Tuesday, April 09, 2013

BAUAW NEWSLETTER: TUESDAY, APRIL 9, 2013

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Stop the media blackout on Bradley Manning’s trial!

Despite the unprecedented and historic nature of Army whistleblower Bradley Manning’s trial, journalists have thus far been banned from recording the proceedings. Because Americans more commonly get their news through television than from any other media source, this presents a major barrier to the American public staying informed on a trial that will profoundly affect the future of our country.

It’s outrageous that the American public is being denied the right to view the trial of U.S. vs. Bradley Manning.  Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel was appointed by President Obama to ensure civilian oversight of the U.S. military.

Sign our petition demanding that he ensure journalists can record Bradley Manning’s court martial proceedings!  When you sign our petition, our e-mail system will send a message on your behalf to the office of Secretary of Defense.

http://www.bradleymanning.org/featured/stop-the-media-blackout-on-bradley-mannings-trial

The petition:

"According to the PEW research institute, Americans get most of their news on television.  United States vs. Bradley Manning is one of the most important trials in America today, and covers such fundamental issues as the American public’s right to know what government officials do in our name with our resources, and whether our military is following international human rights law. 

"The judge has determined that most of the proceedings are safe for the public to attend, and so it’s outrageous that journalists are not being allowed to record this historic trial in order that Americans everywhere can stay informed of what happens in the courtroom.

"As the Presidentially appointed office responsible for civilian oversight of the U.S. military, the Secretary of Defense should take responsible for ensuring that these proceedings are accorded as high level of public accessibility as befits the historic and unprecedented nature of the proceedings themselves. 

"We therefore call upon Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel to act immediately to ensure journalists may use electronic recording in the press room."

Freedom of the Press Foundation Publishes Leaked Audio of Bradley Manning’s Statement
https://www.pressfreedomfoundation.org/blog/2013/03/fpf-publishes-leaked-audio-of-bradley-mannings-statement

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Petition to Free Lynne Stewart: Save Her Life - Release Her Now!
Urgent: Please sign the petition for compassionate release for Lynne Stewart
The Global Campaign to Save the Life of Lynne Stewart Gathers Steam:  6,000 and counting! Individuals are reaching out to their friends, family and colleagues. Organizations are reaching out to their members. People throughout the world are joining together in the effort to free Lynne Stewart.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu sent this Cri de Coeur: “It is devastating, totally unbelievable. Is this in a democracy, the only superpower? I am sad. I will sign. Praying God’s blessings on yr efforts.”
+Desmond Tutu

Pete Seeger declared: “Lynn Stewart should be outa jail!” on a postcard signed “old Pete Seeger” accompanied by a drawing of his banjo.

Your outpouring of support has lifted Lynne’s spirits as she undergoes the ravaging effects of chemotherapy. On March 20, she sent this message to each and every one of you from her seven-person cell in the Federal Medical Center, Carswell, Texas:

“I want you, individually, to know how gratified and happy it makes me to have your support. It is uplifting, to say the least, and after a lifetime of organizing it proves once again that the People can rise.

“The acknowledgement of the life-political, and solutions brought about by group unity and support, is important to all of us. Equally, so is the courage to sign on to a demand for a person whom the Government has branded with the ‘T’ word — Terrorist. Understanding that the attack on me is a subterfuge for an attack on all lawyers who advocate without fear of Government displeasure, with intellectual honesty guided by their knowledge and their client’s desire for his or her case, I hope our effort can be a crack in the American bastion. Thank you.” — Lynne

Lynne Stewart devoted over 30 years of her life to helping others as a criminal defense lawyer. She defended the poor, the disadvantaged and those targeted by the police and the State. Such had been her reputation as a fearless lawyer, ready to challenge those in power, that judges assigned her routinely to act for defendants whom no attorney was willing to represent.

Now Lynne Stewart needs our urgent help or she may die in prison. Our determination can compel the Bureau of Prisons to file the motion for compassionate release that will free Lynne Stewart.

Check out the Justice for Lynne Stewart website www.lynnestewart.org to view the signatories (up to 03/31/13), comments from signers, the postcard from Pete Seeger, and much more.

Remind your friends to sign the petition and to disseminate it to others. Ask each person to get five people to sign, and each of those five to ask five people of their own. In five stages, you will have reached another 3,000 people! Sign the petition at:
www.change.org/petitions/petition-to-free-lynne-stewart-save-her-life-release-her-now-2
Let the struggle spread far and wide!

***
Lynne's letter to Archbishop Desmond Tutu in response to his support:
03/26/13 9:40 am

My dear honorable Desmond Tutu:

I hardly know how to address you for while we have never met face to face we are bonded as only those who fight for the rights and justice of humanity can be. As my husband and I are activists of many years and struggles, we can claim this lovely unity with you harking back to Nelson Mandela at Robbin Island, the original ANC and before. While I know you are still engaged in helping South Africa reach the highest level of the expectations of freedom, I am most pleased and amazed that you have taken the time to support my efforts against the US prison system.

I have now been in jail as a political prisoner since 2009, but only recently been diagnosed with fatal cancer. The "mechanism" in the US law that allows "compassionate release" is so infrequently utilized that the New York Times did an editorial criticizing the system.  Anytime the key to the jailhouse is placed in the hands of uncaring bureaucrats, freedom is at stake. Having been informed that their "rule" is that one must have death in the room--a prognosis of a year or less, to be considered, once again forces me to don my armor and do battle---not just for me but for all the millions of prisoners who do not receive the consideration that they deserve.  It is a fight to demand that each person is treated with individual care and attention. It is with great joy that I see you joining me and this renews my hope and belief that the worldwide network of good caring people exists and can be made manifest.  Thanks. Lynne Stewart

Letter from Dick Gregory to the Federal Bureau of Prisons Director and to the Warden of the Federal Medical Center, Carswell

March 13, 2013

Charles E. Samuels, Jr., Director

Federal Bureau of Prisons

320 First St., NW

Washington, DC 20534

Dear Director Samuels,

I am writing urgently to ask you to make an immediate request of the Bureau of Prisons to file a motion with Judge Koetl for compassionate release of Lynne Stewart 53504-054.

Judge Koetl acknowledged on the record that Lynne Stewart has devoted her life to representing the poor, disadvantaged and oppressed, declaring: “Ms. Stewart has performed a public service not only to her clients but to the nation.”

Lynne Stewart's humanity has provided a moral compass for all of us who have fought for justice. It is only fitting that the humanity that she has manifested to so many should be extended to her. 

Now her breast cancer, in remission when she was sent to prison, despite the fact that her legal rights were not exhausted, is in Stage Four, having metastasized to her lymph nodes, shoulder, bones and lungs.

Her physicians have made clear that to surmount her grave illness and to cope with the collateral impact of treatment, it is imperative for Lynne Stewart to have the emotional support essential to survival in daily conjunction with that coordinated treatment from her medical team impossible in her prison setting.

In compliance with the1984 Sentencing Act, I call upon you to urge upon the Court the immediate release of Lynne Stewart.

We, too, will be judged for generations to come by our adherence to legal standards rooted in compassion and decency.

I am attaching the international petition setting forth the reasons for her compassionate release that I endorse in the strongest terms.

Yours sincerely,

Dick Gregory

http://www.change.org/petitions/petition-to-free-lynne-stewart-save-her-life-release-her-now-2

In the event that your computer has an older operating system and browser, send your support for the petition to ralph.poynter@gmail.com so we can incorporate your name in the list of signers.

For more information, go to http://www.lynnestewart.org

Write to Lynne Stewart at:

Lynne Stewart #53504-054



Federal Medical Center, Carswell

PO Box 27137

Fort Worth, TX 76127

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BOOK:

ANNOUNCING:  IZ, by Robert Davis, originally published by Lost Books Press, is now available on Kindle for $7.

       This odyssey of a 13 yr. old musical prodigy born into a family of hustlers, criminals and fanatics, takes place at the height of the Vietnam War. It has been called “a masterpiece,” “porno,” “the product of a deranged mind,” “a wonderful comic romp,” and various unmentionable things. When it first appeared in 1995, it won no awards and sold few copies. Very few – and those mainly to relatives and friends who after reading it quit speaking to the author.

       But thanks to cheap digital publishing, the world may now be ready for IZ.

       Izzy Aronson, on Kindle, is definitely ready for the world.

[Just had to pass this around. It's a great little novel with a real flavor of San Francisco in those times....Bonnie Weinstein]

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Bay Area United Against War Newsletter

Table of Contents:

A. ARTICLES IN FULL
B. EVENTS AND ACTIONS
C. SPECIAL APPEALS AND ONGOING CAMPAIGNS
D. VIDEO, FILM, AUDIO. ART, POETRY, ETC.

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A. ARTICLES IN FULL (Unless otherwise noted)

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1) The Shrinking Ranks of the Working
April 5, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/06/opinion/hunger-strike-at-guantanamo-bay.html?hp&_r=0




3) A Secret Deal on Drones, Sealed in Blood
By
April 6, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/07/world/asia/origins-of-cias-not-so-secret-drone-war-in-pakistan.html?hp 




4) Florida Algae Bloom Leads to Record Manatee Deaths
By
April 6, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/07/science/earth/algae-bloom-in-florida-kills-record-number-of-manatees.html 




5) Damaged Nuclear Plant in Japan Leaks Toxic Water
By
April 6, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/07/world/asia/japan-nuclear-plant-leaks-radioactive-water.html?ref=world




6) Rat Chase Backfires At Reactor In Japan
By
April 5, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/06/world/asia/rat-chase-again-bedevils-fukushima-nuclear-plant.html?ref=world 




7) Less Culpable, but With Longer Sentences
By
April 5, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/06/us/in-many-capital-cases-less-culpable-defendants-receive-death-penalty.html?ref=us




8) The Infinity Pool of Executive Pay
By
April 6, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/07/business/executive-pay-shows-modest-2012-gain-but-oh-those-perks.html?ref=business




9) Targeted Killing Comes to Define War on Terror
By
April 7, 2013
www.nytimA8/world/targeted-killing-comes-to-define-war-on-terror.html?hp




10) Afghan Children Reported Among Dead in U.S. Strike
By
April 7, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/08/world/asia/years-worst-attack-on-united-states-in-afghanistan.html?ref=world




11) Open the Slaughterhouses
By JEDEDIAH PURDY
WASHINGTON 
April 8, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/09/opinion/open-the-slaughterhouses.html?hp 




12) Another Tank Leaks Water at Japanese Nuclear Plant
By
April 9, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/10/world/asia/another-tank-leaks-water-at-japanese-nuclear-plant.html?ref=world 




13) Trip to Cuba by Beyoncé and Jay-Z Is Investigated
By
April 8, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/09/world/americas/cuba-trip-by-beyonce-and-jay-z-is-investigated.html?ref=world 




14) Student Loan Rate Set to Rise, Despite Lack of Support
By
April 8, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/09/education/student-loan-rate-set-to-rise-despite-lack-of-support.html?ref=us 




15) Ex-Regulator Says Reactors Are Flawed
By
April 8, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/09/us/ex-regulator-says-nuclear-reactors-in-united-states-are-flawed.html?ref=us
 





















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1) The Shrinking Ranks of the Working

Just when you thought it might be safe for the Fed to begin to think about taking its foot off the accelerator, along comes a jobs report that makes the employment picture look much less rosy than we had thought.

The most distressing part of the report came from the household survey. It found that 206,000 fewer people were working in March than during the previous month. That would make it the worst month in more than a year. (The more widely followed establishment survey found employment rose by a disappointing 88,000.)

The household survey also found the labor force participation rate – the proportion of people at least 16 years of age who were working or looking for work – fell to 63.3 percent, the lowest rate since 1979.

That fuels the narrative that the unemployment rate is coming down not because the economy is getting better, but because people are giving up looking for jobs. It raises the specter that the Washington follies are having a more serious impact than we had thought. Raising taxes on the least well-off working people – through the payroll tax increase that took effect at the beginning of the year – might have been a poor idea.

There are reasons to hope those fears are misplaced. The first is that the household survey is notoriously volatile. It covers 60,000 households, and the numbers can bounce around from month to month as different households are surveyed. (To minimize that, households stay in the survey for more than one month, but there are always changes.)

Over time, as the baby boom generation gets older, there is going to be some decline in the labor force participation rate as retired people represent a greater proportion of the group being counted. (You are treated the same whether you are 16 or 116.)

But month-to-month changes are not influenced much by that. Particularly notable in the latest report is that the participation rate for men 45 to 54 fell to 85.3 percent in March. That is only a dip of 0.1 percentage point from February, but it is the lowest level since the figure was first recorded in 1948. It is also two percentage points below the lowest figure during the recent recession.

The idea that a lot of men in their prime working years are becoming discouraged and giving up looking for work would be profoundly troubling. Let’s hope next month will produce evidence that what we have here stems more from sampling errors than from reality.


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2) Hunger Strike at Guantánamo
By
April 5, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/06/opinion/hunger-strike-at-guantanamo-bay.html?hp&_r=0

The hunger strike that has spread since early February among the 166 detainees still at Guantánamo Bay is again exposing the lawlessness of the system that marooned them there. The government claims that around 40 detainees are taking part. Lawyers for detainees report that their clients say around 130 detainees in one part of the prison have taken part.

The number matters less than the nature of the protest, however: this is a collective act of despair. Prisoners on the hunger strike say that they would rather die than remain in the purgatory of indefinite detention. Only three prisoners now at Guantánamo have been found guilty of any crime, yet the others also are locked away, with dwindling hope of ever being released.

Detainees there have gone on hunger strikes many times since the facility opened in 2002. A major strike in 2005 involved more than 200 detainees. But those earlier actions were largely about the brutality of treatment the detainees received. The protest this time seems more fundamental. Gen. John Kelly of the Marines, whose Southern Command oversees Guantánamo Bay, explained the motivation of the detainees at a Congressional hearing last month by saying, “They had great optimism that Guantánamo would be closed” based on President Obama’s pledge in his first campaign, but they are now “devastated” that nothing has changed.

For 86 detainees, this is a particular outrage. They were approved for release three years ago by a government task force, which included civilian and military agencies responsible for national security.

But Congress outrageously has limited the president’s options in releasing them, through a statute that makes it very difficult to use federal money to transfer Guantánamo prisoners anywhere. Fifty-six of those approved for release are Yemenis. The government, however, has said it will not release them to Yemen for the “foreseeable future,” apparently because they might fall under the influence of people antagonistic to the United States. That false logic would mean that no Yemenis could ever travel to this country, but that is not the case.

The other 30 detainees approved for release are from different countries, though the government will not say where they are from. Over the past decade, the government has sent detainees to at least 52 countries, The Times and NPR have determined, so it surely can find countries to take detainees who cannot be returned home.

As for the remaining 80 prisoners, the three who have been convicted and the 30 or so who are subjects of active cases or investigations can be transferred to a military or civilian prison. The rest are in indefinite detention — a legal limbo in which they are considered by the government to be too dangerous to release and too difficult to prosecute. Such detention is the essence of what has been wrong with Guantánamo from the start. The cases of these detainees must be reviewed and resolved according to the rule of law.

