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Archive for the ‘Hypocrisy’ Category

Show Details for the week of June 16th, 2014

Posted by themonitor on June 16, 2014


Following up on last week’s show, this week The Monitor is all about whistleblowers and the need for them to be able to report violations. Both guests are connected to the newly launched ExposeFacts.org.
First up is William Binney and rounding out the hour is Matthew Hoh.

Newsweek just published “The Website That Wants the Next Snowden to Leak” about the newly launched ExposeFacts.org. The lengthy article includes discussion of the legality of exposing classified documents. At the news conference launching ExposeFacts.org, former NSA official William Binney, who is now on the advisory board of ExposeFacts.org, noted that classifying documents to cover up wrongdoing violates the Executive Order on classification. [video at 1:01:00]

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More about this week’s guests:

William Binney is a former high-level National Security Agency intelligence official who, after his 2001 retirement after 30 years, blew the whistle on NSA surveillance programs. His outspoken criticism of the NSA during the George W. Bush administration made him the subject of FBI investigations that included a raid on his home in 2007. Even before Edward Snowden’s NSA whistleblowing, Binney publicly revealed that NSA had access to telecommunications companies’ domestic and international billing records, and that since 9/11 the agency has intercepted some 15 to 20 trillion communications. The Snowden disclosures confirmed many of the surveillance dangers Binney — without the benefit of documents — had been warning about under both the Bush and Obama administrations. Binney has been singled out for praise by Snowden, who told the Wall Street Journal: “I have tremendous respect for Binney, who did everything he could according to the rules. We all owe him a debt of gratitude for highlighting how the Intelligence Community punishes reporting abuses within the system.”

Quote: “Not too many people are paying too much attention to this, but under Executive Order 13526, sec 1.7 — this is the executive order that governs classification for the U.S. government — you cannot use classification to cover up a crime, illegality, abuse of any form, or fraud, corruption, waste or embarrassment and a number of other things. And a lot of these things that Snowden exposed were in fact evidence of crimes against the constitution or other laws that existed, statutes in the country. So those things [documents] cannot legitimately be classified under that executive order.

Matthew Hoh is the Former director of the Afghanistan Study Group, Hoh is a former Marine and State Department official. In 2009 he resigned from his post with the State Department in Afghanistan in protest of U.S. strategic policy and goals in Afghanistan (Washington Post, front page, “U.S. Official Resigns Over Afghan War,” October 27, 2009). Hoh discussed the launch of ExposeFacts.org when he appeared on Huffington Post Live yesterday, interviewed on “Free Speech Zone with @AlyonaMink.”

Quote: “I am very much honored and more than a bit humbled to be included in the launch of such a worthy and necessary effort, particularly one bearing the name of Daniel Ellsberg. After over eleven continuous years of service with the U.S. military and U.S. government, nearly six of those years overseas, including service in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as positions within the Secretary of the Navy’s Office as a White House Liaison, and as a consultant for the State Department’s Iraq Desk, I resigned from my position with the State Department in Afghanistan in protest of the escalation of war in 2009. It took years of involvement with a mendacious war policy, evidence of which was apparent to me as early as 2003, before I found the courage to follow my conscience. It is not an easy or light decision for anyone to make, but we need members of our military, development, diplomatic, and intelligence community to speak out if we are ever to have a just and sound foreign policy. I trust ExposeFacts and its efforts will encourage others to follow their conscience and do what is right.”

 

More info:

The ExposeFacts organization is part of the nonprofit Institute for Public Accuracy, founded in 1997. See text of Executive Order 13526, sec 1.7:

Sec. 1.7.  Classification Prohibitions and Limitations.
(a)  In no case shall information be classified, continue to be maintained as classified, or fail to be declassified in order to:
(1)  conceal violations of law, inefficiency, or administrative error;

(2)  prevent embarrassment to a person, organization, or agency;

(3)  restrain competition; or

(4)  prevent or delay the release of information that does not require protection in the interest of the national security.

Posted in Afghanistan, Arab World, Armed Forces, Assassination, Bradley Manning, Bush, CIA, Cost of War, Cyber Surveillance, Department of Homeland Security, DOJ, Drones, FBI, FISA, Fourth Ammendment, Hypocrisy, Intelligence, NSA, PRISM, Radio Shows, The "War on Terror", The Constitution, Whistle Blowing | Leave a Comment »

Show Details for the week of June 9th, 2014

Posted by themonitor on June 9, 2014


On The Monitor this week:

  • Democracy comes to Egypt and Syria…or does it? We discuss the Egyptian and Syrian election results with Ghada Talhami.
  • New Organization Launches with Invitation: “Whistleblowers Welcome”. We talk with Marsha Coleman-Adebayo about her own whistleblowing experience and why protections for whistleblowers are still needed.

