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Show Details for the week of March 16th, 2015

Posted by themonitor on March 16, 2015


On The Monitor this week:

  • Ray McGovern on CIA Director Brennan’s reorganization plan and “Obama going to school.”
  • Jim Lobe on Tom Cotton (R-AR), Bill Kristol and the Corker Bill

More about this week’s guests:

Ray McGovern was a CIA analyst for 27 years, whose duties included preparing the President’s Daily Brief and chairing National Intelligence Estimates. He now works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington.

On Friday March 6th (Fridays are the best days to release news and avoid scrutiny) a plan by CIA head John Brennan to restructure the agency was made public. Much of the major media portrayed it as a reform to make Americans safer: The New York Times headline read: “CIA to Be Overhauled to Fight Modern Threats.” However, many CIA veterans argue that it is a step toward further politicization of intelligence

McGovern is among the signers to a just released, posted at ConsortiumNews.com: “U.S. Intel Vets Oppose Brennan’s Plan to Restructure CIA,” which takes the form of a memo to the President: “Mr. President, The CIA reorganization plan announced by Director John Brennan on Friday is a potentially deadly blow to the objective, fact-based intelligence needed to support fully informed decisions on foreign policy. We suggest turning this danger into an opportunity to create an independent entity for CIA intelligence analysis immune from the operational demands of the ‘war on terror.’

“On Feb. 5, 2003, immediately after Colin Powell’s address to the UN, members of VIPS sent our first VIPS memorandum, urging President George W. Bush to widen the policy debate ‘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.’

“The ‘former senior officers’ whom Brennan asked for input on the restructuring plan are a similar closed, blinkered circle, as is the ‘outstanding group of officers from across the Agency’ picked by Brennan to look at the Agency’s mission and future. He did not include any of the intelligence community dissidents and alumni who fought against the disastrous politicization of intelligence before the attack on Iraq. Nor does Brennan’s plan reflect the lessons learned from that debacle. …

“President Harry Truman wanted an agency structure able to meet a president’s need for ‘the most accurate … information on what’s going on everywhere in the world, and particularly of the trends and developments in all the danger spots.’ In an op-ed appearing in the Washington Post exactly one month after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Truman added, ‘I have been disturbed by … the way CIA has been diverted from its original assignment … and has become an operational and at times policy-making arm of the Government.’ …

“You are fully aware, we trust, that our analysts’ vaunted ethos of speaking unvarnished truth to power was corrupted by Director George Tenet and Deputy Director John McLaughlin, who outdid themselves in carrying out the instructions of President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney. The new ethos boiled down to this: If the President wants to paint Iraq as a strategic threat, it is our job to come up with the ‘evidence’ — even if it needs to be manufactured out of whole cloth (or forged, as in ‘yellowcake uranium from Africa’ caper). …

“There is hope to be drawn from those occasions where senior intelligence officials with integrity can step in, show courageous example, and — despite multiple indignities and pitfalls in the system — can force the truth to the surface. We hope that you have been made aware that, after the no-WMD-anywhere debacle on Iraq, Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence Thomas Fingar did precisely that during 2007, supervising a watershed National Intelligence Estimate on Iran that concluded unanimously, ‘with high confidence,’ that Iran had stopped working on a nuclear weapon in 2003.

“President Bush concedes in his memoir that this put the kibosh on his and Dick Cheney’s earlier plan to attack Iran during their last year in office. So, character (as in Fingar) counts, and people of integrity can make a difference — and even help thwart plans for war — even in the most politicized of circumstances.”

Website:

http://www.raymcgovern.com/

Recent articles:

https://consortiumnews.com/2015/03/09/us-intel-vets-oppose-brennans-cia-plan/

https://consortiumnews.com/2015/03/14/guiding-obama-into-global-make-believe/

 

Jim Lobe is The Washington Bureau Chief of the international news agency, Inter Press Service, Jim Lobe is best known for his coverage of U.S. foreign policy.

