Monday, May 21, 2018

BAUAW NEWSLETTER, SUNDAY, MAY 120, 2018


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SUPPORT THE RESISTANCE

Why I Stand with Survivors of Empire

Dear Bonnie,
I'm Anya, Courage to Resist's Project Manager. I originally came to this work as a veteran of the fight to end the war against women, in which I have fought in both the trenches and bureaucratic offices for the past twenty years. What I know is that survivors who ask for advocacy, support services, and who speak up, will face public and familial humiliation and retaliation from naming their oppressors.
These women are among the most courageous people you will ever meet. And if I am going to learn anything at all about the courage needed to change our society, then I want to be by their side in struggle, determination and persistence.
This is also why I feel it is so vitally important to support war resisters, or survivors of empire. People with this same quality of courage and who choose to use it against the very assumptions of war itself.
In truth, many of us do not stand up and fight back against state-sponsored violence. We accept and bargain with situations of violence we've found ourselves in, because to directly oppose can bring even more push back, often with significant economic, social, physical and/or psychological harm.
Each person who stands up and says "No more will I keep my mouth shut or my eyes closed" impacts endless others through modeling and illuminating how near both resistance and resilience really are.
I joined Courage to Resist only one month before Chelsea Manning was released from jail, and attending the celebration parties I was blessed to witness what is possible. Oppression works when we believe the lies that are told to us, that 'they' have ultimate power over our lives. But that is not true.
Tactics of empire will not change until it is more than the ones being stomped on who take a stand. Solidarity moves mountains and softens cruelty's blow.
Draw a line in the sand. If you have not donated yet this month to our mission, now is the time to do so. In the words of Tamar Ze'evi, the young Israeli refuser with whom we just published a podcast interview:
"Where is the line at which one should stop cooperating, and was it already passed?"
In solidarity,
Anya de Marie
Project Manager, Courage to Resist
We cannot support the resisters without YOU! Please donate what you can today!
COURAGE TO RESIST ~ SUPPORT THE TROOPS WHO REFUSE TO FIGHT!
484 Lake Park Ave #41, Oakland, California 94610 ~ 510-488-3559
www.couragetoresist.org ~ facebook.com/couragetoresist

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"There Was a Crooked Prez"
By Dr. Nayvin Gordon

There was a crooked Prez, and he walked a crooked mile,
He found a crooked lawyer upon a crooked isle,
They bought a crooked election which caught a crooked mission,
And they both lived together in a little crooked prison.

April 28, 2018

Dr. Gordon is a California Family Physician who has written many articles on health and politics.


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It is so beautiful to see young people in this country rising up to demand an end to gun violence. But what is Donald Trump's response? Instead of banning assault weapons, he wants to give guns to teachers and militarize our schools. But one of the reasons for mass school shootings is precisely because our schools are already militarized. Florida shooter, Nikolas Cruz, was trained by U.S. Army Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps (JROTC) program while he was in high school.
Yesterday, Divest from the War Machine coalition member, Pat Elder, was featured on Democracy Now discussing his recent article about the JROTC in our schools. The JROTC teaches children how to shoot weapons. It is often taught by retired soldiers who have no background in teaching. They are allowed to teach classes that are given at least equal weight as classes taught by certified and trained teachers. We are pulling our children away from classes that expand their minds and putting them in classes that teach them how to be killing machines. The JROTC program costs our schools money. It sends equipment. But, the instructors and facilities must be constructed and paid for by the school.
The JROTC puts our children's futures at risk. Children who participate in JROTC shooting programs are exposed to lead bullets from guns. They are at an increased risk when the shooting ranges are inside. The JROTC program is designed to "put a jump start on your military career." Children are funneled into JROTC to make them compliant and to feed the military with young bodies which are prepared to be assimilated into the war machine. Instead of funneling children into the military, we should be channeling them into jobs that support peace and sustainable development. 
Tell Senator McCain and Representative Thornberry to take the war machine out of our schools! The JROTC program must end immediately. The money should be directed back into classrooms that educate our children.
The Divest from the War Machine campaign is working to remove our money from the hands of companies that make a killing on killing. We must take on the systems that keep fueling war, death, and destruction around the globe. AND, we must take on the systems that are creating an endless cycle of children who are being indoctrinated at vulnerable ages to become the next killing machine.  Don't forget to post this message on Facebook and Twitter.
Onward in divestment,
Ann, Ariel, Brienne, Jodie, Kelly, Kirsten, Mark, Medea, Nancy, Natasha, Paki, Sarah, Sophia and Tighe
P.S. Do you want to do more? Start a campaign to get the JROTC out of your school district or state. Email divest@codepink.org and we'll get you started!

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October 20-21, 2018

Cindy Sheehan and the Women's March on the Pentagon

A movement not just a protest

By Whitney Webb
WASHINGTON—In the last few years, arguably the most visible and well-publicized march on the U.S. capital has been the "Women's March," a movement aimed at advocating for legislation and policies promoting women's rights as well as a protest against the misogynistic actions and statements of high-profile U.S. politicians. The second Women's March, which took place this past year, attracted over a million protesters nationwide, with 500,000 estimated to have participated in Los Angeles alone.
However, absent from this women's movement has been a public antiwar voice, as its stated goal of "ending violence" does not include violence produced by the state. The absence of this voice seemed both odd and troubling to legendary peace activist Cindy Sheehan, whose iconic protest against the invasion and occupation of Iraq made her a household name for many.
Sheehan was taken aback by how some prominent organizers of this year's Women's March were unwilling to express antiwar positions and argued for excluding the issue of peace entirely from the event and movement as a whole. In an interview with MintPress, Sheehan recounted how a prominent leader of the march had told her, "I appreciate that war is your issue Cindy, but the Women's March will never address the war issue as long as women aren't free."
War is indeed Sheehan's issue and she has been fighting against the U.S.' penchant for war for nearly 13 years. After her son Casey was killed in action while serving in Iraq in 2004, Sheehan drew international media attention for her extended protest in front of the Bush residence in Crawford, Texas, which later served as the launching point for many protests against U.S. military action in Iraq.
Sheehan rejected the notion that women could be "free" without addressing war and empire. She countered the dismissive comment of the march organizer by stating that divorcing peace activism from women's issues "ignored the voices of the women of the world who are being bombed and oppressed by U.S. military occupation."
Indeed, women are directly impacted by war—whether through displacement, the destruction of their homes, kidnapping, or torture. Women also suffer uniquely and differently from men in war as armed conflicts often result in an increase in sexual violence against women.
For example, of the estimated half-a-million civilians killed in the U.S. invasion of Iraq, many of them were women and children. In the U.S. occupation of Afghanistan, the number of female casualties has been rising on average over 20 percent every year since 2015. In 2014 alone when Israel attacked Gaza in "Operation Protective Edge," Israeli forces, which receives $10 million in U.S. military aid every day, killed over two thousand Palestinians—half of them were women and children. Many of the casualties were pregnant women, who had been deliberately targeted.
Given the Women's March's apparent rejection of peace activism in its official platform, Sheehan was inspired to organize another Women's March that would address what many women's rights advocates, including Sheehan, believe to be an issue central to promoting women's rights.
Dubbed the "Women's March on the Pentagon," the event is scheduled to take place on October 21—the same date as an iconic antiwar march of the Vietnam era—with a mission aimed at countering the "bipartisan war machine." Though men, women and children are encouraged to attend, the march seeks to highlight women's issues as they relate to the disastrous consequences of war.
The effort of women in confronting the "war machine" will be highlighted at the event, as Sheehan remarked that "women have always tried to confront the war-makers," as the mothers, daughters, sisters and wives of the men and women in the military, as well as those innocent civilians killed in the U.S.' foreign wars. As a result, the push for change needs to come from women, according to Sheehan, because "we [women] are the only ones that can affect [the situation] in a positive way." All that's missing is an organized, antiwar women's movement.
Sheehan noted the march will seek to highlight the direct relationship between peace activism and women's rights, since "no woman is free until all women are free" and such "freedom also includes the freedom from U.S. imperial plunder, murder and aggression"that is part of the daily lives of women living both within and beyond the United States. Raising awareness of how the military-industrial complex negatively affects women everywhere is key, says Sheehan, as "unless there is a sense of international solidarity and a broader base for feminism, then there aren't going to be any solutions to any problems, [certainly not] if we don't stop giving trillions of dollars to the Pentagon."
Sheehan also urged that, even though U.S. military adventurism has long been an issue and the subject of protests, a march to confront the military-industrial complex is more important now than ever: "I'm not alarmist by nature but I feel like the threat of nuclear annihilation is much closer than it has been for a long time," adding that, despite the assertion of some in the current administration and U.S. military, "there is no such thing as 'limited' nuclear war." This makes "the need to get out in massive numbers" and march against this more imperative than ever.
Sheehan also noted that Trump's presidency has helped to make the Pentagon's influence on U.S. politics more obvious by bringing it to the forefront: "Even though militarism had been under wraps [under previous presidents], Trump has made very obvious the fact that he has given control of foreign policy to the 'generals.'"
Indeed, as MintPress has reported on several occasions, the Pentagon—beginning in March of last year—has been given the freedom to "engage the enemy" at will, without the oversight of the executive branch or Congress. As a result, the deaths of innocent civilians abroad as a consequence of U.S. military action has spiked. While opposing Trump is not the focus of the march, Sheehan opined that Trump's war-powers giveaway to the Pentagon, as well as his unpopularity, have helped to spark widespread interest in the event.