The government is force-feeding at least 10 of the hunger strikers. International agreements among doctors say doctors must respect a striker’s decision if he makes “an informed and voluntary refusal” to eat. But under American policy, Guantánamo doctors cannot adhere to those principles. The Obama administration justifies the force-feeding of detainees as protecting their safety and welfare. But the truly humane response to this crisis is to free prisoners who have been approved for release, end indefinite detention and close the prison at Guantánamo.



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3) A Secret Deal on Drones, Sealed in Blood
By
April 6, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/07/world/asia/origins-of-cias-not-so-secret-drone-war-in-pakistan.html?hp 


Nek Muhammad knew he was being followed.

On a hot day in June 2004, the Pashtun tribesman was lounging inside a mud compound in South Waziristan, speaking by satellite phone to one of the many reporters who regularly interviewed him on how he had fought and humbled Pakistan’s army in the country’s western mountains. He asked one of his followers about the strange, metallic bird hovering above him.

Less than 24 hours later, a missile tore through the compound, severing Mr. Muhammad’s left leg and killing him and several others, including two boys, ages 10 and 16. A Pakistani military spokesman was quick to claim responsibility for the attack, saying that Pakistani forces had fired at the compound.

That was a lie.

Mr. Muhammad and his followers had been killed by the C.I.A., the first time it had deployed a Predator drone in Pakistan to carry out a “targeted killing.” The target was not a top operative of Al Qaeda, but a Pakistani ally of the Taliban who led a tribal rebellion and was marked by Pakistan as an enemy of the state. In a secret deal, the C.I.A. had agreed to kill him in exchange for access to airspace it had long sought so it could use drones to hunt down its own enemies.

That back-room bargain, described in detail for the first time in interviews with more than a dozen officials in Pakistan and the United States, is critical to understanding the origins of a covert drone war that began under the Bush administration, was embraced and expanded by President Obama, and is now the subject of fierce debate. The deal, a month after a blistering internal report about abuses in the C.I.A.’s network of secret prisons, paved the way for the C.I.A. to change its focus from capturing terrorists to killing them, and helped transform an agency that began as a cold war espionage service into a paramilitary organization.

The C.I.A. has since conducted hundreds of drone strikes in Pakistan that have killed thousands of people, Pakistanis and Arabs, militants and civilians alike. While it was not the first country where the United States used drones, it became the laboratory for the targeted killing operations that have come to define a new American way of fighting, blurring the line between soldiers and spies and short-circuiting the normal mechanisms by which the United States as a nation goes to war.

Neither American nor Pakistani officials have ever publicly acknowledged what really happened to Mr. Muhammad — details of the strike that killed him, along with those of other secret strikes, are still hidden in classified government databases. But in recent months, calls for transparency from members of Congress and critics on both the right and left have put pressure on Mr. Obama and his new C.I.A. director, John O. Brennan, to offer a fuller explanation of the goals and operation of the drone program, and of the agency’s role.

Mr. Brennan, who began his career at the C.I.A. and over the past four years oversaw an escalation of drone strikes from his office at the White House, has signaled that he hopes to return the agency to its traditional role of intelligence collection and analysis. But with a generation of C.I.A. officers now fully engaged in a new mission, it is an effort that could take years.

Today, even some of the people who were present at the creation of the drone program think the agency should have long given up targeted killings.

Ross Newland, who was a senior official at the C.I.A.’s headquarters in Langley, Va., when the agency was given the authority to kill Qaeda operatives, says he thinks that the agency had grown too comfortable with remote-control killing, and that drones have turned the C.I.A. into the villain in countries like Pakistan, where it should be nurturing relationships in order to gather intelligence.

As he puts it, “This is just not an intelligence mission.”

From Car Thief to Militant

By 2004, Mr. Muhammad had become the undisputed star of the tribal areas, the fierce mountain lands populated by the Wazirs, Mehsuds and other Pashtun tribes who for decades had lived independent of the writ of the central government in Islamabad. A brash member of the Wazir tribe, Mr. Muhammad had raised an army to fight government troops and had forced the government into negotiations. He saw no cause for loyalty to the Directorate of Inter-Services Intelligence, the Pakistani military spy service that had given an earlier generation of Pashtuns support during the war against the Soviets.

Many Pakistanis in the tribal areas viewed with disdain the alliance that President Pervez Musharraf had forged with the United States after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. They regarded the Pakistani military that had entered the tribal areas as no different from the Americans — who they believed had begun a war of aggression in Afghanistan, just as the Soviets had years earlier.

Born near Wana, the bustling market hub of South Waziristan, Mr. Muhammad spent his adolescent years as a petty car thief and shopkeeper in the city’s bazaar. He found his calling in 1993, around the age of 18, when he was recruited to fight with the Taliban in Afghanistan, and rose quickly through the group’s military hierarchy. He cut a striking figure on the battlefield with his long face and flowing jet black hair.

When the Americans invaded Afghanistan in 2001, he seized an opportunity to host the Arab and Chechen fighters from Al Qaeda who crossed into Pakistan to escape the American bombing.

For Mr. Muhammad, it was partly a way to make money, but he also saw another use for the arriving fighters. With their help, over the next two years he launched a string of attacks on Pakistani military installations and on American firebases in Afghanistan.

C.I.A. officers in Islamabad urged Pakistani spies to lean on the Waziri tribesman to hand over the foreign fighters, but under Pashtun tribal customs that would be treachery. Reluctantly, Mr. Musharraf ordered his troops into the forbidding mountains to deliver rough justice to Mr. Muhammad and his fighters, hoping the operation might put a stop to the attacks on Pakistani soil, including two attempts on his life in December 2003.

But it was only the beginning. In March 2004, Pakistani helicopter gunships and artillery pounded Wana and its surrounding villages. Government troops shelled pickup trucks that were carrying civilians away from the fighting and destroyed the compounds of tribesmen suspected of harboring foreign fighters. The Pakistani commander declared the operation an unqualified success, but for Islamabad, it had not been worth the cost in casualties.

A cease-fire was negotiated in April during a hastily arranged meeting in South Waziristan, during which a senior Pakistani commander hung a garland of bright flowers around Mr. Muhammad’s neck. The two men sat together and sipped tea as photographers and television cameras recorded the event.

Both sides spoke of peace, but there was little doubt who was negotiating from strength. Mr. Muhammad would later brag that the government had agreed to meet inside a religious madrasa rather than in a public location where tribal meetings are traditionally held. “I did not go to them; they came to my place,” he said. “That should make it clear who surrendered to whom.”

The peace arrangement propelled Mr. Muhammad to new fame, and the truce was soon exposed as a sham. He resumed attacks against Pakistani troops, and Mr. Musharraf ordered his army back on the offensive in South Waziristan.

Pakistani officials had, for several years, balked at the idea of allowing armed C.I.A. Predators to roam their skies. They considered drone flights a violation of sovereignty, and worried that they would invite further criticism of Mr. Musharraf as being Washington’s lackey. But Mr. Muhammad’s rise to power forced them to reconsider.

The C.I.A. had been monitoring the rise of Mr. Muhammad, but officials considered him to be more Pakistan’s problem than America’s. In Washington, officials were watching with growing alarm the gathering of Qaeda operatives in the tribal areas, and George J. Tenet, the C.I.A. director, authorized officers in the agency’s Islamabad station to push Pakistani officials to allow armed drones. Negotiations were handled primarily by the Islamabad station.

As the battles raged in South Waziristan, the station chief in Islamabad paid a visit to Gen. Ehsan ul Haq, the ISI chief, and made an offer: If the C.I.A. killed Mr. Muhammad, would the ISI allow regular armed drone flights over the tribal areas?

In secret negotiations, the terms of the bargain were set. Pakistani intelligence officials insisted that they be allowed to approve each drone strike, giving them tight control over the list of targets. And they insisted that drones fly only in narrow parts of the tribal areas — ensuring that they would not venture where Islamabad did not want the Americans going: Pakistan’s nuclear facilities, and the mountain camps where Kashmiri militants were trained for attacks in India.

The ISI and the C.I.A. agreed that all drone flights in Pakistan would operate under the C.I.A.’s covert action authority — meaning that the United States would never acknowledge the missile strikes and that Pakistan would either take credit for the individual killings or remain silent.

Mr. Musharraf did not think that it would be difficult to keep up the ruse. As he told one C.I.A. officer: “In Pakistan, things fall out of the sky all the time.”

A New Direction

As the negotiations were taking place, the C.I.A.’s inspector general, John L. Helgerson, had just finished a searing report about the abuse of detainees in the C.I.A.’s secret prisons. The report kicked out the foundation upon which the C.I.A. detention and interrogation program had rested. It was perhaps the single most important reason for the C.I.A.’s shift from capturing to killing terrorism suspects.

The greatest impact of Mr. Helgerson’s report was felt at the C.I.A.’s Counterterrorism Center, or CTC, which was at the vanguard of the agency’s global antiterrorism operation. The center had focused on capturing Qaeda operatives; questioning them in C.I.A. jails or outsourcing interrogations to the spy services of Pakistan, Jordan, Egypt and other nations; and then using the information to hunt more terrorism suspects.

Mr. Helgerson raised questions about whether C.I.A. officers might face criminal prosecution for the interrogations carried out in the secret prisons, and he suggested that interrogation methods like waterboarding, sleep deprivation and the exploiting of the phobias of prisoners — like confining them in a small box with live bugs — violated the United Nations Convention Against Torture.

“The agency faces potentially serious long-term political and legal challenges as a result of the CTC detention and interrogation program,” the report concluded, given the brutality of the interrogation techniques and the “inability of the U.S. government to decide what it will ultimately do with the terrorists detained by the agency.”

The report was the beginning of the end for the program. The prisons would stay open for several more years, and new detainees were occasionally picked up and taken to secret sites, but at Langley, senior C.I.A. officers began looking for an endgame to the prison program. One C.I.A. operative told Mr. Helgerson’s team that officers from the agency might one day wind up on a “wanted list” and be tried for war crimes in an international court.

The ground had shifted, and counterterrorism officials began to rethink the strategy for the secret war. Armed drones, and targeted killings in general, offered a new direction. Killing by remote control was the antithesis of the dirty, intimate work of interrogation. Targeted killings were cheered by Republicans and Democrats alike, and using drones flown by pilots who were stationed thousands of miles away made the whole strategy seem risk-free.

Before long the C.I.A. would go from being the long-term jailer of America’s enemies to a military organization that erased them.

Not long before, the agency had been deeply ambivalent about drone warfare.

The Predator had been considered a blunt and unsophisticated killing tool, and many at the C.I.A. were glad that the agency had gotten out of the assassination business long ago. Three years before Mr. Muhammad’s death, and one year before the C.I.A. carried out its first targeted killing outside a war zone — in Yemen in 2002 — a debate raged over the legality and morality of using drones to kill suspected terrorists.

A new generation of C.I.A. officers had ascended to leadership positions, having joined the agency after the 1975 Congressional committee led by Senator Frank Church, Democrat of Idaho, which revealed extensive C.I.A. plots to kill foreign leaders, and President Gerald Ford’s subsequent ban on assassinations. The rise to power of this post-Church generation had a direct impact on the type of clandestine operations the C.I.A. chose to conduct.

The debate pitted a group of senior officers at the Counterterrorism Center against James L. Pavitt, the head of the C.I.A.’s clandestine service, and others who worried about the repercussions of the agency’s getting back into assassinations. Mr. Tenet told the 9/11 commission that he was not sure that a spy agency should be flying armed drones.

John E. McLaughlin, then the C.I.A.’s deputy director, who the 9/11 commission reported had raised concerns about the C.I.A.’s being in charge of the Predator, said: “You can’t underestimate the cultural change that comes with gaining lethal authority.

“When people say to me, ‘It’s not a big deal,’ ” he said, “I say to them, ‘Have you ever killed anyone?’

“It is a big deal. You start thinking about things differently,” he added. But after the Sept. 11 attacks, these concerns about the use of the C.I.A. to kill were quickly swept side.

The Account at the Time

After Mr. Muhammad was killed, his dirt grave in South Waziristan became a site of pilgrimage. A Pakistani journalist, Zahid Hussain, visited it days after the drone strike and saw a makeshift sign displayed on the grave: “He lived and died like a true Pashtun.”

Maj. Gen. Shaukat Sultan, Pakistan’s top military spokesman, told reporters at the time that “Al Qaeda facilitator” Nek Muhammad and four other “militants” had been killed in a rocket attack by Pakistani troops.

Any suggestion that Mr. Muhammad was killed by the Americans, or with American assistance, he said, was “absolutely absurd.”


This article is adapted from “The Way of the Knife: The C.I.A., a Secret Army, and a War at the Ends of the Earth,” to be published by Penguin Press on Tuesday.




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4) Florida Algae Bloom Leads to Record Manatee Deaths
By
April 6, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/07/science/earth/algae-bloom-in-florida-kills-record-number-of-manatees.html

Florida’s endangered manatees, already reeling from an unexplained string of deaths in the state’s east coast rivers, have died in record numbers from a toxic red algae bloom that appears each year off the state’s west coast, state officials and wildlife experts say.

The tide has killed 241 of Florida’s roughly 5,000 manatees, according to the state Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, and the toll appears certain to rise.

The number of deaths from the tide far exceeds the previous annual record of 151. Most occurred along the lower west coast of Florida near Fort Myers, where an algae bloom that began last fall was especially severe and long-lasting.

“Southwest Florida is an area where a lot of manatees are during the winter months,” Kevin Baxter, a spokesman for the research institute, said Friday. “It’s a warm-water area. The bloom has persisted there for quite a while.”

Although the algae had largely dissipated by mid-March, he said, the manatee deaths are likely to continue for a few months because remnants of the toxin still cling to sea grasses. Manatees can eat 100 pounds of sea grass daily, said Pat Rose, an aquatic biologist and the executive director of the Save the Manatee Club in Maitland, Fla.

The state’s annual red tide affects a wide range of aquatic animals and can cause problems in people. The algae contain a nerve poison known as brevetoxin that is not only found underwater but that is also blown through the air when waves break open the algae’s outer casing.

Manatees, birds, dolphins and other animals can be killed by consuming the poison, either by accidentally eating the algae or by ingesting small organisms clinging to sea grass that have soaked up the poison while filtering seawater.

Residents and tourists regularly have respiratory problems after inhaling brevetoxins while strolling on beaches near red tides. People can also become ill after eating oysters and clams that have absorbed the toxin.

Experts are uncertain why this year’s algae bloom was so lengthy and toxic. Phosphorus runoff from fertilized farms and lawns may have contributed, because algae thrive on a phosphorus diet. The Caloosahatchee River, which runs through rural Florida farmland, empties into the ocean at Fort Myers.

But Mr. Rose and Dr. Martine DeWit, a veterinarian with the state’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, say a major cause may be an unfortunate coincidence of weather and timing.

