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Law and Disorder February 10, 2014


 Updates:

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Goliath: Life and Loathing In Greater Israel: Max Blumenthal

Operation Cast Lead in 2008, is a starting point in the book Goliath: Life and Loathing In Greater Israel where award winning journalist and author Max Blumenthal shows the reader how a right wing government in Israel rose to power.  His book takes hard look at Israeli authoritarian politics through a cross section of interviews from the homes of Palestinian activists to the political leaders behind the organized assault against civil liberties.  Max gives readers a rare look into Israeli society that many will not write about.

Max Blumenthal:

  • The first title was Master Race Democracy.
  • Of course Israel is always portrayed in our media as this plucky little David surrounded by the Arab Goliath. Of course our reality is 180 degrees different.
  • Matzpen warned that this would happen, they took a full page ad in Harretz saying we will become a police state and a nation of murderers.
  • That’s where I come in to show that all of their darkest prophecies have been fulfilled and realized.
  • I take you through Israeli society and through the key institutions of Israeli life to show how its playing out.
  • From my time in Jerusalem where an anti miscegenation movement is burgeoning in the streets of Israel, leading mob attacks on young Palestinian men who are accused of making passes at Jewish women to the convention at the Jerusalem Ramada where key state Rabbis sit on a panel before right-wing settlers, including settler vigilantes leaders of the anti miscegenation movement defend a book, a guide on how and when its permissible to kill non-jews. A guide to genocide which is being distributed in Israeli Army units.
  • Avigdor Lieberman is the man that basically promised to transfer 100s of thousands of Palestinians. He’s a rising force in Israeli society. It’s the youth whose hearts and minds they command.
  • I take you into the Knesset to meet the younger legislators and the rising stars in Lieberman’s party and Netanhayu’s party who are far to the right of Netanyahu. Netanyahu really just commands the hollow center of Israeli politics.
  • Rotem was great because he and other hard core right wingers have this whole philosophy of being dugri or straight. There was nothing I could say to shake him. He looks at me coming in at just another pathetic Jewish liberal who doesn’t really get what it takes to prevent a second holocaust and that’s what he said his goal was.
  • It’s completely different from talking to a Republican in the United States who has to pander to some kind of civil rights sensibility.
  • That’s another thing reviewers missed about my book is that I analyzed these key votes on major anti-democratic laws going back to 2009. Laws like the Nakba Law which basically criminalized observance of Palestine dispossession in 2008. Laws like the Acceptance to Community Law which legitimizes racial and religious discrimination for communities of under 500.
  • These are laws that strip off the veneer of democracy and expose apartheid for what it is.
  • It’s the right-wing that has captured the heart of Israeli society because they have the dynamism, they’re driving the agenda forward. (using a simple mantra – “finish 48″)
  • In 1948 and actually starting in 1947, 750 thousand Palestinian Arabs were expelled to allow the creation of a Jewish state with a Jewish demographic majority, but many stayed behind. 20 percent of the state of Israel is non-Jewish Palestinian.
  • They view Palestinian citizens of Israel increasingly as a fifth column, as a trojan horse for the Arab world, for Arab nationalism and Islamism.
  • In order to become a citizen of Israel you have swear loyalty to the Jewish state and that applies to Palestinians in east Jerusalem.
  • You will meet the people who are trying to push back inside Jewish-Israeli society on the pages of my book because they were my roommates, my friends. They took me to the flashpoints of ethnic cleansing and conflict.
  • I would number 700 or less active left wingers who are actively leveling their bodies against the occupation and apartheid.
  • The writings on the wall for these activists that there is very little room for them left in Israeli society.
  • What they’ve (leftists in Israel) done is call to the outside. They’re calling to us. They organized around the boycott from within committee and they’re signing letters asking performers not to come to Israel. They’re signing letters calling on Americans to boycott their country.
  • That is really where the activism of the radical left wing Israelis is going.
  • The Jewish National Fund is supposed to operate within the Green Line only and is probably the leading Jewish non-profit in the world. It receives the most donations from diaspora Jews in the world.
  • Steven Harper the Prime Minister of Canada recently spoke at one of their banquets. They’ve paid Bill Clinton hundreds of thousands to speak at their banquets.
  • They are also the premier organization linked to the Israeli government involved in ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.
  • It’s something we talk about a lot. How Zionism is trying to capture Judaism and change what it means to be a Jew and declare us to be who are not only not Zionists but object to this redefinition of Judaism and cast us out and declare us to be anathema.
  • You can see it in my video Feeling the Hate where I go to the heart of Jerusalem and meet American Jews from around the country and they line up around my camera the night before Barack Obama’s historic address in Cairo.
  • Zionism is attracting those who are magnetized by the kind of bellicose identity that it requires and is repelling anyone who has any liberal sensibility or at least throwing them into a moral crisis.
  • I showed up as # 9 on Simon Weisenthal Center’s list of anti-Israel, anti-semites and they called me an anti-semitic Jew, not even a self-hating Jew but a Jew who hates Jews.
  • I was tied with Alice Walker by the way.
  • They literally count the calorie of each Gaza resident with complex mathematical formulas.
  • Barack Obama has never challenged the idea of holding 1.8 million under siege because they possess the wrong ethnicity.
  • When a situation like this is taking place and expanding as Jeff Halper from the Israeli Committee Against Home Demolitions says into a “global Gaza” where the techniques that have been used to control people in the Gaza Strip are literally being exported because Israel is the only country that has the ability to basically lab test such a regime of domination.
  • That’s very appealing to people in the United States, the Department of Homeland Security, to private prison companies like CCA.
  • Twitter – @maxblumenthal

Guest – Max Blumenthal,  an award-winning journalist and bestselling author whose articles and video documentaries have appeared in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Daily Beast, The Nation, The Guardian, The Independent Film Channel, The Huffington Post, Salon, Al Jazeera English and many other publications. He is a former Puffin Foundation Writing Fellow for The Nation Institute. His book, Republican Gomorrah: Inside The Movement That Shattered The Party, is a New York Times and Los Angeles Times bestseller.

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Law and Disorder February 11, 2013


Updates:

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Senate Votes To Extend Warrantless Wiretaps For Five More Years: No Oversight, No Transparency

Days before 2012 drew to a close, the U.S. Senate voted 73-23 to reauthorize the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 for five more years. This is the unconstitutional spying bill that violates the Fourth Amendment and gives vast unmonitored authority to the National Security Agency to conduct dragnet surveillance of American’s’ international emails and phone calls.