Different wings of the same warbird

Sheehan has rejected accusations that the march is partisan, as it is, by nature, focused on confronting the bipartisan nature of the military-industrial complex. She told MintPress that she has recently come under pressure owing to the march's proximity to the 2018 midterm elections—as some have ironically accused the march's bipartisan focus as "trying to harm the chances of the Democrats" in the ensuing electoral contest.
In response, Sheehan stated that: 
"Democrats and Republicans are different wings of the same warbird. We are protesting militarism and imperialism. The march is nonpartisan in nature because both parties are equally complicit. We have to end wars for the planet and for the future. I could really care less who wins in November."
She also noted that even when the Democrats were in power under Obama, nothing was done to change the government's militarism nor to address the host of issues that events like the Women's March have claimed to champion.
"We just got finished with eight years of a Democratic regime," Sheehan told MintPress. "For two of those years, they had complete control of Congress and the presidency and a [filibuster-proof] majority in the Senate and they did nothing" productive except to help "expand the war machine." She also emphasized that this march is in no way a "get out the vote" march for any political party.
Even though planning began less than a month ago, support has been pouring in for the march since it was first announced on Sheehan's website, Cindy Sheehan Soapbox. Encouraged by the amount of interest already received, Sheehan is busy working with activists to organize the events and will be taking her first organizing trip to the east coast in April of this year. 
In addition, those who are unable to travel to Washington are encouraged to participate in any number of solidarity protests that will be planned to take place around the world or to plan and attend rallies in front of U.S. embassies, military installations, and the corporate headquarters of war profiteers.
Early endorsers of the event include journalists Abby Martin, Mnar Muhawesh and Margaret Kimberley; Nobel Peace Prize nominee Kathy Kelly; FBI whistleblower Coleen Rowley; and U.S. politicians like former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney. Activist groups that have pledged their support include CodePink, United National Antiwar Coalition, Answer Coalition, Women's EcoPeace and World Beyond War.
Though October is eight months away, Sheehan has high hopes for the march. More than anything else, though, she hopes that the event will give birth to a "real revolutionary women's movement that recognizes the emancipation and liberation of all peoples—and that means [freeing] all people from war and empire, which is the biggest crime against humanity and against this planet." By building "a movement and not just a protest," the event's impact will not only be long-lasting, but grow into a force that could meaningfully challenge the U.S. military-industrial complex that threatens us all. God knows the world needs it.
For those eager to help the march, you can help spread the word through social media by joining the march's Facebook page or following the march'sTwitter account, as well as by word of mouth. In addition, supporting independent media outlets—such as MintPress, which will be reporting on the march—can help keep you and others informed as October approaches.
Whitney Webb is a staff writer forMintPress News who has written for several news organizations in both English and Spanish; her stories have been featured on ZeroHedge, theAnti-Media, and21st Century Wire among others. She currently lives in Southern Chile.
MPN News, February 20, 2018
https://www.mintpressnews.com/cindy-sheehan-and-the-womens-march-on-the-pentagon-a-movement-not-just-a-protest/237835/

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Herman Bell is FREE

HE WAS RELEASED FRIDAY, APRIL 27, 2018

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After almost 14 years of tireless work, we are changing our name to About Face: Veterans Against the War! This has been a long time coming, and we want to celebrate this member-led decision to grow our identity and our work with you.




Member vote at Convention in favor of changing the name
Why change our name? It's a different world since our founding in 2004 by 8 veterans returning from the invasion of Iraq. The Bush Administration's decision to start two wars significantly altered the political landscape in the US, and even more so in the Middle East and Central Asia. For all of us, that decision changed our lives. Our membership has grown to reflect the diversity of experiences of service members and vets serving in the so-called "Global War on Terror," whether it be deploying to Afghanistan, special operations in Africa, or drone operations on US soil. We will continue to be a home for post-9/11 veterans, and we've seen more members join us since the name-change process began.

Over the past 15 years, our political understanding has also grown and changed. As a community, we have learned how militarism is not only the root cause of conflicts overseas, but how its technology, tactics, and values have landed directly on communities of color, indigenous people, and poor people here at home.

So why this name? About Face is a drill command all of us were taught in the military. It signifies an abrupt 180 degree turn. A turn away. That drill movement represents the transformation that has led us to where we find ourselves today: working to dismantle the militarism we took part in and building solidarity with people who bear the weight of militarism in its many forms.

We are keeping Veterans Against the War as our tag line because it describes our members, our continued cause, and because we are proud to be a part of the anti-war veteran legacy. Our name has changed and our work has deepened, but our vision -- building a world free of militarism -- is stronger than ever. 



As we make this shift, we deeply appreciate your commitment to us over the years and your ongoing support as we build this new phase together. We know that dismantling militarism is long haul work, and we are dedicated to being a part of it with you for as long as it takes.
Until we celebrate the last veteran,

Matt Howard
Co-Director
About Face: Veterans Against the War
(formerly IVAW)






P.O. Box 3565, New York, NY 10008. All Right Reserved. | Unsubscribe
To ensure delivery of About Face emails please add webmaster@ivaw.org to your address book.

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Tell the Feds: End Draft Registration

Courage to Resist Podcast: The Future of Draft Registration in the United States

We had draft registration resister Edward Hasbrouck on the Courage to Resistpodcast this week to explain what's going on. Edward talks about his own history of going to prison for refusing to register for the draft in 1983, the background on this new federal commission, and he addresses liberal arguments in favor of involuntary service. Edward explains: 
When you say, "I'm not willing to be drafted", you're saying, "I'm going to make my own choices about which wars we should be fighting", and when you say, "You should submit to the draft", you're saying, "You should let the politicians decide for you."
What's happening right now is that a National Commission … has been appointed to study the question of whether draft registration should be continued, whether it should be expanded to make women, as well as men register for the draft, whether a draft itself should be started, whether there should be some other kind of Compulsory National Service enacted.
The Pentagon would say, and it's true, they don't want a draft. It's not plan A, but it's always been plan B, and it's always been the assumption that if we can't get enough volunteers, if we get in over our head, if we pick a larger fight than we can pursue, we always have that option in our back pocket that, "If not enough people volunteer, we're just going to go go to the draft, go to the benches, and dragoon enough people to fight these wars."
[This] is the first real meaningful opportunity for a national debate about the draft in decades.

COURAGE TO RESIST ~ SUPPORT THE TROOPS WHO REFUSE TO FIGHT!
484 Lake Park Ave #41, Oakland, California 94610 ~ 510-488-3559

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Major George Tillery
MAJOR TILLERY FILES NEW LEGAL PETITION
SEX FOR LIES AND
MANUFACTURED TESTIMONY
April 25, 2018-- The arrest of two young men in Starbucks for the crime of "sitting while black," and the four years prison sentence to rapper Meek Mill for a minor parole violation are racist outrages in Philadelphia, PA that made national news in the past weeks. Yesterday Meek Mills was released on bail after a high profile defense campaign and a Pa Supreme Court decision citing evidence his conviction was based solely on a cop's false testimony.
These events underscore the racism, frame-up, corruption and brutality at the core of the criminal injustice system. Pennsylvania "lifer" Major Tillery's fight for freedom puts a spotlight on the conviction of innocent men with no evidence except the lying testimony of jailhouse snitches who have been coerced and given favors by cops and prosecutors.

Sex for Lies and Manufactured Testimony
For thirty-five years Major Tillery has fought against his 1983 arrest, then conviction and sentence of life imprisonment without parole for an unsolved 1976 pool hall murder and assault. Major Tillery's defense has always been his innocence. The police and prosecution knew Tillery did not commit these crimes. Jailhouse informant Emanuel Claitt gave lying testimony that Tillery was one of the shooters.

