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Archive for the ‘Hypocrisy’ Category

Show Details for the week of April 14th, 2014

Posted by themonitor on April 14, 2014


On The Monitor this week:

  • As Russian President Putin consolidates Crimea’s position as part of Russia we take a look back at US-Soviet relations with President Reagan’s informal Cold War Russia advisor – an interview with Suzanne Massie
  • America STILL trying to overthrow the Cuban government – an interview with Kim Scipes

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More about this week’s guests:

Suzanne Massie is an American author and played an important role in the relations between Ronald Reagan and the Soviet Union in the final years of the Cold War.

Massie is the daughter of a Swiss diplomat. She was born in New York and graduated from Vassar College, but also studied at the Sorbonne and the Ecole des Sciences Politiques in Paris.

In 1975, Suzanne Massie and her then-husband Robert K. Massie chronicled their experiences as the parents of a hemophiliac child, Robert Kinloch Massie IV, and the significant differences between the American and French health-care systems in their jointly-written book, Journey. She subsequently married Seymour Papert.

Reagan first became interested in Massie when he read her book Land of the Firebird: The Beauty of Old Russia. She eventually visited the White House where she became an informal, back door, messenger between the President and Mikhail Gorbachev and his administration. She also asked Reagan to learn the now famous Russian phrase “doveryai, no proveryai”, which means “Trust, but verify”. Her importance in contributing to Reagan’s understanding of the Russian people, assisting in reaching a peaceful end to the Cold War, was described in detail in a number of documentary films. She applied for the job of Soviet ambassador via a letter to Reagan but was rejected, as the post had already been filled.

A fellow of the Harvard Russian Research Center (now the Davis Center) from 1985-97, Massie has also served on the Board of the International League for Human Rights. In 1991 she was appointed as the only lay member of the Permanent Episcopal-Orthodox Coordinating Committee which has involved bi-annual discussions in Russia and the United States with hierarchs of the church, including Patriarch Aleksy II.

Massie currently resides in Maine, but travels regularly to Russia and is writing a book about her experiences and her interpretation of the years of dramatic change in American-Russian relations.

Website: www.suzannemassie.com

Kim Scipes is Associate professor of sociology at Purdue University North Central in Indiana, and author of AFL-CIO’s Secret War against Developing Country Workers: Solidarity or Sabotage?

Quote:”The AP’s report about the U.S. government using Twitter accounts to inspire political dissent is just another example of the on-going U.S. war against Cuba. The statement by USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah is simply absurd; his denial of it not being covert defies belief for any one more developed than an amoeba. The AP’s documents clearly establish it was another covert U.S. attack on Cuba. As my research on developments in Venezuela have shown, the U.S. government has been found acting against governments with which it disagrees. Where it previously supported dictators in the countries U.S. leaders wished to control — Mobuto in Zaire, Somoza in Nicaragua, and Marcos in the Philippines, for example — since the mid-1980s, they have shifted their efforts to support civil society groups in countries they wish to control, trying to support groups who advance policies and actions with which the U.S. agrees, no matter how bad they are for the local population.  Thus, prior to the 2002 coup in Venezuela, the U.S. was supporting a peasant organization that opposes land reform; an educational organization that has suggested no education reform; and organizing seeking to incite a military rebellion; a civic association that was working to mobilize middle class neighborhoods to ‘defend themselves’ from the poor; a civil justice group that opposes grassroots community organization because they support the Chavez government, etc. Altogether, Venezuelan and American groups operating in Venezuela received $4,039,331 from U.S. government organizations between 1992-2001. Further, reporting on the National Endowment for Democracy alone — a U.S. government initiated and funded organization that claims to be ‘independent’ but is not — showed that the NED provided $1,338,331 to organizations and projects in Venezuela in 2012 alone: they provided $120,125 for projects for ‘accountability’; $470,870 for ‘civic education’; $96,400 for ‘democratic ideas and values’; $105,000 for ‘freedom of information’; $92,265 for ‘human rights’; $216,063 for ‘political processes’; $24,962 for ‘rule of law’; $45,000 for ‘strengthening political institutions’; and $153,646 for the Center for International Private Enterprise. In short, despite any rhetoric to the contrary, the U.S. continually engages in attacks on and operations within any country it deems acting against its interests, no matter how democratically supported and politically engaged that government is with its own population. The U.S. government prattles on endlessly about its love for democracy around the world, but we see again and again — under both Democratic and Republican administrations — that it continues to seek to undermine governments with which it disagrees and which it believes it can bully. Ironically, it continually seeks to undermine governments seeking to improve the lives of their people, while supporting repressive regimes such as those in Egypt, Honduras, Saudi Arabia and the Ukraine. This behavior is despicable — and so very hypocritical.”

