The Monitor

News Analysis and Expert Interviews — Understand Your World

Orwellian Moment

Posted by themonitor on September 16, 2014


When one watches some tired hack on the platform mechanically repeating the familiar phrases — bestial atrocities, iron heel, bloodstained tyranny, free peoples of the world, stand shoulder to shoulder — one often has a curious feeling that one is not watching a live human being but some kind of dummy: a feeling which suddenly becomes stronger at moments when the light catches the speaker’s spectacles and turns them into blank discs which seem to have no eyes behind them. And this is not altogether fanciful. A speaker who uses that kind of phraseology has gone some distance toward turning himself into a machine.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Show Details for the week of September 15th, 2014

Posted by themonitor on September 15, 2014


On The Monitor this week:

So much is being said and written about ISIS (ISIL/IS) but very little context of Iraq’s history is given. This week we spend the show looking at that history: A detailed look at Iraq from 1991 to the present with Abbas Kadhim.

Also, mentioned towards the start of the show is a story confirming the use of the Hannibal Directive – this was a topic of a recent interview with Richard Silverstein. Read the story here: http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/rania-khalek/israeli-officer-admits-ordering-lethal-strike-own-soldier-during-gaza-massacre

More about this week’s guest:

Dr. Abbas Kadhim is a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Gulf Affairs, specializing in Iraq, Iran and Shi’a Studies. He is also a Fellow at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. He is was a Visiting Scholar at Stanford University (2005 – 2013). He earned his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley in 2006.

His recent publications include: “Reclaiming Iraq: the 1920 Revolution and the Founding of the Modern State,” Austin: The University of Texas Press (2012); The Hawza under Siege: A Study in the Ba‘th Party Archive, Boston: Boston University Institute for Iraqi Studies (2013); Handbook of Governance in the Middle East and North Africa, London: Routledge (2013); “Efforts at Cross-Ethic Cooperation: the 1920 Revolution and Iraqi Sectarian Identities,” International Journal of Contemporary Iraq Studies, vol. 4, issue 3, 2010; “Forging a Third Way: Sistani’s Marja‘iyya between Quietism and Wilāyat al-Faqīh, in Iraq, Democracy and the Future of the Muslim World, edited by Ali Paya and John Esposito, Routledge, July 2010; “Beyond the Oil Curse,” Iraq’s Wealthy State and Poor Society,” in Bob Looney (ed.), Handbook of Oil Politics, London: Routledge, 2012; and “Opting for the Lesser Evil: US Foreign Policy Toward Iraq, 1958-2008,” in Bob Looney (ed.) Handbook of US Middle East Relations, London: Routledge, 2009.

His book translations include Shi‘a Sects (Firaq al-Shi‘a): A Translation with an Introduction and Notes, London: Islamic College for Advanced Studies Press (2007); Wahhabism: A Critical Essay, by Hamid Algar (Arabic Translation), Köln, Germany: Dar al-Jamal (2006); and Runaway World: How Globalization is Reshaping our Lives, by Anthony Giddens (Arabic Translation), with Dr. Hassan Nadhem, Beirut: (2003).

He is currently engaged in a long-term project documenting the 1991 Uprising in Iraq, and a research project examining the Ba’ath Party Archives hosted by the Hoover Institution, Stanford University.

Posted in 2001: Repercussions, Arab Spring, Arab World, Armed Forces, CIA, Cost of War, Dictatorship, Economic Inequality, Elections, Empire, Iran, Iraq, Kurdistan, Sept. 11, Syria, The New Middle East, UN Resolutions, War Reporting | Leave a Comment »

Show Details for the week of September 8th, 2014

Posted by themonitor on September 8, 2014


On The Monitor this week:

  • NATO: Part of Solution — Or Problem? An interview with David Gibbs
  • Burger King Tax Dodge – How Inversions Hurt Economies. An interview with James Henry

More about this week’s guests:

David Gibbs is professor of history and government at the University of Arizona. He has written extensively on NATO and is the author of First Do No Harm: Humanitarian Intervention and the Destruction of Yugoslavia

Quote:

“Foreign policy specialists have rightly condemned Russian intervention in the Ukraine, which has aggravated political divisions in that country. At the same time, we should recognize that the United States and NATO have also contributed to the destabilization. Russia’s actions are at least partly a response to policies adopted by the U.S. and NATO immediately following the Cold War.

“People often forget that post-Soviet Russia was at first highly cooperative with U.S. and Western policy, and they disbanded the Cold War era Warsaw Pact alliance. Russians assumed that in response the U.S. would gradually disband NATO, as a symmetrical action, or at the very least the U.S. would not expand NATO. Instead, the U.S. orchestrated NATO’s expansion, beginning in the late 1990s, incorporating several post-Soviet states. More recently, there has been open discussion of further expanding NATO, with possible membership for the Ukraine and Georgia. Russia views its interventions in the Ukraine as defensive actions, against NATO threats to its border security. NATO expansion must be viewed as a short-sighted action, one that was bound to provoke the Russians, and it laid the groundwork for the Ukraine’s civil war.”

——————————————————————————————————-

James Henry is former chief economist at the international consultancy firm McKinsey & Co. He is now senior fellow at the Columbia University Center for Sustainable International Investment and senior adviser with the Tax Justice Network, which earlier this year in their report “The Price of Offshore Revisited” estimated that total wealth in tax havens was between $21 trillion and 32 trillion dollars.Henry is featured in the film “We’re Not Broke,” which tells the story of U.S. corporations dodging billions of dollars in income tax and is available on Netflix.