 

More about this week’s guests:

Ghada Talhami is emeritus professor in the department of politics at Lake Forest College. Her books include The Mobilization of Muslim Women in Egypt. She said last week (prior to the election results in Egypt and Syria): “Western observers may see the abstaining of large sectors of the Egyptian public from the current elections as an indictment of army rule, but a closer look reveals greater issues at play. If, as has been drummed by human rights advocates, Western governments and Egypt’s religious right, al-Sisi’s credibility has been greatly damaged by his crackdown on political opponents and residual forces of the January 25 uprising, then the electoral dent inflicted on al-Sisi’s legend is perfectly understandable. But what is being underestimated here is the apparent apathy of the non-Islamic and non-revolutionary forces, for as in all revolutions, the struggle between the forces of freedom and the primal quest for security usually take center-stage. In Egypt’s case, the quest for security is being interpreted currently as concern over domestic security and stability. Concern for Egypt’s strategic security and the safety of its external borders, however, has always been at the core of the military’s psyche.”

She is the author of six books: Suakin and Massawa under Egyptian Rule (University Press of America, 1979), Palestine and the Egyptian National Identity (PRAEGER, 1992), The Islamic Mobilization of Women in Egypt (University Press of Florida, 1996), Syria and the Palestinians: The Clash of Nationalisms (University Press of Florida, 2001), and Palestinian Refugees: Pawns to Political Actors (Nova Science Publishers, 2003).  Her latest book, Palestine and the Egyptian Press: From al-Ahram to al-Ahali, was released by Lexington Books in 2007.  She is also the editor of an encyclopedia volume, Children in the Middle East and North Africa, published by Greenwood Press.

 

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Marsha Coleman-Adebayo is author of No Fear: A Whistleblower’s Triumph Over Corruption and Retaliation at the EPA. As senior policy analyst for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, she became a whistleblower when the EPA ignored her complaints about a U.S. company harming the environment and human health in its vanadium mining in South Africa. Denied promotion, she sued and won a jury verdict finding EPA guilty of discrimination. Coleman-Adebayo is a founder of the No FEAR Coalition and EPA Employees Against Racism. Under her leadership No FEAR organized a grassroots campaign that won passage of the “Notification of Federal Employees Anti-Discrimination and Retaliation Act.” Coleman-Adebayo serves on the board of directors of the National Whistleblower Center and was inducted into the Project on Government Oversight’s Hall of Fame. She is an editor and columnist for the Black Agenda Report.

Websitewww.marshacoleman-adebayo.com

Announcing its intention to “shed light on concealed activities that are relevant to human rights, corporate malfeasance, the environment, civil liberties and war,” the ExposeFacts organization launched on Wednesday with a news conference in Washington and the debut of its website declaring “Whistleblowers Welcome.”

The ExposeFacts.org site will feature the “SecureDrop” whistleblower submission system, provided by the Freedom of the Press Foundation. “At a time when key provisions of the First, Fourth and Fifth Amendments are under assault,” ExposeFacts said in a statement, “we are standing up for a free press, privacy, transparency and due process as we seek to reveal official information — whether governmental or corporate — that the public has a right to know.”

Speakers at the Washington news conference included National Security Agency whistleblowers William Binney and J. Kirk Wiebe as well as Environmental Protection Agency whistleblower Marsha Coleman-Adebayo.

Posted in Arab Spring, Arab World, Egypt, EPA, Hypocrisy, Syria, The "War on Terror", The Constitution, Whistle Blowing | Leave a Comment »

Show Details for the week of May 12th, 2014

Posted by themonitor on May 12, 2014


Last week marked the start of KPFT‘s pledge drive.

The Drive continues this week and The Monitor again has a goal $1,000 to meet. We need your help to get there, especially because we fell short last week. Please dial 713-526-5738 during the show and show your support for this show and the station that put it on the air. This is your last chance during this drive to support The Monitor.

Our guest for this week’s show is Gareth Porter. Gareth has been on The Monitor many times over the years and is one of my favorite guests. His work optimizes what this show is all about – current events in the context of history. It is this context that makes Gareth’s work so important and we spend the majority of this week’s show with him. We have copies of Gareth’s book, Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare, available as a thank you gift to anyone who donates $120 or more to KPFT. Gareth’s publisher Just World Books is giving KPFT a great deal on this books to allow us to offer it to our listeners. So, please give us a call 713-526-5738 or go online

About the book:

For several years now, Israel and U.S. officials and much of the mainstream media have maintained a steady drumbeat of allegations and accusations that the government of Iran has been pursuing a secret, “military” adjunct to its (quite legal, and regularly inspected) civilian nuclear program. Numerous western officials and commentators have warned that there will be a time coming very soon, beyond which this alleged military nuclear program will be unstoppable. Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli officials have warned that military action must be taken, if necessary, to prevent this from happening. Meantime, Washington has been leading a worldwide effort to impose punishing economic sanctions on Iran, in an effort to make it give up this alleged nuclear-weapons program.