Posted in Armed Forces, Assassination, CIA, Cuba, Hypocrisy, News And Analysis, Obama, Radio Shows, Reagan, Russia, Ukraine | Leave a Comment »

Show Details for the week of October 28th, 2013

Posted by themonitor on October 28, 2013


On this week’s show:

  • New Study on Campaign Cash Behind the National Surveillance State – an interview with Paul Jorgensen
  • The Complexity “Baked into Obamacare” – an interview with Philip Caper

More about this week’s guests:

Paul Jorgensen

Paul Jorgensen is assistant professor of political science at the University of Texas Pan American and a lab fellow of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, Harvard University. With Thomas Ferguson and Jie Chen, he just completed a major study of campaign finance in the 2012 election. They summarize their results on AlterNet: “Who Buys the Spies? The Hidden Corporate Cash Behind America’s Out-of-Control National Surveillance State.”http://www.accuracy.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/table2x.jpg

Quote: “As the storm over surveillance broke, we were completing a statistical analysis of campaign contributions in 2012, using an entirely new dataset that we constructed from the raw material provided by the Federal Election Commission and the Internal Revenue Service. … In our big sample, which pretty well approximates ‘business as a whole,’ Obama trailed far behind Romney.”

But they continue: “In sharp contrast to … claims that big business was deeply suspicious of the president, our statistical results show that a large and powerful bloc of ‘industries of the future’ — telecommunications, high tech, computers, and software — showed essentially equal or higher percentages of support for the president in 2012 than they did for Romney.

“We think this finding is the most significant of all: Firms in many of the industries directly involved in the surveillance programs were relative bastions of support for the president.

“Bush and Cheney may have invented it, but national Democratic leaders are full-fledged players in this 21st century National Surveillance State and the interest group pressures that now help to sustain its defenders in Washington work just as powerfully on Democrats as on Republicans.”

They add that “we do not believe that it would be impossible to strike a reasonable balance between the demands of security and freedom that accords with traditional Fourth Amendment principles. … But a system dominated by firms that want to sell all your data working with a government that seems to want to collect nearly all of it through them is unlikely to produce that.”

A preliminary version of their longer study, with several tables, is available as a Roosevelt Institute Working Paper: “Party Competition and Industrial Structure in the 2012 Elections: Who’s Really Driving the Taxi to the Dark Side?

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Philip Caper

Philip Caper is a doctor in Portland, Maine and regular columnist at the Bangor Daily News. He is a founding board member of Maine AllCare, a nonpartisan, nonprofit group committed to making health care in Maine universal, accessible and affordable for all. He recently wrote the piece “The High Costs of Complexity in Health Care Reform.” Caper said today: “The problem with the ACA is not that the federal government is involved, but that literally thousands of private insurers have their fingers in the cookie jar, resulting in a law that is much too complicated for what it needs to accomplish, and too complex for anybody to administer efficiently and effectively. … Together, Medicare and Social Security — both run by the federal government — have been successfully providing access to private health care and income security for millions of seniors and the disabled for almost 50 years. They have been a major factor in keeping seniors in our country out of poverty. … We need expanded and improved Medicare-for-All. And we need to vote any politician who won’t advance us toward that goal out of office.”

Posted in CIA, Cyber Surveillance, Cyber Warfare, Health Care Reform, Hypocrisy, Medicare, News And Analysis, NSA, Obama, PRISM, Radio Shows, The Constitution | Leave a Comment »

Show Details for the week of October 21st, 2013

Posted by themonitor on October 21, 2013


KPFT is in Pledge Drive and this is the final time you can support The Monitor during the drive. Our goal this week is $1200.

Please help us get there by calling 713-526-5738 or going online at www.kpft.org during the show.

We have one guest this week: Richard Wolff. We will be talking with him about the American economy in broad terms but we will get specific on the shutdown, the debt ceiling and the cost of healthcare.

Richard Wolff is Professor of Economics Emeritus, University of Massachusetts, Amherst where he taught economics from 1973 to 2008. He is currently a Visiting Professor in the Graduate Program in International Affairs of the New School University, New York City. He also teaches classes regularly at the Brecht Forum in Manhattan.

Earlier he taught economics at Yale University (1967-1969) and at the City College of the City University of New York (1969-1973). In 1994, he was a Visiting Professor of Economics at the University of Paris (France), I (Sorbonne).

You can visit his website for recent articles and interviews as well as more information about his books. You can also hear visit http://www.democracyatwork.info/ and listen to Richard’s show on WBAI every Saturday at Noon Eastern time (To listen in live on Saturdays at noon, visit WBAI’s Live Stream)

We will have some great thank you gifts for you donation during the show this week. Please call 713-526-5738 during the show and thank you for your support!

Posted in Bankruptcy, Cost of War, Economic Inequality, Economy, Hypocrisy, Labor Unions, Mentioned on Air, Minimum Wage, News And Analysis, Obama, Offshore Banking, Richard Wolff, Single Payer, Social Security, Sub-Prime Loans, Taxes, The Economy, The Fed, Wall Street, War Budget, Wealth and Income distribution | Leave a Comment »

Show Details for the week of October 14th, 2013

Posted by themonitor on October 14, 2013


KPFT is in Pledge Drive and The Monitor has three shows during the drive. Our goal this week is $1200.

Please help us get there by calling 713-526-5738 or going online at www.kpft.org during the show.

This week’s show takes a look at Big Brother Mining Your Data with our first guest, Pratap Chatterjee. During last week’s show we mentioned that war funding has not been impacted by the government shut down. Our second interview looks at the ongoing war in Afghanistan with our second guest Matthew Hoh.