Dr. DeWit said a mild, fairly windless winter helped the algae persist far longer than ordinary blooms, which generally die off late in the year. That meant large blooms remained offshore when the manatees, driven by a search for warmer waters, began moving to the Fort Myers area.

Manatees are attracted there every year by a warm-water discharge from a local power plant, Dr. DeWit said.

“We’ve seen in the past that when algae blooms coincide with manatee movement, it results in catastrophic mortality,” she said.

The red-tide deaths come amid what is shaping up as a disastrous year for the manatee, whose numbers have slowly been growing in recent years. So far this year, at least 463 have died from a range of causes, more deaths than had been recorded in any previous comparable period.

At least 80 more manatees have been killed this year in the Indian River in east-central Florida, where a huge phytoplankton bloom in 2011 killed most of the sea grasses. The manatees there appeared outwardly healthy, but autopsies indicated that they had severe intestinal distress and that their stomachs were generally filled with a different strand of algae that they were apparently eating in the absence of the grass they normally eat.

What is killing those animals is not yet known, but Dr. DeWit said it appeared to be related to the algae and could — like the west coast’s red tide — be tied to a poison.


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5) Damaged Nuclear Plant in Japan Leaks Toxic Water
By
April 6, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/07/world/asia/japan-nuclear-plant-leaks-radioactive-water.html?ref=world

TOKYO — Tens of thousands of gallons of radioactive water leaked from a large underground storage pool at Japan’s crippled nuclear plant, and thousands more gallons could seep out before the faulty pool can be emptied, the plant’s operator said Saturday.

About 120 tons, or almost 32,000 gallons, of highly contaminated water appeared to have breached the inner protective lining of the pool at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, said the operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company. It was unclear how much of the water had made it through two additional layers of lining to reach soil, but radiation levels outside the pool have risen, a sign that some water is getting out, said the company, known as Tepco.

The leak highlights the daunting challenge of what to do with the huge amounts of contaminated water created by makeshift cooling systems at the plant, after a huge earthquake and tsunami knocked out its regular cooling systems two years ago in the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl. Since then, Tepco has essentially been pouring water onto the damaged reactor cores and storage ponds to keep them from overheating.

As it is used for cooling, the water becomes so contaminated that it must be safely stored at the plant. Tepco said it was already storing more than a quarter-million tons of radioactive water in hundreds of large silver or blue tanks that seem to fill every available space at the plant, or in underground pools like the leaking one. With the decommissioning of the Fukushima plant likely to take decades, Tepco has said it expects the amount of radioactive water to keep growing, and possibly more than double within three years. The company has said it is building more storage space and new filtering facilities to clean the water.

The company said the leak appeared to be the biggest since the early months after the March 2011 disaster, when leaks allowed contaminated water to flow into the nearby Pacific Ocean. Tepco said that this time, it did not expect any of the toxic water to reach the sea, since the pool is half a mile from the coast.

Still, Tepco said it had begun pumping the remaining 13,000 tons of water out of the faulty pool and into a similar pool. The pools are like large ponds dug into the ground, protected by multiple layers of plastic sheets and covered with dirt.

Emptying the damaged pool could take five more days, the company said, during which time an additional 47 tons, or about 12,000 gallons, could leak.




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6) Rat Chase Backfires At Reactor In Japan
By
April 5, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/06/world/asia/rat-chase-again-bedevils-fukushima-nuclear-plant.html?ref=world

TOKYO — Workers at the stricken Fukushima nuclear power plant who were installing wire nets Friday to keep rats away from a vital cooling system instead tripped that system, causing it to fail for the second time in weeks.

The spent-fuel pool at the site’s No. 3 reactor went without fresh cooling water for almost three hours on Friday afternoon, said the plant’s operator, the Tokyo Electric Power Company, or Tepco.

Cooling was restored by late evening on Friday, and there was no imminent danger to the 566 nuclear fuel rods stored in the pool, according to the company. It would have taken at least two weeks for the pool to have risen above the safe level of 149 degrees Fahrenheit, Tepco said.

Still, the recent power failures have raised concerns over continued vulnerabilities at the plant two years after a large earthquake and tsunami knocked out its vital cooling systems, resulting in multiple fuel meltdowns and forcing 160,000 people to evacuate.

The debris-strewn plant still relies on makeshift cooling systems, some of which were hastily put together in the accident’s frantic aftermath. The spent-fuel pools, which hold far more radioactive material than the reactor cores, have been a particular source of concern.

A blackout disabled cooling at four fuel pools last month, an event the company traced to a rat that might have gnawed on power cables and caused a short circuit. Engineers found its scorched body in a damaged switchboard.

Tepco has since installed mousetraps at the site and promised to plug holes through which rats and other rodents might enter buildings and gnaw on important equipment. It has also promised to speed up work to install backup power cables to the fuel pools.

But Friday afternoon, four workers using wire meshing to seal a space around electric cables caused a ground fault, or the accidental flow of current to the ground. No one was injured, but the ground fault shut off electricity to the cooling system at the No. 3 reactor fuel pool.

“We were installing wire nets to keep the rats out. But the end of one of the wires may have momentarily come into contact with a live terminal,” said Masayuki Ono, general manager at Tepco’s Nuclear Power and Plant Siting Division. “The next moment, there were sirens.”


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7) Less Culpable, but With Longer Sentences
By
April 5, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/06/us/in-many-capital-cases-less-culpable-defendants-receive-death-penalty.html?ref=us

PHOENIX — Members of a white supremacy group descended on a home here 11 years ago to scare a man into paying back the $200 his roommate had accused him of stealing. The attack ended in the man’s death.

Three of the four people who were eventually arrested brokered plea deals, avoiding a trial. The roommate, Jessica Nelson, 37, who instigated the beating, and a skinhead recruit named Jeremy Johnson, 30, who pummeled the man, Mark Mathes, with a baseball bat, could be out of prison in four years. Sean Gaines, who shot Mr. Mathes as he was thrown naked from a car onto a county road, is scheduled for release in 2028, at the age of 47.

Only one of the perpetrators, a young man who by all accounts was not directly involved in the killing, received the death penalty. Patrick Bearup, 36, who helped dispose of Mr. Mathes’s body and severed one of its fingers to retrieve a ring, was convicted of kidnapping and first-degree murder.

Such cases, in which a defendant with lesser culpability draws the harshest sentence, are not uncommon in Arizona, and elsewhere around the country. Of the six inmates executed in this state last year, four were equally or less culpable than co-defendants implicated in the same crimes, according to Dale A. Baich, the supervisor of the capital habeas unit in the federal public defender’s office, which handles appeals of capital cases in federal court. (Prison records show that three of those four co-defendants have been released.)

In many of the 32 other states that carry the death penalty, similar stories unfold as prosecutors, when deciding whom to charge, weigh the cost of mounting a capital trial, which can reach $1 million, against the likelihood of a conviction.

In 2011 in Ohio, Gov. John R. Kasich, using his clemency powers, commuted to life in prison the death sentence of a man convicted of killing two people. The governor, a Republican, said it was unclear if he had been the one to actually commit the murders. Another Ohio inmate, John Getsy, was executed in 2009 for killing the mother of his intended target in a murder-for-hire plot, despite a clemency recommendation by the state parole board, which said that other participants in the crime, including its architect, had not been sentenced to die. (The governor at the time, Ted Strickland, a Democrat, overruled the board.)

Mr. Bearup’s case was one of 135 pending capital cases in Maricopa County in 2006, more than the combined number of cases in the next three jurisdictions at the top of the list: Los Angeles County and Clark County, Nev., each with 36; and Harris County, Tex., with 17.

“In an ideal world, the prosecution would have ironclad proof against all the co-defendants to be able to pick the worst for the death penalty, but we have an inequitable system, a bargaining system,” said Richard Dieter, the executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center in Washington, which tracks the number of executions across the country.

“If you give the prosecution some help,” Mr. Dieter said of defendants in such cases, “you’ll get something out of it.”

In 1972, the Supreme Court voted 5 to 4 to invalidate all death penalty laws in the country because they had been too arbitrarily applied. One of the concurring justices, Potter Stewart, wrote that the Constitution could not “permit this unique penalty to be so wantonly and freakishly imposed.” States moved to rewrite their statutes, narrowing their definition of first-degree murder or the number of aggravating factors used to define a capital crime. The idea was to make sure the death penalty would be reserved for the worst of the worst.

In an interview, the Maricopa County attorney, Bill Montgomery, who was elected in 2010, said his prosecutors, who handle most death penalty cases in the state, abide by a guiding principle: “Is this a case where the death penalty would be a just punishment in light of how we’ve handled similar cases,” based on the “brutality of the particular case in question?”

It is not a “side-by-side” comparison, he said, but a decision based on whether the evidence can prove a capital crime and whether the death penalty is supported. (His office currently has 68 pending capital cases.)

Defense lawyers have long argued that the state’s statute leaves too much of the decision in prosecutors’ hands.

In a motion filed before the state’s Superior Court last month, Susan L. Corey and Garrett Simpson, public defenders in Maricopa County, which accounts for 63 percent of the inmates on Arizona’s death row, said the problem was that the law was too broad.

They pored over more than 200 first-degree murder cases from 2010 and 2011 to check if the aggravating factors — the state has 14, up from 6 in 1973 — separated the most egregious from the rest. What they found was that virtually every one could have been tried as a capital murder.

“The point I’m trying to make is, it can’t be random,” Ms. Corey said.

Sometimes, money determines whether a defendant’s life is on the line. Last year, Greg McPhillips, the deputy attorney in Mohave County, in northwestern Arizona, said in a motion that because of a “budgetary crisis,” the county could not afford to try more than one death penalty case at a time. He gave up on seeking the death penalty against a man facing charges of first-degree murder, child abuse and sexual assault in the 2010 death of his infant son, choosing instead to pursue a capital case against a man accused of killing a teenage girl and injuring her mother.

“Do people who commit equally heinous crimes get the same results? The answer is unquestionably no,” said Christopher Dupont, a lawyer in Phoenix who has served as a consultant in death penalty cases in several states, including California and Nevada. “It’s a total mystery who is going to face the death penalty and who is not.”

Mr. Bearup’s case was dogged by challenges from the start: an inexperienced lawyer, an implausible defense of not being there for the attack and a decision to represent himself at sentencing and offer no mitigating evidence which jurors could weigh against the death penalty.

Last summer, he filed a motion to waive all legal challenges to his sentence. Judge Warren J. Granville, who had presided over Mr. Bearup’s trial, ordered a doctor to assess his competency. The doctor’s diagnosis of bipolar disorder was challenged by the prosecutor. A hearing is scheduled for May 10.

Judge Granville, as the statute requires, had reviewed the legality of Mr. Bearup’s sentence, which he affirmed, though not before rebuking Andrew Thomas, the former county prosecutor, for pursuing a capital case against a man who “even under the state’s theory, did not cause the physical death” of Mr. Mathes. (Mr. Thomas was disbarred last year, over malicious criminal and civil charges brought against political opponents.) “Justice,” Judge Granville wrote, “was not done for Mr. Bearup.”

From death row, Mr. Bearup has been studying to become a pastor, a course he is set to finish as a motion challenging his conviction is due, in June. It is his last chance at challenging his conviction in the state courts.


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8) The Infinity Pool of Executive Pay
By
April 6, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/07/business/executive-pay-shows-modest-2012-gain-but-oh-those-perks.html?ref=business

RELAX. Sit back. And forget, for a moment, those pesky shareholders and bothersome boards, the regulations, the investigations and all the other headaches of being a chief executive today.

Dodd-Frank rules? Securities and Exchange Commission lawyers? Leave them behind. And let yourself sink into the buttery leather seat of your corporate jet as it soars through the clouds.

That’s what Steve Wynn did. As chief executive of Wynn Resorts, he sat back and enjoyed more than a million dollars’ worth of personal travel last year on his company’s private jet.

It gets better: in December, the company took delivery of the first G650 jet to roll off Gulfstream’s assembly line. A $65 million wonder, the plane can whisk Mr. Wynn from Las Vegas, where Wynn Resorts has its headquarters, to New York, where he owns a $70 million penthouse overlooking Central Park, and it should make 2013 another busy year aloft for him. (Wynn Resorts declined to comment.)

Indeed, while Mr. Wynn may have been a very frequent flier in 2012 among chief executives listed in an annual survey of executive pay conducted for The New York Times by Equilar, an executive compensation data firm, he has plenty of company in the shareholder-unfriendly skies.

As C.E.O. of Hertz, Mark Frissora pushes rental cars, but he racked up nearly a half-million dollars’ worth of personal travel on the corporate jet last year.

Marsh & McLennan, the risk management company, doesn’t own its own plane — it prefers holding a fractional share of a jet — but that didn’t stop its chief, Brian Duperreault, from running up $441,875 in private plane travel on the company tab before he retired at year-end.

These highfliers help explain why pay for perks like jet travel and other supplemental benefits including pension contributions and life insurance policies jumped last year, even as overall compensation rose only modestly.

For the 100 highest-paid C.E.O.’s among American companies with revenue of more than $5 billion, the typical 2012 perks package was worth $320,635, up 18.7 percent from 2011, according to an analysis by Equilar for The Times. By contrast, median total pay among the 100 C.E.O.’s rose just 2.8 percent, to more than $14 million.

The data are preliminary — public companies have 120 days after their fiscal year-end to disclose the pay of top executives in their proxies. Many corporations whose fiscal year ended in December won’t file before the end of April.

Still, the data reveal the contours of executive pay packages. Besides the jump in perks, overall cash compensation also made a comeback, rising 19.7 percent, to $5.7 million. Cash bonuses jumped 25 percent.

THE highest-paid C.E.O., Lawrence J. Ellison of Oracle, perennially ranks among the best-paid executives, but other leaders in 2012 didn’t come from sectors where you might expect to find them, like technology or Wall Street.

Instead, companies with familiar brand names were among the most generous, with Robert A. Iger of Disney, Mark G. Parker of Nike, Howard Schultz of Starbucks and Kenneth I. Chenault of American Express all in the top 10, each with more than $25 million in total compensation.

The second-highest-paid chief executive on the list, Richard M. Bracken of the hospital chain HCA, received more than half his pay in the form of special compensation worth nearly $22 million, but it was nearly all from from dividends rather than traditional perks like the company plane.

Shareholders, too, enjoyed solid gains in 2012, with the typical company’s stock returning 17 percent.

And at a few companies where profits dropped, C.E.O. pay declined as well. At Ford, where earnings per share fell 7 percent, the pay of the chief executive, Alan R. Mulally, sank 29 percent. James P. Gorman, the chief of Morgan Stanley, saw his compensation fall 20 percent as both revenue and profits at the company tumbled in 2012.

J.C. Penney did not make this year’s list because it filed its proxy after the March 29 cutoff, but its board definitely sent a message to Ron Johnson, the former Apple executive who took over in late 2011 and has so far failed to turn around this troubled retailer. It cut his total compensation by almost 97 percent, to $1.9 million, and didn’t give him and several other top execs any bonus payments.