Homicide detectives and prosecutors threatened Claitt with a false unrelated murder charge, and induced him to lie with promises of little or no jail time on over twenty pending felonies, and being released from jail despite a parole violation. In addition, homicide detectives arranged for Claitt, while in custody, to have private sexual liaisons with his girlfriends in police interview rooms.
In May and June 2016, Emanuel Claitt gave sworn statements that his testimony was a total lie, and that the homicide cops and the prosecutors told him what to say and coached him before trial. Not only was he coerced to lie that Major Tillery was a shooter, but to lie and claim there were no plea deals made in exchange for his testimony. He provided the information about the specific homicide detectives and prosecutors involved in manufacturing his testimony and details about being allowed "sex for lies". In August 2016, Claitt reaffirmed his sworn statements in a videotape, posted on YouTube and on JusticeforMajorTillery.org.
Without the coerced and false testimony of Claitt there was no evidence against Major Tillery. There were no ballistics or any other physical evidence linking him to the shootings. The surviving victim's statement naming others as the shooters was not allowed into evidence.
The trial took place in May 1985 during the last days of the siege and firebombing of the MOVE family Osage Avenue home in Philadelphia that killed 13 Black people, including 5 children. The prosecution claimed that Major Tillery was part of an organized crime group, and falsely described it as run by the Nation of Islam. This prejudiced and inflamed the majority white jury against Tillery, to make up for the absence of any evidence that Tillery was involved in the shootings.
This was a frame-up conviction from top to bottom. Claitt was the sole or primary witness in five other murder cases in the early 1980s. Coercing and inducing jailhouse informants to falsely testify is a standard routine in criminal prosecutions. It goes hand in hand with prosecutors suppressing favorable evidence from the defense.
Major Tillery has filed a petition based on his actual innocence to the Philadelphia District Attorney's Larry Krasner's Conviction Review Unit. A full review and investigation should lead to reversal of Major Tillery's conviction. He also asks that the DA's office to release the full police and prosecution files on his case under the new  "open files" policy. In the meantime, Major Tillery continues his own investigation. He needs your support.
Major Tillery has Fought his Conviction and Advocated for Other Prisoners for over 30 Years
The Pennsylvania courts have rejected three rounds of appeals challenging Major Tillery's conviction based on his innocence, the prosecution's intentional presentation of false evidence against him and his trial attorney's conflict of interest. On June 15, 2016 Major Tillery filed a new post-conviction petition based on the same evidence now in the petition to the District Attorney's Conviction Review Unit. Despite the written and video-taped statements from Emanuel Claitt that that his testimony against Major Tillery was a lie and the result of police and prosecutorial misconduct, Judge Leon Tucker dismissed Major Tillery's petition as "untimely" without even holding a hearing. Major Tillery appealed that dismissal and the appeal is pending in the Superior Court.
During the decades of imprisonment Tillery has advocated for other prisoners challenging solitary confinement, lack of medical and mental health care and the inhumane conditions of imprisonment. In 1990, he won the lawsuit, Tillery v. Owens, that forced the PA Department of Corrections (DOC) to end double celling (4 men to a small cell) at SCI Pittsburgh, which later resulted in the closing and then "renovation" of that prison.
Three years ago Major Tillery stood up for political prisoner and journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal and demanded prison Superintendent John Kerestes get Mumia to a hospital because "Mumia is dying."  For defending Mumia and advocating for medical treatment for himself and others, prison officials retaliated. Tillery was shipped out of SCI Mahanoy, where Mumia was also held, to maximum security SCI Frackville and then set-up for a prison violation and a disciplinary penalty of months in solitary confinement. See, Messing with Major by Mumia Abu-Jamal. Major Tillery's federal lawsuit against the DOC for that retaliation is being litigated. Major Tillery continues as an advocate for all prisoners. He is fighting to get the DOC to establish a program for elderly prisoners.
Major Tillery Needs Your Help:
Well-known criminal defense attorney Stephen Patrizio represents Major pro bonoin challenging his conviction. More investigation is underway. We can't count on the district attorney's office to make the findings of misconduct against the police detectives and prosecutors who framed Major without continuing to dig up the evidence.
Major Tillery is now 67 years old. He's done hard time, imprisoned for almost 35 years, some 20 years in solitary confinement in max prisons for a crime he did not commit. He recently won hepatitis C treatment, denied to him for a decade by the DOC. He has severe liver problems as well as arthritis and rheumatism, back problems, and a continuing itchy skin rash. Within the past couple of weeks he was diagnosed with an extremely high heartbeat and is getting treatment.
Major Tillery does not want to die in prison. He and his family, daughters, sons and grandchildren are fighting to get him home. The newly filed petition for Conviction Review to the Philadelphia District Attorney's office lays out the evidence Major Tillery has uncovered, evidence suppressed by the prosecution through all these years he has been imprisoned and brought legal challenges into court. It is time for the District Attorney's to act on the fact that Major Tillery is innocent and was framed by police detectives and prosecutors who manufactured the evidence to convict him. Major Tillery's conviction should be vacated and he should be freed.

Major Tillery and family

HOW YOU CAN HELP
    Financial Support—Tillery's investigation is ongoing. He badly needs funds to fight for his freedom.
    Go to JPay.com;
    code: Major Tillery AM9786 PADOC

    Tell Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner:
    The Conviction Review Unit should investigate Major Tillery's case. He is innocent. The only evidence at trial was from lying jail house informants who now admit it was false.
    Call: 215-686-8000 or

    Write to:
    Major Tillery AM 9786
    SCI Frackville
    1111 Altamont Blvd.
    Frackville, PA 17931
    For More Information, Go To: JusticeForMajorTillery.org
    Call/Write:
    Kamilah Iddeen (717) 379-9009, Kamilah29@yahoo.com
    Rachel Wolkenstein (917) 689-4009, RachelWolkenstein@gmail.com


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    Free Leonard Peltier!

    On my 43rd year in prison I yearn to hug my grandchildren.

    By Leonard Peltier


    Art by Leonard Peltier

    I am overwhelmed that today, February 6, is the start of my 43rd year in prison. I have had such high hopes over the years that I might be getting out and returning to my family in North Dakota. And yet here I am in 2018 still struggling for my FREEDOM at 73.
    I don't want to sound ungrateful to all my supporters who have stood by me through all these years. I dearly love and respect you and thank you for the love and respect you have given me.
    But the truth is I am tired, and often my ailments cause me pain with little relief for days at a time. I just had heart surgery and I have other medical issues that need to be addressed: my aortic aneurysm that could burst at any time, my prostate, and arthritis in my hip and knees.
    I do not think I have another ten years, and what I do have I would like to spend with my family. Nothing would bring me more happiness than being able to hug my children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
    I did not come to prison to become a political prisoner. I've been part of Native resistance since I was nine years of age. My sister, cousin and I were kidnapped and taken to boarding school. This incident and how it affected my cousin Pauline, had an enormous effect on me.
    This same feeling haunts me as I reflect upon my past 42 years of false imprisonment. This false imprisonment has the same feeling as when I heard the false affidavit the FBI manufactured about Myrtle Poor Bear being at Oglala on the day of the fire-fight—a fabricated document used to extradite me illegally from Canada in 1976.
    I know you know that the FBI files are full of information that proves my innocence. Yet many of those files are still withheld from my legal team. During my appeal before the 8th Circuit, former Prosecuting Attorney Lynn Crooks said to Judge Heaney: "Your honor, we do not know who killed those agents. Further, we don't know what participation, if any, Mr. Peltier had in it."
    That statement exonerates me, and I should have been released. But here I sit, 43 years later still struggling for my freedom. I have pleaded my innocence for so long now, in so many courts of law, in so many public statements issued through the International Leonard Peltier Defense Committee, that I will not argue it here. But I will say again, I DID NOT KILL THOSE AGENTS!
    Right now, I need my supporters here in the U.S. and throughout the world helping me. We need donations large or small to help pay my legal team to do the research that will get me back into court or get me moved closer to home or a compassionate release based on my poor health and age. Please help me to go home, help me win my freedom!
    There is a new petition my Canadian brothers and sisters are circulating internationally that will be attached to my letter. Please sign it and download it so you can take it to your work, school or place of worship. Get as many signatures as you can, a MILLION would be great!
    I have been a warrior since age nine. At 73, I remain a warrior. I have been here too long. The beginning of my 43rd year plus over 20 years of good time credit, that makes 60-plus years behind bars.
    I need your help. I need your help today! A day in prison for me is a lifetime for those outside because I am isolated from the world.
    I remain strong only because of your support, prayers, activism and your donations that keep my legal hope alive.
    In the Spirit of Crazy Horse
    Doksha,
    Leonard Peltier
    If you would like a paper petition, please email contact@whoisleonardpeltier.info.
    —San Francisco Bay View, February 6, 2018
    Write to:
    Leonard Peltier 89637-132 
    USP Coleman I 
    P.O. Box 1033 
    Coleman, FL 33521

    Donations can be made on Leonard's behalf to the ILPD national office, 116 W. Osborne Ave, Tampa, FL 33603

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    Artwork by Kevin Cooper



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    Reality's trial
    is postponed 
    until October 15th.


    That's 500 Days in Jail,
    Without Bail!


       

    Whistleblower Reality Winner's trial has (again) been postponed.
    Her new trial date is October 15, 2018, based on the new official proceedings schedule (fifth version). She will have spent 500 days jailed without bail by then. Today is day #301.
    And her trial may likely be pushed back even further into the Spring of 2019.

    We urge you to remain informed and engaged with our campaign until she is free! 




    One supporter's excellent report
    on the details of Winner's imprisonment

    ~Check out these highlights & then go read the full article here~
    "*Guilty Until Proven Innocent*

    Winner is also not allowed to change from her orange jumpsuit for her court dates, even though she is "innocent until proven guilty."  Not only that, but during any court proceedings, only her wrists are unshackled, her ankles stay.  And a US Marshal sits in front of her, face to face, during the proceedings.  Winner is not allowed to turn around and look into the courtroom at all . . .
    Upon checking the inmate registry, it starts to become clear how hush hush the government wants this case against Winner to be.  Whether pre-whistleblowing, or in her orange jumpsuit, photos of Winner have surfaced on the web.  That's why it was so interesting that there's no photo of her next to her name on the inmate registry . . .
    For the past hundred years, the Espionage Act has been debated and amended, and used to charge whistleblowers that are seeking to help the country they love, not harm it.  Sometimes we have to learn when past amendments no longer do anything to justify the treatment of an American truth teller as a political prisoner. The act is outdated and amending it needs to be seriously looked at, or else we need to develop laws that protect our whistleblowers.
    The Espionage Act is widely agreed by many experts to be unconstitutionally vague and a violation of the First Amendment of Free Speech.  Even though a Supreme Court had ruled that the Espionage Act does not infringe upon the 1st Amendment back in 1919, it's constitutionality has been back and forth in court ever sense.

    Because of being charged under the Espionage Act, Winner's defense's hands are tied.  No one is allowed to mention the classified document, even though the public already knows that the information in it is true, that Russia hacked into our election support companies." 
     Want to take action in support of Reality?