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More about this week’s guests:

Pratap Chatterjee is executive director of CorpWatch and author of Halliburton’s Army: How A Well-Connected Texas Oil Company Revolutionized the Way America Makes War (Nation Books, 2009) and Iraq, Inc. (Seven Stories Press, 2004). He has many years of experience working in radio, print and digital media, including hosting a weekly radio show on Berkeley station KPFA, working as global environment editor for InterPress Service and as a freelance writer for the Financial Times, the Guardian and the Independent of London. He has won five Project Censored awards as well as a Silver Reel from the National Federation of Community Broadcasters for his work in Afghanistan, and the best business story award from the National Newspaper Association (US), among others. He has also appeared as a commentator on numerous radio and television shows ranging from BBC World Service, CNN International, Democracy Now!, Fox and MSNBC. Pratap serves on the board of Amnesty International USA and Corporate Europe Observatory.

Article: “The Data Hackers Mining Your Information for Big Brother

Quote: “Big Bro is watching you. Inside your mobile phone and hidden behind your web browser are little known software products marketed by contractors to the government that can follow you around anywhere. No longer the wide-eyed fantasies of conspiracy theorists, these technologies are routinely installed in all of our data devices by companies that sell them to Washington for a profit.That’s not how they’re marketing them to us, of course. No, the message is much more seductive: Data, Silicon Valley is fond of saying, is the new oil. And the Valley’s message is clear enough: we can turn your digital information into fuel for pleasure and profits — if you just give us access to your location, your correspondence, your history, and the entertainment that you like.Ever played Farmville? Checked into Foursquare? Listened to music on Pandora? These new social apps come with an obvious price tag: the annoying advertisements that we believe to be the fee we have to pay for our pleasure. But there’s a second, more hidden price tag — the reams of data about ourselves that we give away. …But there is a second kind of data company of which most people are unaware: high-tech outfits that simply help themselves to our information in order to allow U.S. government agencies to dig into our past and present. Some of this is legal, since most of us have signed away the rights to our own information on digital forms that few ever bother to read, but much of it is, to put the matter politely, questionable. This second category is made up of professional surveillance companies. They generally work for or sell their products to the government — in other words, they are paid with our tax dollars — but we have no control over them. Harris Corporation provides technology to the FBI to track, via our mobile phones, where we go; Glimmerglass builds tools that the U.S. intelligence community can use to intercept our overseas calls; and companies like James Bimen Associates design software to hack into our computers. There is also a third category: data brokers like Arkansas-based Acxiom. These companies monitor our Google searches and sell the information to advertisers. They make it possible for Target to offer baby clothes to pregnant teenagers, but also can keep track of your reading habits and the questions you pose to Google on just about anything from pornography to terrorism, presumably to sell you Viagra and assault rifles.”

Matthew Hoh is a senior fellow at the Center for International Policy and is the former director of the Afghanistan Study Group. A former Marine and State Department official, Hoh resigned in protest from his post with the State Department in Afghanistan over U.S. strategic policy and goals in Afghanistan in 2009.

Quote: “It is fitting that as we pass the 12-year mark of the U.S. and Western invasion and occupation of Afghanistan, the U.S. government is shut down, our economy, education system and infrastructure continues their persistent degradation, and the American people, for the first time ever, now believe their children will not be better off than they. The failure of the United States’ war in Afghanistan, a failure that has been obvious for quite some time, like our own domestic failings, is a testament to a broken American political order and a $1 trillion a year national security Leviathan. Of course, the Afghan people are no closer to becoming a country at peace than at any time since the 1970s and the United States must and should understand its responsibility and culpability in the continuing death, loss and chaos. Similarly, in Libya and Somalia, again violence and military force is proving not to be a solution to terrorism. We have to understand the root causes. And many times these root causes are local and regional issues we have a poor grasp of — and sometimes those root causes are grievances against U.S. policies. In Somalia, we keep losing sight of the fact that al-Shabab has not conducted operations anywhere that was not related to occupation of Somalia, this is true for their operations in Uganda and their recent attack in Kenya. So much of this is tied to the U.S. sponsored Ethiopian invasion of Somalia. In Libya, our support in the overthrow of Gaddafi’s government, to include the killing of the man that the U.S. State Department had defined as a reliable ally in the war on terror, has led to continued chaos and a vacuum in government. Two years later we find ourselves having to kidnap a man responsible for the deaths of hundreds of people. How can we describe our operations in Libya to have been successful or a model for future operations as is so often described by administration officials or pundits?”

Posted in Afghanistan, Armed Forces, CIA, Cyber Surveillance, Economy, Glorification of War, Hypocrisy, Mentioned on Air, NATO, NSA, Obama, Peace, PRISM, Radio Shows, Sept. 11, 2001: Repercussions, The "War on Terror", The Economy, War Budget | Leave a Comment »

Show Details for the week of September 30th, 2013

Posted by themonitor on September 30, 2013


As ‘diplomacy’ breaks out at the UN over the issue of chemical weapons, The Monitor looks at the resolution on Syria and the hypocrisy and politics of how resolutions created and international actions are taken. Our first guest is Matthew Lee from Inner City Press who will walk us through the Syria resolution and how it was crafted. Our second guest is Maurice Carney from Friends of the Congo who will give us some insight into the conflict in the Congo and how it serves as an example of the failure of the UN process and illuminates the choices made by powerful countries about the fates of weaker countries.