The most notable decliner in 2012 was the highest-paid C.E.O. in 2011: Tim Cook, the C.E.O. of Apple, was awarded $377.9 million in 2011 — almost all of it in stock — but in 2012, he was paid just $4.2 million in cash, too low to make this year’s list at all. The drop, however, is more a quirk in how pay is handed out than any judgment about Mr. Cook’s tenure. Because the outsize 2011 package vests over the course of a decade but was counted all at once in 2011, sizable new year-to-year awards aren’t being made in the meantime, limiting his annual totals.

The money spent on perks accounts for a relatively tiny portion of overall compensation packages, but the increase is striking because it comes even as business leaders have become more sensitive about public perceptions of compensation excesses, corporate governance experts say.

Under the Dodd-Frank financial reform law passed in 2010, companies are now required to ask shareholders for their approval of executive pay packages. These so-called say-on-pay votes are nonbinding, but the ignominy of failing to win approval has received boards’ attention.

So in an age when shareholders can now make their collective views known publicly, it can seem downright provocative to let the company pick up the bill for lavish trips, big security entourages (more on that later) and housing subsidies.

“It’s dumb with a capital D,” said Alan Johnson, a consultant who advises boards on how best to structure compensation packages. “You’re rubbing it in the faces of shareholders and employees. It fails the I.Q. test.”

Personal travel on the company plane may be the favorite perk, but a few chief executives managed to gain some other interesting freebies. Mr. Wynn, for example, enjoyed a villa in Las Vegas that cost the company $451,574 for the year.

Greg Brown, chief executive of Motorola Solutions, was honored by his employer with an endowed chair in the neuroscience department of his alma mater, Rutgers University. Mr. Brown didn’t receive the money directly: Motorola Solutions donated $1.5 million to the university, where he is a trustee, but the position will be named for him.

In a few cases, top executives other than the corporate C.E.O. also walked away with some swag.

At the HollyFrontier Corporation, which is based in Dallas and is one of the nation’s largest oil refiners, membership has its privileges. The company spent $238,907 in 2013 on club initiation fees and monthly membership dues for two top executives, Douglas S. Aron, the chief financial officer, and David L. Lamp, the chief operating officer.

Jeffrey Evenson, a senior vice president hired at Corning in 2011, received $400,000 to help make up for the drop in value on his house in the Boston area when he sold it and moved to upstate New York to take the job.

Roger Ailes, chairman and chief executive of Fox News, billed $155,091 in personal corporate car use to his employer, the News Corporation, even as his boss, Rupert Murdoch, made $361,013 worth of personal trips on the company jet.

Spending on perks and other compensation declined sharply in the recession’s wake, according to Equilar, with the median package dropping sharply from 2007 to 2010. But corporate compensation experts say nice extras have a way of coming back whenever the economy shows signs of life and the stock market turns higher. Companies put a bit more money into perks in 2011 — a median of $270,101 — and the trend gained steam in 2012.

Even though unemployment remains high by historical standards and the top 1 percent of earners face higher taxes, executives and boards may figure that the popular outrage that followed the financial crisis and the recession has cooled a bit.

“When the economy improves and companies are doing better, the view is that shareholders will look the other way,” said Charles M. Elson, director of the John L. Weinberg Center for Corporate Governance at the University of Delaware.

“I think it’s offensive,” Mr. Elson added. “The corporate aircraft is for a business purpose; it’s a business tool. You don’t take the company car to Disneyland with your kids, so why would you use a corporate jet for personal use?”

In many cases, the official answer to that question is security, according to the proxies and other filings that companies provide shareholders and regulators. Chief executives in many instances, including that of Mr. Frissora at Hertz and Mr. Murdoch at the News Corporation, are actually required to take private transportation, even on personal holidays, because companies argue that it is prudent for their safety.

Another justification is that the private jet helps C.E.O.’s make the most of their valuable time.

Mr. Elson doesn’t buy either argument about personal use of a jet.

“I find the security argument tough to swallow,” he said. “Airports are among the safest places on earth these days.” In any case, he said, “you’re paid so much money you can charter a plane if necessary.”

Private jets, club dues and housing subsidies get under the skin of the ordinary shareholder, says David F. Larcker, a professor at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and an expert on corporate governance. There is something about the specific details of life at the top, he says, that leads to both envy and outrage.

But in some cases, he noted, the perks are a sign of a deeper problem.

“It’s usually a small bit of money, but it provides an insight into what’s going on,” Mr. Larcker said. “If this is out of whack, it makes you wonder about the desirability of other parts of the pay package.”

WHICH brings us to the case of Mr. Ellison, Oracle’s chief. His pay packages have earned him a place among the top three highest-paid C.E.O.’s for six years in a row. But in some ways, 2012 was special for him.

For a start, while fewer than half his shareholders approved his pay package in the annual say-on-pay vote, he managed to earn more than $96 million for the year.

Nearly all of that was in stock, but that’s significantly more than twice as much as the next-highest-paid C.E.O. in this year’s survey and nearly $20 million more than what he earned in 2011.

And the raise came despite a 22 percent drop in Oracle’s stock in fiscal 2012.

Given all that, did Mr. Ellison really need the company to spend more than $1.5 million on his security retinue? He pays out of pocket for the installation and maintenance of home security systems; Oracle covers the cost of the security personnel.

“He doesn’t care what shareholders think,” said Mr. Johnson, the compensation consultant. “He’s one of the richest guys in the world, and he has the company pay for his bodyguards. I don’t think he’s going to change.”

Oracle declined to comment.

Shareholders may be displeased, but Mr. Ellison has much to console himself with. He owns nearly a quarter of Oracle, the software giant he founded, giving him a net worth of more than $40 billion, and Oracle’s shares have been doing better recently. Plus, he can always fly off to Lanai, the Hawaiian island he acquired last year. (Mr. Ellison, to his credit, doesn’t bill the company for personal jet travel.)

Don’t expect executives to give up their prized perks anytime soon, says Mr. Elson, the University of Delaware expert on corporate governance, even if shareholders can now publicly register their displeasure.

“If I ask for it and you give it to me, then why not ask?,” he said. “They love it. Who wouldn’t?”




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9) Targeted Killing Comes to Define War on Terror
By
April 7, 2013
www.nytimA8/world/targeted-killing-comes-to-define-war-on-terror.html?hp

WASHINGTON — When Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, a son-in-law of Osama bin Laden, was taken into American custody at an airport stopover in Jordan last month, he joined one of the most select groups of the Obama era: high-level terrorist suspects who have been located by the American counterterrorism juggernaut, and who have not been killed.

Mr. Abu Ghaith’s case — he awaits a federal criminal trial in New York — is a rare illustration of what Obama administration officials have often said is their strong preference for capturing terrorists rather than killing them.

“I have heard it suggested that the Obama administration somehow prefers killing Al Qaeda members rather than capturing them,” said John O. Brennan, in a speech last year when he was the president’s counterterrorism adviser; he is now the C.I.A. director. “Nothing could be further from the truth.”

In fact, he said, “Our unqualified preference is to only undertake lethal force when we believe that capturing the individual is not feasible.”

Despite Mr. Brennan’s protestations, an overwhelming reliance on killing terrorism suspects, which began in the administration of George W. Bush, has defined the Obama years. Since Mr. Obama took office, the C.I.A. and military have killed about 3,000 people in counterterrorist strikes in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia, mostly using drones. Only a handful have been caught and brought to this country; an unknown number have been imprisoned by other countries with intelligence and other support from the United States.

This policy on targeted killing, according to experts on counterterrorism inside and outside the government, is shaped by several factors: the availability of a weapon that does not risk American casualties; the resistance of the authorities in Pakistan and Yemen to even brief incursions by American troops; and the decreasing urgency of interrogation at a time when the terrorist threat has diminished and the United States has deep intelligence on its enemies.

Though no official will publicly acknowledge it, the bottom line is clear: killing is more convenient than capture for both the United States and the foreign countries where the strikes occur.

The drone strikes have become unpopular abroad; in a Pew Research Center poll last year, just 17 percent of Pakistanis supported them against leaders of extremist groups. And domestic critics have attacked from two different directions: Some Republicans in Congress accuse Mr. Obama of adopting a de facto kill preference because he shut down the C.I.A.’s overseas prisons and does not want to send more detainees to Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. Human rights advocates argue that some drone strikes have amounted to extrajudicial killings, the execution without trial of people suspected of being militants whose identities American officials often do not know and who sometimes pose little threat to the United States.

But with the American public, the strikes remain popular. Even as some senior former American security officials question whether the strikes are beginning to do more harm than good, 65 percent of Americans questioned in a Gallup poll last month approved of strikes to kill suspected foreign terrorists; only 28 percent were opposed.

Mr. Brennan’s criterion for capture — when it is “feasible” — is a very subjective judgment, said Matthew C. Waxman, a former Defense Department official who is now at Columbia Law School.

“Those simple statements about a preference to capture mask a much more complicated story,” Mr. Waxman said. “The U.S. military and intelligence community can do a great deal if they’re directed to do it. Sometimes where we say it’s infeasible, we mean it’s too risky.”

But he believes the hazards of a capture strategy are real. “I think in most cases we could not capture people without significant risk to our own forces or to diplomatic relations,” he said.

The uncertainties were evident nine months into Mr. Obama’s first term, when intelligence agencies tracked down Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan, a suspect in the attacks on two American embassies in East Africa in 1998.

The original plan had been to fire long-range missiles to hit Mr. Nabhan and others as they drove in a convoy from Mogadishu, Somalia, to the seaside town of Baraawe. But that plan was scrubbed at the last minute, and instead a Navy SEALs team helicoptered from a ship and strafed Mr. Nabhan’s convoy, killing him and three others. The SEALs landed to collect DNA samples to confirm the identities of the dead.

The episode raised uncomfortable questions for some at the Pentagon. If the United States took the risk to land troops in Somalia, they wondered, why did they not capture Mr. Nabhan instead of killing him?

Or consider the case of Anwar al-Awlaki, the Yemeni-American cleric who had joined the Qaeda branch in Yemen. In September 2011, when American intelligence located him, it might conceivably have been possible to organize a capture by Yemeni or American commandos. But a drone strike was politically far less complicated for both countries, said Gregory D. Johnsen, an expert on Yemen at Princeton.

If American forces captured him, their presence on Yemeni soil might have spurred unrest, Mr. Johnsen said. If the forces of the Yemeni president at the time, Ali Abdullah Saleh, caught him, he said, “Does he turn him over to the Americans and risk a backlash? Does he hold him? It was easier for Saleh to let the Americans take a shot at Awlaki than to send his troops to catch him.”

The trade-offs have not changed under Yemen’s new president, Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who lauded the precision of drone strikes in a 2012 speech in Washington. Two months later, an American strike killed Adnan al-Qadhi, a well-connected Qaeda supporter, even though he was in a town near the capital, Sana, where several high-level officials live. Neighbors told reporters that he could easily have been captured.

In Pakistan, where the SEAL raid that killed Bin Laden sent Pakistani-American relations into a tailspin, drone strikes — though deeply unpopular — are tolerated by the security establishment. “There’s an intangible notion that a drone flying over is less of an intrusion than troops on the ground,” said Ashley S. Deeks, a University of Virginia law professor and a former State Department lawyer.

Then there is the question of very real danger to Americans in capturing heavily armed terrorists. The SEALs sent to Abbottabad were instructed that if Bin Laden immediately surrendered, he should be detained, according to Matt Bissonnette, a member of the SEAL team who wrote a book on the raid. But if Americans died trying to catch a midlevel militant — when drones were available but went unused — there would be a huge public outcry, most officials believe.

Only in the drone era has killing terrorism suspects become routine. In the 1980s and 1990s, counterterrorism officers captured several suspects overseas and brought them back to the United States for trial.

Brad Garrett, a former F.B.I. agent, was on the teams that caught both Ramzi Ahmed Yousef, an organizer of the first World Trade Center attack in 1993, and Mir Aimal Kansi, who shot five C.I.A. employees, two of them fatally, outside the agency’s headquarters in Virginia the same year. Teams of American and Pakistani officers caught the men by kicking down doors at their guesthouses, and “no shots were fired in either case,” he said.

As an investigator, Mr. Garrett said, “I’ve spent my life talking to live people. That’s the downside of drones. There’s no one left to talk to.” But he said that catching a solo suspect in an urban setting, while risky, was far less hazardous than confronting a gang of heavily armed men in the hostile territory of Pakistan’s or Yemen’s tribal areas. “I don’t think you can really compare them,” he said.

When Mr. Obama closed the C.I.A. prisons and banned coercive interrogations, Republicans complained that there was nowhere left to hold and question terrorists, a charge that resonated with some military and C.I.A. officers. The president countered by creating a High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group, an elite group of analysts and interrogators that officials say has been sent about two dozen times to question detainees at home and abroad. That is a tiny number compared to the frequency of drone strikes, of course, but officials say the secretive group has been successful.

An even smaller number of those questioned by the interrogation group have been brought back to the United States to face criminal charges, including Mr. Abu Ghaith, the Bin Laden son-in-law, and Ahmed Abdulkadir Warsame, a Somali commander of the militant group Shabab.

By all accounts, Mr. Warsame’s handling is a powerful illustration of the value of capturing rather than killing a terrorism suspect. He first began providing information to American counterterrorism officials after being caught on a ship in April 2011. He has never stopped talking about both the Shabab and the Qaeda branch in Yemen, officials say, and he knows that his ultimate sentence will depend on his cooperation.

There are signs that the Obama administration may itself have grown wary of the convenience of targeted killing — or may be running out of high-level targets. After a sharp rise in Mr. Obama’s first two years, the total number of drone strikes is now in sharp decline.

In Pakistan, strikes peaked in 2010 at 117; the number fell to 64 in 2011, 46 in 2012, with 11 so far this year, according to The Long War Journal, which covers the covert wars. In Yemen, while strikes shot up to 42 in 2012, no strikes have been reported since a flurry of drone hits in January, according to several organizations that track strikes.

In his State of the Union address in February, Mr. Obama pledged more transparency for the drone program, and he and his aides have hinted that changes are coming. It remains unclear what the administration has in mind, but the president has spoken of the treacherous allure of the drone.

Decisions on targeted killing, he told CNN in September, are “something that you have to struggle with.”

“If you don’t, then it’s very easy to slip into a situation in which you end up bending rules thinking that the ends always justify the means,” Mr. Obama said. “That’s not who we are as a country.”


Mark Mazzetti contributed reporting.




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10) Afghan Children Reported Among Dead in U.S. Strike
By
April 7, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/08/world/asia/years-worst-attack-on-united-states-in-afghanistan.html?ref=world

KABUL, Afghanistan — An American military airstrike in eastern Afghanistan near the Pakistan border was reported to have killed 18 people, including at least one senior Taliban commander but also women and children, raising the thorny issue of civilian casualties for the third time in roughly a week.

