Month: November 2008

Show Details for November 30th, 2008

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This week’s guests:

Michael Ratner on Gitmo, torture and restoring justice

Dedrick Muhammad on race, class and equality in America


Michael Ratner:

Michael is the President of the Center for Constitutional Rights – visit and

The Monitor’s Mark Bebawi spoke to Michael about the worst excesses of the Bush administration and the prospect of their reversal under an Obama administration. Of particular note is were the issues of Guantanamo and torture.


Dedrick Muhammad:

Dedrick is author of a just-released study, “The Unrealized American Dream,” from the Program on Inequality and the Common Good at the Institute for Policy Studies. The Monitor’s Mark Bebawi spoke to Dedrick about race, racism and the hope that the election of Barack Obama could create the space for serious (and overdue) discussion on this taboo topic. See

Show details for November 23th, 2008

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This week’s guest:

– Veteran DC journalist ROBERT PARRY on the necessity of a real liberal media

And in the second half of our program:

The attempted overthrow of FDR in 1934



Journalist ROBERT PARRY has appeared on The Monitor a number of times. Monitor co-anchor Pokey Anderson discusses his article on using this moment in history to create a real liberal media. Parry writes:

“If America’s media imbalance is to be corrected, progressives – both individuals and liberal foundations – must invest heavily in a media infrastructure that is national but focused on the news centers of Washington and New York…. Financial support is needed for the gutsy Web sites that stood up to Bush – like our own – but money also should go to larger media institutions, which can then help publicize stories that are generated by the smaller outlets.”

We also ask him about the decision by a federal judge this week to free five prisoners from Guantanamo. The judge is normally one of the most reliable Bush supporters.

Robert Parry is a veteran of Washington journalism, with a career spanning three decades. He broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek. Parry has won numerous awards including the George Polk Award for National Reporting in 1984, the Pultizer Prize finalist for National Reporting in 1985 and was a Emmy finalist for Best Explanatory Work on Breaking News in 1994.
His recent book is Neck Deep: The Disastrous Presidency of George W. Bush, by Robert Parry, Sam Parry and Nat Parry. He left mainstream journalism to start his own news service, Consortium News in 1995 because, as he writes, “I was distressed by the silliness and downright creepiness that had pervaded American journalism by the mid-1990s.”

Consortium News

QUOTE by Robert Parry:

“The fight for honest information is a battle for the future of American democracy.”

Neck Deep: The Disastrous Presidency of George W. Bush, by Robert Parry, Sam Parry and Nat Parry (2007)

Secrecy & Privilege: Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq (2004)

Lost History: Contras, Cocaine, the Press & ‘Project Truth’ (1999)

The Time Has Come to Create a Real ‘Liberal Media’
By Robert Parry
Consortium News
November 21, 2008

The GOP Judge Who Bolted on Gitmo
By Robert Parry
Consortium News
November 22, 2008


The attempted overthrow of FDR in 1934

Major General SMEDLEY BUTLER – hero

Smedley Butler, a celebrated Marine of the time, was called by Teddy Roosevelt “the finest fighting man in the armed forces.” He won two Congressional Medals of Honor. After facing gunfire 120 times in his military career, General Butler saved his country AFTER he retired from the military.

Butler plays a heroic role in this 1934 story, by breaking up an attempted coup, financed by some of the leading industrialists of the era, from the DuPont, Pew and JP Morgan financial empires. They envisioned a half-a-million-man army, led by Butler, to force their coup against President FDR.

Monitor co-anchor Pokey Anderson researched this little-known story several years ago, and found an interview in the Pacifica Archives with the one person to have written a book about it, Jules Archer. Tonight you can hear parts of these archival interviews, recorded by Bob Debolt in 1987 and 1991, interspersed with Pokey’s commentary based on additional research. One of the coup plotters told General Butler (according to Jules Archer):

“You know, the American people will swallow that [someone taking over for FDR]. We have got the newspapers. We will start a campaign that the President’s health is failing. Everybody can tell that by looking at him, and the dumb American people will fall for it in a second.”

Jules Archer’s book was originally written in 1973. Copies were exceedingly rare, until it was finally reprinted in 2007, as The Plot to Seize the White House: The Shocking True Story of the Conspiracy to Overthrow FDR.