Michelle Richardson:

  • The Senate took up the FISA Reauthorization Bill right at the end of the year and they did consider a handful of very moderate amendments that wouldn’t have actually interfered with the collection of information but would make it more transparent to Congress.
  • In an open and free democracy there should be no secret law.
  • The original FISA was much more targeted. It required a more traditional probable cause, finding an individualized warrant before you could go up and tap a phone.
  • After 911 Congress started systematically lowering the standard for obtaining this information.
  • They made it easier so you could go around the court, and do it administratively.
  • They lowered the standard so there’s no longer a probable cause. The FISA Amendment Act is probably the biggest change in the last decade.
  • You no longer have to name who you’re going to tap, the phone number or stated facility.
  • Instead we’re going to do these programmatic orders so the court is no longer involved in deciding who will be tapped.
  • I’m not going to tap a specific American, but I want information about Yemen.
  • Theoretically this isn’t turned into the United States at any specific person. We think its being used for bulk collection.
  • The way the internet works now, sometimes your communication will travel around the world before landing next door.
  • A lot of times the equipment is intentionally built so the government can tap directly into the system.
  • FISA – Foreign intelligence which includes the undefined national defense of the United States.
  • I think there is reason to believe this is a self correcting situation and that people will start looking at this technology and understand more about what’s out there.

Guest – Michelle Richardson is a Legislative Counsel with the ACLU Washington Legislative Office where she focuses on national security and government transparency issues such as the Patriot Act, FISA, cybersecurity, state secrets and the Freedom of Information Act. Before coming to the ACLU in 2006, Richardson served as counsel to the House Judiciary Committee where she specialized in national security, civil rights and constitutional issues for Democratic Ranking Member John Conyers.

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Boycott Divestment Sanction Controversy At Brooklyn College

Last month, a backlash of controversy erupted after the announcement of a student group at CUNY’s Brooklyn College, Students for Justice in Palestine will host two speakers who will discuss their views on the BDS movement. The BDS movement as many listeners may know calls for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel in protest of the government’s oppressive policies toward the Palestinian people. The speakers are Palestinian BDS advocate Omar Barghouti and University of California Berkeley philosopher and BDS supporter Judith Butler. The event was  co-sponsored by numerous student and community groups, as well as Brooklyn College’s political science department.

The backlash included a threat by New York City Council members and Congressman Jerry Nadler to defund Brooklyn College and opinion pieces by Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz who called the event a “propaganda hate orgy,” another daily newspaper labeled it “Israel-bashing.

Omar Barghouti:

  • Specifically the BDS call said that Israel and institutions and corporations that are complicit in Israel’s violations of International Law should be boycotted, divested from and eventually sanctioned in order to achieve the 3 basic rights of the Palestinian people under International Law.
  • Ending the occupation of 1967, which include the illegal colonies, the wall, ending the system of discrimination within Israel itself which meets the UN definition of apartheid, the third is the right of return for refugees which is their basic inalienable right under international law.
  • In order to achieve these 3 basic rights, we absolutely need international solidarity as was done in the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa, we can’t do it alone.
  • Your tax money is funding Israel occupation and apartheid. You have an obligation to question where your money is going to and how its being used to oppress us.
  • I think that the New York Times editorial supported having a debate at Brooklyn College says it all. We could have never imagined such a thing, a year ago.
  • The government of South Africa’s ruling party the ANC endorsed BDS this last December.
  • Many Jewish groups have joined BDS campaigns and are leading BDS campaigns.
  • Bullying is one thing and response from critics is another. We’re very open to debate but no one would debate us.
  • They’re running scared of debate.
  • Not every event, every talk has to be balanced.
  • The balance is overall. Those accusing this panel of being imbalanced themselves like Dershowitz, always speak solo, unopposed, espousing the most extreme ideas like torture, a war crime.
  • They’re twisting the very definition of academic freedom.
  • Human rights are difficult. If you have a master slave relationship and the slave insists on freedom and nothing less than freedom that upsets the order.
  • Did equality in Alabama delegitamize whites? It delegitamized apartheid in the South.
  • We’re delegitamizing the Israel’s occupation, apartheid and denial of Palestinian rights. We’re insisting on our rights. We’re not delegitamizing any people.
  • We’re delegitamizing an order that’s illegal by definition. Apartheid is illegal. Occupation is illegal. Building colonies on occupied territories is illegal. Ethnic cleansing is illegal.
  • It’s not a blanket boycott against every company that’s complicit because that wouldn’t work.
  • BDS is about context sensitivity, graduality and sustainability.
  • You’ve got to address the most sinister companies as it were. The most seriously involved in human rights violations and move toward others, to teach others a lesson.
  • There’s a big campaign against soda stream led by an Interfaith coalition because Soda Stream is manufactured in an illegal settlement in the occupied territories.
  • We need coresistance, not coexistance until we end oppression.
  • www.BDSMovement.net  / www.PACBI.org 
  • www.WhoProfits.org
  • Dissent and any argument against Israeli policies is almost becoming illegitimate in this country. It’s a new McCarthyism that the Israeli lobby is leading.

Guest – Omar Barghouti, the founding member of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel and the Palestinian Civil Society Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign.

Listen to Law and Disorder May 2011 Show with Guest Omar Barghouti

 

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Law and Disorder December 10, 2012


Updates:

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Facing The U.S. Prison Problem 2.3 Million Strong

As many listeners may know the United States has incarcerated more people than any other country in the world, and also within the history of humanity. The newly published book titled Facing The U.S. Prison Problem 2.3 Million Strong by Shawn Griffith gives the reader a rare perspective from an ex convict who served a 20 year sentence in some of the harshest conditions. These include being confined to a small cement cell in the late Florida summer without sheets, laying in pools of sweat on a plastic covered mattress. Vindictive prison guards and case workers in the criminal justice system had made life nearly unbearable for Shawn Griffith.  His book hopes to inspire movement building among the families of prisoners to develop a non-profit corporation called the Prisoner Family Union.