Quote:

“You now have 100 major U.S. companies looking at ‘inversions’ like what Burger King is doing. This deal is a tax dodge by a Brazilian billionaire and other investors, it will hurt the U.S., Canada and such deals hurt virtually everyone else. These deals exposes domestic companies to competitors that are not paying substantial taxes. Contrary to some analysts, the Miami-based Burger King’ deal for Canada’s Hortons WOULD shift BK to Canada for tax purposes. BK is saying that that the deal would not ‘materially effect’ its effective U.S. tax rate of 27 percent, given that Canada’s ‘corp tax rate’ is ‘26.5 percent.'”Since Canada has a territorial corporate income tax it also does not benefit from this deal: the U.S. IRS will lose, but Canada is already not collecting any taxes on BK’s non-Canadian income. And it does lose yet another outstanding domestic company to rapacious global vultures.” See: “Tim’s + BK = $ for Canada right? …. Wrong! (in one table).”

Forbes writes: “The Burger King inversion deal is being driven by Jorge Paulo Lemann, Brazil’s richest man and co-founder of 3G Capital, the private equity firm that holds a majority stake in Burger King.” Says Henry: “I’ve met Lemann and he made his fortune in the Brazil privatization wave of the 1990s — it was like Russia’s disastrous privatizations, riddled with corruption. Brazil sold assets for $98 billion and gave $99 billion in tax benefits — they actually lost money on selling off assets. Now, Lemann goes around like some business genius, but he’s just a scam artist. It’s not business, it’s tax dodging. Brazil’s tax system, inspite of recent presumably progressive administrations, has a very regressive tax system — the top 10 percent of Brazilians pay lower share than the bottom 50 percent. Lemann probably doesn’t pay any taxes in Brazil.

“It’s been tech companies and pharmaceutical companies that have lead the charge on these schemes. Apple last year off shore revenue paid 1 percent in taxes — they funnel their profits through their Irish subsidiary and then through the Bahamas. GE’s effective tax was zero. Now it’s getting into retail. So these companies do business in the U.S., they benefit from the airports, hospitals, police, fire, education. The rest of us pay for the military. Some of them are even federal contractors — they don’t pay taxes but they make money directly from our national coffers.

“Some are even using this to push for a tax repatriation holiday or a gutting of the corporate income tax. Both of these would be a disaster. When there was a repatriation holiday in 2004, 90 percent of the benefit went to Pfizer and they then laid off workers. And gutting the corporate tax rate would not only be horrible for us in the U.S., it would be a disaster for poor countries. It’s a race to the bottom. In Africa, you have countries that have effective negative tax rates. Instead of collaborating on tax collection across countries — they’re competing to go lower and lower. And all this is being driven by the fact that the corporate lobby doesn’t discriminate. Both establishment parties have been on the take and that’s why you have so little leadership on this issue.”

Posted in Economic Inequality, NATO, Offshore Banking, Russia, Taxes, The Economy, The Fed, The Market, Ukraine | 1 Comment »

Show Details for the Week of September 1st, 2014

Posted by themonitor on September 1, 2014


On August 11th the area of Houston that is home to KPFT experienced a significant thunder storm. The resultant electrical activity knocked out the internet (and the station’s online audio stream). Because of this The Monitor went offline in the 18th minute of the show. If you were listening on the radio you probably still heard the whole show but if you were listening online you certainly missed most of the show. Other stations carrying the show were similarly deprived. With help from Egberto Willies, we were able to get a copy of the audio from that week’s show and are replaying it this week for those who missed it. Tune in to KPFT at 9:00pm Central time on Mondays to hear Egberto’s show – Politics Done Right.

On The Monitor this week:

  • The Abortion Rights Freedom Ride comes to Texas – an interview with Alexandria Petersburg
  • CIA Spies on Investigation of CIA Torture – an interview with Ray McGovern
  • Israeli Hannibal Directive: “A Breach of Democracy and Morality” – an interview with Richard Silverstein

More about this week’s guests:

Alexandria Petersburg is “a revolutionary, organizer for Stop Patriarchy in the Bay Area, and Abortion Rights Freedom Rider.”

Background:

In 2011, Texas had 46 clinics; by September 1st there are likely to be only six left. Nation-wide, hundreds of laws restricting abortion have been passed in recent years. Six states have only one abortion clinic left.

From the StopPatriarchy website:
In August (dates to be announced soon) the Abortion Rights Freedom Ride will caravan though Texas, stopping in Houston, Austin, San Antonio, and then down to the Rio Grande Valley near the Mexican border. People from around the country and around Texas will politically confront and protest those behind the anti-abortion attacks and laws, rally support for those on the front lines providing abortions, fight to change the way people think about abortion  by raising the slogans: Abortion On Demand and Without Apology, and Forced Motherhood Is Female Enslavement — and wake people up nationwide to this emergency.

One of our main goals of the Abortion Rights Freedom Ride is to change the terms of the fight around abortion. It has NEVER been about babies, it has always been about women’s enslavement or women’s liberation.

Ray McGovern is a former CIA analyst whose responsibilities included chairing National Intelligence Estimates. He just wrote the piece “Will Obama Fire CIA Director John Brennan?” available at his website: raymcgovern.com.