Quote:

“If Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) wasn’t the face of GOP Iran hawks, he is now. His letter making common cause with Iran’s hardliners to scuttle a nuclear deal puts Cotton, along with his 46 Republican co-signatories, in uncharted territory. …

“Cotton’s rise to prominence didn’t come cheap and required friends with very deep pockets. His Senate campaign cost $13.9 million, and some of his biggest campaign contributions came from far outside his home state of Arkansas. That doesn’t include the nearly $1 million contribution in supportive political advertising made by Bill Kristol’s Emergency Committee for Israel in the closing days of Cotton’s Senate campaign, as has already been reported here. …

“Paul Singer’s New York-based Elliot Management hedge fund … went on to become the second biggest source of direct contributions to Cotton’s Senate campaign after the pro-business Club for Growth.

“Singer, Sheldon Adelson, and Dan Senor are recurring characters in efforts to blow up diplomacy with Iran.

“Both Singer and Adelson, who famously recommended a first-strike nuclear attack on Iran to send the message that the U.S. is serious about dismantling the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program, are huge donors to a series of hawkish think tanks.

“Between 2008 and 2011, the two billionaires made combined contributions of $5.1 million to the Foundation for Defense of Democracies—a hard-line neoconservative think tank some of whose associates have advocated bombing Iran’s nuclear facilities in addition to waging ‘economic warfare’ against the regime.”

For further background, see Lobe’s piece “Republicans Overreach: Part Deux.”

Recent articles:

Posted in Armed Forces, CIA, Iran, Israel, Nuclear Weapons, Obama, Ray McGovern | Leave a Comment »

Show Details for the week of February 23rd, 2015

Posted by themonitor on February 23, 2015


On The Monitor this week:

  • What does ISIS really want and how should people try to analyze the group’s extreme positions? We talk with Jennifer Loewenstein about two recent articles dealing with the topic.
  • Documents reveal that the U.S. government helped Israel acquire nuclear weapons. What are the political implications? We talk with Grant Smith who obtained the documents.

More about this week’s guests:
Jennifer Loewenstein is  Faculty associate in Middle East Studies and Associate Director of the Middle East Studies Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Loewenstein has followed news of ISIS closely and joins us to comment on the media narrative surrounding the group. She has also recently written about the topic – Holding Ourselves Hostage to History: Burnt Offering

Quote: “Too few people, I fear, will understand that the monstrous activities of ISIS will continue, if not increase, as long as the former colonial and imperial powers of the West, Japan, and their Arab allies –all of them run by tyrants and dictators beholden to or in league with US state power and seeking “security” — persist in their attempts to shape and control the destiny of the Middle East.

It nevertheless seems likely that however long the infernal activities of ISIS continue, ISIS itself – like so many other extremist and fanatical organizations past and present – will eventually destroy itself from within. Public opinion worldwide, above all in the Middle East, is overwhelmingly opposed to the use of such depraved, barbaric tactics. Everywhere, especially where terror like this reigns day and night, people fear and abhor it. Ultimately, the core leaders of ISIS and groups similar to it, will fall upon their own swords and then be devoured, however savagely, by the populations most directly affected by their brutality.

We start the discussion with an assessment of the arguments in an article published by The Atlantic that has been very widely circulated: What ISIS Really Wants

 

Photo By Bill Hughes

Grant Smith, director of the Washington, D.C.-based Institute for Research Middle Eastern Policy (IRmep). It is a nonprofit organization that “studies US-Middle East policy formulation. Founded in 2002, the Institute became an independent private non-profit tax-exempt organization in 2003. IRmep’s Center for Policy & Law Enforcement examines how balanced and vigorous law enforcement can improve trade, economic development and America’s international standing. IRmep‘s Israel Lobby Archive documents and provides citizen access to initiatives of one of the most harmful forces driving policy formulation in the US political process.”

Courthouse News reports: “In the midst of controversy over the Israeli prime minister’s plans to address Congress next month, a researcher has won the release of a decades-old Defense Department report detailing the U.S. government’s extensive help to Israel in that nation’s development of a nuclear bomb. “I am struck by the degree of cooperation on specialized war making devices between Israel and the U.S.,’ said Roger Mattson, a former member of the Atomic Energy Commission technical staff. The 1987 report, ‘Critical Technology Assessment in Israel and NATO Nations,’ compares the key Israeli facilities developing nuclear weapons to Los Alamos and Oak Ridge National Laboratories, the principal U.S. laboratories that developed the bomb for the United States.The tightly held report notes that the Israelis are ‘developing the kind of codes which will enable them to make hydrogen bombs. That is, codes which detail fission and fusion processes on a microscopic and macroscopic level.’ The release comes after Grant Smith, director of the Washington, D.C.-based Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy filed a FOIA request last year and followed with a lawsuit in September seeking to compel release of the report. The government fought to delay release of the 386-page report in hearings before Judge Tanya Chutkan in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, who expressed skepticism with the government’s reasons for refusing to provide a single unclassified document. The report’s release this week has substantial political ramifications.”