Shawn Griffith:

  • As a youngster, it was a very difficult childhood.
  • My parents were very religious, there was a lot of alcohol abuse.
  • Early on I went on a truth seeking thing. I also became very rebellious at a young age.
  • At 16, I met these people who were crack cocaine addicts. They were the only place I could find to stay off the street. They introduced me to the drug, which I had no knowledge of, how addictive it was.
  • Then they told me I had to help them support their habit. They started training me, taking me to homes showing me how to burglarize them, steal cars, a number of things to support our habits.
  • When I committed an armed robbery for 100.00 ended up with a 24 year sentenced in which I did 20 years.
  • I knew that I had some emotional problems, I started studying psychology for about 4 years. By the age of 23, I attempted to escape initially.
  • In Chapter 1, where I explain in detail, some of the sentencing laws that were passed in Florida, those same laws that were passed show decreases in crime rate before the laws were instituted.
  • Inmates and their families are by majority below the poverty line. They don’t have a lot of resources to fight back.
  • These large groups that influence the correctional system, they are unionized.
  • Speakoutpublishing.com

Guest – Shawn Griffith, founder of Speak Out Publishing and  has been an institutional teacher of adult basic education for the past sixteen years. He has received many teaching and writing awards from professors and others with whom he has worked, as recently as 2011.  He is author of the recently published book Facing The U.S. Prison Problem 2.3 Million Strong

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Professor Francis Boyle: Palestine Observer Status

Now that Palestine has been voted in as a new non member state status within the United Nations,  Palestinian leaders can join the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court and challenge Israel’s violations of international law. We talk with Professor Francis Boyle, the leading expert in international about his role as a Palestine observer. In his book Palestine, Palestinians and International Law, Professor Boyle outlines 6 critical points, among them are:

1. “Palestine can join the Rome Statute for the International Criminal Court and file a Complaint with the ICC against the illegal settlements and settlers, who are committing war crimes;

2. “Palestine can join the Statute for the International Court of Justice, sue Israel at the World Court, and break the illegal siege of Gaza;

3. “Palestine can join the Law of the Sea Convention and get its fair share of the enormous gas fields lying off the coast of Gaza, thus becoming economically self-sufficient;

4. “Palestine can become a High Contracting Party to the Four Geneva Conventions [this deals with the laws of war];

5. “Palestine can join the International Civil Aviation Organization and gain sovereign, legal control over its own airspace;

6. “Palestine can join the International Telecommunications Union and gain sovereign legal control over its own airwaves, phone lines, bandwidths.”

Professor Boyle is the author of many books including Palestine, Palestinians and International Law, The Palestinian Right of Return Under International Law, and United Ireland, Human Rights and International Law.

Professor Francis Boyle:

  • The negotiations between Israelis and the Palestinians broke off because Israel continued to build settlements. The Palestinians took the position that well, we’re negotiating over a pizza while you eat it.
  • I went back with them with a proposal longstanding with President Arafat, that we apply for membership in the United Nations organization.
  • That was approved by the PLO executive committee. The Obama Administration bottled the application up in the UN Security Council.
  • The mainstream news media has it wrong, Obama can exercise over their admission if they want to, but under the Uniting For Peace Procedure, they can turn it over to the General Assembly where Palestine can be admitted as a full fledged state by a 2/3 vote.
  • They took an intermediate step last Spring, the PLO executive committee that serves as the provisional government for the state of Palestine created by the 1988 Declaration of Independence, voted to apply for UN observer status.
  • Look at what Switzerland did from the founding of the United Nations to about 10 years ago as a UN observer state. Palestine can now if it wishes join pretty much every international organization in the world and treaties.
  • They can simply use the Swiss model, join the International Criminal Court, join the International Court of Justice, join the Law of the Sea convention, join the International Civic Aviation Convention.
  • We already filed a complaint with the ICC after Operation Cast Lead.
  • If you follow the Israeli press they’re deathly afraid of prosecution by the ICC.
  • The step we saw last week, took two years in the making. The Palestinians had to go all over the world to line up that support.
  • It’s been my advice, we go after the settlements now – what they do is up to them (PLO)
  • The second legal step is to sue Israel at the International Court of Justice at the Hague. The so called World Court of the United Nations system.
  • I’ve offered to do that work for them and try to break that genocidal siege of Gaza.
  • You or I aren’t going to decide this.
  • We have to stand back and support the Palestinians and let them decide what they’re going to do.

Guest – Professor Francis Boyle, leading American expert in international law. He was responsible for drafting the Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989, the American implementing legislation for the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention. He served on the Board of Directors of Amnesty International (1988-1992), and represented Bosnia-Herzegovina at the World Court. He served as legal adviser to the Palestinian Delegation to the Middle East peace negotiations from 1991 to 1993.

In 2007, he delivered the Bertrand Russell Peace Lectures. Professor Boyle teaches international law at the University of Illinois, Champaign and is author of, inter alia, The Future of International Law and American Foreign Policy, Foundations of World Order, The Criminality of Nuclear Deterrence, Palestine, Palestinians and International Law, Destroying World Order, Biowarfare and Terrorism, Tackling America’s Toughest Problems, and The Tamil Genocide by Sri Lanka.  He holds a Doctor of Law Magna Cum Laude as well as a Ph.D. in Political Science, both from Harvard University.

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Law and Disorder November 26, 2012



Michael Ratner and Michael Smith discuss Jeremy Hammond Court Case

  • Jeremy Hammond is charged with hacking into the computer system of intelligence firm Strategic Forecasting Inc.
  • Hammond is one of five charged with conspiracy to commit computer hacking and other charges
  • Michael Smith and Michael Ratner visited him in prison.
  • November 20, 2012  – Michael Ratner and Michael Smith go to federal court – Jeremy Hammond’s case. 
  • Defense Council, Liz Fink, Margie Ratner Kunstler, Sarah Kunstler and a couple of other people were at the table.
  • Emily Kunstler was there as a paralegal.
  • Jeremy came into the room, he looked very good – in a blue jumpsuit.
  • Then the hearing happened, an hour and a half on getting bail. It’s up to the government to prove why shouldn’t this person be out on bail. You haven’t been convicted of anything so you should be out on the street.
  • The government has to prove you will abscond, not come back to trial. The other thing they have is the burden of proof on is that you’re a danger to the community. Michael Smith offered a spare room for Jeremy Hammond to stay.
  • It was a hostile hearing and the judge reads her decision denying bail. It was obvious it was prepared way in advance.
  • Jeremy’s lawyer Liz Fink: He’s got to be free (on bail) in order for us to work together to prepare his defense.
  • Factor 1: Is he going to flee if he gets out on bail? Factor 2: He flaunts legal authority.
  • Liz Fink said to the judge, he doesn’t have a passport and his parents are putting up their home for bail.
  • He could get 39.5 years. Freehammond.com

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  • Israel and Gaza Bombing Update
  • Israel The Third Largest Arms Seller Globally
  • Weapons Experimenting In Gaza

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Iyad Burnat, Head of the Popular Committee in Bil’in, Palestine

We hear excerpts of the presentation by Iyad Burnat, head of the Bil’in Popular Committee and a leader in the village’s non-violent popular resistance movement.  Since 2005 citizens of Bil’in have held weekly demonstrations against the building of the Israeli separation wall through the community’s agricultural lands, and the steady encroachment of illegal settlements.  The demonstrators are joined by Israeli and international peace activists, and have maintained a commitment to non-violent methods of resistance in spite of armed, military opposition that has resulted in many injuries and some deaths.