Background:

McClatchy reports: “An internal CIA investigation confirmed allegations that agency personnel improperly intruded into a protected database used by Senate Intelligence Committee staff to compile a scathing report on the agency’s detention and interrogation program, prompting bipartisan outrage and at least two calls for spy chief John Brennan to resign.”
Quote:
“It is inconceivable that the spying on the Senate committee happened without authorization by Director Brennan, so the question is why he did so.  Easy answer: it has been established that Brennan had, at the very least, guilty knowledge of the torture, so the stakes for him personally could not be higher.  He simply had to find out how damning the Senate report is about his own role.  Brennan’s nominal boss, National Intelligence Director James Clapper is still in place after confessing to giving the same committee on March 12, 2013 sworn testimony (about NSA collection programs) that was in Clapper’s words, “clearly erroneous.”  If President Obama does not fire Brennan, this will demonstrate that the President himself is afraid of our intelligence services – what blackmail material they may have on him and even whether they will target him, as they did John Kennedy.”
Ray’s Bio:
Ray McGovern leads the “Speaking Truth to Power” section of Tell the Word, an expression of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington.  A former co-director of the Servant Leadership School (1998-2004), he has been teaching there for 15 years.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.In January 2003, Ray helped create Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) to expose the way intelligence was being falsified to “justify” war on Iraq. On the afternoon of the day (Feb. 5, 2003) Secretary of State Colin Powell misled the UN Security Council on Iraq, VIPS sent a blunt memorandum to President George W. Bush, in which VIPS gave Powell a C minus for content. They ended the memo with this:
“No one has a corner on the truth; nor do we harbor illusions that our analysis is irrefutable or undeniable [as Powell had claimed]. But after watching Secretary Powell today, we are convinced that you would be well served if you widened the discussion beyond … the circle of those advisers clearly bent on a war for which we see no compelling reason and from which we believe the unintended consequences are likely to be catastrophic.”

richard silversteinRichard Silverstein has been writing Tikun Olam, one of the earliest liberal Jewish blogs, since February, 2003.  It focuses on exposing the excesses of the Israeli national security state at Tikun Olam. He has written on security and other issues for a number of outlets and blog

Quote: “According to my highly-placed Israeli source, during Operation Protective Edge, Hannibal was invoked twice, in the cases of Sgt. Guy Levy and Lt. Hadar Goldin. In both cases, they were killed after their unit was ambushed by Gaza militants. As they were being dragged away by Hamas fighters the remaining Israeli soldiers fired on them.  In the case of Goldin, the IDF wounded him and killed the militant who was taking him away. But other fighters retreated with Goldin through a tunnel to Rafah.

The IDF proceeded to inundate Rafah with heavy artillery fire and air strikes which destroyed all ambulances and vehicles approaching the nearest hospital (where presumably the Palestinian fighters might take Goldin to treat his wounds). In this fashion, 60 Palestinians were killed in indiscriminate fire designed to kill Goldin (and his captors). At first, the IDF said Goldin may have been captured. Later they said he appeared to have been killed by examination of ‘trace amounts of DNA’ found in the tunnel. Later still, the IDF announced they’d recovered his body. He was buried the next day and no one in the media except for me asked for an autopsy to be performed to determine how he died. The IDF did not want such an examination.

The history behind Hannibal is that it was written to address the political and social trauma created when Israeli soldiers were captured by the enemy. In order to gain their freedom, Israel had to negotiate with either Hezbollah or Hamas to gain the release of their personnel. In the case of Gilad Shalit, who was held in captivity for five years, Israel released 1,000 Palestinian prisoners. The extreme Israeli right-wing complained bitterly at the ‘price’ the country had to pay for Shalit’s return, saying the freeing of ‘terrorists’ with ‘blood on their hands’ was an unforgivable act. The current right-wing government would prefer not to be seen as ‘weak’ on terror, so it accedes to a police which essentially eliminates any chance there will be future Gilad Shalits.

The IDF military censor invoked an unprecedented demand on the New York Times when it demanded that the newspaper’s reporters pre-clear any reporting on the case of Lt. Goldin. The excuse they offered was that a distant familial relation between the dead soldier and Defense Minister Bogie Yaalon might provide a security weakness for Hamas to exploit. This was a smokescreen to conceal the censor’s need to suppress any discussion of Hannibal that might expose the real events involved in Goldin’s death.

There is an unspoken agreement among the Israeli government, Israeli citizens, and even the surviving family of victims, that IDF victims under Hannibal will be treated as war heroes in return for concealing the true circumstances of their death. Only a few days ago, Gili Cohen of Haaretz described Hannibal as an attempt to free Goldin from his captors. The Israeli media knows, but cannot say, that Hannibal is invoked to eliminate captured soldiers, not to free them. It is only invoked once it is impossible to free the captive, not before. This conspiracy of silence relieves Israeli citizens of having to think about the moral issues of killing one of their own soldiers in an attempt to relieve society of the burden of negotiating with the enemy over their return.  It is an unpardonable breach of democracy and morality.”

Background:

The Hannibal Directive is a secret procedure that is invoked when an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldier is captured by enemy forces. The Directive is portrayed by the Israeli media and officials in one fashion but implemented on the ground quite differently. The official version is that Hannibal allows Israeli forces to take enhanced measures to prevent the capture of its soldiers, including endangering the lives of those engaged in the capture by firing at a getaway vehicle, etc.

In practice, Hannibal is a shoot to kill order designed either to prevent abduction or to kill the abductors and IDF soldier who’s been apprehended. It was implemented during Operation Cast Lead in 2009 when a soldier was captured in a home in Gaza. Israel media reported that the IDF shelled the building, killing both the soldiers and his captors. Apparently the Hannibal Directive was invoked twice in the recent conflict, in the cases of Sgt. Guy Levy and Lt. Hadar Goldin.