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More about this week’s guests:

Matthew Lee covers the UN for Inner City Press. He questioned U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power and other officials at the UN on September 26th about the resolution on Syria and wrote several pieces on events there. He has extensively covered procedures at the UN, including how most of the 15 members of the Security Council have been marginalized in the process.

Quote: “While the resolution agreed to by the U.S. and Russia says the U.S. would have come back to the Security Council to argue that Syria had not complied and seek enforcement under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter, already it is being argued that military action could flow from any claimed breach.” Meanwhile, France on Thursday hosted Saudi-sponsored Ahmad al-Jarba inside the UN, claiming he’s the sole legitimate representative of the Syrian people. But who gets to decide that? Yesterday John Kerry called Jarba’s group “the legitimate representative” of the Syrian people. Full comment: “President Jarba understands that Syria can have a different future. And he understands that Syria can be a nation defined not by this kind of chaos and personal ambition and recklessness, but defined by its rich history of diversity – not by the forces that are content to destroy them. And through our close partnership with the Syrian Opposition Coalition, the legitimate representative, we believe, of the Syrian people, we can lay the foundation for a peaceful Syria where all Syrians have a say and a shape in a shared future.”

Recent Article: Ban Got Syria’s Protest, France’s Jarba-Fest Going Forward Was His Answer

Maurice Carney is the Executive Director of Friends of the Congo. He is an independent entrepreneur and human rights activist who has fought with Congolese for fifteen years in their struggle for human dignity and control of their country. He has worked as a research analyst at the nation’s leading Black think tank the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies. While at the Joint Center, Mr. Carney worked with civic associations in West Africa providing training on research methodology and survey. He served as the interim Africa working group coordinator for Reverend Jesse Jackson while he was Special Envoy to Africa. Mr. Carney also worked as a research consultant to the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation addressing issues such as the socio-politcal condition of African American communities.

Quote: “Earlier this year in an interview with the New Republic, when asked about U.S. intervention in Syria, President Obama retorted how does he weigh ‘tens of thousands who’ve been killed in Syria versus the tens of thousands who are currently being killed in the Congo? The United Nations says the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is the deadliest in the world since World War II, where millions have perished since 1996. Yet the response from the U.S. and the UN has been anything but commensurate to the scale of the tragedy, primarily because U.S. allies Rwanda and Uganda are implicated in the Congo conflict. Both countries have waged a 17-year war of aggression against the Congo by invading twice (1996 and 1998), fighting each other on Congolese soil and sponsoring militia groups inside the Congo. Rwanda and Uganda have been able to escape UN sanctions and significant global pressure in large part due to diplomatic and political cover from the United States. Even though President Obama as Senator passed a bill into law (Public Law 109-456) in 2006 that authorizes the U.S. Secretary of State to hold Congo’s neighbors accountable for destabilizing the Congo, the Obama Administration has yet to fully implement its own law, which could advance peace in the Congo and save innocent lives.”

Posted in Arab Spring, Congo, Economic Inequality, Hypocrisy, Obama, Pro-Democracy movements in the Arab World, Radio Shows, Russia, Syria, UN Resolutions | Leave a Comment »

Show Details for the week of September 16th, 2013

Posted by themonitor on September 16, 2013


The Monitor this week continues to look at the ongoing international tensions related to Syria. We get two opinions from perspectives not heard in the corporate media through interviews with Larry Everest and Ajamu Baraka.

More about this week’s guests:

Larry Everest

Larry Everest is a correspondent for the Revolution Newspaper and author of Behind the Poison Cloud: Union Carbide’s Bhopal Massacre and Oil, Power & Empire: Iraq and the US Global Agenda. He has reported from the Iran, the West Bank, Gaza, India, and Iraq, and his articles have appeared in publications across the U.S. In 1991 he traveled to Iraq and shot the video “Iraq: War Against the People.” He currently lives in Berkeley, California.

Quote: In the Middle East, as in other parts of the world, the U.S. attempts to dominate the resources and the people of the region. They build up the armies of reactionary powers like Egypt and Saudi Arabia; they utilize Israel as a sort of attack dog to keep other countries in line; they prop up hated governments so long as they serve their purpose; and they periodically rain down military terror to enforce their way. The fact is that in just the past decade, the U.S. has attacked Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, Pakistan, and other countries, and has continually threatened Iran.

 

 

Ajamu Baraka

Ajamu Baraka was the Founding Executive Director of the US Human Rights Network (USHRN) from July 2004 until June 2011. The USHRN became the first domestic human rights formation in the United States explicitly committed to the application of international human rights standards to the U.S. Under Baraka, the Network grew exponentially from a core membership base of 60 organizations to more than 300 U.S. – based member organizations and 1,500 individual members who work on the full spectrum of human rights issues in the United States.

Baraka has also served on the boards of various national and international human rights organizations, including Amnesty International (USA) and the National Center for Human Rights Education. He is currently on the boards of the Center for Constitutional RightsAfrica Action; Latin American Caribbean Community Center; Diaspora Afrique; and the Mississippi Workers’ Center for Human Rights.