These demonstrations are the subject of the recent award-winning documentary film 5 Broken Cameras, which was made by Iyad’s brother, Emad Burnat. Iyad was born in Bil’in in September of 1973.  He is married and has four children.  He became involved in popular resistance as a teenager, and was arrested by the Israeli military for the first time at age 17.  He was accused of throwing stones, and imprisoned for two years.  Since then he has been arrested and imprisoned by the Israeli military several more times. The event was recorded at Unitarian Church of All Souls in Manhattan.
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JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters by Jim Douglass

JFK, The Unspeakable, is the first book of 3 on the assassinations of the 1960s. Orbis Books has commissioned author James W. Douglass to write about the murders of JFK, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, and his  the third will be on the assassination of Bobby Kennedy. The heart of JFK the Unthinkable, is not how Kennedy was killed or how Kennedy became a threat to the systemic war machine, but why DID Kennedy die? Author James Douglass says Kennedy knew that he would die and had the guts to stand up to the system and take the hit. This narrative was lost for decades, obscured by disinformation about Kennedy’s character and the conspiracy of his assassination. One review summarizes Douglass’s book in this way : JFK’s belated effort to turn America from an armed culture of victory to a member of an international peaceful world was shot down in Texas for a reason.

Jim Douglass:

  • John F. Kennedy’s experience in WWII:  He was in the South Pacific, he volunteered. He was on that PT boat.
  • What happened on that PT boat, is that it got split into two by a Japanese destroyer. He lost brothers and friends at that time.  An extraordinary experience being adrift on the ocean warning other PT boats. The experience create a distrust in military authority.
  • He said that he wanted to splinter the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter to the winds.
  • As Kennedy said to his friends, “they figured me all wrong.”
  • The Unspeakable: the kind of evil and deceit that seems to go beyond the capacity of words to describe. The midst of war and nuclear arms race, the assassinations of Kennedy, Martin Luther King and Malcom X that the term was used.
  • JFK’s vision is articulated in the address June 10, 1963, arising from the turnaround of the missile crisis and Bay of Pigs.
  • He wanted to move step by step into a disarmed world. Nikita Khrushchev put that speech all over the Soviet Union.  The Cuban Missile Crisis is a deeply misunderstood part of our history, because it’s usually portrayed as Kennedy going to war with Nikita Khrushchev and beating him.
  • The truth was that Kennedy and Nikita Khrushchev were in over their heads, the US generals wanted nuclear war, because they had more warheads than the Soviets.
  • Nikita Khrushchev: We now have a common enemy from those pushing us toward war.
  • At that point the Cold War turned upside down because Kennedy and Khruschev became closer to each other than either was toward their own military power system.
  • Vietnam: Kennedy’s military people would not give him an exit policy. He signed the withdrawal order from Vietnam before he was assassinated.
  • His friends said that he had an obsession with death. It was not an obsession but a real assessment that he was going to die. If you try to turn around a national security state that is dominating the world,
  • and you do so as president of the United States, of course you’re going to die. Kennedy knew that.
  • The book is a story on the deliberate destruction of hope, the vision of change, a turning of this country all of which was happening and had to be stopped.  US Agencies killed Dr. Martin Luther King – 1999 Verdict
  • We’re in the same scene right now with Petraeus and McChrystal setting up Obama. They were dictating terms to Obama, unlike Kennedy, he did not face them down.
  • We need to get out ahead of Obama so that he can do something.

Guest -author, James W. Douglass. He’s a longtime peace activist and writer. James and his wife Shelley are co-founders of the Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action in Poulsbo, Washington, and Mary’s House, a Catholic Worker house of hospitality in Birmingham, Alabama.

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Law and Disorder November 19, 2012


Updates:

  • Jeremy Hammond Case Update: Currently In MCA
  • Julian Assange Update: Ecuador Embassy, London
  • Bradley Manning Hearing at Fort Meade – November 27-December 22
  • National Security State Eats Its Own? General Petraeus Scandal Analysis
  • Israel Bombing Gaza: Operation Pillar of Cloud.  Timeline
  • CCR Files Complaint Against the UN Committee Against Torture: Canada Directly Violates Convention Against Torture
  • UN Vote On Cuba Embargo: Israel Is Among Major Investors In Cuba

National Lawyers Guild 75 Years

Hundreds of National Lawyers Guild members and allies gathered to celebrate the organization’s 75th anniversary at the Law for the People convention in Pasadena, California.  We hear excerpts from speeches from the National Lawyers Guild Convention by Attorney Jim Lafferty  The 2012 Law for the People Award was given to Jim Lafferty.

Scholar and activist Angela Davis delivered the keynote address and among the convention honorees will be Margaret Burnham, a professor of civil rights law who, as a young lawyer, helped secure Davis’s 1972 acquittal on high-profile charges.

Founded in 1937, the National Lawyers Guild is the oldest and largest public interest/human rights bar association in the United States. Its headquarters are in New York City and it has members in every state.

Jim Lafferty, Executive director of the National Lawyers Guild in Los Angeles and host of The Lawyers Guild Show on Pacifica’s KPFK 90. 7 FM.

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Law and Disorder November 12, 2012


Updates:

  • Hosts Update On Hurricane Sandy
  • Obama Re-election: What Does It Mean For Basic Civil Rights? Drones, Guantanamo, Military Commissions, Warrantless Wiretapping.
  • PLO and CCR Victory – Muhammad Salah
  • Holy Land Case Update – Supreme Court Refuses To Review Sixth Amendment Right

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Russell Tribunal on Palestine: Attorney Diana Butto

The final session of the Tribunal focused on the responsibility of the United States of America and the United Nations regarding the Israeli breaches of international law towards Palestine and Palestinians. There is now a situation in which Israel has achieved a status of immunity and impunity, facilitated by the US, despite its complete disregard for the norms and standards of international law. We hear an excerpt of a speech by Human Rights Attorney Diana Butto at the Russell Tribunal on Palestine.