Posted in Abortion, CIA, DOJ, Hypocrisy, Intelligence, Israel | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Show Details for the week of August 25, 2014

Posted by themonitor on August 25, 2014


On The Monitor this week:

  • Anti-Jewish Campaign Traced to Pro-Israeli Grad Student – an interview with Lance Tapley

  • U.S. Ranked 46th in the world by Reporters Without Borders – an interview with Delphine Halgand

More about this week’s guests:

 

Lance Tapley is an Investigative reporter for Common Dreams, Tapley just wrote an extensive piece entitled: “The Double Identity of an ‘Anti-Semitic’ Commenter: Smearing a Progressive Website to Support Israel,” which states: “Like many other news websites, Common Dreams has been plagued by inflammatory anti-Semitic comments following its stories. But on Common Dreams these posts have been so frequent and intense they have driven away donors from a nonprofit dependent on reader generosity.

A Common Dreams investigation has discovered that more than a thousand of these damaging comments over the past two years were written with a deceptive purpose by a Jewish Harvard graduate in his thirties who was irritated by the website’s discussion of issues involving Israel. His intricate campaign, which he has admitted to Common Dreams, included posting comments by a screen name, ‘JewishProgressive,’ whose purpose was to draw attention to and denounce the anti-Semitic comments that he had written under many other screen names.

Some who have applauded the Common Dreams investigation have criticized the decision by the website not to name the perpetrator.

Tapley writes: “Common Dreams is not revealing his identity because, as a Jew who for years tricked Vanguard News Network, a major neo-Nazi website that has harbored people committed to violence, he could be put in danger by such a revelation.”

However, Ali Abunimah, founder of the ElectronicIntifada.net tweeted: “By protecting identity of this Zionist mega-troll and saboteur, @commondreams may enable him to continue his fraud.”
 
 
Delphine Halgand has been working as the Director of the Washington DC office for Reporters Without Borders since December 2011. She runs the US activities for the organization and advocates for journalists, bloggers and media rights worldwide. Acting as RWB’s spokesperson in the US, Delphine regularly appears on American (PBS, Democracy Now, Wall Street Journal,…), foreign media (BBC, Al Jazeera, NTN24,…) and lectures at conferences in US universities (Harvard University, UCLA, Yale…) on press freedom violation issues.
 
 
Previously, she served as Press attaché in charge of outreach at the French Embassy to the US. Since graduating from Sciences Po Paris with an M.A. in Journalism, Delphine has worked as an economics corespondent for various French media (Le Monde, Les Echos, L’Express,…), focusing mainly on international politics and macroeconomic issues.
 

Quote: “The United States is ranked at the 46th position in the Reporters Without Borders 2014 World Press Freedom Index. One explanation for the United States to be ranked at the 46th position: The whistleblower is the enemy. Eight alleged whistleblowers have been charged under the Espionage Act since Barack Obama became president in 2009, which is the highest number under any previous administration combined. Leaks are the lifeblood of investigative journalism, given that nearly all information related to national security is considered secret. It is safe to say that this crackdown against whistleblowers is designed to restrict all but officially approved versions of events. These developments highlight the need for a comprehensive federal shield law in the U.S. which could protect journalists’ sources at the federal level.”

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Show Details for the week of Augusts 18th, 2014

Posted by themonitor on August 18, 2014


On The Monitor this week:

  • Was Ferguson a ‘Sundown Town’? An interview with Jim Loewen
  • Facebook’s abusive privacy practices – An interview with Evan Greer

More about this week’s guests:

Jim Loewen taught race relations for twenty years at the University of Vermont. He is the author of Sundown Towns: A Hidden Dimension of American Racism in which he describes “Sundown Towns” as predominantly white communities in which people of color are not welcome. They are described as such because some of them posted signs at their city limits reading, typically, “Nigger, Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On You In ___.” He is also the author of Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your High School History Textbook Got Wrong and Lies Across America: What Our Historic Sites Get Wrong.
Quote: “I think Ferguson was a sundown town, based on a statement in the published history of its neighbor, Kinloch, a majority-black town, but I have not confirmed Ferguson for sure. Often former sundown suburbs, when they do ‘break,’ rapidly go majority black. Their white residents, having lived for years under the ideology that African Americans are bad and must be wholly kept from town, have an ideological reason to leave, once their town becomes interracial. All too often they sell at distressed prices to real estate intermediaries. In turn these agents can sell the homes to black families looking to buy in newly available ‘integrated’ areas for a premium.

The white families then move to a sundown suburb farther out and carry with them the contagion that ‘blacks wreck property values,’ since they sold for less than market value. Ferguson meanwhile shows symptoms of what we call ‘second generation sundown town problems,’ such as an overwhelmingly white police force that (probably) formerly employed driving-while-black-style stops.

Every former (and current) sundown town and suburb in the U.S. needs to give up the practice, explicitly and openly. That will relieve the black housing pressure so interracial towns will no longer tend to go all-black. It will also clear the air about our recent racist past, allowing locales all across the U.S. to move forward.”

Loewen is blogging at History News Network and tweeting @JamesWLoewen

Evan Greer is campaign manager for Fight For the Future and joined their team after years traveling internationally as a social justice musician and workshop facilitator. She’s been organizing creative campaigns and fighting “the Man” since high school, recently with Free Tarek and Rising Tide.

