Julian Assange And Chelsea Manning Update
Attorney Carey Shenkman joins co-host Heidi Boghosian to discuss the latest developments in Julian Assange’s case. Carey also provides updates on Wikileaks whistleblower Chelsea Manning. Chelsea was accused of having contraband in her cell, that included a copy of the US Senate Torture Report, a Vanity Fair magazine and toothpaste. Manning received 21 days of recreational restrictions limiting access to the gym, library and outdoors. The maximum punishment she could have faced was indefinite solitary confinement.
Guest – Carey Shenkman is a First Amendment and human rights attorney working for Michael Ratner, President Emeritus of the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR). Formerly at CCR, Carey worked on litigation on behalf of the press in the court-martial of whistle-blower Chelsea Manning. Carey holds two degrees in mathematics, and is an alumnus of NYU Law School, where he was an editor on the NYU Law Review. He can be reached on Twitter @CareyShenkman
Structural Integrity At Question During TransCanada’s Keystone XL Permit Renewal Hearing
The structural integrity of the TransCanada Keystone XL pipeline has been called into question. Newly released evidence and testimony points to potentially serious environmental risks. During a recent permit renewal hearing in that state, evidence submitted by the grassroots citizens group Dakota Rural Action reveals faulty construction that has the potential to cause pitting and ultimately lead to environmental disasters. The newly documented evidence suggests that the risk to water sources and agricultural lands near the proposed oil export pipeline is too high. The current export pipeline stretches across the US-Canada border and runs parallel with the Mississippi River.
Guest – Attorney Robin Martinez of the Dakota Rural Action group is working to stop the permit. Documents he submitted during the legal discovery process reveal that the corrosion occurred on the existing pipeline dangerously close to the Mississippi River near St. Louis.
On March 8th 1971, a group of anonymous individuals calling themselves the Citizen’s Commission to Investigate the FBI, broke into an FBI field office in Media, Pennsylvania. They stole thousands of government documents. Among the documents was proof that the FBI under J. Edgar Hoover, was spying on law abiding citizens. The program is known as COINTELPRO and it was used to monitor, manipulate and disrupt social and political movements in the United States. The Citizens’ Commission to Investigate the FBI has been documented recently in a highly acclaimed film titled 1971, directed by Johanna Hamilton.
- I consider myself to have the good fortune to have known Betty Medsger, the author of the Burglary, for many years.
- She and I had a personal relationship that long predated our professional collaboration.
- Over time she came to share the outlines of the story with me and it sounded completely remarkable.
- She introduced me to a few members of the Citizens Commission to Investigate the FBI. The 40th anniversary was approaching.
- They wanted the story, which was so little known, to have a larger life.
- To be clear, Betty worked many years on the book. She’s done remarkable and profound research and I joined much later and was the net beneficiary of so much of her research.
- There were four years where we worked in tandem.
- When I showed the film to the Citizens Commission, while the credits rolled, Keith (Keith Forsyth – the lock picker) especially, he got up and said, good job.
- It’s a period of history I’ve been fascinated with since I was a teenager. It was the story of these extraordinary ordinary individuals who had put everything on the line and taken such great personal risk to benefit democracy.
- They trained themselves for one night of crime. They steal all the documents in the office, leak them to the press. They send them to major newspapers, and to a couple politicians. In the end, the Washington Post is the only newspaper that decides to publish the first stories.
- Those first stories reveal with out question illegal government spying on citizens who are going about their daily lives and exercising their First Amendment rights.
- Betty wrote the first stories in the Washington Post and the story fades a little from the headlines. The Pentagon Papers explode 3 or 4 months later. Daniel Ellsberg is on the scene.
- Then our story picks up again.
- It seems inconceivable now but Hoover had been director for over 50 years, and that’s no longer possible.
- Some people who seen the film before say they were really moved by the Church Committee hearings.
- Attorney David Kairys is a huge figure in Philadelphia and yes back in the day he was contacted by two members of the Citizens Commission. He didn’t know what they had done, but if they got caught, they could call him day or night.
- We were reaching the tail end, or we thought we were reaching the tail end of the film when the Snowden revelations happened.
- The Snowden revelations were one thing, absolute bombshell, but prior to that we had a couple of other instances. Back in 2011, September, there were raids all across the country, animal rights activists, environmental groups. One night Brian Williams introduced the news and described these raids and said you know its reminiscent of Hoover back in the 1970s.
- We had whole scenes cut together with that footage and debated and deliberated on that. In the end erred on the side of excluding it.
- It’s opening here in New York City and will start rolling out across the country. If you check our website we update the cities that it will show at. It will be on PBS, Independent Lens at the end of May. 1971Film.com
Guest – Johanna Hamilton, director of the film 1971. She also co-produced Pray the Devil Back to Hell, which won Best Documentary at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2008 and was shortlisted for an Academy Award. Johanna has produced nonfiction programs for PBS, The History Channel, National Geographic, A&E, Discovery Channel, and The Washington Post/Newsweek Productions, including September’s Children, a documentary for PBS exploring how children around the world are affected by terrorism and war.