The attack occurred Saturday during a joint mission of Afghan and American Special Operations forces targeting a high-profile Taliban commander in Kunar Province, Afghan officials said. After several hours of fighting with insurgents, the American forces called in an airstrike to level the home of the commander, Ali Khan, officials said.

In addition to killing Mr. Khan and several other Taliban fighters, at least 10 children died, and at least 5 women were wounded, said Abdul Zahir Safi, the governor of the Shigal district, where the attack occurred. Afghan officials said they believed the women and children were relatives of the Taliban commander.

Civilian casualties have long been a sticking point between President Hamid Karzai and his Western allies. Harsh criticism by Mr. Karzai led to stronger rules on the use of airstrikes by American forces last year, effectively halting such attacks on population centers and homes. Civilian casualties at the hands of foreign forces have dropped dramatically since then.

Mr. Karzai basically prohibited his armed forces from requesting NATO airstrike support after an episode in the Shigal district in February that killed 10 civilians.

On Sunday, Mr. Karzai’s office issued a statement criticizing the latest deaths and called for an investigation into the civilian deaths in Shigal.

The civilian casualties on Saturday added to the death toll from two episodes in Ghazni Province in the past eight days, in which four police officers were killed during a NATO airstrike and two children died in a helicopter attack. A spokesman for the coalition forces said all accusations of civilian casualties are still under investigation. And military officials reiterated that all three recent strikes were called in by international forces rather than by Afghan troops.

American military commanders have insisted that airstrikes can be crucial to protecting the lives of soldiers, especially as Afghan forces increasingly take the lead on security operations.

“Government officials might tell you that Afghan and foreign forces only have the right to use airstrikes in unpopulated areas, but in practice it is different,” said Gen. Amrullah Aman, a military analyst in Kabul. “Americans will use their air support whenever they need it, no matter where it is and no matter how many presidential decrees are issued.”

Places like Kunar Province and nearby Nuristan Province, which have particularly rugged terrain, make airstrikes a weapon of choice because of the difficulty in moving ground troops.

“Neither the Afghan government forces nor the Americans have any presence in the area where the airstrike has happened,” said Hajji Sakhi Mohammed, a member of Parliament who represents Kunar Province. “The insurgents have turned the area into a hotbed of their activities, which have also attracted a lot of foreign fighters from the other side of the border.”

The area is considered a Taliban stronghold, and it is a crucial route for insurgents traveling between Pakistan and Afghanistan. Afghan and NATO forces killed another commander, Shah Pour, in the attack there in February that prompted Mr. Karzai’s outcry over airstrikes and civilian casualties. Another important commander in the area, Mullah Dadullah, was killed in a joint operation in August 2012.

Fighting has recently intensified in Afghanistan as the temperatures have warmed up. On Saturday, a suicide bomber attacked a convoy of Afghan and United States officials in Zabul Province, killing three American soldiers and two civilians, including Anne Smedinghoff, a 25-year-old diplomat in the public affairs division of the State Department. Another employee is still in critical condition.

In an emotional eulogy to the staff members and families at the American Consulate in Istanbul, Secretary of State John Kerry talked on Sunday about Ms. Smedinghoff, who was from Illinois.

Mr. Kerry said Ms. Smedinghoff had served in Venezuela. He deplored the “harsh contradiction” of her death, which occurred as the Americans were taking books to a school.

“The folks who want to kill people, and that is all they want to do, are scared of knowledge,” Mr. Kerry said. “They want to shut the doors, and they don’t want people to make their choices about their future.”

That attack, the deadliest for Americans in Afghanistan this year, was preceded last week by one of the worst Taliban attacks since the start of the war, when more than 44 Afghan civilians were killed in a complex assault in Farah Province. More than 100 people were wounded in the attack, which involved a number of Taliban gunmen who raided a government compound, held hostages in the basement and later shot them all.


Sangar Rahimi and Habib Zahori contributed reporting from Kabul, and Michael R. Gordon from Istanbul.




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11) Open the Slaughterhouses
By JEDEDIAH PURDY
WASHINGTON 
April 8, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/09/opinion/open-the-slaughterhouses.html?hp
 

IN 1999, as a writer for The American Prospect, I went into a slaughterhouse undercover, with the help of some rebellious employees. The floor was slick with the residue of blood and suet, and the air smelled like iron. A part of my brain spent the whole time trying to remember which of Dante’s circles this scene most resembled.

Today, under legislation being pushed by business interests, that bit of journalistic adventure could earn me a criminal conviction and land me on a registry of “animal and ecological terrorists.” So-called ag-gag laws, proposed or enacted in about a dozen states, make, or would make, criminals of animal-rights activists who take covert pictures and videos of conditions on industrial farms and slaughterhouses. Some would even classify the activists as terrorists.

The agriculture industry says the images are unfair. They seem to show cruelty and brutality, but the eye can be deceiving. The most humane way of slaughtering an animal, or dealing with a sick one, may look pretty horrible. But so does open-heart surgery. The problem with making moral arguments by appealing to revulsion is that some beneficial and indispensable acts can also be revolting. With gruesome shots of cadavers, a skilled amateur could make a strong emotional case against using them to teach anatomy in medical school.

Moreover, the industry says, the activists are trespassers, or, when they’re employees working undercover for an animal-rights group or news organization, they’re going beyond the terms of their employment. Slaughterhouses and confined-feeding operations can be dangerous places. Although the industry surely exaggerates the risk, guerrilla actions are not the safest or best way to spur reflection on how we treat animals.

Fairness and safety are real issues. So is transparency, and that is why we should require confined-feeding operations and slaughterhouses to install webcams at key stages of their operations. List the URL’s to the video on the packaging. There would be no need for human intrusion into dangerous sites. No tricky angles or scary edits by activists. Just the visual facts. If the operators felt their work misrepresented, they could add cameras to give an even fuller picture.

There are models for this kind of sunlight requirement. For a couple of decades, federal law has required chemical plants to release details of their toxic emissions to the public. Most scholars agree that embarrassment and public pressure have pushed down pollution as a result, without further regulation.

At first, transparency would mainly inform consumer choice. The pictures might persuade some people to stop eating meat, or to buy it from a more humane source. Of course, changes in personal attitudes often translate into expanded public debate. People who start out by changing how they eat might end up supporting laws for more humane treatment of farm animals.

Open-slaughterhouse laws would not have to go through state legislatures, where agricultural lobbies are strong. Successful ballot initiatives in a few states could change the information environment for everyone. If, say, California put slaughterhouse webcams in place, the public discourse everywhere might change.

Slaughterhouse cameras might seem unfair to the operators. The images might still appeal to emotion and prompt visceral revulsion. Fair enough. But we are not going to decide how we should treat animals through cold reason alone, and certainly not if their treatment is invisible.

Emotional response is part of moral reasoning, and in this case we need more information, not less. The images need to be supplemented by brain studies and other efforts to understand what animal suffering is like — for instance, whether mammals experience trauma when confined and exposed to slaughter. But the images would motivate us to ask the right questions.

Opponents might compare this proposal to bills that require women to view images of their fetuses before having an abortion. The resemblance is misleading. Those laws intrude on intimate, difficult decisions involving a constitutional right.

In contrast, open-slaughterhouse laws would not force anyone to look at anything. They would just increase our resources for thinking and arguing. A teenager debating her parents at the dinner table, or a parishioner discussing the ethics of eating meat with fellow church members, would be able to pull out a cellphone or laptop to support his or her arguments.

Ten years before sneaking into that slaughterhouse, I was helping to slaughter cattle on the small West Virginia farm where I grew up. I still don’t feel that I know what it means, morally, when an animal’s life ends in exchange for our sustenance, or simply because we love grass-fed hamburger. Supporters of ag-gag laws are right that our treatment of animals is a hard problem that is divisive — and often leaves us internally divided — and too often oversimplified. But if advocates of these laws are sincere about those concerns, they should agree to make slaughterhouse operations transparent.


Jedediah Purdy, a law professor at Duke, is the author, most recently, of “The Meaning of Property: Freedom, Community, and the Legal Imagination.”

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12) Another Tank Leaks Water at Japanese Nuclear Plant
By
April 9, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/10/world/asia/another-tank-leaks-water-at-japanese-nuclear-plant.html?ref=world

The operator of Japan’s crippled nuclear plant halted an emergency operation Tuesday to pump thousands of gallons of radioactive water from a leaking underground storage pool after workers discovered that a similar pool, to which the water was being transferred, was also leaking.

At least three of seven underground chambers at the site are now seeping radioactive water, leaving the Tokyo Electric Power Company with few options on where to store the huge amounts of contaminated runoff from the makeshift cooling systems at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

Those systems were put in place after a large earthquake and tsunami damaged the plant’s regular cooling systems two years ago, causing fuel at three of its reactors to melt and prompting 160,000 people to evacuate their homes. Since then, the Tokyo Electric Power Company, or Tepco, has been flooding the damaged reactor cores to cool and stabilize the fuel.

But Tepco has struggled to find space to store the runoff water. It initially released what it said was low-level contaminated water into the Pacific Ocean, igniting furious criticism among neighbors and environmental activists. Traces of radioactive cesium were later found in bluefin tuna caught off the California coast.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has stressed that he will not permit Tepco — which has effectively been nationalized since the disaster — to again release contaminated water into the ocean. But Tepco says it already stores more than a quarter-million tons of radioactive water in hundreds of tanks at the site, or in underground pools, and that the amount of runoff could double within three years.

The company has said it is building more storage space, and also filters much of the runoff. But with its underground pools vulnerable to leaks, Tepco is being forced to scramble for alternatives.

Workers at the plant had been emptying the No. 2 underground pool after Tepco found that about 120 tons of toxic water, or almost 32,000 gallons, had breached its inner plastic linings and seeped into the soil. Tepco said the leak appeared to be the biggest since the early months after the March 2011 disaster.

But readings around the No. 1 pool, to which the remaining water from the No. 2 pool was being transferred, suggested that it too was seeping water, said Masayuki Ono, general manager at Tepco’s Nuclear Power and Plant Siting Division. A third pool, the No. 3 pool, was also found to have sprouted a small leak on Sunday.

Mr. Ono said Tepco did not think that the contaminated water would reach the sea, since the pools lie about half a mile inland, but said he could not be sure.

Workers will now empty both the No. 1 and No. 2 pools, and transfer them to other pools. Tepco will continue to use the No. 3 pool at less-than-full capacity, because the leak there was minor, Mr. Ono said.

Asked whether the plant’s other underground pools might also be prone to leaking, Mr. Ono had no clear answer.

“We are still assessing the situation,” he said.


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13) Trip to Cuba by Beyoncé and Jay-Z Is Investigated
By
April 8, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/09/world/americas/cuba-trip-by-beyonce-and-jay-z-is-investigated.html?ref=world

MEXICO CITY — The United States Treasury Department has begun investigating whether Jay-Z and Beyoncé — music’s royal couple — violated the trade embargo against Cuba by traveling to the island two weeks ago during their wedding anniversary, according to officials and a person who helped arrange their visit.

In a sudden predictable controversy that proves the embers of conflict between Miami and Havana are never far from becoming flames, Treasury officials on Monday said they were working on a response to demands for more information about the trip from two Cuban-American lawmakers from South Florida — Representatives Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Mario Diaz-Balart, both Republicans, who appear to be using the highly photographed visit to rekindle outrage about Americans going to Cuba for fun.

“Cuba’s tourism industry is wholly state-controlled,” Ms. Ros-Lehtinen and Mr. Diaz-Balart wrote in a letter to the Treasury Department on Friday, “therefore, U.S. dollars spent on Cuban tourism directly fund the machinery of oppression that brutally represses the Cuban people.”

Questions about the megastars’ trip have been swirling for days, with some Cuban exile bloggers describing the trip as a propaganda mission “carefully planned and controlled by the Castro dictatorship.” But witnesses in Cuba and a person affiliated with the company that arranged the trip, Academic Arrangements Abroad, contend that the visit was a surprise to Cuban leaders, who struggled to provide adequate security with just a day’s notice.

The three-night sojourn, according to the person who helped plan it, came together without input from the Cuban government like other visits for Americans under a “people to people” license — granted by the Treasury Department for trips that focus on “educational exchange activities that will result in meaningful interaction” between Americans and Cubans.

About 10,000 Americans go to Cuba each year with such tours, and the Treasury Department tightened the rules for trip agendas last year after Senator Marco Rubio, another Cuban-American Republican from Florida, criticized the tours for allowing tourism, which is banned by the embargo.

Jay-Z and Beyoncé visited the children’s theater group La Colmenita, where Beyoncé danced with little girls dressed as bumblebees, and met with students and teachers at the Superior Art Institute. Photographs also showed Jay-Z enjoying a Cuban cigar on the balcony of their government-owned hotel, the Saratoga, but the trip also included personal and intimate exchanges. The restaurants where Cubans saw the stars eating were privately owned “paladars.” Their public cultural outings occurred with an emphasis on interaction with everyday Cubans, not officials.

Miguel Iglesias, the director of the Cuban Contemporary Dance Company, said Beyoncé also went to the company on Friday morning to watch an informal performance. She arrived with her family (her mother was part of the tour group), and half-danced during the show before jumping up at the end with applause, saying the performance was “amazing.” He said she then talked to the choreographer and to him about the score and the choreography, because it is a piece that was written and choreographed by the company.

Asked if he thought it was an interesting exchange, Mr. Iglesias said it was. “If to come here and share ideas and emotions isn’t a legitimate exchange between peoples, I don’t what is,” he said.

He added: “There are those who think that any connection between Cuba and the United States is illegitimate because they disagree with the system. I don’t see it like that at all.”


Karla Zabludovsky contributed reporting.

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14) Student Loan Rate Set to Rise, Despite Lack of Support
By
April 8, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/09/education/student-loan-rate-set-to-rise-despite-lack-of-support.html?ref=us


The interest rate on many student loans is scheduled to double on July 1, to 6.8 percent from 3.4 percent — just as it was last year, when in the midst of an election campaign, Congress voted to extend the lower rate.

Again this year, no one wants the increase to happen, especially since even the current rate is well above market. But once again, there is likely to be a good deal of brinkmanship before the issue is settled. This time around, though, longer-term solutions may be on the horizon.

On Tuesday, the day before the White House plans to send its budget to Congress, student advocacy groups are releasing an issue brief charging that the federal government should not be profiting from student loans, while more and more students bear a crushing debt burden.

The brief, citing a February report from the Congressional Budget Office, said the federal government makes 36 cents in profit on every student-loan dollar it puts out, and estimates that over all, student loans will bring in $34 billion next year.

“Higher education loans are meant to subsidize the cost of higher education, not profit from them, especially at a time when students are facing record debt,” said Ethan Senack, the higher education advocate at the United States Public Interest Research Group, which is issuing the brief with the United States Student Association and Young Invincibles, an organization for people 18 to 34.

“The revenue from student loans should be used to keep education affordable, and should never be used to pay down the deficit or for other federal programs,” Mr. Senack said.

While it has long been known that the government makes money on student loans, the numbers in the issue brief are surprising, said Terry Hartle, senior vice president of the American Council on Education.