From the press release:
MENLO PARK, CA — Just one week after media reports that Facebook is facing a class action lawsuit that has already attracted more than 25,000 plaintiffs, activists from the digital rights group Fight for the Future showed up at Facebook’s corporate offices in California yesterday to hand deliver a box containing tens of thousands of petition signatures protesting the company’s abusive practices of tracking Internet users even when they are not on Facebook and conducting psychological experiments without consent.

More than 135,000 people demanded that Facebook remove them from the new tracking system, which was revealed in June. Fight for the Future called upon the company to heed their customer’s wishes and remove the signatories from the tracking system in question. The group also issued the following demands to Facebook in a cover letter included with the signatures:

We demand that Facebook:

  • End its intrusive tracking system that taps into the web activity of Internet users worldwide.
  • Inform the people affected by the psychological experiment that they were participants.
  • Refrain from conducting any similar studies and make it clear in the terms of service, data use policy, and privacy policy that these types of experiments are prohibited without informed consent.
  • Disclose if any other similar experiments have been or are being conducted.

Fight for the Future delivers 135,000 signatures to Facebook demanding an end to abusive privacy practices

image

Fight for the Future Director of Code Activism Jeff Lyon hand delivering the signatures to Facebook.

More than 135,000 Internet users call on Facebook to end intrusive tracking, data collection, and psychological experiments that violate users’ basic rights.

“With everything we’ve learned in the past year about the ways those in power have been abusing the Internet to invade our privacy, it’s no wonder that Facebook users are speaking out in droves demanding more transparency and accountability from a company that holds such a massive amount of personal information,” said Evan Greer, of Fight for the Future. “The public has spoken, companies that ignore the growing cry for privacy should only expect user protests to intensify. We are heartened to hear that Facebook is facing a class action lawsuit for their practices — the signatures that we are delivering today should be seen as further evidence of this company’s lack of concern for its users basic rights.”

The petitions that Fight for the Future delivered were launched in June in response to news reports exposing the extent of Facebook’s abusive practices. The signatures are a rejection of Facebook’s ad network expansion of their tracking system to collect web history and app data from all Internet users inside and outside Facebook. In addition, the privacy advocates also point to the June public announcement of psychological experiments conducted on 700,000 Facebook users without their informed consent. Facebook’s experiments were also revealed by Forbes to have breached its own user agreement, which was only changed to include the right to conduct research experiments four months after they were completed.

This is not the first time Facebook has run into trouble for its expansive corporate surveillance.  In 2011, the FTC ruled against the company for deceiving its users about what data it was sharing with the public, third party applications, and advertisers.

“Everyone should have the ability to use the Internet to express themselves freely. It’s not only a human rights issue but it’s fundamental for democracy and freedom of press,” added Greer, “overly invasive corporate practices like Facebook’s tracking system undermine the privacy of the web, and have a chilling effect on free speech. Facebook needs to do the right thing and start listening to their users — and in the meantime anyone concerned with privacy should move away from centralized services and toward services that are built to respect users’ human rights”

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Show Details for the week of August 11th, 2014

Posted by themonitor on August 11, 2014


On The Monitor this week:

  • The Abortion Rights Freedom Ride comes to Texas – an interview with Alexandria Petersburg
  • CIA Spies on Investigation of CIA Torture – an interview with Ray McGovern
  • Israeli Hannibal Directive: “A Breach of Democracy and Morality” – an interview with Richard Silverstein

More about this week’s guests:

Alexandria Petersburg is “a revolutionary, organizer for Stop Patriarchy in the Bay Area, and Abortion Rights Freedom Rider.”

Background:

In 2011, Texas had 46 clinics; by September 1st there are likely to be only six left. Nation-wide, hundreds of laws restricting abortion have been passed in recent years. Six states have only one abortion clinic left.

From the StopPatriarchy website:
In August (dates to be announced soon) the Abortion Rights Freedom Ride will caravan though Texas, stopping in Houston, Austin, San Antonio, and then down to the Rio Grande Valley near the Mexican border. People from around the country and around Texas will politically confront and protest those behind the anti-abortion attacks and laws, rally support for those on the front lines providing abortions, fight to change the way people think about abortion  by raising the slogans: Abortion On Demand and Without Apology, and Forced Motherhood Is Female Enslavement — and wake people up nationwide to this emergency.

One of our main goals of the Abortion Rights Freedom Ride is to change the terms of the fight around abortion. It has NEVER been about babies, it has always been about women’s enslavement or women’s liberation.

Ray McGovern is a former CIA analyst whose responsibilities included chairing National Intelligence Estimates. He just wrote the piece “Will Obama Fire CIA Director John Brennan?” available at his website: raymcgovern.com.

Background:

