College Board silent: US wars, NDAA, ‘non-academic, unsuitable,’ AP Govt topics???

“First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. And then you win.” – unsourced and attributed to Gandhi

This is the first update for those interested in the education of our brightest high school students about US government. The first article I wrote has ~50,000 search results; I appreciate the reposts to create public understanding of what is censored from education of US government.

Perhaps what resonates:

  • College Board censorship of the topics at the end of this article destroys actual education about US government, and not as the College Board asserts as topics that are “non-academic,” “personal,” and “unsuitable.”
  • Dr. King’s message that such censorship/silence is betrayal, especially when none, zip, zero of the 2,000+ AP teachers could refute or provide links to any refutation.
  • Agreement that among the most important topics to teach in a course on US Government are its policies that kill millions, harm billions, and cost trillions of dollars.

Here’s the one-paragraph summary of what’s happened from April 2 through April 6:

Listserve moderator, Professor Joe Stewart of Clemson University, did not respond to the following three e-mails requesting contact information for College Board administrator Bill Tinkler, and to invite Joe to take a professional stand to speak against obvious US War Crimes and legislated removal of Constitutional civil rights. The College Board at first stated Bill Tinkler was not in their data base, then also has not responded when I provided further information.

I thought sharing excerpts from my three e-mails to Joe would help public understanding of the “leadership” provided by the College Board when silence is their chosen response. Some useful history: Joe just began his moderator work, and allowed all factual content relevant to understanding US government for three months. I invite him to once more embrace professional standards to allow facts to speak for themselves. When documented factual claims such as I provide at the end of this article cannot be refuted, they stand as our best understanding.

1st e-mail:

The role I spoke for you is here and now, Joe. What you choose to do is up to you. I promise I will do my professional best to only write the facts of what happens. As a colleague, here’s how I see your choices:

1. If you stay silent or neutral, when the future reveals that US wars are unlawful and started on obvious lies, the US tortured, and the US began destruction of basic rights in the Constitution, you’ll have to explain why you did not act. This will be highlighted from my personal invitation for you to act.

2. If you oppose professional communication of facts concerning war law and what US agencies report in their official reports (as I document and shared to the listserve for colleagues’ consideration), issues central to the US Constitution such as presidential assassination orders of American citizens and seizing Americans upon dictate of the Executive Branch, you’ll have that to explain.

3. If you choose a role of support of the US Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic (do you have that Oath, btw?), then I’m happy to be a partner for you to formulate your best self-expression.

I invite and prefer you to stand for what our nation is by law, Joe. I invite and prefer that you oppose US criminal wars that are obvious when war law is understood by everyone who ever read and wrote about it: the use of a nation’s military in armed attack is a criminal War of Aggression unless in response to another nation’s government’s armed attack. I invite and prefer that you see your whole life’s professionalism focused in this opportunity to stand for American values, ideals and law.

You’ll be known, one way or another, Joe. You chose to be moderator of professional communication in this subject field. You received “orders” to censor a voice pointing to facts that determine whether millions will live or die, billions be helped or hurt, and what we do with trillions of our dollars.

I will fight for those human lives, Joe. I will fight for professional standards to communicate facts in good faith effort for those lives. I will uphold my Oath to the US Constitution in defense of unalienable rights.

What will you do?

Time is an issue. I am motivated, and I will write.

Feel free to call me if that’s easier. I want to help you choose a path that matches the person you’ve always wanted to be.



2nd e-mail:

College Board says they do not have a Bill Tinkler on their data base. Who is this person and how do I contact him, Joe?

Thank you,



3rd e-mail:

Joe: I read your bio and sense you genuinely are a nice person. You want us to all get along, as you write. As an expert in government, you should have something to say about unlawful Wars of Aggression being the Orwellian opposite of getting along.

But this is what you’re doing in your area of responsibility as moderator of what to discuss as AP Government teachers:

  • You’ve gone silent on me and my request to discuss with whoever Bill Tinkler is a unilateral and insult-ridden dictate to censor my voice.
  • The list below are the topics of facts that I document and make accessible to colleagues’ consideration for teaching. These have not been refuted either here or anywhere in politics or academia that I’m aware of. Are you aware of any refutation, Joe?
  • If the facts of War Crimes, torture, presidential assassination of Americans, wars all based on lies cannot be refuted, in academics we go with this prima facie evidence as our best understanding of the facts.
  • If this is our best understanding of facts in central areas of government, Constitutional underpinnings, Civil Rights, and current events to show real-world application, then it’s helpful for someone to provide concise factual documentation for colleagues’ consideration. I’m happy to take the lead for this if nobody else is active in these areas.
  • You took orders, Joe, to silence this voice on FACTUAL topics central to our concerns. War law and wars determine life or death for millions, help or harm to billions, and use trillions of our dollars. War law to prevent exactly the wars of the US today is the legal victory of all our families through two world wars. The first unalienable right to life is also the first civil right to not be killed by government.
  • As listserve moderator it is your responsibility to facilitate discussion of the most important facts of a college-level government course.
  • If it’s your choice to take orders, be silent, refuse to allow me to engage with Bill Tinkler by providing me any access for conversation, hey: that’s your call.

I’ll write about whatever you choose to do.

… What do you want to be known for? I’ve given you a week to consider this. Time to take a stand, bro. You have a position of responsibility and leadership. Again, if you choose to reach out to me, I’ll help you understand the facts. You can check them with experts.

… Here’s the list of central facts I’ve written about to the listserve. Again, you’re choosing censorship of these topics and silence to me, the messenger. Are you in agreement with Mr. Tinkler that the following are “non-academic,” “personal in nature,” and “unsuitable” for our brightest high school minds in a college-level course on US Government?