Baraka has taught political science at various universities, including Clark Atlanta University and Spelman College. He has been a guest lecturer at academic institutions throughout the U.S., and has authored several articles on international human rights.

He is editing a new book on human rights in the U.S. entitled:  “The Struggle Must be for Human Rights: Voices from the Field,” scheduled for publication in 2013. His website is www.ajamubaraka.com

Quote: “The normalization of white supremacist domination and its prerogatives are so completely inculcated in U.S. and Western consciousness that not only is the question as to what right the U.S. and the West have to attack Syria outside the framework of consideration, but alternative ways of viewing the world are beyond cognitive comprehension. This is the cultural and ideological foundation of ‘American exceptionalism’ and the intellectual framework and assumptions that informed Western-based human rights organizations and their theoreticians in the construction of the notion of humanitarian intervention.”

Posted in Arab Spring, Arab World, Armed Forces, Cost of War, Dictatorship, Economic Inequality, Empire, Hypocrisy, News And Analysis, Offshore Banking, Syria, The New Middle East, UN Resolutions | Leave a Comment »

Show Details for the week of September 9th, 2013

Posted by themonitor on September 9, 2013


The Monitor this week looks at the supposed legality of the pending military action against Syria and the Exxon Mobil’s negative 25 out of 100 possible points the annual Corporate Equality Index. Our guests are Marjorie Cohn and Antonia Juhasz.

More about this week’s guests:

Marjorie Cohn

Marjorie Cohn is past president of the National Lawyers Guild. She lectures throughout the world on international human rights and U.S. foreign policy. A news consultant for CBS News, and a legal analyst for Court TV, she also provides legal and political commentary on BBC, CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, NPR, Air America and Pacifica Radio. Professor Cohn is the author of  The United States and Torture ,  Rules of Disengagement,  Cowboy Republicand co-author of Cameras in the Courtroom: Television and the Pursuit of Justice. Her articles have appeared in numerous journals such as Fordham Law Review, Hastings Law Journal and Virginia Journal of International Law, as well as The National Law Journal, Christian Science Monitor and Chicago Tribune. She is now working on a book on the topic of Drones. We will have her back on the show when she completes the book.

Marjorie joins The Monitor this week to talk about Killing Civilians to Protect Civilians in which she says, in part, that President Barack Obama admitted, “If the U.S. goes in and attacks another country without a UN mandate and without clear evidence that can be presented, then there are questions in terms of whether international law supports it . . .” The Obama administration is studying the 1999 “NATO air war in Kosovo as a possible blueprint for acting without a mandate from the United Nations,” the New York Times reported. But NATO’s Kosovo bombing also violated the UN Charter as the Security Council never approved it, and it was not carried out in self-defense. The UN Charter does not permit the use of military force for “humanitarian interventions.” Humanitarian concerns do not constitute self-defense. In fact, humanitarian concerns should spur the international community to seek peace and end the suffering, not increase military attacks, which could endanger peace in the entire region.

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Antonia Juhasz

Antonia Juhasz is a leading oil and energy expert. She is a Fellow of the Investigative Reporting Program at UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. Juhasz is the author of three books: Black Tide: the Devastating Impact of the Gulf Oil Spill (2011), The Tyranny of Oil (2008), and The Bush Agenda (2006). Her writing has also appeared in numerous publications, most recently in Rolling Stone.com (Big Oil’s Big Lies About Alternatives), The Atlantic (“The New War for Afghanistan’s Untapped Oil”), Harper’s Magazine (“Light, Sweet, Crude”), and CNN.com (“Why the Iraq War was Fought for Big Oil”), and, among others, in the New York TimesWashington Post, Los Angeles TimesPetroleum Review MagazineThe Nation andThe Progressive.

Juhasz is a frequent media commentator, appearing regularly on TV and radio, including on Fresh Air with Terry Gross, The Diane Rehm Show, and Democracy Now! with Amy Goodman, among many others.

Juhasz is a reporter with the Investigative Fund of the Nation Institute, an associate fellow with the Institute for Policy Studies, and a senior policy analyst for Foreign Policy In Focus. She is on the National Advisory Committee of Iraq Veterans Against the War and on the Board of Directors of Coffee Strong. Juhasz founded the Energy Program at Global Exchangeand directed it from 2009 to 2011. She previously worked at the International Forum on Globalization and served as a Legislative Assistant to two US Members of Congress. Juhasz holds a Masters Degree in Public Policy from Georgetown University and a Bachelors Degree in Public Policy from Brown University.

She joins The Monitor this week to talk about her recent article  What’s Wrong With Exxon?

Antonia can also be followed on Twitter: Twitter.com/AntoniaJuhasz

Posted in Arab Spring, Arab World, Hypocrisy, Intelligence, News And Analysis, Obama, Oil Spill, Syria, The "War on Terror", The Constitution | Leave a Comment »

Show Details for the week of September 2nd, 2013

Posted by themonitor on September 2, 2013


On this week’s show we take a closer look at the impending military attack on Syria. Our first guest is Gareth Porter, author of a recent article In Rush to Strike Syria, U.S. Tried to Derail UN Probe. Our second guest is John Walsh from ComeHomeAmerica which claims that both “Left and Right Opposing Bombing Syria.”