 

Posted in Arab World, Armed Forces, CIA, Cost of War, Cyber Surveillance, Cyber Warfare, Dictatorship, Elections, ISIS, Islam, Israel, Nuclear Weapons, Radio Shows, The New Middle East, UN Resolutions, War Reporting | Leave a Comment »

Show Details for the week of November 24th, 2014

Posted by themonitor on November 24, 2014


This week on The Monitor

  • Violence and Resistance in Palestine – An African-American Perspective with Ajamu Baraka
  • Educating a new generation of news consumers – An interview with Alan Miller

More about this week’s guests:

Ajamu Baraka is a human rights activist, organizer and geo-political analyst. Baraka is an Associate Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) in Washington, D.C. and editor and contributing columnist for the Black Agenda Report. He is a contributor to “Killing Trayvons: An Anthology of American Violence” (Counterpunch Books, 2014).

Baraka is an internationally recognized leader of the emerging human rights movement in the U.S. and has been at the forefront of efforts to apply the international human rights framework to social justice advocacy in the U.S. for more than 25 years. As such, he has provided human rights trainings for grassroots activists across the country, briefings on human rights to the U.S. Congress, and appeared before and provided statements to various United Nations agencies, including the UN Human Rights Commission (precursor to the current UN Human Rights Council).

As a co-convener with Jaribu Hill of the Mississippi Worker Center for Human Rights, Baraka played an instrumental role in developing the series of bi-annual Southern Human Rights Organizers’ conferences (SHROC) that began in 1996. These gatherings represented some of the first post-Cold War human rights training opportunities for grassroots activists in the country.

Baraka played an important role in bringing a human rights perspective to the preparatory meetings for the World Conference on Racism (WCAR) that took place in Geneva and in Santiago, Chile as part of the Latin American Preparatory process, as well as the actual conference that he attended as a delegate in Durban, South Africa in 2001.

You can read his most recent article here.

Website:

www.AjamuBaraka.com

Alan C. Miller, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, is the president and CEO of the News Literacy Project – http://thenewsliteracyproject.org

He was a reporter with the Los Angeles Times for 21 years before leaving the paper in March 2008 to establish the project. He spent nearly 19 years in the paper’s Washington bureau, the last 14 as a charter member of its high-profile investigative team. His work prompted investigations by the Justice Department, Congress and inspector generals in federal agencies and led to congressional hearings, reforms and criminal convictions.

He received more than a dozen national reporting honors, including the George Polk Award, the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting and the Investigative Reporters and Editors Medal for breaking the 1996 Democratic National Committee campaign finance scandal. His series on the Marine Corps Harrier attack jet won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting.

Before joining the Times, Alan worked at The Record of Hackensack, N.J., as a state and county political reporter and at The Times Union of Albany, N.Y. as a political and state investigative reporter.

He was a fellow with the Peter Jennings Project at the National Constitution Center in March 2008 and the Japan Society in 1998 and a student participant at the East‐West Center Communication Institute from 1976 to 1978.

Posted in Arab World, Education, Gaza, Israel, News And Analysis, Palestine | Leave a Comment »

Show Details for the week of September 29th, 2014

Posted by themonitor on September 29, 2014


On The Monitor this week:

  • The Brink of Mass Extinction – an interview with Dahr Jamail
  • Khorasan Group: A Concocted Pretext for Bombing Syria? – an interview with Murtaza Hussain

 

More about this week’s guests:

 

DahrDahr Jamail Jamail, a Truthout staff reporter, is the author of The Will to Resist: Soldiers Who Refuse to Fight in Iraq and Afghanistan, (Haymarket Books, 2009), and Beyond the Green Zone: Dispatches From an Unembedded Journalist in Occupied Iraq, (Haymarket Books, 2007). Jamail reported from Iraq for more than a year, as well as from Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Turkey over the last ten years, and has won the Martha Gellhorn Award for Investigative Journalism, among other awards.