    Step up to defend our whistleblower of conscience ► DONATE NOW



    FRIENDS OF REALITY WINNER ~ PATRIOT & ALLEGED WHISTLEBLOWER
    c/o Courage to Resist, 484 Lake Park Ave #41, Oakland CA 94610 ~ 510-488-3559

    Standwithreality.org

    @standbyreality (Twitter)

     Friends of Reality Winner (Facebook)



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    SOLIDARITY with SERVERS — PLEASE CIRCULATE!
    From Clifford Conner

    Dear friends and relatives

    Every day the scoundrels who have latched onto Trump to push through their rightwing soak-the-poor agenda inflict a new indignity on the human race.  Today they are conspiring to steal the tips we give servers in restaurants.  The New York Times editorial appended below explains what they're trying to get away with now.

    People like you and me cannot compete with the Koch brothers' donors network when it comes to money power.  But at least we can try to avoid putting our pittance directly into their hands.  Here is a modest proposal:  Whenever you are in a restaurant where servers depend on tips for their livelihoods, let's try to make sure they get what we give them.

    Instead of doing the easy thing and adding the tip into your credit card payment, GIVE CASH TIPS and HAND THEM DIRECTLY TO YOUR SERVER. If you want to add a creative flourish such as including a preprinted note that explains why you are doing this, by all means do so.  You could reproduce the editorial below for their edification.

    If you want to do this, be sure to check your wallet before entering a restaurant to make sure you have cash in appropriate denominations.

    This is a small act of solidarity with some of the most exploited members of the workforce in America.  Perhaps its symbolic value could outweigh its material impact.  But to paraphrase the familiar song: What the world needs now is solidarity, sweet solidarity.

    If this idea should catch on, be prepared for news stories about restaurant owners demanding that servers empty their pockets before leaving the premises at the end of their shifts.  The fight never ends!

    Yours in struggle and solidarity,

    Cliff

    Most Americans assume that when they leave a tip for waiters and bartenders, those workers pocket the money. That could become wishful thinking under a Trump administration proposal that would give restaurants and other businesses complete control over the tips earned by their employees.
    The Department of Labor recently proposed allowing employers to pool tips and use them as they see fit as long as all of their workers are paid at least the minimum wage, which is $7.25 an hour nationally and higher in some states and cities. Officials argue that this will free restaurants to use some of the tip money to reward lowly dishwashers, line cooks and other workers who toil in the less glamorous quarters and presumably make less than servers who get tips. Using tips to compensate all employees sounds like a worthy cause, but a simple reading of the government's proposal makes clear that business owners would have no obligation to use the money in this way. They would be free to pocket some or all of that cash, spend it to spiff up the dining room or use it to underwrite $2 margaritas at happy hour. And that's what makes this proposal so disturbing.
    The 3.2 million Americans who work as waiters, waitresses and bartenders include some of the lowest-compensated working people in the country. The median hourly wage for waiters and waitresses was $9.61 an hour last year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Further, there is a sordid history of restaurant owners who steal tips, and of settlements in which they have agreed to repay workers millions of dollars.
    Not to worry, says the Labor Department, which argues, oddly and unconvincingly, that workers will be better off no matter how owners spend the money. Enlarging dining rooms, reducing menu prices or offering paid time off should be seen as "potential benefits to employees and the economy over all." The department also assures us that owners will funnel tip money to employees because workers would quit otherwise.
    t is hard to know how much time President Trump's appointees have spent with single mothers raising two children on a salary from a workaday restaurant in suburban America, seeing how hard it is to make ends meet without tips. What we do know is that the administration has produced no empirical cost-benefit analysis to support its proposal, which is customary when the government seeks to make an important change to federal regulations.
    The Trump administration appears to be rushing this rule through — it has offered the public just 30 days to comment on it — in part to pre-empt the Supreme Court from ruling on a 2011 Obama-era tipping rule. The department's new proposal would do away with the 2011 rule. The restaurant industry has filed several legal challenges to that regulation, which prohibits businesses from pooling tips and sharing them with dishwashers and other back-of-the-house workers. Different federal circuit appeals courts have issued contradictory rulings on those cases, so the industry has asked the Supreme Court to resolve those differences; the top court has not decided whether to take that case.
    Mr. Trump, of course, owns restaurants as part of his hospitality empire and stands to benefit from this rule change, as do many of his friends and campaign donors. But what the restaurant business might not fully appreciate is that their stealth attempt to gain control over tips could alienate and antagonize customers. Diners who are no longer certain that their tips will end up in the hands of the server they intended to reward might leave no tip whatsoever. Others might seek to covertly slip cash to their server. More high-minded restaurateurs would be tempted to follow the lead of the New York restaurateur Danny Meyer and get rid of tipping by raising prices and bumping up salaries.




    By changing the fundamental underpinnings of tipping, the government might well end up destroying this practice. But in doing so it would hurt many working-class Americans, including people who believed that Mr. Trump would fight for them.

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    Working people are helping to feed the poor hungry corporations! 
    Charity for the Wealthy!

    GOP Tax Plan Would Give 15 of America's Largest Corporations a $236B Tax Cut: Report

    By Jake Johnson, December 18, 2017



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    Puerto Rico Still Without Power

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    Addicted to War:

    And this does not include "…spending $1.25 trillion dollars to modernize the U.S. nuclear arsenal, and $566 billion to build the Navy a 308-ship fleet…"


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    Kaepernick sports new T-shirt:


    Love this guy!


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    1) Was Kevin Cooper Framed for Murder?
    By Nicholas Kristof, with Jessia Ma and Stuart A. Thompson, May 17, 2018
    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/05/17/opinion/sunday/kevin-cooper-california-death-row.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=photo-spot-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news

    San Bernardino County Sheriff Floyd Tidwell identifies the man sought for murder. (DOUG PIZAC/AP)

    The first sign that something was wrong was a continuous busy signal on the home phone of Doug and Peggy Ryen.
    Bill Hughes, who lived nearby, wasn't initially concerned. His 11-year-old son, Chris, had slept over at the Ryens' and he thought maybe they had all gone out for breakfast. But finally at noon Hughes drove over to pick Chris up and, when no one answered the Ryens' door, he peered through the sliding glass doors — and his brain couldn't process all the red. "This is paint, makeup," he thought wildly.
    Then reality sank in, and he kicked the kitchen door in. Blood from the five victims was splattered everywhere. Hughes rushed to his son, but the body was cold. Doug and Peggy Ryen, both nude, had also been stabbed to death, and the bloody corpse of their 10-year-old daughter, Jessica, was in a doorway. But Josh Ryen, 8 years old, was moving feebly on the floor even though his throat had been slashed and his skull fractured.
    Soon sheriff's deputies were swarming all over the Ryen house in affluent, suburban Chino Hills, east of Los Angeles, that day in June 1983. Several signs, including Josh's personal account, pointed to three white attackers, and blond or brown hairs were found in the victims' hands, as if torn off in a struggle.
    Sheriff's deputies were also contacted by the woman whose boyfriend was a convicted murderer, recently released from prison, whom she suspected of involvement in the Ryen killings. She not only gave deputies his bloody coveralls but also told them that his hatchet was missing from his tool rack and resembled one of the weapons reportedly used in the attacks.
    But instead of testing the coveralls for the Ryens' blood, the deputies threw them away–and pursued Cooper. After a racially charged trial, he was convicted of murdering the Ryens and Chris Hughes and is now on death row at San Quentin Prison.
    Gov. Jerry Brown is refusing to allow advanced DNA testing that might finally resolve the question of who committed the murders, even though Cooper's defense would pay for it. Brown refuses to allow even advanced testing of the blond or brown hairs  that were found in the victims' hands.
    This is the story of a broken justice system. It appears that an innocent man was framed by sheriff's deputies and is on death row in part because of dishonest cops, sensational media coverage and flawed political leaders — including Democrats like Brown and Kamala Harris, the state attorney general before becoming a U.S. senator, who refused to allow newly available DNA testing for a black man convicted of hacking to death a beautiful white family and young neighbor. This was a failure at every level, and it should prompt reflection not just about one man on death row but also about profound inequities in our entire system of justice.
    I'm using strong language, I know. But I went to San Quentin to interview Cooper, reviewed trial transcripts and other documents, spoke to innumerable people on and off the record, and in 34 years at The New York Times, I've never come across a case in America as outrageous as Kevin Cooper's. So hear me out.
    Smarter people than me have come to the same conclusion. "This guy is innocent," said Thomas R. Parker, a 30-year law enforcement veteran who was deputy head of the F.B.I.'s office in Los Angeles. "The evidence was planted, he was framed, the cops lied on the stand."
    Parker said the case involved "abject racism," and he has volunteered his time investigating the case for the last seven years because he is horrified that a man he believes was framed is nearing execution.
    Or listen to Judge William A. Fletcher of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. "He is on death row because the San Bernardino Sheriff's Department framed him," Fletcher declared in a searing 2013 lecture.
    This appears to be a replay of a tragedy we've seen before: The police are under great pressure to solve a sensational crime, they are sure they have the culprit, and when evidence is lacking they plant it and give false testimony. This is called "testilying," and it's more common than we'd like to think. In New York City alone, The New York Times found "an entrenched perjury problem," with more than 25 instances of probable testilying just since 2015.
    How did we get here?

