson, chair and CEO of Parade Publications, said he nearly choked on the wine he was drinking when he came across the relevant passage in Feith’s book. “These guys are supposed to be defending the American way from terrorists, protecting our right to unlimited volumes of brain-deadening ‘entertainment’ and Hollywood gossip, and yet here they are breaking the most sacred trust I hold with the shareholders of this company to the profit stream available from reproductions of our quiz? I never thought I’d see this from members of the Bush Administration.” Anderson went on to note that Parade had itself settled out of court over a complaint that its quiz had utilized previously published material. “Yeah, it’s not as if it took a rocket scientist to figure out that the Iraq war was going to be stoopid [sic] beyond all belief. There must have been about 1,000 articles a month on how the war was doomed to be a quagmire–maybe not in the mainstream media which was busy kissing Bush’s post-9/11 ass, but the word was out. Nowadays you can’t think of any criticism of the President and his policies that hasn’t been pointed out by dozens of people before you. Not only is he running this country into the ground, but he’s making it hard for writers to write anything without stepping on one another’s toes.” In response to requests for comment, Rumsfeld said only, “why have you chosen to be with the terrorists?”


Economic Development is Broken. Here’s How to Fix It

Economic development today is completely broken. That’s the argument of author Michael Shuman in his new book, The Local Economy Solution. The singular focus on attracting global corporations is not just ineffective but counterproductive, Shuman argues, especially given the huge opportunity costs. Indeed, it’s not far-fetched to suggest that the best way most communities can […] Read More..

5 Shareable Strategies for Creating Climate Action

Frustrated about climate change? You’re not alone. Most people in our society find themselves somewhere on the spectrum of depressed about our climate situation to flat-out denying that it exists. In fact, the more information about global warming that piles up, the less we seem to do to combat it. What is the reason for this […] Read More..

A Mini-Festo for Earth Day – Rebuild the Foodshed

For the past month, author Philip Ackerman-Leist has been on a Twitter MiniFesto campaign – each day sending out a new tweet designed to spark conversation and pass along some lessons he learned whilst working on his last book, Rebuilding the Foodshed. You might also know Philip as the author of his memoir Up Tunket […] Read More..

Books in the News: ‘The Tao of Vegetable Gardening’ & More!

What does Taoism have to do with gardening? That question is being answered in The Washington Post this week with a lengthy profile of Chelsea Green author Carol Deppe—gardener, plant breeder, seed expert, and geneticist based in Oregon—and her new book The Tao of Vegetable Gardening. “Once I read The Tao of Vegetable Gardening, with its […] Read More..

Depressed about Climate Change? Good. Here’s How to Take Action

The facts about climate change are settled. Mostly. In fact, the news seems to get worse, and more urgent, every day. Yet, the more the facts stack up, the less resolve many people seem to have about getting behind solutions that will stem, or turn, the tide. What gives? In What We Think About When […] Read More..