Murtaza Hussain just wrote, with Glenn Greenwald, “The Khorasan Group: Anatomy of a Fake Terror Threat to Justify Bombing Syria,” for The intercept, which states: “As the Obama administration prepared to bomb Syria without Congressional or U.N. authorization, it faced two problems. The first was the difficulty of sustaining public support for a new years-long war against ISIS, a group that clearly posed no imminent threat to the ‘homeland.’ A second was the lack of legal justification for launching a new bombing campaign with no viable claim of self-defense or U.N. approval.

“The solution to both problems was found in the wholesale concoction of a brand new terror threat that was branded ‘The Khorasan Group.’ After spending weeks depicting ISIS as an unprecedented threat — too radical even for Al Qaeda! — administration officials suddenly began spoon-feeding their favorite media organizations and national security journalists tales of a secret group that was even scarier and more threatening than ISIS, one that posed a direct and immediate threat to the American Homeland. Seemingly out of nowhere, a new terror group was created in media lore.

“The unveiling of this new group was performed in a September 13 article by Associated Press [written by Ken Dilanian]. who cited unnamed U.S. officials to warn of this new shadowy, worse-than-ISIS terror group. …

“CNN’s supremely stenographic Pentagon reporter, Barbara Starr, went on air as videos of shiny new American fighter jets and the Syria bombing were shown and explained that this was all necessary to stop a Khorasan attack very close to being carried out against the west …

“All of that laid the fear-producing groundwork for President Obama to claim self-defense when he announced the bombing campaign on September 23 with this boast: ‘Once again, it must be clear to anyone who would plot against America and try to do Americans harm that we will not tolerate safe havens for terrorists who threaten our people.’ But once it served its purpose of justifying the start of the bombing campaign in Syria, the Khorasan narrative simply evaporated as quickly as it materialized. …

“Literally within a matter of days, we went from ‘perhaps in its final stages of planning its attack’ (CNN) to ‘plotting as “aspirational”‘ and ‘there did not yet seem to be a concrete plan in the works’ (NYT). …

    “There are serious questions about whether the Khorasan Group even exists in any meaningful or identifiable manner. …”Another journalist for The Intercept, Ken Silverstein, wrote a piece on Ken Dilanian, who recently moved from theL.A. Times to AP: “The CIA’s Mop-Up Man L.A. Times Reporter Cleared Stories With Agency Before Publication.”

Posted in 2001: Repercussions, 9/11, Arab World, Armed Forces, CIA, Cost of War, Cyber Surveillance, Drones, Economic Inequality, Empire, Intelligence, Iran, Iraq, Israel, News And Analysis, Obama, Saudi Arabia, Sept. 11, Syria, The New Middle East, War Budget, War Reporting | Leave a Comment »

Show Details for the Week of September 1st, 2014

Posted by themonitor on September 1, 2014


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

On The Monitor this week:

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

More about this week’s guests:

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

Background:

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

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

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

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

Background:

McClatchy reports: “An internal CIA investigation confirmed allegations that agency personnel improperly intruded into a protected database used by Senate Intelligence Committee staff to compile a scathing report on the agency’s detention and interrogation program, prompting bipartisan outrage and at least two calls for spy chief John Brennan to resign.”
Quote:
“It is inconceivable that the spying on the Senate committee happened without authorization by Director Brennan, so the question is why he did so.  Easy answer: it has been established that Brennan had, at the very least, guilty knowledge of the torture, so the stakes for him personally could not be higher.  He simply had to find out how damning the Senate report is about his own role.  Brennan’s nominal boss, National Intelligence Director James Clapper is still in place after confessing to giving the same committee on March 12, 2013 sworn testimony (about NSA collection programs) that was in Clapper’s words, “clearly erroneous.”  If President Obama does not fire Brennan, this will demonstrate that the President himself is afraid of our intelligence services – what blackmail material they may have on him and even whether they will target him, as they did John Kennedy.”
Ray’s Bio:
Ray McGovern leads the “Speaking Truth to Power” section of Tell the Word, an expression of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington.  A former co-director of the Servant Leadership School (1998-2004), he has been teaching there for 15 years.Ray came from his native New York to Washington in the early Sixties as an Army infantry/intelligence officer and then served as a CIA analyst from the administration of John F. Kennedy to that of George H. W. Bush. Ray’s duties included chairing National Intelligence Estimates and preparing the President’s Daily Brief, which he briefed one-on-one to President Ronald Reagan’s most senior national security advisers from 1981 to 1985.In January 2003, Ray helped create Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) to expose the way intelligence was being falsified to “justify” war on Iraq. On the afternoon of the day (Feb. 5, 2003) Secretary of State Colin Powell misled the UN Security Council on Iraq, VIPS sent a blunt memorandum to President George W. Bush, in which VIPS gave Powell a C minus for content. They ended the memo with this:
“No one has a corner on the truth; nor do we harbor illusions that our analysis is irrefutable or undeniable [as Powell had claimed]. But after watching Secretary Powell today, we are convinced that you would be well served if you widened the discussion beyond … the circle of those advisers clearly bent on a war for which we see no compelling reason and from which we believe the unintended consequences are likely to be catastrophic.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

