Adam Kokesh, an American who stars on KGB-TV, otherwise known as RT or Russia Today television, staged a publicity stunt at the Jefferson Memorial on May 28 and is now complaining about his arrest for “dancing.” His video is getting attention from the media, while his followers are insisting that he was the victim of harsh police tactics. But an examination of the video of his arrest shows that the event was a planned provocation by professional agitators arranged in coordination with Medea Benjamin of Code Pink, who was also arrested.
Kokesh anchors the “Adam Vs. The Man” TV show on Russia Today, an English-language channel carried in the U.S. and other Western countries which is funded by the Moscow regime of Vladimir Putin, a former KGB officer. The channel is considered a propaganda outlet for Russian intelligence services and hired an alleged Russian spy who is in the process of being deported from Britain.
One of the regular stars of the Kokesh show is Luke Rudkowski, the founder of We Are Change an advocate of the theory that the 9/11 terrorist attacks were staged by the U.S. Government and blamed on Muslims.
The Kokesh stunt, which included advance notice to the press and demonstrators armed with cameras to record the inevitable confrontation, appears to have been designed to generate interest in Kokesh’s show on the Russian government-funded propaganda channel and to depict the U.S. as a police state.
An “anti-war” veteran, former Republican candidate for Congress, and Ron Paul supporter who called for the impeachment of President Bush, Kokesh wants the public to believe that he was arrested for “dancing” at the site when the video actually shows that he and his associates were engaged in disorderly conduct. Their activities succeeded in closing down access to the memorial while the arrests were in progress.
A local report on the Fox TV affiliate in Washington by reporter Roz Plater treated the protesters at the Jefferson Memorial as innocent victims of the police and even showed Benjamin inviting more demonstrators to the memorial for another protest.
What the reporter failed to point out is that Code Pink is a pro-Marxist organization that disrupted several appearances by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Washington and staged a demonstration calling for an end to military aid to Israel. Benjamin has met with leaders of the terrorist group Hamas but claims she doesn’t support terrorist organizations.
A U.S. District Court has ruled that the Park Service has a substantial interest in promoting a “tranquil environment” at national memorials and can forbid activities that interfere with that atmosphere. The law is not intended to interfere with free speech, but to protect the rights of families to appreciate the solemn nature of the memorials.
The video clearly shows a police officer warning the “dancers” that demonstrations, including dancing, would get them arrested.
A series of email exchanges on the controversy at the Jefferson Memorial produced this response from an attorney about the way Kokesh was handled: “He was not arrested for dancing. He was engaged in an act of disorderly conduct. He was requested to cease and desist several times and did not. He intentionally provoked the Park Police to where he gave them no option but to restrain him. He resisted and got exactly what he was attempting to make happen. Where are your concerns for the innocent people attending with their families? How about their rights to attend and not have their rights infringed upon by this intentional act of disturbing the peace of another. I am afraid that I might have been a little more physical than the Park Police with this jerk.”
As Medea Benjamin and an associate were arrested, Kokesh is visible in the background, wearing sunglasses and a “Disobey” T-shirt, dancing around and trying to draw attention to himself. The police react by taking him to the ground, after several unheeded warnings of “get to your knees,” and arresting him.
“I’ve got a bad shoulder,” one of the protesters whines, as he is handcuffed. Another was yelling, “This is a police state.”
The demonstration fits right into the anti-American propaganda line of Russia Today, which has been described by Konstantin Preobrazhensky, a former Soviet KGB officer who defected to the West, as “a part of the Russian industry of misinformation and manipulation” of foreign audiences. The obvious purpose in this case is to suggest that the U.S. is an oppressive state with no right to criticize the Kremlin’s increasingly authoritarian nature.
Another example of such fare is the RT story, “FBI targeting political activists as terrorists,” which faults the FBI for investigating far-left groups for having international Marxist connections or links to violence. “The FBI and other government agencies are cracking down on those who are not willing to say in line with the status quo,” the propaganda piece claims. In this case, the FBI reportedly raided the home of an activist with alleged links to a Marxist-Leninist group, the Freedom Road Socialist Organization. Other members of this group were raided by the FBI last September, on suspicions of providing support to foreign terrorist organizations.
RT regularly features Marxist and radical commentators in the U.S. such as Noam Chomsky, Gloria La Riva of the Party for Socialism and Liberation, Carl Dix of the Revolutionary Communist Party, and 9/11 “inside job” advocate and radio host Alex Jones.
Jones, who describes himself as “a loyal American who loves my country,” has appeared regularly on RT to denounce U.S. foreign policy and even to defend Russia’s invasion of Georgia.
While he offers up a lot of anti-government views, which strike a chord with some libertarians, Kokesh is also at the service of the liberal-left, interviewing figures such as Medea Benjamin and “social justice” advocate Jim Wallis of Sojouners. Interestingly, Kokesh’s followers have suggested such figures as Ron Paul, Alex Jones, Andrew Napolitano, and Noam Chomsky as guests on his show. Kokesh represents an anti-American mix of commentators from across the political spectrum, all designed to make America look like a bad place to live.
Not surprisingly, Russia Today interviewed Kokesh on the air about the “dancing” controversy, giving him yet another platform to spout his nonsense about “the brutal nature of the police force.” RT was obviously pleased with the effort by their American employee to disrupt U.S. Memorial Day activities.
However, on the Free Republic website, one person noted: “These people knew the rules when they went there. They went there to start trouble at a place where thousands of real Americans go to learn about history and honor our founding fathers. They asked stupid questions of the Park police when they already knew what the result would be. They got what they wanted, they got arrested…I thought the police were exceptionally restrained. Park Police are probably the most professional of all of the police departments in DC.”
Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.