    Initially, the authorities searched for three white men, which fit the evidence from the crime.
    That was Cooper, and deputies who examined his file and mug shot saw a black man with a huge Afro who fit their narrative of an incorrigible criminal. He had a long arrest record dating back to when he was 7 years old.
    The sheriff's deputies were sure they had their man: an escaped felon, one who they thought looked suitably evil. The authorities pivoted and focused on Cooper, ignoring other threads.
    Still, the authorities had a problem: Although they were sure Cooper was the killer, they couldn't find fingerprints, hairs or other evidence implicating him.
    So evidence began to turn up in mysterious ways.
    A thorough search of the station wagon found no evidence that Cooper had used the car. That problem was remedied when a second search of the vehicle turned up some of Cooper's cigarette butts; sheriff's deputies had found such cigarette butts in the empty house where he had stayed, but the butts had vanished.
    Another challenge for the prosecution was motive. After escaping from the prison, Cooper was desperate for money, yet some cash had been left on the counter  in the Ryens' house.
    The prosecution suggested that Cooper wanted to steal the station wagon. But the Ryens kept the keys in the car; there was no need to enter the house.
    Nevertheless, four days after the discovery of the murders, the sheriff announced the crime had been solved: Cooper was being sought for murder.
    While the police were desperately trying to connect Cooper to the crime, another man who should have been a prime suspect was not being investigated.
    That's a remarkable element of this case: Not only has the evidence against Cooper largely been discredited, but evidence has accumulated against another individual, who happens also to be a convicted murderer. Fletcher, the federal judge, wrote a long section in a judicial opinion implicating this man, whom I'll identify only by his first name, Lee.
    It was his girlfriend, Diana Roper, who had alerted deputies after the murders made the news to the reasons she believed that he had participated in the Ryen murders.
    Roper and her sister said that Lee came home late on the night of the killings in a station wagon like that of the Ryens, wearing blood-drenched coveralls, and that his hatchet was missing from his tool rack and resembled one of the murder weapons described by authorities. She said that on the day of the killing she had laid out for Lee a medium-size tan Fruit of the Loom T-shirt with a pocket; she remembered because she had just bought it for Lee at Kmart. It was exactly like a Fruit of the Loom T-shirt found by the bar with blood on it; testing showed it was the Ryens' blood.
    Roper said in an affidavit : "Lee was wearing long sleeve coveralls … splattered with blood. … He did not have the beige T-shirt. Lee took the coveralls off and left them on the floor of the closet. … A few days after, … Lee had changed his appearance by cutting most of his hair off and trimmed his sideburns and his 'Fu Manchu' moustache."
    Roper gave deputies the bloody coveralls. But instead of testing them to see if the blood was from the Ryens, the sheriff's office threw them out.
    A private investigator for Cooper's defense, Ron Forbush, interviewed Deputy Frederick Eckley about the bloody coveralls, which he collected from Diana Roper and later destroyed.
    Roper said she cannot be sure that Lee's missing hatchet is the same as the one used in the murders, but she added that "the curvature of the handle is the same" and it had a similar "American Indian pattern to it." Her sister, Karee Kellison, who was with Roper, confirmed much of her story.
    Then there was the peculiar matter of the recovery of the Ryens' station wagon.
    The sheriff's office claimed that Cooper took the Ryens' station wagon, but aside from the witnesses who reported seeing several white men driving it on the night of the murders, a new witness has emerged who saw the car the next day.
    The woman, who is scared of being identified as a witness for now but says she will testify under oath if necessary, said three white people in the Ryens' car were driving crazily and almost crashed into her vehicle.
    Her grandmother, who was with her that day, wrote down the license plate number. Hours later, after the murder was discovered, the authorities broadcast a description of the missing car with its license plate number.
    "I ran out to the car and got the slip of paper on which my grandmother had written the license number," the woman wrote in a formal declaration. "It was exactly the same." She said that she wrote to the police with her information, but the authorities did not follow up or share it with the defense.
    Shown an old photo of Lee, this woman said that it resembled the driver but that she couldn't be sure it was the same man.
    If there's no apparent motive for Cooper, there are only hints of one for Lee. His previous murder, of a 17-year-old girl, was at the behest of a gang leader, Clarence Ray Allen, who raised the same kind of Arabian horses as the Ryens. There's some — very squishy, unconfirmed — evidence that Allen may have previously threatened to kill Peggy Ryen, that they had a quarrel over a horse sale gone sour, and that she was terrified of him.
    All this said, let's be clear that if there's one lesson from the Cooper case, it's that we should be very wary of assuming guilt on the basis of fragmentary evidence. I tracked down Lee, now 68, and he strongly denied any involvement in the case. However, he did not want to discuss it and asked not to be contacted again.
    One point in Lee's favor: He has avoided serious tangles with the law in the decades since the Ryen killings.
    With all these uninvestigated threads, it's worth considering the motives of the San Bernardino sheriff's office, which handled the investigation.
    Sheriff Floyd Tidwell had recently been appointed to his position and was facing election that year, adding to the pressure to solve the most brutal crime in the county's memory.
    It's clear that the sheriff's office wasn't a stickler for rules. Tidwell was later convicted for stealing more than 500 guns from county evidence rooms. A lab technician who "found" shoe print evidence against Cooper was later fired for stealing heroin from the evidence room.
    The sheriff's office also bungled the forensics, so that 70 people trampled through the crime scene.
    Then, a day after the bodies were discovered, the district attorney closed the on-scene investigation for fear, he said, of gathering so much evidence that defense experts could spin complicated theories.
    Concerns with the San Bernardino sheriff's deputies have continued since then.
    Almost exactly 10 years after the Ryen murders, there was another terrible murder in San Bernardino County, and a man named William Richards was convicted in part based on evidence "discovered" by the same sheriff's office lab technician who earlier had "found" evidence against Cooper. Later, it turned out that this evidence was planted, and Richards was eventually exonerated. (The sheriff's office declined to comment for this article.)
    The only witness to the murders themselves, of course, was Josh Ryen, who endured a physical and emotional trauma that is unimaginable. By the time of the trial, he had no clear memory of what happened or of seeing an intruder.
    Yet his first memories were clearer. I tracked down Don Gamundoy, who at the time of the murders was a social worker at the hospital to which Josh was rushed. "He was awake and alert," Gamundoy recalled.
    Josh could hear but couldn't speak because of the wound to his throat, so Gamundoy wrote the alphabet, the numbers and the words "yes" and "no" on a piece of paper and asked Josh to point to the letters to spell his name, phone number and birth date. Josh did so correctly, showing that the method worked.
    Then Gamundoy asked Josh if the people who did this were black.
    "He pointed to 'no,'" Gamundoy told me. Communicating in the same way, Josh said that the attackers were white, and that there were three or four of them.
    This was a chaotic scene unfolding as doctors were struggling to treat the boy, but Gamundoy said he had asked each question twice to make sure the answers were not a mistake. Sheriff's deputies were present and observing, he said, and in interviews with deputies later, Josh referred to the attackers as "they," saying that "they" had chased him.
    With a good defense, Cooper might have prevailed. But his county public defender was overwhelmed and made a series of practical legal mistakes.
    "Kevin got convicted because they framed him and because he didn't have a half-decent defense," said Norman C. Hile, his current lawyer. Hile, now retired as a partner in the international law firm Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, has volunteered on the case for the last 14 years because he fiercely believes in Cooper's innocence.
    This is a familiar pattern: Inmates have third-rate defenders at trial, but after they are sentenced to death they get the help of brilliant free counsel; by then it is often too late to undo the damage.
    Cooper's trial unfolded amid the ugliest racism. At a hearing, a crowd displayed signs reading "Hang the Nigger." One man displayed a noose around a stuffed gorilla.
    Newspapers carried inaccurate reports, apparently based on prosecution leaks, that tied Cooper to the murder scene and suggested falsely that he was gay (seizing upon 1980s homophobia as well as racism).
    Still, the trial outcome was close. The jury took a week to convict Cooper, and one juror told reporters that there would have been no conviction "if there had been one less piece of evidence."
    Cooper was scheduled to be executed at 12:01 a.m. on Feb. 10, 2004. On Feb. 9, he was offered a last meal (he turned it down), and led on the "dead man walking" path to a holding area beside the execution cell. He was strip-searched, given new clothes to die in, and guards searched his arms for veins that could be used to administer lethal injections. A pastor visited to pray with him.
    Yet on what was supposed to be his last day, the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit granted a stay of execution, and a few hours before the end, the warden halted the machinery of death.
    Cooper was now permitted to conduct a new test on the tan T-shirt, and this time the labs found something extraordinary. Yes, that may have been Cooper's blood on it — but the blood had a chemical preservative called EDTA in it. That suggested that the blood came not from Cooper directly but from a test tube of his blood. Sure enough, the sheriff's deputies had taken a sample of Cooper's blood and had kept it in a test tube with EDTA.
    Now the lab checked a swatch of blood from that test tube. More wonders! The test tube miraculously contained the blood of two or more people .
    This indicated that the sheriff's office may have used the test tube of Cooper's blood to frame him, and then topped off the test tube with someone else's blood.
    "How could there be blood from two people? Well, I ask you to remember the teenager's trick. Drink liquor from mom and dad's bottle, and then you put some water back in to bring it back up to the line. How do we have blood from two people? Well how do you bring it back up to the line after you've taken blood from it?"
    — WILLIAM A. FLETCHER
    A United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge, speaking about Kevin Cooper's case
    Cooper's case began to get traction. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals en banc refused to hear an appeal by Cooper, but Fletcher wrote a remarkable 100-page dissent, concluding, "The State of California may be about to execute an innocent man." Four judges joined in this extraordinary judicial opinion.
    Likewise, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights found in 2015 that there had been profound flaws in the case and called for a review. The deans of four law schools and the president of the American Bar Association expressed concerns. At the end of his term in office, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger urged a "thorough and careful review" of the case.
    Five of the original jurors signed declarations expressing concerns about the case and calling for new DNA testing or for clemency. An award-winning book, "Scapegoat," concluded that Cooper had been framed. In February 2016, Hile and the Orrick law firm submitted to Governor Brown a 235-page clemency petition, pleading for advanced DNA testing of evidence from the case.
    Cooper's lawyers ask above all for new "touch DNA" testing — capable of detecting microscopic residues — of the tan T-shirt, the hatchet and the blond or brown hairs found in the victims' hands. This might determine who wore the tan T-shirt or handled the hatchet, and whom the hairs came from. Was it Kevin Cooper? Or was it Lee?
    As state attorney general, Kamala Harris refused to allow this advanced DNA testing and showed no interest in the case (she declined to comment for this column). As for Brown, he has not responded in the two years since the petition was filed, and he refused to be interviewed. His spokesman, Gareth Lacy, told me that the petition "remains under review." Brown leaves office in January, and I think he is running out the clock.
    One reason Brown may be hesitant to weigh in: For four years before becoming governor, he was attorney general, and during that time he suggested that no one on death row was innocent. I hope that this won't keep him from allowing advanced DNA testing.
    California voters in 2016 approved a ballot measure to hasten executions. So, depending on how litigation unfolds, Cooper could again be led to the execution chamber sometime in the next year or so — and even if he delays execution, he feels he is wasting away.
    Kevin Cooper at San Quentin
    "Look at how white my hair is," Cooper told me, bending over to show how his hair is graying. "I don't have as much time left. Every day is one I won't get back."
    I was speaking to him in San Quentin Prison, in a cage where inmates are allowed to meet outsiders. Cooper lives on death row in San Quentin, in a 4.5-foot-by-11-foot cell.
    Cooper told me about his abusive and troubled childhood in Pennsylvania, where he was adopted as a baby. When prosecutors said that Cooper had tangled with the law since the age of 7, they were right, but he says that the reason is that he was running away from home to escape beatings. His childhood involved shoplifting, marijuana smoking, juvenile detention and negligible education; he never graduated from high school.
    These days in prison, Cooper has remedied his lack of education with a G.E.D. diploma and comes across as smart, passionate and articulate. But he's not optimistic that the governor or courts will block his execution.
    "I don't have any confidence," he told me. "I don't believe in the system." He also spends his time writing a memoir, which now stands at more than 300 pages. "That's my motivating factor to get out of here, to tell my story and tell the truth about this rotten-ass system," he said.
    I asked Cooper whom he blamed. The sheriff? The jury? "I blame myself first and foremost, for walking out of Chino prison, for letting those people get their hands on me," he said. "I regret that every day of my life."
    Time and again, Cooper came back to a larger point: The criminal justice system is unfair to poor people and members of minorities.
    "I'm frameable, because I'm an uneducated black man in America," he said. "Sometimes it's race, and sometimes it's class."
    "The only people here on death row to my understanding are the poor," he added. "Even the white people on death row, they're poor. If they're white, racism goes away and classism jumps in and takes its place."
    Although Cooper's defenders note that before the murders he had never been convicted of a violent offense, or even charged with one, it's a bit more complicated: He has been accused of rape without being charged.
    I'm particularly troubled by one episode. Cooper admits forcing a 17-year-old girl into a vehicle in 1982. She says that he also hit her, threatened to kill her and raped her, and she went afterward to a hospital to seek treatment; he flatly denies hitting or raping her. Hile says that if the evidence had been strong, Cooper would have been charged with rape. For my part, I can't think why the girl would have lied, and although it's impossible to know after 36 years what happened, it bothers me.
    It's obvious to you by now that this is not a usual column — I'm not sure The Times has ever published a column of this length — so why am I exploring the case with such passion? I became interested primarily because Fletcher and other respected federal appeals judges had said he was framed. That just doesn't happen.
    I'm also haunted by something else. In 2000, I proposed reporting a lengthy piece about doubts about the conviction of Cameron Willingham, who was then on death row in Texas for the arson murder of his three children. An editor talked me out of it, and I never did write about Willingham, who was executed in 2004. Since then, growing evidence has emerged that he was innocent, and perhaps it's partly to atone for my earlier failure that I've taken up Cooper's case.
    If Cooper is innocent, he would have plenty of company. The Death Penalty Information Center says that since 1973, at least 162 people sentenced to death have been exonerated. One peer-reviewed study estimated that at least 4.1 percent of those sentenced to death in the United States are innocent; that would mean that on California's death row alone, where 746 people await execution, about 30 have been wrongfully convicted.
    Moreover, there's abundant evidence that executions in America are linked to race: One study in Washington Statefound that jurors were three times as likely to hand down a death sentence for a black defendant as for a white defendant in a similar case.
    Decades after Cooper's trial, many of the people involved have died or didn't want to talk to me. Some who were willing to talk insist that the trial was fair and Cooper was properly convicted.
    William Baird, the sheriff's office lab expert who in 1983 found suspicious shoe print evidence supposedly linking Cooper to the crime scene, told me that the evidence was real. He acknowledged having stolen heroin from the evidence room but said that had nothing to do with the evidence against Cooper.
    I also spoke to Bill Hughes, who discovered the bodies of the Ryens and of his son, Chris. He is certain that Cooper is responsible: "There is no doubt in my mind that he did that." His wife, Mary Ann, is equally passionate: She spoke of her family's suffering as the case drags on without closure, of her certainty that Cooper is simply trying to distract from overwhelming evidence against him, of her frustration at calls for further testing when there has already been forensic testing for 35 years.
    I told Bill and Mary Ann Hughes that my heart breaks for them. And of course, I can't be sure that Kevin Cooper is innocent. One lesson to absorb from the criminal justice system's past mistakes is that we need some humility about our own ability to ferret out truth.
    That's why the governor should allow advanced DNA testing, especially of the hairs and of the T-shirt and hatchet, and why Kamala Harris, Dianne Feinstein, Gavin Newsom and other California politicians should back the call.
    I know readers will ask me what they can do, and I don't have a good answer beyond contacting Brown's office or signing a petition calling for new DNA testing. Another takeaway is to regard our criminal justice system, especially in its interactions with the poor or racial minorities, with greater skepticism.
    Maybe in the grand scheme of things, the fate of one man on death row doesn't seem so important; innumerable people die tragically every day. Yet we aspire to be a nation where we are all equal before the law, and if we execute a man in so flawed a case without even bothering to test the evidence rigorously, then a piece of our justice system dies along with Kevin Cooper.
    Governor Brown, if you're reading this, I understand that you may believe that Cooper is guilty. But other smart people, including federal judges and law school deans, believe him innocent. So how can you possibly execute him without even allowing advanced DNA testing, at the defense's expense, to resolve the doubt? What's your argument for refusing to allow testing?
    The former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor once wrote that "the execution of a legally and factually innocent person would be a constitutionally intolerable event." She's right: It is not just Cooper's life that is at stake, but also the legitimacy of our system of laws. This is a test of Governor Brown, of our justice system, of our politicians, and of us.
    "This is bigger than me," Cooper told me in our prison meeting. "This is bigger than any one person."
    Or consider the Ryens' station wagon.