Background:

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

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

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

Show Details for the week of August 11th, 2014

Posted by themonitor on August 11, 2014


On The Monitor this week:

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

More about this week’s guests:

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

Background:

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

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

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

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

Background:

McClatchy reports: “An internal CIA investigation confirmed allegations that agency personnel improperly intruded into a protected database used by Senate Intelligence Committee staff to compile a scathing report on the agency’s detention and interrogation program, prompting bipartisan outrage and at least two calls for spy chief John Brennan to resign.”
Quote:
“It is inconceivable that the spying on the Senate committee happened without authorization by Director Brennan, so the question is why he did so.  Easy answer: it has been established that Brennan had, at the very least, guilty knowledge of the torture, so the stakes for him personally could not be higher.  He simply had to find out how damning the Senate report is about his own role.  Brennan’s nominal boss, National Intelligence Director James Clapper is still in place after confessing to giving the same committee on March 12, 2013 sworn testimony (about NSA collection programs) that was in Clapper’s words, “clearly erroneous.”  If President Obama does not fire Brennan, this will demonstrate that the President himself is afraid of our intelligence services – what blackmail material they may have on him and even whether they will target him, as they did John Kennedy.”
Ray’s Bio:
Ray McGovern leads the “Speaking Truth to Power” section of Tell the Word, an expression of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington.  A former co-director of the Servant Leadership School (1998-2004), he has been teaching there for 15 years.Ray came from his native New York to Washington in the early Sixties as an Army infantry/intelligence officer and then served as a CIA analyst from the administration of John F. Kennedy to that of George H. W. Bush. Ray’s duties included chairing National Intelligence Estimates and preparing the President’s Daily Brief, which he briefed one-on-one to President Ronald Reagan’s most senior national security advisers from 1981 to 1985.In January 2003, Ray helped create Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) to expose the way intelligence was being falsified to “justify” war on Iraq. On the afternoon of the day (Feb. 5, 2003) Secretary of State Colin Powell misled the UN Security Council on Iraq, VIPS sent a blunt memorandum to President George W. Bush, in which VIPS gave Powell a C minus for content. They ended the memo with this:
“No one has a corner on the truth; nor do we harbor illusions that our analysis is irrefutable or undeniable [as Powell had claimed]. But after watching Secretary Powell today, we are convinced that you would be well served if you widened the discussion beyond … the circle of those advisers clearly bent on a war for which we see no compelling reason and from which we believe the unintended consequences are likely to be catastrophic.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

Background:

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

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

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

Show Details for the week of July 28th, 2014

Posted by themonitor on July 28, 2014


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

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

From the film’s website:

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

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

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

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

 

More about this week’s guests:

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

You can follow Raed Jarrar (raedjarrar) on Twitter.