The Plot to Seize the White House: The Shocking True Story of the Conspiracy to Overthrow FDR, by Jules Archer

War is a Racket, by Smedley Butler

QUOTE hinting at why corporate interests were so upset with FDR. (Note: In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, JP Morgan & Co. was the world’s most powerful bank):

“In May 1933, U.S. Senate Banking Committee counsel Ferdinand Pecora exposed how [JP] Morgan reserved shares at reduced prices for certain clients, giving guaranteed profits to former President Calvin Coolidge, Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s sitting treasury secretary, the chairmen of the Republican and Democratic national committees, and the CEOs of General Electric, AT&T, and Standard Oil, among others. To curb these abuses, FDR signed the 1933 Glass-Steagall Act, which prohibited commercial banks from underwriting securities, and the next year signed the Securities Exchange Act, which created the Securities and Exchange Commission to police Wall Street and prevent stock manipulation. … J.P. Morgan Jr. reportedly so loathed FDR that his grandchildren were told not to mention the president in his presence and Morgan’s servants removed photos of FDR from the morning paper. ” (Rogue Whale: Seventy years after FDR, JP Morgan finally got its revenge against banking regulations with its Chase merger. But a new FDR is watching,” by Sam Natapoff, The American Prospect, March 1, 2004)

The Plot To Overthrow FDR
produced by the History Channel
Approx. 50 min., $24.95, DVD, Catalog Number: AAE-73631

Show details for November 16th, 2008

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This week’s guests:

– Attorney Scott Horton on the DOJ’s trumped up case against Alabama Governor Siegelman

– Election integrity advocate Ellen Brodsky talks about her arrest in south Florida


Scott Horton

Scott Horton updates us on the disturbing case of an Alabama Governor jailed and convicted on weak grounds, with the apparent collusion of some in the Department of Justice.

A long-time human rights advocate, Scott Horton is a past chair of the International Law Committee at the New York City Bar Association. He is an adjunct professor of law at Columbia University where he lectures on international law and international humanitarian law. He is a New York attorney known for his work in emerging markets and international law, especially human rights law and the law of armed conflict. He is also a legal affairs and national security contributor to Harper’s magazine.

“What the Justice Department is Hiding”
by Scott Horton
November 14, 2008
The Daily Beast

“Siegelman: New Revelations ‘More Frightening Than Anything That Came Before'”
By Zachary Roth
Talking Points Memo – Muckraker
November 14, 2008

Scott Horton’s BLOG:
“No Comment” at Harper’s Magazine


Ellen Brodsky

Ellen Brodsky is a candidate for Supervisor of Elections in Broward County, Florida. Brodsky was arrested on November 13 on orders of her opponent, the current supervisor, Dr. Brenda Snipes. Ellen was running as a non-partisan, to further her goals as a long-time election integrity advocate.

We’ll ask her what happened.

FL Election Integrity Advocate, Candidate For Election Supervisor Arrested at Direction of Election Supervisor, Opponent
Posted by Brad Friedman
November 14, 2008
Brad Blog

Show details for November 9th, 2008

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This week’s Show:

— Progressive DAVID SWANSON re Obama’s first staff appointment, Rahm Emanuel
— Media critic JEFF COHEN on the coming of age of independent media

Monitor co-anchor Pokey Anderson is featured in a story in OutSmart Magazine this month.

The article is entitled “Your Vote Counts … But Was It Counted?” See

—  Progressive DAVID SWANSON re Obama’s first staff appointment, Rahm Emanuel

Progressive DAVID SWANSON is the guest of Monitor co-anchor Mark Bebawi.  They’ll discuss President-elect Barack Obama’s announcement of his new administration’s Chief of Staff.  Rahm Emanuel is a congressman from Illinois and a member of the party leadership who has worked for the center-right elements of the Democratic Party.  His record on a variety of topics — from the war in Iraq to labor issues to military spending to Israel — are raising concern among those who want a sharp break from the policies of the past eight years.
David is the creator of, the Washington Director of and co-founder of the coalition, a board member of Progressive Democrats of America, of the Backbone Campaign, and of Voters for Peace. He serves on a working group of United for Peace and Justice.
He has worked as a newspaper reporter and as a communications director, with jobs including Press Secretary for Dennis Kucinich’s 2004 presidential campaign. In April and May 2007, Swanson consulted part-time for Kucinich for President 2008. He serves on the steering committee of the Charlottesville Center for Peace and Justice. He obtained a Master’s degree in philosophy from the University of Virginia in 1997.
Is Obama Screwing His Base with Rahm Emanuel Selection?
By Stephen Zunes
November 7, 2008

—  Media expert JEFF COHEN on the coming of age of independent media

Media critic JEFF COHEN is the guest of Monitor co-anchor Pokey Anderson.  He will discuss the transformative impact of the Internet and the progressive online boom. We’ll also look at media and the campaign, and examine what he calls the myth that the US is a center-right country.
Jeff is the director of the Park Center for Independent Media at Ithaca College, where he is also an associate professor of journalism.  Launched in 2008, the Park Center for Independent Media is a national center for the study of media outlets that create and distribute content outside traditional corporate systems and news organizations.
Jeff founded the media watch group FAIR — Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting — a prominent media watchdog group, in 1986.  He has worked for CNN, Fox News and MSNBC, and wrote a book about his misadventures there. Of the book, Publishers Weekly notes: “Cohen’s willingness to mire himself in the swamp of infotainment amply mirrors the situation of viewers drawn into the cable news runaround, doomed to get their news from ‘three dogs chasing each other’s tails to the right’.”
Big Election Winner: Indy Media
by Jeff Cohen
Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Cohen says the independent media is not merely a passing media trend; rather, it is a movement that will likely affect the future of journalism and the media. “With all the bleakness of journalism, independent media is a ray of hope.”