Diana Buttu is a Palestinian-Canadian lawyer and former spokesperson with the Palestine Liberation Organization.
She is best known for her work as a legal adviser and negotiator on peace negotiations between Israeli and Palestinian organizations. Buttu was born in Canada to Palestinian parents. She began her work as a negotiator in 2000, shortly after the outbreak of the Second Palestinian Intifada, as a spokesperson for the Negotiations Support Unit of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

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The Moral Challenge of ‘Kill Lists’ by Ray McGovern

The Obama Administration has conducted hundreds of drone strikes in several countries, killing civilians and a US citizen. Critics point out that as the Obama Administration assassinates its’ suspects, it also avoids the legal complications of detention.  In last week’s New York Times, authors Jo Becker and Scott Shane expose the priest-like role  of counter terrorist adviser John Brennan as he provides Mr. Obama with the moral justification for extrajudicial murder. The framing of John Brennan’s role of priestly adviser caught Ray McGovern’s attention. His recent article The Moral Challenge of Kill Lists, dissects the New York Times story.

Ray McGovern:

  • There has been a geometric increase in the number of drone strikes against Pakistan and of course Somalia and Yemen.
  • London based bureau for investigative journalism estimates that about 830 civilians including women and children may have been killed by drone attacks in Pakistan. 138 in Yemen, and 57 in Somalia. It’s incredibly naive to think that this helps in any way in the war on terrorism.
  • This wonderfully insightful and dangerous New York Times article a week ago talked about the conundrum of aligning these activities  with US legal and moral principles. Conundrum? That’s an impossibility.
  • The Fifth Amendment prevents this sort of thing if you take the interpretation we’ve always had.
  • As the New York Times article mentions 1 out of 30 assassinations that are known about just one escaped assassination and was brought before a court. It’s much easier to kill them.
  • If you wanted to learn about al-Qaeda, don’t you think Osama Bin Laden could’ve told us some stuff about al-Qaeda?
  • Any military aged male in the area of a “bad guy” is fair game.
  • Maybe I can draw from my own experience in the CIA, I know about lists.  I know that when there was a coup attempt in Indonesia in 1965, that there were lists given to the Indonesian authorities of communists. How many communists on that list? A million. How many were killed, were murdered? 500 thousand plus. How many were put in prison? The other 500 thousand.
  • The drones are really accurate but the target information is notoriously inaccurate.
  • I love Fordham and I hate to see the administration and the very wealthy trustees who have lots of money to give to Fordham, determine who comes in to give the commencement address.
  • I think that you have to have some kind of personal involvement with innocent suffering. I think that you have to have some sense of the injustice others suffer to let your heart be touched by this direct experience.
  • Obama’s fallen in with a rough crowd.
  • I was attracted to getting outside of my Catholic walls. There’s a small church down in Washington DC called the Church of the Savior.
  • I found out they were doing wonderful things like preventing housing from being gentrified so poor people can still live there. Healthcare, jobs, addictions, a hospice for people to sick to be on the street.
  • There’s been one major change for the good in this country. That is Occupy.
  • When you look for proof that Occupy has incredible potential, look no farther than what the president and the top senators thought necessary to inject into the NDAA on New Year’s Eve, which allows them to use the US Army of all things to wrap us all up without charge, without court proceedings.

Guest – Raymond L. McGovern retired CIA officer turned political activist. McGovern was a Federal employee under seven U.S. presidents in the past 27 years.  Ray’s opinion pieces have appeared in many leading newspapers here and abroad.  His website writings are posted first on consortiumnews.com, and are usually carried on other websites as well.  He has debated at the Oxford Forum and appeared on Charlie Rose, The Newshour, CNN, and numerous other TV & radio programs and documentaries. Ray has lectured to a wide variety of audiences here and abroad.   Ray studied theology and philosophy (as well as his major, Russian) at Fordham University, from which he holds two degrees.  He also holds a Certificate in Theological Studies from Georgetown University.  A Catholic, Mr. McGovern has been worshipping for over a decade with the ecumenical Church of the Saviour and teaching at its Servant Leadership School.  He was co-director of the school from 1998 to 2004.  Ray came from his native New York to Washington in the early Sixties as an Army infantry/intelligence officer and then served as a CIA analyst from the administration of  John F. Kennedy to that of George H. W. Bush. Ray’s duties included chairing National Intelligence Estimates and preparing the President’s Daily Brief, which he briefed one-on-one to President Ronald Reagan’s most senior national security advisers from 1981 to 1985.

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Law and Disorder November 5, 2012


 

Crisis In Syria Update: Black Agenda Report

Thousands of Syrians have died in the escalating conflict between forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad and those that oppose his leadership. The vicious internal power struggles have forced tens of thousands of Syrian refugees into other countries including Turkey. This conflict could represent a threat to world peace according to UN based human rights groups.

Glen Ford:

  • We have to see a global system that’s in crisis that has clearly decided that International Law, a body of international law that the United States had so much do with erecting after World War II.
  • That body of International Law is no longer useful or tolerable to US empire.
  • There is no international legitimacy as to what’s happening in Syria, which has now become a US model.
  • It can gather in an ad hoc way any volunteer group of nations and pretend there is international legitimacy to the aggression that they mount.
  • This time its against Syria, they’ve enlisted. They’re making a war, the NATO countries and gulf kingdoms against Syria.
  • There is no concept here of inalienable rights of nations to run their own internal affairs.
  • I believe the US saw the Arab Spring as a existential crisis.
  • If they cannot achieve cleanly, the kind of regime change that they hope to achieve they do not hesitate to resort to the imposition of chaos.
  • We’ve seen that in Africa for the last 50 years. That which we can’t directly control, we will through into chaos.
  • They will be satisfied with years and years of chaos, and social disintegration and great loss of life.
  • Muslim fundamentalism behaves very much like a nationalism.
  • These jihadis have done the US a great service and they do know it.
  • Despite the global financial crisis, and we’re still suffering from it unless we are banks, we do not have a political crisis.
  • You only have a political crisis when there is effective resistance.
  • When you have effective resistance then you have a conversation that is hostile to the order.
  • Romney and Obama, there are no fundamental differences between these two people.
  • We have these little dust ups off to the side made to look like arguments. The Republicans didn’t want modest taxes on the rich. That is all that separates them.
  • Black America has historically been the point constituency for change in the United States.
  • It is only with the passing on of this black president we’re going to see such a movement.
  • The advent of a black in the White House has totally neutralized the black politic. It has short circuited our instinctive reactions to travesties wrought by power.

Guest – Glen Ford, founder of the Black Agenda Report and many other media forums. Ford was a founding member of the Washington chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ); executive board member of the National Alliance of Third World Journalists (NATWJ); media specialist for the National Minority Purchasing Council; and has spoken at scores of colleges and universities.