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

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

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

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

From the London Progressive Journal:

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

 

 

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

Show Details for the week of July 21st, 2014

Posted by themonitor on July 21, 2014


On The Monitor this week:

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

More about this week’s guests:

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

 

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

 

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

Show Details for the week of July 7th, 2014

Posted by themonitor on July 7, 2014


On The Monitor this week:

  • Why Should a Woman’s Health Care Depend on Her Employer? The SCOTUS Hobby Lobby decision – a doctor’s perspective with Elizabeth Rosenthal
  • The escalation of violence in Gaza – recent events discussed with Jennifer Loewenstein

More about this week’s guests:

Elizabeth Rosenthal is is a dermatologist and assistant clinical professor at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City. She is an executive board member of the NY Metro chapter of Physicians for a National Health Program. A very experienced advocate for single payer, upon her retirement after 40 years in private practice, Dr. Rosenthal has focused her energies on the state of U.S. health care and argued for the rationale of a single payer system. She has appeared on radio and television and she helped lead a fact-finding delegation to Canada to compare the Canadian system with the US.  Dr. Rosenthal received in medical degree from New York University’s School of Medicine.

Quote: “If we had a single-payer health care system instead of our current employer-based health insurance, this question would be moot. Women would not be at the mercy of their employer to get access to family planning services and contraceptive care.”

 


Jennifer Loewenstein is  Faculty associate in Middle East Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Loewenstein has spent extensive time in Gaza including witnessing attacks. She is now in touch with human rights groups there.

Quote: “More than three times the number of the Israeli youths murdered near Hebron were murdered by the Israeli military in its terrorist rampage across the West Bank since the three [Israeli youths] went missing. But we will never see the handsome photos and bios of the dead Palestinians because they are ‘human animals’ according to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, unworthy of our grief. … Israel has been dying to arrest many of those it freed in deals over the last year or so, especially those connected to the Gilad Shalit case. … Clashes in an East Jerusalem neighborhood are growing more violent after the murder of a Palestinian teen by the Israeli military there. He was innocent of any crime. … Israel is already taking ‘justice’ into its own hands without any proof, real trial, or legal punishment of the accused. The accused teens’ families have already had their homes destroyed.”

In the story “Is Israel Preparing New Military Offensive against Gaza?“, the Real News reports “Israel is punishing Gaza despite no evidence that shows Hamas was responsible for the deaths of the Israeli teenagers.”

Posted in Health Care Reform, Israel, Palestine, Single Payer, The Supreme Court, Your Body | Leave a Comment »

Show Details for the week of March 31st, 2014

Posted by themonitor on March 31, 2014


On The Monitor this week:

  • Music to build peace and dialogue – an interview with Shani Rigsbee
  • Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS), what is the movement about and what is it trying to achieve? – an interview with Marjorie Cohn

I hope listeners are going to think and interact with the show on this topic. The questions I want to start out with in the context of this show:

Are these two efforts compatible? Can you be for peace and sanctions as well?

Send in your thoughts and comments to themonitor@journalist.com

More about this week’s guests:

Shani Ribsbee

shani

Singer / Songwriter Shani Rigsbee and her music have been featured in highly acclaimed feature films such as the Academy Award Winning CRASH, and many other studio and independent films and television. Having an International fan base from her numerous albums and single releases, she has toured the globe extensively singing in multiple languages playing in some of the world’s most exclusive venues in both concerts and plays and has committed herself to many charitable organizations.

She is the Writer / Producer of “We Hear Your Voice”

Her website: http://www.shanimusic.com/

Watch “We Hear Your Voice” here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZTQwGRV7Uc

Marjorie Cohn
Marjorie CohnMarjorie Cohn is a former president of the National Lawyers Guild and a professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, where she teaches criminal law and procedure, evidence, and international human rights law. She lectures throughout the world on human rights and US 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. In addition, Professor Cohn is the author of Cowboy Republic: Six Ways the Bush Gang Has Defied the Law and co-author of Cameras in the Courtroom: Television and the Pursuit of Justice and Rules of Disengagement: The Politics and Honor of Military Dissent. Her latest book, The United States and Torture: Interrogation, Incarceration and Abuse, was published in January 2011 by NYU Press.
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. Professor Cohn is a contributing editor to Jurist, MWC News and National Lawyers Guild Review, and her frequent columns appear on Huffington Post, Truthout, AlterNet, CommonDreams, Counterpunch, OpedNews, AtlanticFreePress, ZNet, and GlobalResearch, and are archived at http://www.marjoriecohn.com/.
On the show this week we talk about her recent article on the BDS movement

Posted in Israel, Peace | Leave a Comment »

 
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