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More about this week’s guests:

Gareth Porter

Gareth Porter is an investigative journalist and historian specializing in U.S. national security policy. He just wrote the piece “In Rush to Strike Syria, U.S. Tried to Derail UN Probe” for Inter Press Service, which states: “After initially insisting that Syria give United Nations investigators unimpeded access to the site of an alleged nerve gas attack, the administration of President Barack Obama reversed its position on Sunday and tried unsuccessfully to get the UN to call off its investigation.

Quote: “In his press appearance Monday, Secretary of State John Kerry, who intervened with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon to call off the investigation, dismissed the UN investigation as coming too late to obtain valid evidence on the attack that Syrian opposition sources claimed killed as many 1,300 people. The sudden reversal and overt hostility toward the UN investigation, which coincides with indications that the administration is planning a major military strike against Syria in the coming days, suggests that the administration sees the UN as hindering its plans for an attack. Kerry asserted Monday that he had warned Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem last Thursday that Syria had to give the UN team immediate access to the site and stop the shelling there, which he said was ‘systematically destroying evidence.’ He called the Syria-UN deal to allow investigators unrestricted access ‘too late to be credible.’ Despite the U.S. effort to portray the Syrian government policy as one of ‘delay,’ the formal request from the United Nations for access to the site did not go to the Syrian government until Angela Kane, UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, arrived in Damascus on Saturday, as Ban’s spokesman, Farhan Haq, conceded in a briefing in New York on Tuesday. Syrian Foreign Minister Moallem said in a press conference Tuesday that Syria had not been asked by the United Nations for access to the East Ghouta area until Kane presented it on Saturday. Syria agreed to provide access and to a ceasefire the following day. Haq sharply disagreed with the argument made by Kerry and the State Department that it was too late to obtain evidence of the nature of the Aug. 21 incident. ‘Sarin can be detected for up to months after its use,’ he said. Specialists on chemical weapons also suggested in interviews with Inter Press Service that the UN investigating team, under highly regarded Swedish specialist Ake Sellstom and including several experts borrowed from the Organization for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons, should be able to either confirm or disprove the charge of an attack with nerve or another chemical weapon within a matter of days.”
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John Walsh

John Walsh is a Professor of Physiology, University of MA Medical School and frequent contributor to CounterPunch.com, DissidentVoice.org and Antiwar.com He is with the group ComeHomeAmerica, which brings together people from the left and right. The group recently released a statement saying they condemn “our government’s war on Syria, prosecuted first with sanctions, then with covert support through ‘allies’ like the dictatorial petro-monarchies of the Gulf and now with overt provision of arms for the anti-government forces and perhaps even a bombing campaign. We demand an immediate cessation of this bellicose policy by our government. Sanctions and military intervention in Syria are not in the interests of the American people; nor are they in the interests of the Syrian people. We are far from alone in our opposition. Fully 70 percent of Americans are opposed to armed intervention in Syria — a number that has only increased over the months according to Pew polls. And yet the President and a majority in Congress favor intervention, revealing a crisis of our political institutions, which are far removed from the will of the people on this and many other issues. We in ComeHomeAmerica are a very diverse group. We are traditional conservatives, progressive activists, libertarians of the Ron Paul type, old-fashioned leftists, religious people appalled by war and non-religious who also harbor disgust over our numerous wars for over a century now. We are not pacifists, although there are pacifists in our ranks. But we do believe that any war must be defensive and a last resort, not a constant option to further the perceived interests of our elite. Our roots go deep in our country’s history, at least as far back as the Anti-Imperialist League, which was organized to oppose the war in the Philippines and included members as different as Mark Twain and Andrew Carnegie, the wealthiest man in America. We protest our government’s actions not simply because of the specific conditions in Syria but based on general principles. The same principles would have kept us from launching the recent wars on Iraq and Libya and many others over the past century and longer. Our first principle is that war inflicts enormous damage on human beings and we are repulsed by it, a revulsion that is found in most human beings. Hence the war-makers try to keep their deeds hidden or covered in fantasies of glory. Secrecy in turn leads to suborning the press, a mainstay of our democracy. Our second principle, the easiest one, is that we do not want to pay for these wars and the belligerent imperial colossus, including the DoD, CIA, NSA and others, costing about one trillion a year, roughly the sum that is raised in personal income taxes on April 15. Some of us simply want the money back and others want it to be spent on social needs. But while we differ on that, we agree that the money must no longer go to a war complex. On that we are firmly united. …”

Note:
The New York Times reports: “By just 13 votes, British lawmakers rejected a motion urging an international response to a chemical weapons strike for which the United States has blamed the forces of the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad.”
The Washington Post just published a breakdown on the “Black Budget” based on documents leaked by Edward Snowden.
The Hill reports: “The opposition to President Obama launching unilateral military operations in Syria exploded on Thursday when dozens of liberal Democrats joined scores of conservative Republicans in warning the administration that any strikes without congressional approval would violate the Constitution.” The letters are lead by Rep. Scott Rigell (R-Va.). and Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) — see: “162 Reps., Including 64 Democrats, Call for Debate and Vote Before War with Syria.”