    It was found in Long Beach, 30 miles away, and inconveniently had blood on the driver's seat, the front passenger seat and the back seat — suggesting at least three killers.


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    2)  Trump Administration to Tie Health Facilities' Funding to Abortion Restrictions
    By Julie Hirschfeld Davis and Maggie Haberman, May 17, 2018
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/17/us/politics/trump-funding-abortion-restrictions.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=first-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news

    A Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs. A new Trump administration rule, expected to be announced today, would curb reproductive rights.CreditJerilee Bennett/The Gazette, via Associated Press


    WASHINGTON — Clinics that provide abortions or refer patients to places that do would lose federal funding under a new Trump administration rule that takes direct aim at Planned Parenthood, according to three administration officials.
    The rule, which is to be announced Friday, is a top priority of social conservatives and is the latest move by President Trump to impose curbs on abortion rights, in this case by withholding money from any facility or program that promotes abortion or refers patients to a caregiver that will provide one.
    The policy would be a return to one instituted in 1988 by President Ronald Reagan that required abortion services to have a "physical separation" and "separate personnel" from other family planning activities. That policy is often described as a domestic gag rule because it barred caregivers at facilities that received family planning funds from providing any information to patients about an abortion or where to receive one.

    Federal family planning laws already ban direct funding of organizations that use abortion as a family planning method. But conservative activists and Republican lawmakers have been pressing Alex M. Azar II, the secretary of health and human services, to tighten the rules further so that abortions could not occur — or be performed by the same staff — at locations that receive Title X federal family planning money.

    Dawn Laguens, the executive vice president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, called the new proposal "outrageous" and "dangerous."
    The policy, she said in a statement late Thursday, is "designed to make it impossible for millions of patients to get birth control or preventive care from reproductive health care providers like Planned Parenthood. This is designed to force doctors and nurses to lie to their patients. It would have devastating consequences across this country."
    Marjorie Dannenfelser, the president of the Susan B. Anthony List, a group that opposes abortion rights, thanked Mr. Trump on Thursday night in a statement in which she said the move would "energize" conservative voters heading into the midterm congressional elections this fall.
    "We thank President Trump for taking action to disentangle taxpayers from the abortion business," Ms. Dannenfelser said. She said that he "has shown decisive leadership, delivering on a key promise to pro-life voters who worked so hard to elect him."
    Two White House officials and two other people briefed on the plans said Thursday that the Trump administration would announce that it was adopting the policy on Friday, a move that they planned to outline for social conservative and religious activists during an early-morning telephone briefing. They all spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the plans.