McClatchy reports: “An internal CIA investigation confirmed allegations that agency personnel improperly intruded into a protected database used by Senate Intelligence Committee staff to compile a scathing report on the agency’s detention and interrogation program, prompting bipartisan outrage and at least two calls for spy chief John Brennan to resign.”
Quote:
“It is inconceivable that the spying on the Senate committee happened without authorization by Director Brennan, so the question is why he did so.  Easy answer: it has been established that Brennan had, at the very least, guilty knowledge of the torture, so the stakes for him personally could not be higher.  He simply had to find out how damning the Senate report is about his own role.  Brennan’s nominal boss, National Intelligence Director James Clapper is still in place after confessing to giving the same committee on March 12, 2013 sworn testimony (about NSA collection programs) that was in Clapper’s words, “clearly erroneous.”  If President Obama does not fire Brennan, this will demonstrate that the President himself is afraid of our intelligence services – what blackmail material they may have on him and even whether they will target him, as they did John Kennedy.”
Ray’s Bio:
Ray McGovern leads the “Speaking Truth to Power” section of Tell the Word, an expression of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington.  A former co-director of the Servant Leadership School (1998-2004), he has been teaching there for 15 years.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.In January 2003, Ray helped create Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) to expose the way intelligence was being falsified to “justify” war on Iraq. On the afternoon of the day (Feb. 5, 2003) Secretary of State Colin Powell misled the UN Security Council on Iraq, VIPS sent a blunt memorandum to President George W. Bush, in which VIPS gave Powell a C minus for content. They ended the memo with this:
“No one has a corner on the truth; nor do we harbor illusions that our analysis is irrefutable or undeniable [as Powell had claimed]. But after watching Secretary Powell today, we are convinced that you would be well served if you widened the discussion beyond … the circle of those advisers clearly bent on a war for which we see no compelling reason and from which we believe the unintended consequences are likely to be catastrophic.”

richard silversteinRichard Silverstein has been writing Tikun Olam, one of the earliest liberal Jewish blogs, since February, 2003.  It focuses on exposing the excesses of the Israeli national security state at Tikun Olam. He has written on security and other issues for a number of outlets and blog

Quote: “According to my highly-placed Israeli source, during Operation Protective Edge, Hannibal was invoked twice, in the cases of Sgt. Guy Levy and Lt. Hadar Goldin. In both cases, they were killed after their unit was ambushed by Gaza militants. As they were being dragged away by Hamas fighters the remaining Israeli soldiers fired on them.  In the case of Goldin, the IDF wounded him and killed the militant who was taking him away. But other fighters retreated with Goldin through a tunnel to Rafah.

The IDF proceeded to inundate Rafah with heavy artillery fire and air strikes which destroyed all ambulances and vehicles approaching the nearest hospital (where presumably the Palestinian fighters might take Goldin to treat his wounds). In this fashion, 60 Palestinians were killed in indiscriminate fire designed to kill Goldin (and his captors). At first, the IDF said Goldin may have been captured. Later they said he appeared to have been killed by examination of ‘trace amounts of DNA’ found in the tunnel. Later still, the IDF announced they’d recovered his body. He was buried the next day and no one in the media except for me asked for an autopsy to be performed to determine how he died. The IDF did not want such an examination.

The history behind Hannibal is that it was written to address the political and social trauma created when Israeli soldiers were captured by the enemy. In order to gain their freedom, Israel had to negotiate with either Hezbollah or Hamas to gain the release of their personnel. In the case of Gilad Shalit, who was held in captivity for five years, Israel released 1,000 Palestinian prisoners. The extreme Israeli right-wing complained bitterly at the ‘price’ the country had to pay for Shalit’s return, saying the freeing of ‘terrorists’ with ‘blood on their hands’ was an unforgivable act. The current right-wing government would prefer not to be seen as ‘weak’ on terror, so it accedes to a police which essentially eliminates any chance there will be future Gilad Shalits.

The IDF military censor invoked an unprecedented demand on the New York Times when it demanded that the newspaper’s reporters pre-clear any reporting on the case of Lt. Goldin. The excuse they offered was that a distant familial relation between the dead soldier and Defense Minister Bogie Yaalon might provide a security weakness for Hamas to exploit. This was a smokescreen to conceal the censor’s need to suppress any discussion of Hannibal that might expose the real events involved in Goldin’s death.

There is an unspoken agreement among the Israeli government, Israeli citizens, and even the surviving family of victims, that IDF victims under Hannibal will be treated as war heroes in return for concealing the true circumstances of their death. Only a few days ago, Gili Cohen of Haaretz described Hannibal as an attempt to free Goldin from his captors. The Israeli media knows, but cannot say, that Hannibal is invoked to eliminate captured soldiers, not to free them. It is only invoked once it is impossible to free the captive, not before. This conspiracy of silence relieves Israeli citizens of having to think about the moral issues of killing one of their own soldiers in an attempt to relieve society of the burden of negotiating with the enemy over their return.  It is an unpardonable breach of democracy and morality.”

Background:

The Hannibal Directive is a secret procedure that is invoked when an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldier is captured by enemy forces. The Directive is portrayed by the Israeli media and officials in one fashion but implemented on the ground quite differently. The official version is that Hannibal allows Israeli forces to take enhanced measures to prevent the capture of its soldiers, including endangering the lives of those engaged in the capture by firing at a getaway vehicle, etc.

In practice, Hannibal is a shoot to kill order designed either to prevent abduction or to kill the abductors and IDF soldier who’s been apprehended. It was implemented during Operation Cast Lead in 2009 when a soldier was captured in a home in Gaza. Israel media reported that the IDF shelled the building, killing both the soldiers and his captors. Apparently the Hannibal Directive was invoked twice in the recent conflict, in the cases of Sgt. Guy Levy and Lt. Hadar Goldin.

Posted in 9/11, Abortion, Bradley Manning, CIA, Cyber Surveillance, Democracy, Department of Homeland Security, Empire, Hypocrisy, Israel | Leave a Comment »

Show Details for the week of August 4th, 2014

Posted by themonitor on August 4, 2014


This week is your last chance to support The Monitor during this pledge drive!

This is the last Monday of KPFT’s Summer Sizzle Fund Drive! The Monitor has a goal of $800 for this week’s show. Please call 713-526-5738 during the show to support The Monitor. You can also donate online here:

 

 

We spend the show looking at Slavko Martinov’s. Propaganda.