“If the numbers are accurate, the government will make more money on student loans than Ford makes on automobiles,” he said. “Using student loans to create a profit center is not what anybody intended.”

Student loan borrowers graduate with an average debt of $27,000, and the scheduled interest rate increase on subsidized Stafford loans would cost almost 10 million borrowers about $1,000 more over the life of their loan, for each year of college.

According to the C.B.O. report, the government will get 12.5 cents in revenue next year for every dollar lent through subsidized Staffords, 33.3 cents per dollar in unsubsidized Staffords, 54.8 cents on each dollar of graduate school loans, and 49 cents per dollar of parent loans, for a total of $34 billion a year.

Borrowers of subsidized Stafford loans make up more than a third of those using federal student aid. More than two-thirds of those borrowers are from families with an annual income under $50,000. Last April, in his re-election campaign, President Obama made a central issue of stopping the Stafford interest rate increase. A few days later, Mitt Romney expressed a similar view.

Now that the lower rate is about to expire, there is general agreement that it should not double. But a solution is unclear.

The White House budget is widely expected to include a proposal to move to a variable interest rate, pegged to the government’s cost of borrowing, that would be reset every year.

“The president’s plan will help middle-class students and their families afford college by stopping interest rates from doubling on July 1 as part of a long-term solution that is fair, fiscally responsible and benefits more borrowers by offering lower interest rates on nearly all federal student loans next year,” said an administration official, who declined to provide details of the plan.

Many Republicans favor a variable interest rate. But the Senate recently passed a budget resolution extending the 3.4 percent rate indefinitely, and Representative Joe Courtney, Democrat of Connecticut, said he planned to introduce legislation this week extending the 3.4 rate for two years, to give Congress time to rethink student loan interest rates as part of the higher education reauthorization bill.

“We have this very fragmented loan system, with subsidized loans and nonsubsidized loans and graduate students who may not qualify for anything,” Mr. Courtney said, “and we need some kind of long-term proposal that isn’t a one-year fix, but would use the low cost of money now as a sweetener.”


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15) Ex-Regulator Says Reactors Are Flawed
By
April 8, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/09/us/ex-regulator-says-nuclear-reactors-in-united-states-are-flawed.html?ref=us

WASHINGTON — All 104 nuclear power reactors now in operation in the United States have a safety problem that cannot be fixed and they should be replaced with newer technology, the former chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said on Monday. Shutting them all down at once is not practical, he said, but he supports phasing them out rather than trying to extend their lives.

The position of the former chairman, Gregory B. Jaczko, is not unusual in that various anti-nuclear groups take the same stance. But it is highly unusual for a former head of the nuclear commission to so bluntly criticize an industry whose safety he was previously in charge of ensuring.

Asked why he did not make these points when he was chairman, Dr. Jaczko said in an interview after his remarks, “I didn’t really come to it until recently.”

“I was just thinking about the issues more, and watching as the industry and the regulators and the whole nuclear safety community continues to try to figure out how to address these very, very difficult problems,” which were made more evident by the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan, he said. “Continuing to put Band-Aid on Band-Aid is not going to fix the problem.”

Dr. Jaczko made his remarks at the Carnegie International Nuclear Policy Conference in Washington in a session about the Fukushima accident. Dr. Jaczko said that many American reactors that had received permission from the nuclear commission to operate for 20 years beyond their initial 40-year licenses probably would not last that long. He also rejected as unfeasible changes proposed by the commission that would allow reactor owners to apply for a second 20-year extension, meaning that some reactors would run for a total of 80 years.

Dr. Jaczko cited a well-known characteristic of nuclear reactor fuel to continue to generate copious amounts of heat after a chain reaction is shut down. That “decay heat” is what led to the Fukushima meltdowns. The solution, he said, was probably smaller reactors in which the heat could not push the temperature to the fuel’s melting point.

The nuclear industry disagreed with Dr. Jaczko’s assessment. “U.S. nuclear energy facilities are operating safely,” said Marvin S. Fertel, the president and chief executive of the Nuclear Energy Institute, the industry’s trade association. “That was the case prior to Greg Jaczko’s tenure as Nuclear Regulatory Commission chairman. It was the case during his tenure as N.R.C. chairman, as acknowledged by the N.R.C.’s special Fukushima response task force and evidenced by a multitude of safety and performance indicators. It is still the case today.”

Dr. Jaczko resigned as chairman last summer after months of conflict with his four colleagues on the commission. He often voted in the minority on various safety questions, advocated more vigorous safety improvements, and was regarded with deep suspicion by the nuclear industry. A former aide to the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, he was appointed at Mr. Reid’s instigation and was instrumental in slowing progress on a proposed nuclear waste dump at Yucca Mountain, about 100 miles from Las Vegas.


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B. EVENTS AND ACTIONS

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Subject: Jeremy Scahill's new documentary: "Dirty Wars."

Hi folks,

Jeremy Scahill has come out with a new documentary on the U.S. covert wars in Africa and the Middle East, called "Dirty Wars."  Here's an interview with him and the film's director, Richard Rowley, on "Democracy Now":

http://www.democracynow.org/2013/1/22/dirty_wars_jeremy_scahill_and_rick.

Be warned; this can be very emotional, what we are doing around the world causes so much suffering.  I know you all know this already, but hearing more details still brings up all those intense feelings.

Thanks to all of you for all of the work you are doing to resist these horrors.

in peace,

Mike Wong

--

Check out our blog: http://www.inthemindfield.com/!  (Click on my name to see all my articles.)

"It is the task of the people of the whole world to put an end to the aggression and oppression perpetrated by imperialism, and chiefly by U.S. imperialism."  

People of the world, unite!

www.kiilunyasha.blogspot.com

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UNAC ENDORSES NEW ANTI-DRONE NETWORK AND APRIL DAYS OF ACTION

Thirty representatives from many groups involved in anti-drone actions, met in New York on December 15, 2012 and established a coordinating body to be known as the Network to Stop Drone Surveillance and Warfare (NSDSW).

The group endorsed this draft statement of purpose:

“Horrified by the facts of the era of drone warfare and surveillance technology, we declare our commitment to establishing an ongoing network of groups and organizations. The Network to Stop Drone Surveillance and Warfare seeks to initiate and coordinate events and actions that will raise a united and spirited voice for justice and peace, and to stop weaponized drones and related technology applications. These activities are aimed at highlighting the illegality, immorality, and unconstitutional nature of using drones to spy on and/or kill human beings.”

Anti-drone website:  Droneswatch.org.    For more information and resources, and to join the Network, contact Nick Mottern - nickmottern@earthlink.net.

The group supported the following actions:

April 16-18 – Drone Research/Training.  Actions/teach-ins, etc. at colleges & universities that do drone research or pilot training. Demand an end to research and training related to drone warfare. Coordinator: Marge Van Cleef – mvc@igc.org.
    April 27-28 – Drone Bases.  Organize protests at bases in region.  Hancock Reaper drone base protest organizers calling for large demonstrations there.  Coordinator: Dave Soumis – davidso1@charter.net.

C. Drone Warfare War Crimes Tribunal – Explore holding tribunal in September, possibly with victims testifying.

D. Forums/workshops on impact of US intervention/drone attacks in other countries. Organize tours of U.S.-based speakers or people from countries under attack who can analyze and report on internal politics and social movements in countries like Pakistan & Afghanistan and other countries under attack.

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Rally for Bradley Manning.
Join us at Fort Meade on June 1, 2013.

By the Bradley Manning Support Network, February 25, 2013.

http://www.bradleymanning.org/activism/rally-for-bradley-manning-at-fort-meade-june-1-2013

• 1pm Gather (Reece Road and US 175, Fort Meade, Maryland)

• 2pm March

• 3pm Rally and Speak Out

Sponsored by the Bradley Manning Support Network and the national Veterans for Peace organization, with the help of Courage to Resist, and many other groups.

After more than three years of imprisonment, including nine months of torture, Nobel Peace

Prize nominee Bradley Manning’s trial is finally scheduled to begin June 3, 2013, at Fort Meade,

Maryland. The outcome of this trial will determine whether a conscience-driven 25-year-

old WikiLeaks whistle-blower spends the rest of his life in prison. Bradley believed that the

American people have a right to know the truth about what our government does around the

world in our name. We the People must send a message to the military prosecuting authority,

and President Obama, that Bradley Manning is a patriot and heroic truth-teller.

June 1st is the International Day of Action to Support Bradley Manning. Join us at Fort Meade on

the eve of Bradley’s court martial. Solidarity actions are welcome at bases, recruiting centers and US

embassies worldwide. We ask that Veterans for Peace join us in cosponsoring these historic events.

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Monday, June 3, 2013

ATTEND THE BEGINNING OF US v. BRADLEY MANNING

8:30 am, enter Fort Meade at Reece Road and US 175, Fort Meade, Maryland

9:00 am scheduled daily start of hearings at Magistrate Court

4432 Llewellyn Avenue, Fort Meade, MD. It is 2 miles from the Main Gate.

The court martial is expected to last 6-12 weeks. Supporters are encouraged to attend as many days of

this trial as they are able.

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Parking for Saturday, June 1, 2013. We hope to come to an understanding with local

authorities regarding the best place for supporters to park for the Saturday rally. Parking is

available about one mile south near Blue Water Blvd (Weis Market) and US 175. We’ll try to

help shuttle folks as needed.

Portable toilets are expected to be available.

Join us in the courtroom for the trial beginning June 3, 2013. Drive (or taxi) to the Fort Meade Visitor

Control Center at the Fort Meade Main Gate (all the other gates are for military ID holders only), Reece Road and US 175, Fort Meade, Maryland. We suggest arriving when the visitor center opens at 7:30am, and certainly before 8:15am. The proceedings are scheduled to begin at 9am daily. The multiple layers of security take time to navigate, and procedures often change from day to day. Each person will need a valid state or federal photo ID such as a driver’s license, state photo ID card, or passport. Foreign passports are accepted. Anyone driving on to Fort Meade will be required to submit their driver’s license, vehicle registration, and printed (not digital) proof of insurance. Your vehicle will be subject to search, and you may be required to cover over political bumper stickers on your vehicle. Consider walking on base if there are any questions at all regarding your vehicle and paperwork.

The proceedings will be held at the Magistrate Court, 4432 Llewellyn Ave, Fort Meade, MD

20755 (this is one mile from the Visitor Center). Electronic devices, including cell phones,

computers, cameras, are not allowed in the courtroom, and should be left in your vehicle.

There are no pre-registration requirements for the public to attend the proceedings. However,

those wishing to attend as credentialed media should contact the US Army Military District of

Washington Public Affairs Office at 202-685-4645.

GETTING THERE

The Fort Meade Main Gate is less than 10 miles south of the Baltimore-Washington DC

International (BWI) airport. It is located between Washington DC and Baltimore MD.

Driving:

From Washington, DC, take MD-295 N towards BALTIMORE to US 175 EAST, then follow

175 EAST until you come to Reece Road. From Baltimore, MD, take MD-295 S towards

WASHINGTON to US 175 EAST, then take 175 EAST until you come to Reece Road.

Buses:

We hope to charter buses for supporters from both downtown Washington DC and Baltimore,

Maryland.

There is regional bus service from BWI Airport to the Arundel Mills Shopping Center (Bus 017).

Then take the CTC K to the Main Gate. For a Google Maps public transit view of this option:

http://alturl.com/3ehis

Train:

Note that the nearby Odenton MARC train station serves commuter trains only and does not

run on the weekend. Amtrak does not stop at this station.

WHERE TO STAY

There are many hotels serving this area just south of the BWI Airport. The closest of these are

5-6 miles from the Ft. Meade Main Gate. One option is Aloft Arundel Mills, 7520 Teague Rd,

Hanover, MD, 21076 (866-539-0036), $80-$100 night. A hotels.com search of the area turns up

rooms nearby starting at $60 a night. The only lodging really close to the Ft. Meade Main Gate

is the White Gables Motel; however, for a number of reasons, we strongly suggest avoiding it.

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C. SPECIAL APPEALS AND ONGOING CAMPAIGNS

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Wealth Inequality in America

[This is a must see to believe video...bw]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=QPKKQnijnsM

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Read the transcription of hero Bradley Manning's 35-page statement explaining why he leaked "state secrets" to WikiLeaks.

March 1, 2013

Alternet

 The statement was read by Pfc. Bradley Manning at a providence inquiry for his formal plea of guilty to one specification as charged and nine specifications for lesser included offenses. He pled not guilty to 12 other specifications. This rush transcript was taken by journalist Alexa O’Brien at Thursday’s pretrial hearing and first appeared on Salon.com.

http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/bradley-mannings-surprising-statement-court-details-why-he-made-his-historic?akid=10129.229473.UZvQfK&rd=1&src=newsletter802922&t=7

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Please forward widely

Lynne Stewart Emergency Alert!

Dear Friends,

Below you will find today's critical communication from longtime Lynne Stewart supporter, Betty Davis. The information concerns Lynne's health and her legal status.

As you will read below Lynne's breast cancer has returned. Lynne was successfully treated, we had hoped, two years ago and given a clean bill of health, as much as such diagnoses can be counted on. But a single spot was found on one lung a few months ago. Now another has appeared on the other lung and others in her upper back, all associated with her original breast cancer.

Her husband Ralph Poynter told me today that Lynne's condition was still very treatable and that a cure was not at all to be ruled out and especially so if prison officials allowed her the expert treatment afforded her previously in a prominent New York City hospital. Lynne's request to be moved to that facility was denied. She is to be treated in a prison related facility, but fortunately under the direction of and using the protocols of her doctor/daughter, who is expected to be with Lynne at any moment.

We are still hopeful for a positive outcome, even under the most difficult conditions.

Meanwhile, Lynne's appeal preparations for a hearing before the U.S. Supreme Court are now in progress, with Lynne having assembled a first rate team of attorneys including members of the Center for Constitutional Rights and the National Lawyers Guild.

Lynne campaigned for Mumia's freedom for the several years that she was free on bail and traveling the country in her own defense. She was present at Mumia's court hearing in Philadelphia and appeared on Democracy Now!, with Mumia phoning in in her defense.

I urge you to carefully read the material below and lend a hand. The stakes are high. We will continue to demand the finest medical treatment for Lynne and, of course, continue to campaign for her freedom and immediate release.

Lynne, a prominent civil rights attorney of 30 years, was the victim of a government-orchestrated 2005 frame-up trial that was riddled with violations of fundamental legal principles. She was convicted on five counts of conspiracy to aid and abet terrorism. This was based on the government's charge that her public issuance a press release on behalf of her client, the "blind sheik" Omar Abdel Rachman, an Egyptian cleric who was similarly framed up and imprisoned for life on "terrorism" charges, was illegal.

Ironically, Rachman's freedom is today being demanded by Egypt's new President Mohamed Morsi.

Lynne, 72, was originally convicted and sentenced to 28 months in prison, but this "light" sentence was contested by the reactionary U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and her sentence was outrageously increased to 10 years, by the compliant Federal District Court trial judge, John Koeltl.