    One Trump official said the rule would give Planned Parenthood and other groups that receive federal family planning money a choice: Disentangle themselves from abortion or lose government funding.
    The official said the policy would require "a bright line of physical as well as financial separation" between programs that receive Title X funding and those that perform, support or make referrals for abortions.
    A Trump administration official who detailed the coming proposal said it would neither prohibit nor require counseling on abortion.
    The policy could prompt legal challenges, as it did soon after the Reagan administration adopted it. Planned Parenthood and other groups filed lawsuits that blocked the rules, and while the Supreme Court decided in 1991 that they could move forward, they were never fully carried out. President Bill Clinton rescinded the policy in 1994.
    Mr. Trump has shown ambivalence about Planned Parenthood, sometimes expressing support for its health-related services other than abortion. His daughter Ivanka Trump, a senior adviser, has urged him not to strip funding for the organization, as many Republicans have proposed, warning of the possible political repercussions.
    Mr. Trump is set next week to give the keynote speech at the "Campaign for Life" gala held by the Susan B. Anthony List. Ms. Dannenfelser has called Mr. Trump "the most pro-life president in our nation's history."
    The Trump administration has pressed repeatedly to impose abortion limits. Upon taking office, Mr. Trump signed a presidential memorandum reinstituting and expanding the so-called global gag rule, which bars federal funding for organizations around the world that provide abortion counseling or referrals.

    Mr. Trump has also taken particular aim at Planned Parenthood, which serves 41 percent of women who receive federally funded family planning services. He signed legislation last year aimed at cutting off government money from the group and others that perform abortions.
    The bill nullified a rule completed in the last days of the Obama administration that effectively banned state and local governments from withholding federal funding for family planning services related to contraception, sexually transmitted infections, fertility, pregnancy care and breast and cervical cancer screening from qualified health providers — regardless of whether they also performed abortions.
    Doctors have also expressed alarm at the prospect of such changes to federal family planning rules. In a conference call this month, officials from the American College of Physicians and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists said the policy would harm women's health.
    Dr. Hal Lawrence, the executive vice president and chief executive of American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, said during that call, "We don't need the government interfering in the exam room, and the government should not be interfering in what women can know and what kind of options she should be given."
    Abortion rights advocates also argue that the new rules could result in women not receiving reproductive health care at all, leading to more unintended pregnancies and higher mortality rates. They note that Planned Parenthood and other groups that perform abortions are often the only federally funded health care providers in certain areas of the country, meaning that some women in those places may simply not receive medical care at all under the new policy.
    Cecile Richards, the former president of Planned Parenthood, wrote in her memoir published last month that during a meeting in January 2017 with Ms. Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, who is also a senior adviser to the president, the couple offered her a deal for her organization: Stop providing abortions in exchange for receiving an increase in federal money. Mr. Trump acknowledged a few weeks later that he had pushed for such an agreement.
    At the time, Planned Parenthood publicly rejected the proposal out of hand, saying it would never agree to a plan that would compel it to stop offering or advising women about abortions.

    Elizabeth Dias contributed reporting.

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    3)  Why the Wealth Gap Hits Families the Hardest
    By Christina Gibson-Davis and Christine Percheski, May 18, 2018
    "Families with children fared worse as a group. Overall, their wealth declined by 56 percent in the same period. More important, they also faced a wide and growing divide: Wealth inequality for these households grew significantly from 1989 to 2013. The top 1 percent saw their wealth increase by 156 percent, while parents in the bottom half saw their wealth shrink by 260 percent. About a third of all families with children in 2013 had no wealth, only debt."
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/18/opinion/wealth-inequality-families-children-elderly.html?action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=opinion-c-col-left-region&region=opinion-c-col-left-region&WT.nav=opinion-c-col-left-region


    What does economic inequality really look like?
    Income alone doesn't give a complete picture. Income inequality describes the gap between a six-figure salary and minimum wage. But the more alarming gap occurs in wealth — a household's total assets minus debts. To understand how inequality is playing out in the United States, we need to look more closely at the wealth gap.
    In a recent paper, we examined wealth among families with children and among the elderly. We focused on children and the elderly because they are considered the most vulnerable in our society and because so much social policy is geared to help them. According to our research, wealth inequality is much worse among families with children, and the gap has widened greatly over the past two decades, with consequences that may cascade through generations.
    The extreme wealth inequality we have identified is a result of years of policies that have eroded both public spending and private income for families with children.
    The demographer Samuel Preston warned in 1984 that the United States had made "a set of private and public choices that have dramatically altered the age profile of well-being," by devoting resources toward improving conditions for the elderly while neglecting to do the same for families with children. "The constituency for children in public decisions simply appears too feeble to fight back," he wrote.

    We are seeing the consequences of these policies now, and they will follow today's children throughout their lives.
    Unlike income, which can change quickly because of a booming economy or a rise in the minimum wage, changes in wealth usually happen slowly. The recently passed tax law, for example, may increase your take-home pay, but it's unlikely to increase the value of your house.
    Wealth also matters because it has profound long-term effects. Parental wealth, in addition to parental income, plays an important role in college attendance and graduation. Bachelor's degree holders earn 56 percent morethan high school graduates, the largest gap on record. So a parent's ability to, say, pay for college tuition may be crucial to enabling children to become economically self-sufficient.
    Parental wealth is also a critical determinant of where children live and the quality of the schools they attend. It can affect the kind of job they have, if and when they marry, and whether they own their homes.

    To understand how wealth and wealth inequality have changed among families with children and elderly households, we examined data from the Federal Reserve's Survey of Consumer Finances, a large survey conducted approximately every three years that catalogs the total assets and debt of American households.

    The data we used comes from several thousand representative households in each of the nine survey years between 1989 and 2013. We examined the wealth of households headed by someone age 65 or older, and families headed by someone under age 65 and with children under age 18.
    Our research shows that in terms of wealth, those over 65 have weathered the past quarter-century much better than families with children, despite two major recessions. The net worth of older people's households increased by 45 percent from 1989 to 2013. And for the past 25 years, the distance between the rich elderly and the poor elderly remained stable. The very wealthiest elderly households grew richer, but so did those of working-class and middle-class older people.
    Families with children fared worse as a group. Overall, their wealth declined by 56 percent in the same period. More important, they also faced a wide and growing divide: Wealth inequality for these households grew significantly from 1989 to 2013. The top 1 percent saw their wealth increase by 156 percent, while parents in the bottom half saw their wealth shrink by 260 percent. About a third of all families with children in 2013 had no wealth, only debt.
    In 2013, the top 1 percent of these families had a median wealth of $5.1 million, thanks to skyrocketing incomes, increasing home values and strong returns on stocks and investments. They have millions in savings and generous trust funds for their children.
    Families on the bottom rungs live very differently. They may not even own a home, and if they face an unexpected expense, like a medical emergency, they don't have a cushion of savings or other assets to draw on. And when their children start college, some of these parents may still be paying off their own student loans.
    Why are so many parents with children faring so poorly? In part, it's a result of long-term changes in employment. Over the period we studied, employment became more unstable, as companies replaced full-time jobs with part-time work and short-term contracts. These employment changes affected families with children more than the elderly, who are mostly retired. That means not only less income but also less money to save or invest in homes or other wealth-producing assets.
    The other problem for families with children is debt: not credit card or car loan debt, which hasn't changed much since the late 1980s, but student loan and mortgage debt.

    Education debt has been rising throughout the period in our study, in part because federal Pell Grants failed to keep up with rising tuition costs. Pell Grants now cover only 29 percent of the cost of a four-year degree at a public college, the lowest percentage on record. Even earning a two-year degree at a community college usually means taking on debt.
    In the mid-2000s, housing debt also started to rise, especially as subprime lenders opened the housing market to more first-time buyers. After the collapse of the housing market, home prices were down one-third from their pre-recession peak. For many families, that wiped out the value of their main asset.
    Why did older households fare better? First, older Americans' incomes were largely stable. Their primary source of income, Social Security, is indexed to inflation. With stable income, fewer older people dipped into savings to pay their bills, and they had more money to invest. Second, most of them bought their homes before the housing bubble, and third, they graduated from college before the era of high student loan debt. Thanks to these three factors, the median net worth of poor and middle-class older people rose by 70 percent from 1989 to 2013.
    There are a few policy changes that may help. Increasing the purchasing power of Pell Grants and then indexing it to rising tuition costs would be a start. The government could also expand tax credits that benefit families, and compensate families who were victims of predatory lending practices.
    But the magnitude of the problem is so great that these measures are not enough. The United States needs a fundamental rethinking of public policy priorities to improve the lives of the next generation of children.

    Christina Gibson-Davis is an associate professor of public policy at Duke. Christine Percheski is an assistant professor of sociology at Northwestern.