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Russell Tribunal on Palestine: Phyllis Bennis

The final session of the Tribunal focused on the responsibility of the United States of America and the United Nations regarding the Israeli breaches of international law towards Palestine and Palestinians. There is now a situation in which Israel has achieved a status of immunity and impunity, facilitated by the US, despite its complete disregard for the norms and standards of international law. We hear an excerpt of a speech by Phyllis Bennis at the Russell Tribunal on Palestine.

Speaker – Phyllis Bennis, director of the New Internationalism Project at the Institute For Policy Studies.  She is also a fellow of the Transnational Institute in Amsterdam. She has been a writer, analyst, and activist on Middle East and UN issues for many years. In 2001 she helped found and remains on the steering committee of the U.S. Campaign to End Israeli Occupation. She works closely with the United for Peace and Justice anti-war coalition, co-chairs the UN-based International Coordinating Network on Palestine, and since 2002 has played an active role in the growing global peace movement. She continues to serve as an adviser to several top UN officials on Middle East and UN democratization issues.

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Locking Away Children For Life Without Parole

The United States is the only country in the world that sentences children to life, without the possibility of parole. Last month, the US Supreme Court revisited the question of whether juveniles convicted of murder should be given mandatory life sentences without the possibility of parole. The Supreme Court had once ruled against imposing death sentences on juveniles and imposing life sentences on youth who aren’t convicted of murder. Currently, 2500 kids in jail are serving life sentences without parole in the US.  371 of those individuals are in Michigan prisons. Our next guest has been working on a lawsuit on behalf of 9 Michigan individuals who were sentenced to life in prison for crimes committed when they were minors and who are being denied the possibility of parole.

Attorney Deborah LaBelle:

  • The concept that we’ve been talking about that these are children both under international law and US law for civil matters, children are different from adults.
  • The Supreme Court seemed to readily grasp that, they weren’t speaking about juveniles or teenagers or young adults, they spoke continuously on what to do about children who are involved in homicide crime.
  • The court had two cases in front of them, both involving 14 year olds, one in which the 14 did not commit a homicide, but convicted of either felony murder or aiding and abetting.
  • That juvenile got mandatory life without possibility of parole, because the child was sentenced as an adult, the other case, the 14 year old actually committed the homicide.
  • There is a handful of states, Michigan and I think 8 others who treat 17 year olds always as adults for all purposes in the criminal justice system.
  • Under the 38 states, there’s a whole range, some you can only get life without parole, if you’re 16 and up, some allow it for 15, some states allow it for a child of any age, Michigan is one of them.
  • One of the justices talked about that. Is there an age in which we would all share a collective cringe. What about a 5 year old, what about a 10 year old.
  • The frontal lobe area of the brain that really addresses impulse control and long term consequences, and control issues of risk management, is developing through adolescence.
  • People draw the age at different points, some say not til 19, some not til 23 as you say.
  • There’s a bright line in civil law that’s been drawn in civil law that youth have a maturity that they can vote, when they can decide to leave school, when they can drink in some places, when they can drive.
  • There are these bright lines.
  • Every other country who has signed on to the conventions of the rights of the child which prohibits putting children in prison for life without possibility of parole explicitly has recognized that this practice is banned.
  • The only other country that hasn’t signed on is Somalia and they don’t quite have a government right now to do that.
  • We stand alone in not adhering to that convention on the rights of the child as well as we stand alone on approving this sentence.
  • We have over 2500 youth who are serving of life without any possibility of parole. About 70 percent are children of color. A third of them, did not commit homicides.
  • No one is arguing that there might not be circumstances, that a state couldn’t decide upon review that child couldn’t be released.  What the argument is, you can’t keep them in there without any hope. You have to give them an opportunity to demonstrate upon maturation that they have been rehabilitated and they aren’t a threat to public safety.
  • We should think of putting children in places where we can nurture, council and believe in their rehabilitation and give them a second chance.
  • I read transcript after transcript of judges saying, – listen I don’t want to do this to this 14 or 16 year old, but I don’t have any choice.  What is the value of putting a child away with no hope. It’s certainly not a public safety issue, because that can be addressed by the state by having parole or review hearings.

 Guest – Attorney Deborah LaBelle, an attorney with the ACLU of Michigan’s Juvenile Life Without Parole Initiative.

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Law and Disorder October 22, 2012


Updates:

Russell Tribunal on Palestine Findings

We follow up on the findings of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine. As many listeners may know, the tribunal was created in response to the international community’s inaction regarding Israel’s recognized violations of international law.  Jury and speakers included Angela Davis, Noam Chomsky, Ilan Pappe, Peter Hansen, Diana Buttu, Phyllis Bennis, Katie Gallagher and Russell Means.

Attorney Noura Erakat:

  • Each of the sessions focuses on a different component of the problems that has led to a failure to achieve a solution to what some may describe as the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
  • More specifically to achieve Palestinian self-determination and equality with their Jewish-Israeli counterparts.
  • The first tribunal explored the EU complicity. A condition for Israel’s acceptance into the United Nations was its acceptance of returning refugees to their homes per UN Resolution 194.
  • Since the 1967 war they’ve been supported by unequivocal US financial, military and diplomatic support.
  • Corporate complicity:  The corporations that are involved in funding the Israeli military arsenal and its construction arsenal to expand its colonial settlements in the Occupied Territory as well as building a wall deemed illegal by the National Court of Justice.
  • This fourth and final session brought everything back to the U.S.
  • To New York specifically because the U.S. has proven to be the primary obstacle in resolving this conflict.
  • Consider first that Israel has received 115 billion dollars in aid since World War 2. Making it the highest recipient of US foreign aid.
  • In addition to that Israel receives approximately 3 billion dollars a year. It receives money without any review in US law, specifically the Arms Export Control Act which conditions that all US aid to foreign countries must be used to further human rights or in self defense.
  • The US is shielding Israeli responsibility in the UN Security Council
  • The resolution process is stonewalled internationally.
  • One of the things that we’d love to do is remove the veto power from the five permanent members of the UN Security Council.
  • BDS Movement: 2011 – Dock Workers refused unload Israeli products from a boat.
  • EndtheOccupation.org

Guest – Attorney Noura Erakat, human rights attorney and activist. She is currently a Abraham L. Freedman Teaching Fellow at Temple University, Beasley School of Law and the U.S. based Legal Advocacy Consultant for the Badil Resource Center for Palestinian Refugee and Residency Rights. She has taught international human rights law in the Middle East at Georgetown University since Spring 2009. Noura also has helped seed BDS campaigns as a national grassroots organizer with the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation.