He describes himself as “Filmmaker. Writer. Subversive.” We talk with Slavko about his movie – Propaganda. You can pick up a copy of this movie for a pledge of $75. I have watched this movie and it is well worth your time and a pledge of support. Please call 713-526-5738 during the show to support The Monitor.

 

From the film’s website:

 

“Presented by an anonymous North Korean professor, this anti-Western propaganda film attacks the moral attenuation, political manipulation and hyper-consumerism that characterize the Western world. In chapters with titles like “Rewriting History,” “Advertising” and “The Cult of Celebrity,” we are treated to a lineup of the most embarrassing occidental excesses and globalization, the “psychological warfare” at the hands of multinationals, shopping-obsessed consumers and the failure of democracy. Then there’s time for the “Grab it!” culture of the one percent and additional moral deterioration in the form of Paris Hilton, unethical TV shows and violent movies and games. Toward the end of this propaganda piece, the role of North Korea in all of this becomes clear: the country would like to offer itself as headquarters for the mounting fight against consumer slavery and greed worldwide.

 

Propaganda is the world’s first propumentary. It was made by Slavko Martinov in Christchurch, New Zealand, with the help of friends who worked in secret for 9 years, with zero funding, through 2 major earthquakes, 10,000 aftershocks, accusations of North Korean collusion, an investigation by the South Korean government, an interview with the Counter-Terrorism Unit, and retaliation from the Catholic Church.

 

It topped Indiewire’s top 10 films to watch out for at IDFA 2012, where it had its world premiere. This was followed by The Independent declaring it ‘The real viral hit of 2012’ and Films for Action rated it their Number One film for 2012. In 2013, it was awarded a Special Mention at the Biografilm Festival in Italy, and this was followed by the US premiere at the Traverse City Film Festival, where Michael Moore awarded it the Founders Grand Prize for Best Picture.”

 

Please call 713-526-5738 during the show to support The Monitor. Get yourself a copy of Propaganda for a pledge of $75.

 

 

 

moore and slavkoSlavko Martinov describes himself as “Filmmaker. Writer. Subversive.”

 

You can follow Slavko Martinov (slavkomartinov) on Twitter where he recently posted the following: “The propaganda methods used by Israel are by the book. Watch from 00:15: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJw_-6H-N1k …

 

From the London Progressive Journal:

 

Slavko Martinov http://slavkomartinov.com/ has spent nine years working on one of the most original documentaries to have ever been produced about the media and manufactured consent. Propaganda http://propagandafilm.net/ took centre stage in an international debate before it was even released. The film appeared on YouTube on 18 July 2012: it was presented as a film that North Korean opponents purloined and made public to let the West see how North Korea portrays and describes the consumerist society of the Capitalist world. The documentary is presented by an anonymous professor from North Korea who takes the viewers on an eye opening journey, showing the contradictions, the lies and the truth about the world we live in.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Show Details for the week of July 28th, 2014

Posted by themonitor on July 28, 2014


KPFT is in its Summer Sizzle Fund Drive! The Monitor has a goal of $800 for this week’s show. Please call 713-526-5738 during the show to support The Monitor. You can also donate online here:

We have two guests on the show this week. First up is Raed Jarrar. We talk to him about the conflicting U.S. policy on Iraq and Syria where it looks like the U.S. is backing “both sides of same conflict.” The second interview is with Slavko Martinov. He describes himself as “Filmmaker. Writer. Subversive.” We talk with Slavko about his movie – Propaganda. You can pick up a copy of this movie for a pledge of $75. I have watched this movie and it is well worth your time and a pledge of support. Please call 713-526-5738 during the show to support The Monitor.

From the film’s website:

“Presented by an anonymous North Korean professor, this anti-Western propaganda film attacks the moral attenuation, political manipulation and hyper-consumerism that characterize the Western world. In chapters with titles like “Rewriting History,” “Advertising” and “The Cult of Celebrity,” we are treated to a lineup of the most embarrassing occidental excesses and globalization, the “psychological warfare” at the hands of multinationals, shopping-obsessed consumers and the failure of democracy. Then there’s time for the “Grab it!” culture of the one percent and additional moral deterioration in the form of Paris Hilton, unethical TV shows and violent movies and games. Toward the end of this propaganda piece, the role of North Korea in all of this becomes clear: the country would like to offer itself as headquarters for the mounting fight against consumer slavery and greed worldwide.

Propaganda is the world’s first propumentary. It was made by Slavko Martinov in Christchurch, New Zealand, with the help of friends who worked in secret for 9 years, with zero funding, through 2 major earthquakes, 10,000 aftershocks, accusations of North Korean collusion, an investigation by the South Korean government, an interview with the Counter-Terrorism Unit, and retaliation from the Catholic Church.

It topped Indiewire’s top 10 films to watch out for at IDFA 2012, where it had its world premiere. This was followed by The Independent declaring it ‘The real viral hit of 2012’ and Films for Action rated it their Number One film for 2012. In 2013, it was awarded a Special Mention at the Biografilm Festival in Italy, and this was followed by the US premiere at the Traverse City Film Festival, where Michael Moore awarded it the Founders Grand Prize for Best Picture.”

Please call 713-526-5738 during the show to support The Monitor. Get yourself a copy of Propaganda for a pledge of $75.