I urge you to write to Lynne and convey your love and solidarity. She toured the Bay Area several times in previous years, always speaking to admiring and stunned audiences, who realized that Lynne's case was central to everyone's civil liberties. Lynne's conviction was a message to all attorneys that defense of the unpopular, defense of democratic rights and especially defense of Muslim victims of government persecution, was dangerous. Lynne's conviction and extended sentence served to massively chill the defense bar.

Lynne's freedom and life itself in large part depends on our solidarity.

Write Lynne at:

Lynne Stewart 53504-054

Federal Medical Center Carswell

P.O. Box 27137

Fort Worth, Texas 76127

Send your generous contribution payable to:

Lynne Stewart Organization

1070 Dean Street

Brooklyn, New York 11216

In solidarity,

Jeff Mackler, West Coast Coordinator

Lynne Stewart Defense Committee

510-268-9429

jmackler@lmi.net

 URGENT MESSAGE OF APPEAL FOR LYNNE STEWART- THE PEOPLE'S ATTORNEY

Greetings

It  is urgent  that you  listen  to  the audio email below.  It is  the latest update  from  Ralph Poynter,  Mya Shone  &  Ralph Schonmann about LYNNE STEWARTS fate in prison.

Lynne Stewart's breast cancer is spreading to her lungs and shoulders.  She needs immediate treatment NOW.  The prison authorities have known

this since September.

WE   ARE  ALSO  IN THE   PROCESS   OF LAUNCHING  HER  APPEAL  TO  THE   SUPREME  COURT.  DEADLINE FEBRUARY 21, 2013.

All we are asking you to:

Listen to the audio below and update yourself on the facts. Check out the website as well.

   You don't have to write the prison authorities because THEY READ EVERYTHING WE SEND AND TELL HER SO.

Send this email out to all your listservs, especially to LAWYERS because we are asking ALL ATTORNEYS SUPPORT HER CERT , (A REQUEST FOR THE SUPREME COURT TO HEAR HER CASE.)

 When it comes to the oppressed, there is no such thing as law or justice.  THEREFORE, the movement determines the argument before the courts, not this myth of justice before the law. We need attorneys who understand this and understand that LYNNE STEWART was one of  the very few attorneys who understood this. She never had her political prisoners surrender their right to self defense or self determination.  In her trial when questioned she still defended this human right and her right to give her clients the best defense possible.  When she was resentenced from 28 months to ten years, one of the reasons was that  SHE "SHOWED NO REMORSE." SHE DOES NOT FEEL REMORSE FOR DEFENDING THE BILL OF RIGHTS, therefore, we should defend her and all POLITICAL PRISONERS.

BETTY DAVIS

NEW ABOLITIONIST MOVEMENT

Write a letter  of support to    Lynne Stewart-   53504 - 054,     FEDERAL MEDICAL CNTR, CARSWELL,  P.O. BOX 27137,  FT. WORTH, TEXAS 76127.

-----Original Message---

    But, to listen to the report, go to:

128 kbps version (hi fi):

http://www.takebackwbai.org/lynnestewart/2013-01-16.LynneStewartReport-128.mp3

32 kbps version (lo fi):

http://www.takebackwbai.org/lynnestewart/2013-01-16.LynneStewartReport-32.mp3

    Please listen from the links here in this email.      Let me know what you think.

   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omar_Abdel-Rahman

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 PLEASE SIGN THIS STATEMENT, GET YOUR ORGANIZATION TO SIGN, AND FORWARD WIDELY!

TO SIGN ON, CONTACT Sundus Seif, brooklyncollegesjp@gmail.com

Statement of Support for Brooklyn College Students for Justice in Palestine:

We Condemn Attacks Against Advocates for BDS and Palestinian Rights!

We the undersigned deplore the efforts of politicians and others to bully student activists and faculty and to smear supporters of boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) against Israel as anti-Semites.

In recent days, opponents of an event on BDS to be held on campus February 7th have attacked the organizers and scheduled speakers, internationally renowned philosopher Judith Butler and Palestinian human rights activist Omar Barghouti, as well as the political science department and university administration for co-sponsoring the event. This is just the latest in a series of incidents involving attempts to silence criticism of Israel at Brooklyn College.

Opponents of the February 7 event have made deeply offensive and inflammatory accusations against supporters of BDS, with State Assemblyman Alan Maisel going so far as to warn of “the potential for a second Holocaust here.” Other prominent critics include lawyer Alan Dershowitz, who has openly called for the United States and Israel to use torture, and State Assemblyman Dov Hikind, a follower of the late Meir Kahane, an Israeli-American rabbi whose racist Kach movement has been outlawed by the US and Israel as a terrorist organization for advocating the expulsion of Palestinians from Israel and the occupied territories and for carrying out violent terrorist attacks against Palestinians and others.

It is outrageous and perverse to conflate BDS proponents and our stance in support of equal rights and freedom for Palestinians with anti-Semitism and Nazism. Contrary to the claims of these detractors, the BDS movement is an inclusive, nonviolent, civil society-led campaign whose goal is to pressure Israel into respecting Palestinian human rights and abiding by international law, in the absence of action on the part of the US government and international community to do so. It is comprised of people of all faiths and backgrounds, including many Israeli and American Jews. Leaders of the BDS movement have always rejected and condemned any and all forms of racism and bigotry, including anti-Semitism. As SJP-BC’s mission statement says, we “reject any form of hatred or discrimination against any religious or ethnic group.”

As supporters of Palestinian rights and of academic freedom and free speech on campus, we commend Brooklyn College President Karen Gould for showing leadership and not succumbing to pressure from bullies like Dershowitz and Hikind, who seek to suppress criticism of Israel by smearing advocates of Palestinian freedom and equality as bigots.

For nearly 65 years, Palestinians have been dispossessed, colonized, and denied the most basic of human rights and freedoms by Israel. For more than 45 years, they have endured a brutal and illegal Israeli military occupation that becomes more entrenched each day. More than 11 million Palestinian refugees, the survivors and descendants of the approximately 750,000 Palestinians who were ethnically-cleansed during Israel’s creation in 1948, are prevented from exercising their internationally-recognized right of return to the land and homes they were expelled from simply because they are not Jewish, while those Palestinians who remained inside Israel after 1948, who make up about 20% of the population today, face widespread institutionalized discrimination and are treated as second- or third-class citizens. As the international community looks on and does nothing to hold Israel accountable for its actions, global civil society is taking the lead with BDS.

In light of the attacks, we pledge our continued support to SJP’s efforts to educate the public about Israel’s grave and systematic abuses of Palestinian human rights and the racist, apartheid regime Israel has instituted in the territories it controls between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.

For more information, visit SJP Brooklyn College's website at www.brooklynsjp.com or email us at brooklyncollegesjp@gmail.com.

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Emergency Appeal—Hunger strike in second month—solidarity funds needed for fired Colombian GM workers

Many of you have heard and met Jorge Parra, president of the Association of Injured Workers and Ex-workers of GM Colomotores (Asotrecol). Asotrecol represents the workers who were fired after sustaining work-related injuries and illnesses at GM’s plant in Bogota, Colombia. They are still fighting for the right to return to jobs at GM that they can do, or receive compensation. The occupation outside the U.S. embassy in Bogota has been maintained for over 500 days. Jorge, who is here in Detroit, is in the second month of his third hunger strike to pressure GM to negotiate with Asotrecol. Thus far GM has not met with him. The situation is urgent.

When Jorge and his coworkers were fired it left them with no source of income; their injuries prevent them from getting other jobs. For this struggle to continue funds are critically needed—for Jorge’s living expenses here and for the families of the workers who are living in tents outside the embassy. Their children, one of whom has a life threatening case of cerebral palsy, are in urgent need of medical care.

We cannot let these courageous autoworkers or their families down.

To make a donation, please send a check to ”Wellspring UCC” with “Colombia relief” on the memo line. Their mailing address is: Wellspring UCC, Box 508, Centreville VA 20122. To make a donation online through paypal visit: www.wellspringucc.org (be sure to write “Colombia relief” on the message subject line).

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Petition to US White House and State Department: Condemn Israeli Aggression in Gaza

Please spread the word far and wide about this petition.

https://www.change.org/petitions/us-white-house-and-state-department-condemn-israeli-agression-in-gaza

Please invite all of your facebook friends to the "event" to sign the petition.

https://www.facebook.com/events/510061649012070/?context=create

If you are on twitter, sign the petition there as well and pass it around.

http://twitition.com/xpj6d/

In solidarity and peace,

BlackCommentator.com

African Americans for Justice in the Middle East and North Africa

Statement Regarding the Aggression Against Gaza

African Americans for Justice in the Middle East and North Africa (AAJMENA) strongly condemns Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people in Gaza. The arguments offered by the Israeli government for its attack on Gaza are nakedly cynical in both form and content. That a truce had been negotiated, with the assistance of the Egyptian government, between Israel and Hamas only to be broken by the Israeli assassination of Hamas military commander Ahmad Jabari clearly indicates that the Netanyahu government is not interested in peace. Israel is responsible for the escalating violence and for this epic breach of human rights.

This crisis underscores a stunning power imbalance. Nuclear-armed Israel, by far the most powerful military force in the Middle East (and among the mightiest in the world), has unleashed its immense war making capacity on Gaza’s captive population, mobilizing warships and tanks and launching more than 1,000 F-16 airstrikes since the attack began. The use of such weapons on civilians is a flagrant violation of the U.S. Arms Export Control Act.

The aggression against Gaza must be understood as the latest act in the decades-long oppression of the Palestinian people at the hands of the Israeli government. Blockaded Gaza has been plunged into misery by the Israeli-U.S. effort to thwart the democratic will of the Palestinian people as demonstrated in their 2006 legislative elections. When a coup was attempted against Hamas—and failed—the Israelis sealed Gaza, spinning events to make it appear that those not interested in peace were the Palestinians. As a result, Gaza is the largest open-air prison in the world, with 1.5 million people locked into a roughly 140-square-mile strip of land. This latest humanitarian crisis has caused the disproportionate death and suffering of Palestinians, but casualties on both sides will be the consequence of Israeli aggression.

Rather than taking a stand against Israeli’s onslaught and issuing an unambiguous demand for an end to the bloodshed, the Obama administration has condemned alleged Palestinian terrorism, repeating the dishonest line that this violent attack is merely in defense of Israel (a position reinforced by the one-sided coverage of the corporate news media). This represents a massive failure on the administration’s part. For all Obama’s denunciation of the Assad regime in Syria, it appears that his administration regards the outright slaughter of civilians in Palestine as acceptable. It is crucial that we recognize the extent of U.S. complicity in the bloodshed; our tax dollars ($8.5 million a day) enable Israeli militarism at a time when those funds are desperately needed to fill gaps in services and infrastructure back home.

As African Americans and people of African descent in the U.S. from academia, activism and various social movements, we cannot remain silent. We call upon all people of good will to:

1. Endorse this statement.

2. Communicate with the White House and the U.S. Department of State to request that President Obama demand that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin

Netanyahu and the IDF cease the bombardment of Gaza and withdraw their armed forces immediately. Insist that the U.S. condition aid to Israel on compliance with U.S. and international law.

3. Contact the Israeli embassy in Washington, D.C. and demand that Israel withdraw its forces and end the blockade.

4. Send your local media outlet a “letter to the editor” expressing outrage against the provocative and murderous acts of the Israeli government.

5. Join protests against Israeli aggression.

6. Support Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (www.bdsmovement.net) and U.S. Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (www.usacbi.org), and back the efforts of labor unions and student groups to compel their employers and administrators to divest from companies that do business in Israel.

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An Appeal from Conscientious Objectors in Israel - Resistance to serving in the I.D.F. is growing among Israeli youth.

International Support is important in strengthening and broadening this spirit of defiance:

Conscientious objector Natan Blanc sentenced to prison for the first time for his refusal to join the Israeli Army.

CO Natan Blanc, 19 years old from, Haifa, arrived, Sunday, 19 November, to the Induction Base in Tal-hashomer, where he declared his refusal to serve in the Israeli Army. he was sentenced to 10 days of imprisonment for his refusal, he also received a suspended sentence of 10 days.

In his refusal declaration Blanc wrote:

"I began thinking about refusing to conscripted into the Israeli Army during the “Cast Lead” operation in 2008. The wave of aggressive militarism that swept the country then, the expressions of mutual hatred, and the vacuous talk about stamping out terror and creating a deterrent effect were the primary trigger for my refusal. Today, after four years full of terror, without a political process [towards peace negotiations], and without quiet in Gaza and Sderot, it is clear that the Netanyahu Government, like that of his predecessor Olmert, is not interested in finding a solution to the existing situation, but rather in preserving it.  From their point of view, there is nothing wrong with our initiating a “Cast Lead 2″ operation every three or four years (and then 3, 4,5 and 6): we will talk of deterrence, we will kill some terrorist, we will lose some civilians on both sides, and we will prepare the ground for a new generation full of hatred on both sides. As representatives of the people, members of the cabinet have no duty to present their vision for the futures of the country, and they can continue with this bloody cycle, with no end in sight.  But we, as citizens and human beings, have a moral duty to refuse to participate in this cynical game."

You can read the full declaration here.

His prison address is:

Natan Blanc

Military ID 7571369

Military Prison No. 6

Military Postal Code 01860, IDF

Israel

Fax: ++972-4-9540580

Since the prison authorities often block mail from reaching imprisoned objectors, we also recommend you to send them your letters of support and encouragement via e-mail to: messages2prison@newprofile.org (hitting “reply all” to this message will send the message to the same address), and they will be printed out and delivered during visits.

Recommended Action

First of all, please circulate this message and the information contained in it as widely as possible, not only through e-mail, but also on websites, social networks, conventional media, by word of mouth, etc.

Other recommendations for action:

1. Sending Letters of Support

Please send Natan letters of support to the prison address above and via e-mail to: messages2prison@newprofile.org and Nathanbl@walla.com.

2. Letters to Authorities

It is recommended to send letters of protest on the objectors’ behalf, preferably by fax, to:

Mr. Ehud Barak,

Minister of Defence,

Ministry of Defence,

Hakirya,

Tel-Aviv 61909,

Israel.

E-mail: s...@mod.gov.il or pniot@mod.gov.il

Tel.: ++972-3-6975220

Fax: ++972-3-6962757

Copies of your letters can also be sent to the commander of the military prison at:

Commander of Military Prison No. 6,

Military Prison No. 6

Military Postal Code 01860, IDF

Israel

Fax: ++972-4-9540580

Another useful address for sending copies would be the Military Attorney General:

Denny Efroni,

Chief Military Attorney

Military postal code 9605, IDF

Israel

Fax: ++972-3-569-45-26

It would be especially useful to send your appeals to the Commander of the Induction Base in Tel-HaShomer. It is this officer that ultimately decides whether an objector is to be exempted from military service or sent to another round in prison, and it is the same officer who is ultimately in charge of the military Conscience Committee:

Gil Ben Shaul,

Commander of Induction Base,

Meitav, Tel-HaShomer

Military Postal Code 02718, IDF

Israel.