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Russell Tribunal on Palestine: Ilan Pappé Speech

The final session of the Tribunal focused on the responsibility of the United States of America and the United Nations regarding the Israeli breaches of international law towards Palestine and Palestinians. There is now a situation in which Israel has achieved a status of immunity and impunity, facilitated by the US, despite its complete disregard for the norms and standards of international law.

Speaker – Ilan Pappé, an Israeli historian and activist. He is currently a professor with the College of Social Sciences and International Studies at the University of Exeter in the UK, director of the university’s European Centre for Palestine Studies, and co-director of the Exeter Centre for Ethno-Political Studies. He is the author of The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine (2006), The Modern Middle East (2005), A History of Modern Palestine: One Land, Two Peoples (2003), and Britain and the Arab-Israeli Conflict (1988)

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Law and Disorder September 24, 2012


Updates:

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The Russell Tribunal on Palestine

The Russell Tribunal on Palestine is holding its fourth and last session in New York City, October 6 through the 7th. This public session focuses on the denial of the Palestinian right to self determination and the role of the US and the United Nations. This tribunal will draw attention to the ongoing Israeli occupation of Palestinian Territories and how Israel continues to act with impunity under international law. There will be many speakers at this event including Ilan Pappe, Noam Chomsky, and Cynthia McKinney. We talk today with Pulitzer Prize winning novelist and poet Alice Walker and Dennis Banks, a Native American leader, activist and author. Both of whom will be speaking at the tribunal.

Alice Walker:

  • Citizens around the world are very concerned that nothing seems to move forward between the Israelis and the Palestinians.
  • The traditional one (tribunal) that came into being because of Vietnam and the American war against the Vietnamese people.
  • I was in Gaza shortly after the bombing and that would’ve made anyone want to have a tribunal because it was so completely devastating and horrible.
  • The Israelis just sailed along as if everything was ok to kill 1400 people and 300 children, destroy the water system. We don’t have a lot of power in terms of making things change, but I think consciousness is our only hope in any case.
  • The UN has been relatively helpless against the US and Israeli veto of their resolution. We want to look at – Why is that?
  • How is it that we can’t get any movement in the UN toward justice for the Palestinian people?
  • I think the United States and Israel are in agreement they want that territory.
  • We have to remember this is an entrenched long standing pattern of how you treat indigenous people when you want what they have.
  • In this country what they did is destroy the Indians.
  • The Palestinians are just seen as obstructions to this grand vision. When people say real politic, they mean no matter what they have to do to implement their plan. Their plan whatever it is is supreme.
  • They just gonna do that if it takes 100 years, 200 years.
  • I remember sitting in Gaza after the bombing. The thing that got me was they bombed this school, not only a school but it was the American school.
  • We must as human beings gather together. Gather ourselves and address these issues of destruction and they’re coming faster and faster.

Guest – Alice Walker, American author, poet, and activist. She has written both fiction and essays about race and gender. She is best known for the critically acclaimed novel The Color Purple (1982) for which she won the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize.
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Dennis Banks:

  • It seems that they’re taking a page out of Native American history and using it over there.
  • You look at the burning of the sweat lodges. The whole experiment to take Native people away their parents and destroy them, put them in foster homes, boarding schools, military boarding schools.
  • And keep them there for five, six, seven years. In my case it was six years before I was even allowed to see my parents.
  • The whole thing is all over again.
  • What can I say to warn people, to warn people about the future?
  • I know they’re gonna dispossess the land from the Palestinians.
  • I will not forgive the government for what it did not only to me but to thousands of thousands of young Native children.
  • I’m speaking against the American people, I’m speaking against the policies of the American government.

Guest - Dennis Banks, a Native American leader, teacher, lecturer, activist and author, is an Anishinaabe born on Leech Lake Indian Reservation in northern Minnesota. Banks is also known as Nowa Cumig (Naawakamig in the Double Vowel System). His name in the Ojibwe language means “In the Center of the Ground.” He has been a longtime leader of the American Indian Movement, which he cofounded in 1968 with Native Americans in Minneapolis.

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Chicago Teacher Strike

The Chicago teachers, with deep community support, have won a good victory last week  in their ten day strike.  their victory, while not complete, defends one of the great gains of the American people, public education, against the neo-liberal goal of supplanting it with private for profit  non union charter schools.  The teachers strike was about more than wages and hours.  They fought against the dismantling of public schools in favor of for profit charter schools, a project that both the democrats from Obama down to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emannuel, champion.

The teachers demanded smaller class size, school aids, school supplies, and an end to the use of standardized tests. The new leadership of the teachers union gained its strength by being democratic and being rooted in the community, largely Black and Latino,  and allied with the families of the students they teach.  They began organizing in defense of their students 3 years ago.

Debby Pope:

  • I started out the week as a strike coordinator. We went out and worked with 8 to 12 schools in a particular area on the picket lines and then someone else moved in to a communications role.
  • Right now I’m working in a grievance department working on contract enforcement issues.
  • I think the fundamental issue is the defense of public education and the defense of teaching as a profession.
  • Let me make it clear that we were not legally able to bargain on some of the issues I talk about due to restrictive labor laws in Illinois.
  • They have made over a hundred charter schools in Chicago in the last decade or so.
  • They’ve eliminated bargaining in those schools, they’ve eliminated Chicago Teacher’s Union membership, they’ve eliminated the decent working conditions and the rights that we’ve fought for.
  • They’ve given the billionaire business men a huge control over their schools.
  • They have systematically defunded neighborhood schools.
  • They allowed our buildings to crumble. They’ve given us computers that are decades old.
  • This is an example of how they’ve been starving the public schools and then blaming us when the schools don’t work.
  • We went out to the schools. We started contract action committees in all the schools. We helped teachers to understand what their rights were.
  • We resumed our place as one of the largest unions in Illinois as a part of the labor movement.
  • Is a teacher’s effectiveness related to his or her class size?
  • Can a teacher teach 40 kids as well he or she can teach 25 kids?
  • We want a better school day with a richer curriculum with art, music and drama.
  • The enemies of poor children, the enemies of public education, the enemies of giving every child an opportunity are within both parties.
  • We put ourselves in a position where the schools are failing.
  • We blamed the schools for failing when in fact as a society set them up to fail.
  • Then of course the billionaire rescuers . . . came in and said Oh my God look at what a mess the schools are. We have to privatize them, we have to charter them. We have to turn them into little business models.
  • These people believe in factory schools.
  • The next fight on the horizon is against school closings.

Guest – Debby Pope, member of the executive board Chicago Teachers Union and delegate. Debby Pope is a retired teacher and currently works on the CTU grievance board in contract dispute.