Cohen says that the invasion and occupation of Iraq “will go down as one of the low points in the history of mainstream media” at the same time indie media were getting a lot of things right.
Park Center for Independent Media – Ithaca College
Cable News Confidential: My Misadventures in Corporate Media
by Jeff Cohen, foreward by Jim Hightower

Show Details for November 2nd, 2008

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This week’s Show:

 — Constitutional attorney BRUCE FEIN looks at potential Supreme Court vacancies and constitutional issues for the next president


 — BRAD FRIEDMAN updates us on election news, including Oprah’s surprise



—  Constitutional attorney BRUCE FEIN looks at potential Supreme Court vacancies and other constitutional issues for the next president


Conservative constitutional lawyer BRUCE FEIN is the guest of Monitor co-host Mark Bebawi.  They’ll discuss the potential Supreme Court appointments to be made by the next president. Also, they’ll compare Obama and McCain on constitutional issues such as torture, enemy combatants, warrantless wiretapping, Guantanamo, and wars conducted by the Executive branch without a declaration of war by Congress. 

Fein is co-founder of the American Freedom Agenda.   He recently served on the American Bar Association’s Task Force on Presidential signing statements.

Under President Ronald Reagan, Fein served as an associate deputy attorney general and as general counsel to the Federal Communications Commission.  Fein has also penned a number of volumes on United States Constitution, Supreme Court, and international law, as well as assisted three dozen countries in constitutional revision, including Russia, Spain, South Africa, Iraq, Cyprus, and Mozambique.

Fein has authored numerous articles on constitutional issues for The Washington Times,, The New York Times, Legal Times, and is considered an authority on civil liberties. He has also worked for the American Enterprise Institute and the Heritage Foundation, both conservative think tanks, as an analyst and commentator.  A graduate of Harvard Law School (1972), he has served as an adjunct professor at George Washington University.

“President George W. Bush’s successor should renounce his monarchy.”

“How to Fix the Executive Branch —
End the war on terror as a legal paradigm, abolish military commissions, and restore FISA”
By Bruce Fein
April 2, 2008
Slate Magazine


American Freedom Agenda —


“Constitutional Peril: The Life and Death Struggle for our Constitution and Democracy”



—  BRAD FRIEDMAN updates us on election news, including Oprah’s surprise


BRAD FRIEDMAN is a frequent guest of The Monitor. He has staked out his own unique niche in the blogosphere, providing a potent mix of investigative journalism and biting humor. He is one of the leading sources of news on election reform issues at his blog,

Monitor co-host Pokey Anderson will catch up with Brad about some of his recent top stories.  First off, we’ll find out what Oprah Winfrey told a national television audience about her touchscreen voting experience.

Second, we’ll get an update on the crucial Mike Connell story, which could shed light on what happened to the votes in Ohio in 2004, as the totals winged across state lines to a partisan Republican server in Tennessee the night of the election.  Connell has been ordered by a judge to testify tomorrow. The Monitor first reported on this story in April 2007.

Third, we’ll investigate where all the DNC attorneys are, purportedly fighting for elections to be fair.  Brad says they are behind the scenes — so far behind the scenes that he has little evidence of their activities in protecting our votes from the failures of electronic elections.

Brad Blog —

“Oprah sees own presidential vote
dropped by touch-screen voting machine”
‘I went back to check it, it had not recorded my presidential vote!’

By Brad Friedman
October 31, 2008
The BRAD BLOG  includes video of Oprah


“Federal Judge Compels GOP IT Guru Mike Connell To Give Deposition in Ohio ’04 Election Case;
Contentious Hearing Today Results in Order For Republican ‘High-Tech Forrest Gump’ to Testify Under Oath on Monday;
Appearance to Answer Questions on 2004 Election Scheduled Just 24 Hours Prior to Election 2008…
By Steve Heller
October 31, 2008

“Documents reveal how Ohio routed 2004 voting data through company that hosted external Bush Administration email accounts”
Larisa Alexandrovna and Muriel Kane
Published: Friday October 31, 2008
Raw Story