I promise further updates. 

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  • The history of education, even in purely scientific subjects, is one of being timid about controversy to the point of only “wanting to be on the side that is winning” at any given time.

    The evidence should always be winning, but it is not.

    This case you point out is a classic example … they are in see no evil, hear no evil, and speak no evil mode until the fight is over.

    Then they will chose a side.

    Wimpology 101.

    • There are a few theories on the “slave reflex” that we see. At the very least, we can reject slavery within ourselves and offer others such freedom to deal with reality.

      That was the victory of the Enlightenment.

  • Mike

    I think everyone should write to Joseph Stewart and ask him why he is refusing to reply to Carl’s emails. I just did. His email address is

    For the Truth!

    • Mike sent me a copy of his e-mail to Joe. I replied to Mike and Joe.

      With enough pressure, Joe will be motivated to choose professionalism over his silence and minion status to the War Criminals.

      Thank you, Mike. Certainly people are welcome to speak-up for public interest in the AP Government courses educating our young adults.

  • You wrote the following,

    “…Dr. King’s message that such censorship/silence is betrayal, especially when none, zip, zero of the 2,000+ AP teachers could refute or provide links to any refutation.
    Agreement that among the most important topics to teach in a course on US Government are its policies that kill millions, harm billions, and cost trillions of dollars.”

    I had a similar question, or set of questions, about what elementary and secondary school teachers are teaching. What do they say when some kid, who might have been reading about these issues, or heard their parents talk about these issues, asks about the assassination program, or the torture, or the two kinds of law benefiting the powerful and beating down the weak in this country? The implications seem to be that we are not a democracy, we don’t even have the “rule of law,” and the project of creating patriotic workers will have a hard time. Do they ignore the questions? Do they explain that these are “unsuitable” and “personal” questions? What you have brought up to college boards seems to be a good question for the entire educational system?

    Institutional theory tells us that so long as the elites cloak their activities in the “rule of law” their critics cannot touch them. That is, if someone is killed by the government, and no laws are broken, then no foul has been done. All the elites have to do is deny everything and no one can pursue them for wrong-doing. I suspect this is their strategy.

    This is why there are no refutations of these claims. Anything they say, in their defense, or to refute your claims, could be used against them. This is why you will get treated like a “conspiracy theorist” because all they can do is argue that your criticisms are based on confusions, misunderstandings, and illogic.

    I also suspect that they will argue that the purpose of education, and specifically, the purpose of an education in politics and history, is to teach the young the theory of their government, or the received view or mainstream account of our history. This is all they can do, supposedly, and that these observations about “assassination programs” and torture” and unlawful wars of aggression have to be dealt with outside of what the education system is here for. It’s like, you are in school to learn about our democracy, and if you have questions about racism, or corporate domination of politics, or aggressive war, you have to wait until after school, or maybe some “special” class.

    Your concern about policies of government that, “kill millions, harm billions, and cost trillions of dollars,” are the kind of issues that have always been taught in special classes, dealt with in private talks with teachers after school, and otherwise ignored.

    • Good points, Steven.

      Part of what Occupy is doing is making the facts both clear and obvious. It’s a game of “emperor has no clothes” to break through paper-thin propaganda.

      We’ll learn more as we keep moving forward.

      Thank you all, readers, for your own ways of engagement and self-expressions.

  • I have Howard Zinn’s pamphlet “Columbus, the Indians, and human progress 1492-1992,” wherein he talks about what Columbus actually did in the new world. Grade and high school kids wrote him telling him that none of the details he wrote about were in their textbooks. Zinn discusses the seeming fact that schools don’t discuss these details or the details of other uncomfortable issues in American history and politics.

    It’s not that we are only now considering whether uncomfortable issues are “personal” or “non-academic” and whether or not they should be included in school curriculums. Howard Zinn’s history is all about the fact that, from his assessment, most histories and accounts of politics are written from the point of view of the elites and the winners of history’s wars, cultural or armed.

    • Carl Herman

      Yes. I addressed this omission of crucial history briefly in the 6-part series: Occupy This: US History exposes the 1%’s crimes then and now.

      Major lies of omission prove the textbook publishers are part of the 1% corporate media who act as lying sacks of spin for the 1%’s interests.

  • Carl’s case would become more persuasive if he got a colleague to proofread his prose. Much of it is ungrammatical, which undermines its credibility.

    • Carl Herman

      What? First, quote three examples for us to make your case at all persuasive.

      Second, you really think the 1% will be moved by proper grammar to surrender???

  • Henry Hansteen

    I was met with silence when I contacted Cornell engineering and physics professors to ask them about WTC7’s free fall and symmetric drop. The Cornell Daily Sun, Cornell’s student run paper, refused to print a letter detailing my experience. Heavy censorship all around here at Cornell. Weak minded cowards and hypocrites, is the way I see it. Here’s a link with more information.


    • Carl Herman

      Yup. Given Gandhi’s observation, one needs a next step planned to make visible what is first ignored.

  • OK – I sent an email as well.

    Does he have a twitter account?

    • Carl Herman

      I sent you an e-mail. I can respond to a cc with Joe. I don’t know about any twitter account of his.

  • Brennan

    It’s really disturbing that one of the most liberty-damaging pieces of legislation (since Executive Order 9066) is not being discussed more often. It is rarely mentioned in mainstream media, and most people who bring it up are branded as right-wing nutjobs. I asked one person if he had heard of it, and he replied, “no, I don’t keep up with conspiracy theories.” Really disheartening. There’s an article on this blog that explains it pretty well in plain English… Take a look sometime and show your friends!