But where is the evidence that this program even exists? Veteran investigative journalist Gareth Porter has been following this issue closely for over six years. In his book, Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare, he shows how Israel and the George W. Bush administration successfully portrayed the various actions taken by Western nations and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as responses to a long history of Iranian covert work on militarization of its nuclear program. In reality, however, the United States had intervened aggressively as early as 1983 to prevent Iran from its open effort to pursue its legitimate right to peaceful nuclear power– and it was that aggressive U.S. intervention that pushed Iran to resort to black market transactions in order to acquire the technology needed for its civilian nuclear power program.

 

More about Gareth

Gareth Porter is an independent investigative journalist and historian who specialises in U.S. national security policy. He is the author of Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare, published by Just World Books in February 2014. He writes regularly for IPS and has also published investigative articles on Salon.com, the Nation, the American Prospect, Truthout and The Raw Story. His blogs have been published on Huffington Post, Firedoglake, Counterpunch and many other websites. Porter was Saigon bureau chief of Dispatch News Service International in 1971 and later reported on trips to Southeast Asia for The Guardian, Asian Wall Street Journal and Pacific News Service. He is also the author of four books on the Vietnam War and the political system of Vietnam. Historian Andrew Bacevich called his latest book, ‘Perils of Dominance: Imbalance of Power and the Road to War’, published by University of California Press in 2005, “without a doubt, the most important contribution to the history of U.S. national security policy to appear in the past decade.” He has taught Southeast Asian politics and international studies at American University, City College of New York and the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.  You can follow him on Twitter and read his latest articles online as well.

 

Praise for Manufactured Crisis

Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare by Gareth Porter has received some well-deserved endorsements from public figures, as follows:

 

From JUAN COLE, Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History, University of Michigan:

Gareth Porter is among the last of that rare breed– the independent investigative journalist who brings to bear long experience in foreign policy reporting with a keen and critical eye for K Street propaganda. He is essential.

 

From Hon. CHAS W. FREEMAN, Jr., former U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia and author of America’s Misadventures in the Middle East:

Want to understand why a peaceful U.S. modus vivendi with Iran has been so elusive?  Read this exceptionally timely, gripping account of the Iranian nuclear program and the diplomacy surrounding it! Porter meticulously documents both Iranian misjudgments and American and Israeli diplomatic overreach based on willful self-deception and political, bureaucratic, and budget-motivated cherry-picking of intelligence to support unfounded preconceptions. He shows how these have combined to produce a steady escalation of both Iranian enrichment activities and Western sanctions. Manufactured Crisis is essential reading for anyone interested in the resolution by diplomacy of a confrontation that otherwise threatens a reprise of the delusional decision-making that led to the Iraq War of 2003–11 but with even more catastrophic consequences.

 

From GRAHAM E. FULLER, former vice-chair of the National Intelligence Council at CIA and author of A World Without Islam and Three Truths and a Lie (a memoir):

 At a time of irrational hype and often irresponsible western journalism on the subject of a “nuclear Iran”—promoting heightened confrontation and even the possibility of war—this book provides disturbing and detailed insight into the manipulation—even invention—of “facts” marshaled to achieve dubious US and Israeli policy objectives. Gareth Porter, one of our most distinguished and dogged investigative journalists and historians, provides a striking and vital corrective on the geopolitically damaging course of our last decades of manufactured confrontations with an already prickly Iran.

  

 From SHIREEN T. HUNTER, Georgetown University:

Those who regularly follow Iranian affairs and Iran’s relations with the United States, always knew that Iran’s nuclear dossier was closely linked with the broader problems of how to deal with Iran and what strategies to adopt towards the Islamic Republic. Now, Gareth Porter through extensive and meticulous research demonstrates these elaborate linkages. In understanding these linkages Iran watchers would be better able to predict the future trajectory of the Iran nuclear dossier.

 

From SEYMOUR M. HERSH, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist:

Gareth Porter has become a one-man truth squad for the American government and its acolytes in the mainstream press corps…His probing and digging is a reminder that those in power, and those who report on that power, must be held to the highest possible standard.

 

From OLIVER STONE and PETER KUZNICK, Co-authors The Untold History of the United States:

Manufactured Crisis is untold history at its finest! Gareth Porter systematically and masterfully debunks three decades of U.S. and allied lies and distortions about an Iranian nuclear weapons program that never really existed.

Posted in Bush, Cheney, CIA, Cyber Warfare, Democrat Corruption, Empire, GOP Corruption, Hypocrisy, Intelligence, Iran | Leave a Comment »

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 »

 
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