 

More about this week’s guests:

Raed Jarrar was born in Baghdad, the son of a Shiite mother and a Sunni father, and the oldest of three boys. He attended the University of Baghdad and began graduate school in Amman, Jordan, where he studied architecture, focusing on postwar reconstruction. He lived in Baghdad on and off under Saddam Hussein’s rule, and he experienced America’s ‘Shock and Awe’ campaign from the receiving end. After the invasion, Jarrar founded an NGO that did reconstruction work in Iraq. He worked as the country director for the first door-to-door survey of Iraqi civilian casualties conducted after the invasion. When the situation in Baghdad became unbearable, Jarrar emigrated to the U.S. and became a writer and peace activist. He translated the controversial Iraq oil law proposed by the Bush administration in 2007, and has consulted with several international humanitarian groups.”

You can follow Raed Jarrar (raedjarrar) on Twitter.

Quote: “The Obama administration requested hundreds of millions of dollars to support Syrian armed opposition groups, and other hundreds of millions to support the Iraqi government. Mainstream news coverage has overlooked the contradiction that U.S. aid is destined for opposing sides of the same conflict. In Syria, the Obama administration is arming opposition groups who support its anti-regime position — and in Iraq, the administration is taking a pro-regime position, funding and training the Iraqi government and its forces. Syrian, and now Iranian, jet fighters have been bombing targets in Iraq that have most likely been identified by U.S. intelligence. Sending more U.S. weapons and military personnel to Iraq is only complicating an already messy conflict.”

You can read a recent interview with Jarrar on “Moyers & Company”: “An Iraqi Perspective: How America’s Destruction of Iraqi Society Led to Today’s Chaos

moore and slavkoSlavko Martinov describes himself as “Filmmaker. Writer. Subversive.”

You can follow Slavko Martinov (slavkomartinov) on Twitter where he recently posted the following: “The propaganda methods used by Israel are by the book. Watch from 00:15: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJw_-6H-N1k …

From the London Progressive Journal:

Slavko Martinov http://slavkomartinov.com/ has spent nine years working on one of the most original documentaries to have ever been produced about the media and manufactured consent. Propaganda http://propagandafilm.net/ took centre stage in an international debate before it was even released. The film appeared on YouTube on 18 July 2012: it was presented as a film that North Korean opponents purloined and made public to let the West see how North Korea portrays and describes the consumerist society of the Capitalist world. The documentary is presented by an anonymous professor from North Korea who takes the viewers on an eye opening journey, showing the contradictions, the lies and the truth about the world we live in.

 

 

Posted in Arab World, Gaza, Iraq, Israel, North Korea, Palestine, Propaganda, Radio Shows | Leave a Comment »

Show Details for the week of July 21st, 2014

Posted by themonitor on July 21, 2014


On The Monitor this week:

  • Dollar Democracy: with Liberty and Justice for Some; How to Reclaim the American Dream for All – an interview with Peter Mathews
  • Gaza under attack: Getting the basics right as the corporate media gets them wrong – an interview with Robert Naiman

More about this week’s guests:

Peter Mathews has spent 30 years as a College and University Professor. Peter is a full-time Professor of Political Science at Cypress College, and an adjunct Professor of Sociology at Long Beach City College. He has taught at California State University, Fullerton, and is currently a Featured Political Analyst and Contributing Partner on the “Head-On” Radio Show on KEIB AM 1150 in Los Angeles, California. On July 3, 2014 Peter served as guest Host on KPFK radio 90.7 FM and KPFK.ORG from 3 PM to 4PM of Special Programming, calling it, “Standing up for Social and Economic Justice.” During 2012 and 2013, Peter served as a Political Analyst on KTLK Progressive Talk Radio’s popular “The David Cruz Show” in Los Angeles. Peter has served as a political analyst on KNBC-TV, KCBS-TV, KTLA-TV, CNN radio, KPFA radio and guest on KPFK radio, KPCC radio, and as a commentator on KNX News Radio and other venues. He is a contributing columnist for the Long Beach Register, and on-line Orange County Register. He has been a guest op-ed writer in the Long Beach Press Telegram, and other publications. Having lived, traveled, taught, and conducted research in 27 countries including Brazil, Britain, Canada, Costa Rica, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Nicaragua, and elsewhere, Peter Mathews has gained firsthand knowledge of public policy issues such as healthcare, education, economic development, international relations, and environmental sustainability in these and other societies. Peter Mathews was the Democratic Party Nominee for the U.S. Congress in 1998 and ran a close race in the Long Beach, California based district, while refusing money from corporate donors. Peter Mathews moved to Los Angeles in 1979 and has been a resident of Long Beach for 23 years, where he lives with his wife Toya Baker-Mathews and daughter Page.

 

Robert Naiman is a spokesperson for Gaza Ark, whose ship was attacked on July 11th. Gaza Ark is “part of the ongoing international Freedom Flotilla Coalition challenging the illegal and inhumane Israeli blockade of Gaza” imposed by Israel. Naiman — who is also policy director of Just Foreign Policy — recently wrote the article “Netanyahu’s War: What Is It Good For?” which states: “The government of Benjamin Netanyahu has launched a new war on Palestinians in Gaza, a war whose purported justifications make George W. Bush’s excuses for his illegal invasion of Iraq smell nice by comparison. So far, the United States, Netanyahu’s chief enabler, has been unwilling to stop the carnage, as it could easily do, because Washington hasn’t yet heard enough complaint from Americans not to use their tax dollars to kill children in Gaza.”

 

Posted in Arab Spring, Corporations, Debt, Democracy, Economic Inequality, Economy, Egypt, Gaza, Israel, Palestine | Leave a Comment »

 
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