In 1999, a tie vote struck down congressional approval for the bombing of Yugoslavia by the Clinton administration, but the bombing continued. See IPA news release at the time: “Last Night’s House Vote Makes It Official: The Bombing of Yugoslavia is Illegal.”

Posted in Arab Spring, Armed Forces, Cost of War, Dictatorship, Drones, Empire, Hypocrisy, Intelligence, Syria, The "War on Terror", The New Middle East, UN Resolutions | Leave a Comment »

Show Details for the week of July 22nd, 2013

Posted by themonitor on July 22, 2013


On this week’s show:

  • Chevron found guilty of dumping toxic materials in the Amazon, gets access to activists’ private internet data – an interview with Simon Billenness
  • America’s Deadliest Export – an interview with William Blum

More about our guests:

Simon Billenness

Simon Billenness is the President of CSR Strategy Group, Co-Chair of the Business and Human Rights Group with Amnesty International, USA and on the Committee on Socially Responsible Investment with Unitarian Universalist Association. He consults to non-profits, corporations, trade unions, and social investment firms on strategy addressing issues of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and socially responsible investment.

Topic: In ‘Chilling’ Ruling, Chevron Granted Access to Activists’ Private Internet Data – “Sweeping” subpoena violates rights of those who spoke out against oil giant’s devastating actions in Ecuador

- Lauren McCauley, staff writer

Following their guilty sentence for the dumping of 18.5bn gallons of toxic waste in the Ecuadorian Amazon, Chevron is amassing the personal information of the environmentalists and attorneys who fought against them in an effort to prove ‘conspiracy.’ (Photo: Rainforest Action Network/ cc/ Flickr)The US government is not the only entity who, with judicial approval, is amassing massive amounts of personal information against their so-called enemies.

A federal judge has ruled to allow Chevron, through a subpoena to Microsoft, to collect the IP usage records and identity information for email accounts owned by over 100 environmental activists, journalists and attorneys.

The oil giant is demanding the records in an attempt to cull together a lawsuit which alleges that the company was the victim of a conspiracy in the $18.2 billion judgment against it for dumping 18.5 billion gallons of oil waste in the Ecuadorean Amazon, causing untold damage to the rainforest.

The “sweeping” subpoena was one of three issued to Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft.

“Environmental advocates have the right to speak anonymously and travel without their every move and association being exposed to Chevron,” said Marcia Hofmann, Senior Staff Attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, who—along with environmental rights group EarthRights International (ERI)—had filed a motion last fall to “quash” the subpoenas.

“These sweeping subpoenas create a chilling effect among those who have spoken out against the oil giant’s activities in Ecuador,” she added at the time.

According to ERI, the subpoena demands the personal information about each account holder as well as the IP addresses associated with every login to each account over a nine-year period. “This could allow Chevron to determine the countries, states, cities or even buildings where the account-holders were checking their email,” they write, “so as to ‘infer the movements of the users over the relevant period and might permit Chevron to makes inferences about some of the user’s professional and personal relationships.’”

In their statement about the ruling, ERI notes that the argument given by presiding US District Court Judge Lewis Kaplan—who was previously accused of prejudice against the Ecuadorians and their lawyers—was as “breathtaking as the subpoena itself.” They continue:

According to Judge Kaplan, none of the account holders could benefit from First Amendment protections since the account holders had “not shown that they were U.S. citizens.”

Now, let’s break this down. The account-holders in this case were proceeding anonymously, which the First Amendment permits. Because of this, Judge Kaplan was provided with no information about the account holders’ residency or places of birth. It is somewhat amazing then, that Judge Kaplan assumed that the account holders were not US citizens. As far as I know, a judge has never before made this assumption when presented with a First Amendment claim. We have to ask then: on what basis did Judge Kaplan reach out and make this assumption?

More Links:

Chevron Aims at an Activist Shareholder

We got a copy of the subpoena Chevron sent a rebellious shareholder

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William Blum

William Blum

William Blum left the State Department in 1967, abandoning his aspiration of becoming a Foreign Service Officer, because of his opposition to what the United States was doing in Vietnam.

He then became one of the founders and editors of the Washington Free Press, the first “alternative” newspaper in the capital.

(Photo by Lois Raimondo, The Washington Post)

Mr. Blum has been a freelance journalist in the United States, Europe and South America.  His stay in Chile in 1972-3, writing about the Allende government’s “socialist experiment” and its tragic overthrow in a CIA-designed coup, instilled in him a personal involvement and an even more heightened interest in what his government was doing in various parts of the world.

In the mid-1970’s, he worked in London with former CIA officer Philip Agee and his associates on their project of exposing CIA personnel and their misdeeds.

His book on U.S. foreign policy, Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II, first published in 1995 and updated since, has received international acclaim.  Noam Chomsky called it “far and away the best book on the topic.”

In 1999, he was one of the recipients of Project Censored’s awards for “exemplary journalism” for writing one of the top ten censored stories of 1998, an article on how, in the 1980s, the United States gave Iraq the material to develop a chemical and biological warfare capability.

Blum is also the author of America’s Deadliest Export: Democracy – The Truth About U.S. Foreign Policy and Everything Else (2013), Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower (updated edition 2005), West-Bloc Dissident: A Cold War Memoir (2002), and Freeing the World to Death: Essays on the American Empire (2004).  His books have been translated into more than 20 languages.