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    4)  New Reality for High School Students: Calculating the Risk of Getting Shot
    By Audra D. S. BurchAmy Harmon and Trip Gabriel, May 20, 2018
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/20/us/school-shootings-drills-risks.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=first-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news

    An active shooter drill in Idaho Falls, Idaho. Students across the country have added surviving mass shootings to their calculus.CreditJohn Roark/The Idaho Post-Register, via Associated Press



    Just hours after a gunman killed 10 people at a Texas high school, two students 1,000 miles away worried about the safety of their usual seats in the school cafeteria.
    Calysta Wilson and Courtney Fletcher, both juniors at Mount Pleasant Community High School in Iowa, believe their table in the cafeteria would be the first one a gunman entering the room would target.
    “We sit at the table closest to the doors,” Calysta, 17, said as she took in a softball game. “In the case that you came in as a shooter and you killed the first person you saw, I would die. I would not make it.”
    It is an unnerving, new consideration born from the grim, steady beat of mass shootings across the country — the last two 93 days apart on high school campuses in Florida and Texas. As the reality of school violence sinks in, the conversations among many high school students have changed from “This could never happen here” to “What do we do when this happens?”
    Students raised with the persistence of mass shootings and versed in the protocol of active shooter drills think often of the possibility of a shooting in their schools. Whether they are in English or history class, they routinely consider the safety of their classrooms, even running scenarios in their heads about how likely they are to get shot.
    Since the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting nearly six years ago in Newtown, Conn. — when this generation’s high school students were of middle-school age or younger — there have been more than 200 school shootings nationwide, including the recent rampage in Parkland, Fla., which inspired a youth-led movement to reform gun laws.
    Shootings are so common that students talk in frighteningly practical terms about the location of doors and windows in their classrooms as risk factors. They calculate escape routes. And they ponder hiding spots in wide-open rooms.
    “It’s like the front lines of a war,” said Emily Rubinstein, a sophomore at a New York high school. “Being seated in front of the classroom could be what makes you live and what makes you die.”
    Emily has given a great deal of thought to her safety as she moves through her school day. She considers her English classroom the safest. It has just one door, and it’s down a hallway that makes it hard to find. Also, the room has an unusual cutout corner, with no desks in it. That would be one of the best places to hide if someone started shooting at Stuyvesant High School, in Lower Manhattan.
    Math class is where she is most exposed. She sits in the second desk of the second row, in a direct diagonal path from the door. On lockdown drills, she has learned that the safest place to be is pressed up against the wall where the door is, so that if a shooter looks into the room, it will appear empty. But in math, she has calculated that her chances of reaching that position are low.
    “I sit really, really close to the door,” she said. “If someone came running down the hall with a gun, I wouldn’t have time.”
    Still, Emily said those plans have not affected her schoolwork, friendships or her extracurricular activities. “We have all these thoughts. But there’s still part of my mind that’s like, ‘No, it couldn’t happen to me.’”
    Many schools have decided that it could. A 2016 report from the United States Government Accountability Office found that two-thirds of school districts conduct exercises to prepare for an active shooter.

    Bartlesville High School, an hour north of Tulsa, Okla., has regularly held safety drills and lockdowns since 2012, when a student was arrested for making a threat against the school. In Martinsburg, W.Va., Spring Mills High School held a “code red” lockdown this year without telling some teachers the event was just a drill, to make sure the staff was truly prepared.

    In response to the early-morning ambush at a high school in Santa Fe, Tex., on Friday, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick suggested schools be redesigned with fewer doors. Had the high school had a single entrance, Mr. Patrick said, the gunman might have been stopped. Mr. Patrick, a Republican, quickly drew criticism from some who said he had minimized the role guns played in the attack.
    But as the gun control debate continues in the halls and offices of statehouses, fears of an attack linger in the classrooms and quads where students spend much of their days. In Iowa, Calysta and Courtney sat together on park bleachers Friday night, thinking about the frequency of attacks and the safety of their school.
    Calysta said the school officials “could and should” make the campus more secure. The front doors open directly onto the commons area. “If someone was to come in, they could take out 15 people in a matter of two seconds,” she said.
    “I just think it’s kind of sad it’s come to this, where every few weeks you hear about something new,” Courtney said.
    Some students are no longer shocked when they hear of a shooting, considering it simply a tragic part of growing up. A gunman will walk into a high school somewhere in America, and open fire.
    On the front steps of Roosevelt High School in Seattle on Saturday morning, pregame excitement for a soccer match was in the air. But when students were asked about the latest school shootings, the environment in their school and the potential for violence, the laughter stopped. Voices fell to somber silence.
    “At this point it’s just kind of a reality,” said William Neffner, a 17-year-old junior who plays midfield on the team. The once-a-month lockdown drills that the school conducts, he said, have become routine, as have the conversations at home about what to do or not do if a gunman arrived on campus.
    “It doesn’t make it more likely,” William said of the drills and conversations. “But it prepares you.”
    The advice from his parents, he said, was also filled with uncertainty: He would have to decide on his own precisely what to do, in the moment, if something happened in his school.
    “Whatever you can do to stay safe,” he said, quoting his parent’s advice.
    Alex Kanya, a 17-year-old senior at Northwest Catholic High School in West Hartford, Conn., first learned about the shooting in Santa Fe on Twitter, the same way he had heard of the many attacks before it.
    “You open up your phone,” Alex said, “and know that there’s been another mass shooting, and nothing happens.”
    In the wake of the Parkland shooting, Northwest Catholic recently added signs on the outside of the buildings to help law enforcement officers know where students were, Alex said. School officials have handed down specific guidance about, for example, how to cover door windows with paper in the event of a shooting. Still, the gravity is lost on some of his classmates.
    “When there’s some tragedy like Parkland or like Santa Fe, people always say, ‘It’s not going to happen to me,’” Alex said. “When we did our active shooter drills in school, people were cracking jokes and laughing.”
    For the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, where 17 people were killed just three months ago, the Santa Fe shooting set off waves of emotions: sorrow, fear and a knowing feeling.
    Eden Hebron, 14, had just finished her A.P. human geography test when she learned of the attack in Texas. Text messages quickly followed.
    “I read the details — 10 people — and it just broke my heart,” said Eden, who was in a classroom at Stoneman Douglas where three students died. “I know the grief and emptiness they are going through knowing their friends were murdered. I know what it feels like to watch your friend die. No child should ever have to experience this.”

    John Eligon, Dana Goldstein, Kirk Johnson, Louis Lucero II, Jennifer Medina, Mitch Smith and Sabrina Tavernise contributed reporting.
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    5) U.S. Imposes Sanctions on Venezuelans Ahead of Presidential Election
    By William Neuman, May 18, 2018
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/18/world/americas/venezuela-us-sanctions.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fworld&action=click&contentCollection=
    world&region=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=
    10&pgtype=sectionfront

    Diosdado Cabello, right, with President Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela. The United States imposed sanctions against Mr. Cabello on Friday.CreditMiraflores Palace, via Reuters


    CARACAS, Venezuela — Just two days before presidential elections in Venezuela, the Trump administration on Friday announced sanctions against a powerful governing party politician, accusing him of drug trafficking, extortion, money laundering and embezzling government money.
    The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control in Washington said that it had placed the politician, Diosdado Cabello, a top Socialist Party figure, on a list of sanctioned individuals, freezing his assets in the United States and barring Americans from doing business with him. Mr. Cabello, 55, has long been considered the second-most powerful man in the country, after President Nicolás Maduro, who is running for re-election on Sunday.
    The Treasury Department said that it was also imposing sanctions on Mr. Cabello’s brother, José David Cabello, 49, who runs the government agency in charge of customs and taxation, and Diosdado Cabello’s wife, Marleny Josefina Contreras Hernández, 57, the minister of tourism. Also named in the announcement was Rafael Alfredo Sarria, 52, who the Treasury Department said acted as a frontman for Mr. Cabello, channeling illicit money through real estate and businesses in Florida.

    The timing of the announcement, so close to the Venezuelan election, could energize Mr. Maduro’s voting base. Mr. Maduro routinely accuses the United States of seeking to overthrow his government and says that Venezuela’s extreme economic problems — with a drastic contraction in economic production and the world’s highest inflation — are the result of an “economic war” being waged against the country by Washington.

    Diosdado Cabello posted a message on his Twitter account dismissing the “immoral sanctions of imperialism” and adding that “it only shows we’re going in the right direction.”

    On his Twitter account, José David Cabello also dismissed the sanctions, posting a photograph of a Maduro campaign rally and writing that the “sanctions are an honor and they make us stronger.”

    In the face of increasingly authoritarian actions by Mr. Maduro and his government, the United States has said that it will not recognize the election results. The Trump administration has been steadily adding to the number of Venezuelan government figures against whom sanctions have been imposed.
    Mr. Cabello, a former governor and legislator who was close to Mr. Maduro’s predecessor, Hugo Chávez, is seen as wielding significant power behind the scenes, but his star may have faded recently as Mr. Maduro seeks to diminish his potential rivals within the government and the Socialist Party.
    Mr. Maduro created a new party, called We Are Venezuela, to act as his main political vehicle ahead of the election, displacing the Socialist Party that Mr. Cabello largely controls.

    The Treasury Department released an unusually detailed statement about the sanctions, which read like a criminal indictment, although it did not say whether any indictments had been handed down for those named in Friday’s action.
    The statement accused Mr. Cabello of running drugs through the Dominican Republic to Europe and also through a Venezuelan airport — and it said that he split some of his drug profits with Mr. Maduro.
    It also accused Mr. Cabello of embezzling government money, smuggling minerals and laundering profits through Panama and Russia. The Treasury Department said that Mr. Cabello and his brother extorted money from companies doing business in Venezuela, by threatening them with large fines resulting from tax audits.

    Patricia Torres contributed reporting

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