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Law and Disorder August 20, 2012


Updates:

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A Challenge to a Brutal Anti-Latino Law

Sheriff Joe Arpaio recently went on trial in Arizona for discriminating against Latinos and for usurping federal authority with roundups of undocumented immigrants. In a related action, a coalition of groups is asking a federal court to block enforcement of Section 2(B) of SB 1070, the Arizona law that compels all law enforcement agencies in that state to enforce the Arpaio model.

In June the Supreme Court rejected the premise of SB 1070 on grounds that making foreign policy – of which immigration law is a part – is a federal government’s domain. However, the Court upheld the law’s “show me your papers” section that requires officers to check the immigration status of anyone they stop, arrest or detain on another basis if the officer has a “reasonable suspicion” the person is in the country illegally.

The motion to block Section 2(B) “involves additional claims, evidence, and irreparable injuries beyond what the Supreme Court had before it.” The challenge explains harms so obvious and unconstitutional that the judge does not need extensive proof of the section’s impact to enjoin it. The Legislature “explicitly intended Section 2(B) to codify the practices” of Arpaio, the motion says, even after his powers had been restricted by earlier investigations into and challenges to his racial profiling. The practices include prolonged stops and detentions of Latinos to check their status or for other immigration-related purposes.

The plaintiffs are also asking the court to enjoin another Arizona law, which turns alleged violations of a federal anti-harboring law into a state crime. Courts have enjoined similar laws in Georgia, Alabama and South Carolina since, like Arizona’s, they were clearly pre-empted by federal law.

Lena Graber:

  • The law enforcement in Joe Arpaio’s district have been really outspoken about their intention to stop Latinos and fight immigration.
  • The issues around racial profiling are really huge. I think it’s worth separating out the different lawsuits that are going on.
  • Sheriff Joe Arpaio runs this incredibly punitive jail where they barely feed people enough it’s a 120 degrees, and he’s been sued literally thousands of times for the conditions of his jail.
  • Thats been going on since he was elected in the early nineties.
  • In the last several years he’s really gotten on this tough on immigration, let’s do sweeps through the Latino neighborhood.
  • The ACLU and other civil rights groups filed a lawsuit against him for racial discrimination, violation of equal protection, and violation of civil rights.
  • They filed that 2007, about six months later the Department of Justice initiated a civil rights investigation into Joe Arpaio and his operations in Arizona.
  • In the meantime the state of Arizona passed SB 1070.
  • There are both civil rights groups and non profits filing one lawsuit and the federal government filing a parallel.
  • The Arizona Supreme Court recently ruled on the Arizona law, not on Joe Arpaio, where they struck down most of the law and upheld “show me your papers.”
  • The federal government did not argue that the law was unconstitutional because of racial discrimination.
  • Litigation tends to effect the way law enforcement operate pretty dramatically.
  • Joe Arpaio has been elected five times.
  • The federal government has been very slow on the game to chastise Joe Arpaio.
  • The Department of Homeland Security formed their largest 287G agreement with Sheriff Joe for his deputies to be trained to enforce federal immigration law. At that point the violations really started to go through the roof.

Guest – Lena Graber, a Soros Criminal Justice Fellow who focuses on detention and deportation and state and local enforcement.  Lena Graber’s work seeks to reduce the government’s abuse of immigration detainers–a tool used to maintain custody of potentially deportable individuals in local jails or prisons nationwide.  Lena previously worked at the National Immigration Forum in Washington, D.C.
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Mondoweiss: Israel Trip and the Future of Palestine

We welcome back returning guest Philip Weiss, the founder and co-editor of Mondoweiss.net, a news website devoted to covering American foreign policy in the Middle East. Philip has recently returned from a trip to Israel and was struck by the ongoing apartheid against Palestinians. During his trip, he traveled an Israeli’s only road. He saw the massive barrier in the West Bank. He toured many Israeli settlements, such as Ma’ale Adumim, the first settlement to be declared a city. Interestingly Philip also saw some of the fund raiser entourage of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney while in Jerusalem.  We talk with him about his trip and the future of the Palestinian state.

Philip Weiss:

  • The last few times I’ve come back I felt a real sense of bleakness.
  • When you’re there and you see just how much force is arrayed on one side and the status quo is of complete inequality.
  • The sense of martial law is overwhelming. Spiritually, it’s awful.
  • When you’re over there you see there is very little left in terms of contiguous territory in the West Bank to create a viable state.
  • You see the settlements all around you, giant swimming pools next to villages with walls around them, to separate themselves from Palestine villages in occupied land.
  • Jeff Halper says the 2 state solution is dead.
  • Area C is ours they say.
  • I saw one ad on my commute here today that read – It’s Not Islamaphobia to Blame Islam for Terrorism.
  • This is extremism, it’s intolerance, it’s racism.
  • It’s statements that we would not accept, that have become off limits in American discourse in almost any other context.
  • One thing I saw there was the separation, the complete separation of two societies.
  • You really get a sense of ethnic purity at work.
  • The denial of that humanity is so profound and offensive.
  • I’ve been struck by the famous Arab hospitality in that region.
  • The sense of sovereignty and domination is profound.
  • It’s hard sometimes to meet people’s eyes, because you know that you’re an author of their humiliation and this human being with a lot of dignity has suddenly become humiliated before your eyes and it’s upsetting.
  • John Brown said the idea that all people are created equal is the exact same idea as do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
  • It’s kinda scary to think that a bunch of Americans to send a signal to Obama would have to go raise a million dollars at the King David hotel in Jerusalem and have Romney talk about Iran and he’s with Netanyahu on Iran. These were powerful political signals being sent while I was there.
  • I think Romney is behaving in an irresponsible manner. It seems like he’s being used in this situation.  Within the Israeli security establishment there is some sense it does not want this attack.
  • They don’t care about Iran, they care about cleansing the West Bank of Palestinians.
  • If there is a war with Iran it’s a perfect opportunity and a crisis to push more Palestinians out of area C into the cities.
  • I’m for BDS. Every time I go there I’m upset by what I see. The question is that whether the South African connection is kicking in. (BDS Collective)
  • I get a lot of criticism from Jews for exposing my people to danger.
  • Jeff Halper studies the occupation and knows it in a granular way.

Guest – Philip Weiss founder of Mondoweiss, longtime journalist and regular contributor to the Nation and a fellow at the Nation Institute.  Philip is the author of two books a political novel, Cock-A-Doodle-Doo, and American Taboo, an investigative account of a 1976 murder in the Peace Corps in the Kingdom of Tonga.  Weiss is one of the editors of The Goldstone Report: The Legacy of the Landmark Investigation of the Gaza Conflict.

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