During 2002-2003, Blum was a regular columnist for the magazine The Ecologist, which is published in London and distributed globally.

In January 2006, a tape from Osama bin Laden stated that “it would be useful” for Americans to read Rogue State, apparently to gain a better understanding of their enemy.

Website: williamblum.org

Posted in 9/11, Afghanistan, Arab World, Armed Forces, Assassination, Chevron, CIA, Cost of War, Dictatorship, Economic Inequality, Empire, Hypocrisy, Oil, Oil Spill | 2 Comments »

Show Details for the week of July 8th, 2013

Posted by themonitor on July 8, 2013


On this week’s show:
  • How the Security-Industrial Complex is tracking your data and what that means for you – an interview with Richard Stallman
  • The president should fire James Clapper and Keith Alexander over domestic spying revealed by Edward Snowden – an interview with Ray McGovern

More about this week’s guests:

Richard Stallman
Richard Stallman was induced into the Internet Hall of Fame. He is founder of the Free Software Foundation and has pioneered the notion of copyleft.
Quote: “It is said that ‘knowledge is power.’ Internet corporations took this maxim to heart, and set out to know as much as possible about each of us. Then the U.S. and other governments began massively collecting personal information from these companies, and in other ways too. That’s how they hope to have power over us. Digital technology turns out to mean building a giant digital dossier about each person. This might be OK if we had a government we could trust implicitly to respect human rights, one that would never try to stretch its power. What we have, under Bush and Obama, is a security-industrial complex that systematically crosses legal limits, egged on by corporations that will make more money through putting together more extensive dossiers, and saying they are doing this to ‘keep us safe’ from real but minor threats. It used to be that the threat to people’s freedom from computers was that they used programs that the users don’t control — nonfree programs, that is. The free software movement aims to provide free/libre replacements for nonfree programs. Free software is software that respects the users’ freedom and community. A program that isn’t free gives its owner unjust power over its users. Often it is designed to spy on them, restrict them, or even abuse them. (See ‘Proprietary Surveillance,’ DefectiveByDesign.org and ‘Proprietary Sabotage.’) With free software, the users can fix the program so it doesn’t spy, restrict, or mistreat. But the threats have multiplied. For years I’ve called portable phones ‘Stalin’s dream’ because of their surveillance capabilities. (Their movements are tracked, and they can be converted remotely into listening devices that transmit your conversations all the time, even when you try to shut them off.) For years I’ve warned that it is a mistake to entrust personal data to web sites, or even identify yourself to them. For years I’ve paid cash rather than use my credit card. The U.S. is slowly converting driver’s licenses into national ID cards. Without showing ID, you can’t fly, or ride Amtrak, or stay in a hotel in New York City, or open a bank account, or fill a prescription for pain killers. The immigration bill now being considered may make it impossible to get a job without national ID. Meanwhile, as license-plate cameras spread around our cities, the U.S. is slowly assembling a system that will track all movements of all cars, as is done in the UK. ‘Smart meters’ will build a dossier of how much electricity you use each hour or each minute, which says whether you are home. And the Internet of Things threatens to recruit all the products in your home as digital informers. Once data is collected, it will be misused. Formal limits on accessing the data will do nothing to stop the state from collecting all sorts of data about anyone it is determined to crush, such as torture whistleblower John Kiriakou. If no one dares tell us what the state is doing, the state will get out of control. We need to stop the accumulation of digital dossiers about people in general. Such collection should be permitted only under a court order applying to a specific person.”
Stallman sent his statement in an email with the following at the top:
        [To any NSA and FBI agents reading my email: please consider
        [ whether defending the US Constitution against all enemies,
        [ foreign or domestic, requires you to follow Snowden's example.
Ray McGovern
Ray McGovern is a retired CIA officer turned political activist. McGovern was a Federal employee under seven U.S. presidents over 27 years, presenting the morning intelligence briefings at the White House for many of them. 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.  He also teaches at its Servant Leadership School. 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 an urgent memorandum to President George W. Bush, in which we gave Powell a C minus for content. We 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.”Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller, after a five-year study by his committee, described the intelligence used to “justify” war on Iraq as “unsubstantiated, contradicted, or even non-existent.”

As an act of conscience, on March 2, 2006 Ray returned the Intelligence Commendation Medallion given him at retirement for “especially meritorious service,” explaining, “I do not want to be associated, however remotely, with an agency engaged in torture.”  He returned it to Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R, Michigan), then-House Intelligence Committee Chairman.

Recent Op-Ed: Obama needs to take charge on NSA spying scandal

Visit Ray’s Website for more.

 

Posted in 9/11, Afghanistan, Biometric, Bradley Manning, Bush, Cheney, CIA, Cyber Surveillance, Cyber Warfare, Democrat Corruption, Department of Homeland Security, Dictatorship, DOJ, Empire, FBI, FISA, Google, GOP Corruption, Hypocrisy, Intelligence, Mentioned on Air, News And Analysis, NSA, Obama, PRISM, Ray McGovern, Sept. 11, 2001: Repercussions, The "War on Terror", The Constitution, The Supreme Court, Whistle Blowing, WikiLeaks | Leave a Comment »

 
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