Fax: ++972-3-737-60-52

For those of you who live outside Israel, it would be very effective to send protests to your local Israeli embassy. You can find the address of your local embassy on the web.

Here is a generic sample letter, which you can use in sending appeals to authorities on the prisoners’ behalf. Feel free to modify this letter or write your own:

Dear Sir/Madam,

It has come to my attention that Natan Blanc (military ID 7571369), a conscientious objector to military service, has been imprisoned for the second time for his refusal to become part of the Israeli army, and is held in Military Prison no. 6 near Atlit.

The imprisonment of conscientious objectors such as Blanc is a violation of international law, of basic human rights and of plain morals.

I therefore call for the immediate and unconditional release from prison of Natan Blanc, without threat of further imprisonment in the future, and urge you and the system you are heading to respect the dignity and person of conscientious objectors, indeed of all persons, in the future.

Sincerely,

3. Letters to media in Israel and in other countries

Writing op-ed pieces and letters to editors of media in Israel and other countries could also be quite useful in indirectly but powerfully pressuring the military authorities to let go of the objectors and in bringing their plight and their cause to public attention.

Here are some contact details for the main media outlets in Israel:

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Contact the Obama campaign now to voice your support for Bradley!

The Obama campaign keeps track of how many calls and e-mails they get about each issue.

Contact President Obama's team now and tell them "Obama must uphold his promise to protect whistle-blowers and free Bradley Manning!"

Call: 312-698-3670

E-mail: http://barackobama.force.com/questions

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You Have the Right to Remain Silent: NLG Guide to Law Enforcement Encounters

Posted 1 day ago on July 27, 2012, 10:28 p.m. EST by OccupyWallSt

Occupy Wall Street is a nonviolent movement for social and economic justice, but in recent days disturbing reports have emerged of Occupy-affiliated activists being targeted by US law enforcement, including agents from the FBI and Department of Homeland Security. To help ensure Occupiers and allied activists know their rights when encountering law enforcement, we are publishing in full the National Lawyers Guild's booklet: You Have the Right to Remain Silent. The NLG provides invaluable support to the Occupy movement and other activists – please click here to support the NLG.

We strongly encourage all Occupiers to read and share the information provided below. We also recommend you enter the NLG's national hotline number (888-654-3265) into your cellphone (if you have one) and keep a copy handy. This information is not a substitute for legal advice. You should contact the NLG or a criminal defense attorney immediately if you have been visited by the FBI or other law enforcement officials. You should also alert your relatives, friends, co-workers and others so that they will be prepared if they are contacted as well.
You Have the Right to Remain Silent: A Know Your Rights Guide for Law Enforcement Encounters
What Rights Do I Have?

Whether or not you’re a citizen, you have rights under the United States Constitution. The Fifth Amendment gives every person the right to remain silent: not to answer questions asked by a police officer or government agent. The Fourth Amendment restricts the government’s power to enter and search your home or workplace, although there are many exceptions and new laws have expanded the government’s power to conduct surveillance. The First Amendment protects your right to speak freely and to advocate for social change. However, if you are a non-citizen, the Department of Homeland Security may target you based on your political activities.
Standing Up For Free Speech

The government’s crusade against politically-active individuals is intended to disrupt and suppress the exercise of time-honored free speech activities, such as boycotts, protests, grassroots organizing and solidarity work. Remember that you have the right to stand up to the intimidation tactics of FBI agents and other law enforcement officials who, with political motives, are targeting organizing and free speech activities. Informed resistance to these tactics and steadfast defense of your and others’ rights can bring positive results. Each person who takes a courageous stand makes future resistance to government oppression easier for all. The National Lawyers Guild has a long tradition of standing up to government repression. The organization itself was labeled a “subversive” group during the McCarthy Era and was subject to FBI surveillance and infiltration for many years. Guild attorneys have defended FBI-targeted members of the Black Panther Party, the American Indian Movement, and the Puerto Rican independence movement. The NLG exposed FBI surveillance, infiltration and disruption tactics that were detailed during the 1975-76 COINTELPRO hearings. In 1989 the NLG prevailed in a lawsuit on behalf of several activist organizations, including the Guild, that forced the FBI to expose the extent to which it had been spying on activist movements. Under the settlement, the FBI turned over roughly 400,000 pages of its files on the Guild, which are now available at the Tamiment Library at New York University.

What if FBI Agents or Police Contact Me?

What if an agent or police officer comes to the door?

Do not invite the agents or police into your home. Do not answer any questions. Tell the agent that you do not wish to talk with him or her. You can state that your lawyer will contact them on your behalf. You can do this by stepping outside and pulling the door behind you so that the interior of your home or office is not visible, getting their contact information or business cards and then returning inside. They should cease questioning after this. If the agent or officer gives a reason for contacting you, take notes and give the information to your attorney. Anything you say, no matter how seemingly harmless or insignificant, may be used against you or others in the future. Lying to or misleading a federal agent is a crime. The more you speak, the more opportunity for federal law enforcement to find something you said (even if not intentionally) false and assert that you lied to a federal officer.

Do I have to answer questions?

You have the constitutional right to remain silent. It is not a crime to refuse to answer questions. You do not have to talk to anyone, even if you have been arrested or are in jail. You should affirmatively and unambiguously state that you wish to remain silent and that you wish to consult an attorney. Once you make the request to speak to a lawyer, do not say anything else. The Supreme Court recently ruled that answering law enforcement questions may be taken as a waiver of your right to remain silent, so it is important that you assert your rights and maintain them. Only a judge can order you to answer questions. There is one exception: some states have “stop and identify” statutes which require you to provide identity information or your name if you have been detained on reasonable suspicion that you may have committed a crime. A lawyer in your state can advise you of the status of these requirements where you reside.

Do I have to give my name?

As above, in some states you can be detained or arrested for merely refusing to give your name. And in any state, police do not always follow the law, and refusing to give your name may make them suspicious or more hostile and lead to your arrest, even without just cause, so use your judgment. Giving a false name could in some circumstances be a crime.

Do I need a lawyer?

You have the right to talk to a lawyer before you decide whether to answer questions from law enforcement. It is a good idea to talk to a lawyer if you are considering answering any questions. You have the right to have a lawyer present during any interview. The lawyer’s job is to protect your rights. Once you tell the agent that you want to talk to a lawyer, he or she should stop trying to question you and should make any further contact through your lawyer. If you do not have a lawyer, you can still tell the officer you want to speak to one before answering questions. Remember to get the name, agency and telephone number of any investigator who visits you, and give that information to your lawyer. The government does not have to provide you with a free lawyer unless you are charged with a crime, but the NLG or another organization may be able to help you find a lawyer for free or at a reduced rate.

If I refuse to answer questions or say I want a lawyer, won’t it seem like I have something to hide?

Anything you say to law enforcement can be used against you and others. You can never tell how a seemingly harmless bit of information might be used or manipulated to hurt you or someone else. That is why the right not to talk is a fundamental right under the Constitution. Keep in mind that although law enforcement agents are allowed to lie to you, lying to a government agent is a crime. Remaining silent is not. The safest things to say are “I am going to remain silent,” “I want to speak to my lawyer,” and “I do not consent to a search.” It is a common practice for law enforcement agents to try to get you to waive your rights by telling you that if you have nothing to hide you would talk or that talking would “just clear things up.” The fact is, if they are questioning you, they are looking to incriminate you or someone you may know, or they are engaged in political intelligence gathering. You should feel comfortable standing firm in protection and defense of your rights and refusing to answer questions.

Can agents search my home or office?

You do not have to let police or agents into your home or office unless they have and produce a valid search warrant. A search warrant is a written court order that allows the police to conduct a specified search. Interfering with a warrantless search probably will not stop it and you might get arrested. But you should say “I do not consent to a search,” and call a criminal defense lawyer or the NLG. You should be aware that a roommate or guest can legally consent to a search of your house if the police believe that person has the authority to give consent, and your employer can consent to a search of your workspace without your permission.

What if agents have a search warrant?

If you are present when agents come for the search, you can ask to see the warrant. The warrant must specify in detail the places to be searched and the people or things to be taken away. Tell the agents you do not consent to the search so that they cannot go beyond what the warrant authorizes. Ask if you are allowed to watch the search; if you are allowed to, you should. Take notes, including names, badge numbers, what agency each officer is from, where they searched and what they took. If others are present, have them act as witnesses to watch carefully what is happening. If the agents ask you to give them documents, your computer, or anything else, look to see if the item is listed in the warrant. If it is not, do not consent to them taking it without talking to a lawyer. You do not have to answer questions. Talk to a lawyer first. (Note: If agents present an arrest warrant, they may only perform a cursory visual search of the premises to see if the person named in the arrest warrant is present.)

Do I have to answer questions if I have been arrested?

No. If you are arrested, you do not have to answer any questions. You should affirmatively and unambiguously state that you wish to assert your right to remain silent. Ask for a lawyer right away. Do not say anything else. Repeat to every officer who tries to talk to or question you that you wish to remain silent and that you wish to speak to a lawyer. You should always talk to a lawyer before you decide to answer any questions.

What if I speak to government agents anyway?

Even if you have already answered some questions, you can refuse to answer other questions until you have a lawyer. If you find yourself talking, stop. Assert that you wish to remain silent and that you wish to speak to a lawyer.

What if the police stop me on the street?

Ask if you are free to go. If the answer is yes, consider just walking away. If the police say you are not under arrest, but are not free to go, then you are being detained. The police can pat down the outside of your clothing if they have reason to suspect you might be armed and dangerous. If they search any more than this, say clearly, “I do not consent to a search.” They may keep searching anyway. If this happens, do not resist because you can be charged with assault or resisting arrest. You do not have to answer any questions. You do not have to open bags or any closed container. Tell the officers you do not consent to a search of your bags or other property.

What if police or agents stop me in my car?

Keep your hands where the police can see them. If you are driving a vehicle, you must show your license, registration and, in some states, proof of insurance. You do not have to consent to a search. But the police may have legal grounds to search your car anyway. Clearly state that you do not consent. Officers may separate passengers and drivers from each other to question them, but no one has to answer any questions.

What if I am treated badly by the police or the FBI?

Write down the officer’s badge number, name or other identifying information. You have a right to ask the officer for this information. Try to find witnesses and their names and phone numbers. If you are injured, seek medical attention and take pictures of the injuries as soon as you can. Call a lawyer as soon as possible.

What if the police or FBI threaten me with a grand jury subpoena if I don’t answer their questions?

A grand jury subpoena is a written order for you to go to court and testify about information you may have. It is common for the FBI to threaten you with a subpoena to get you to talk to them. If they are going to subpoena you, they will do so anyway. You should not volunteer to speak just because you are threatened with a subpoena. You should consult a lawyer.

What if I receive a grand jury subpoena?

Grand jury proceedings are not the same as testifying at an open court trial. You are not allowed to have a lawyer present (although one may wait in the hallway and you may ask to consult with him or her after each question) and you may be asked to answer questions about your activities and associations. Because of the witness’s limited rights in this situation, the government has frequently used grand jury subpoenas to gather information about activists and political organizations. It is common for the FBI to threaten activists with a subpoena in order to elicit information about their political views and activities and those of their associates. There are legal grounds for stopping (“quashing”) subpoenas, and receiving one does not necessarily mean that you are suspected of a crime. If you do receive a subpoena, call the NLG National Hotline at 888-NLG-ECOL (888-654-3265) or call a criminal defense attorney immediately.

The government regularly uses grand jury subpoena power to investigate and seek evidence related to politically-active individuals and social movements. This practice is aimed at prosecuting activists and, through intimidation and disruption, discouraging continued activism.

Federal grand jury subpoenas are served in person. If you receive one, it is critically important that you retain the services of an attorney, preferably one who understands your goals and, if applicable, understands the nature of your political work, and has experience with these issues. Most lawyers are trained to provide the best legal defense for their client, often at the expense of others. Beware lawyers who summarily advise you to cooperate with grand juries, testify against friends, or cut off contact with your friends and political activists. Cooperation usually leads to others being subpoenaed and investigated. You also run the risk of being charged with perjury, a felony, should you omit any pertinent information or should there be inconsistencies in your testimony.

Frequently prosecutors will offer “use immunity,” meaning that the prosecutor is prohibited from using your testimony or any leads from it to bring charges against you. If a subsequent prosecution is brought, the prosecutor bears the burden of proving that all of its evidence was obtained independent of the immunized testimony. You should be aware, however, that they will use anything you say to manipulate associates into sharing more information about you by suggesting that you have betrayed confidences.

In front of a grand jury you can “take the Fifth” (exercise your right to remain silent). However, the prosecutor may impose immunity on you, which strips you of Fifth Amendment protection and subjects you to the possibility of being cited for contempt and jailed if you refuse to answer further. In front of a grand jury you have no Sixth Amendment right to counsel, although you can consult with a lawyer outside the grand jury room after each question.

What if I don’t cooperate with the grand jury?

If you receive a grand jury subpoena and elect to not cooperate, you may be held in civil contempt. There is a chance that you may be jailed or imprisoned for the length of the grand jury in an effort to coerce you to cooperate. Regular grand juries sit for a basic term of 18 months, which can be extended up to a total of 24 months. It is lawful to hold you in order to coerce your cooperation, but unlawful to hold you as a means of punishment. In rare instances you may face criminal contempt charges.

What If I Am Not a Citizen and the DHS Contacts Me?

The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) is now part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and has been renamed and reorganized into: 1. The Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (BCIS); 2. The Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (CBP); and 3. The Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). All three bureaus will be referred to as DHS for the purposes of this pamphlet.

■ Assert your rights. If you do not demand your rights or if you sign papers waiving your rights, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) may deport you before you see a lawyer or an immigration judge. Never sign anything without reading, understanding and knowing the consequences of signing it.

■ Talk to a lawyer. If possible, carry with you the name and telephone number of an immigration lawyer who will take your calls. The immigration laws are hard to understand and there have been many recent changes. DHS will not explain your options to you. As soon as you encounter a DHS agent, call your attorney. If you can’t do it right away, keep trying. Always talk to an immigration lawyer before leaving the U.S. Even some legal permanent residents can be barred from returning.

Based on today’s laws, regulations and DHS guidelines, non-citizens usually have the following rights, no matter what their immigration status. This information may change, so it is important to contact a lawyer. The following rights apply to non-citizens who are inside the U.S. Non-citizens at the border who are trying to enter the U.S. do not have all the same rights.

Do I have the right to talk to a lawyer before answering any DHS questions or signing any DHS papers?

Yes. You have the right to call a lawyer or your family if you are detained, and you have the right to be visited by a lawyer in detention. You have the right to have your attorney with you at any hearing before an immigration judge. You do not have the right to a government-appointed attorney for immigration proceedings, but if you have been arrested, immigration officials must show you a list of free or low cost legal service providers.

Should I carry my green card or other immigration papers with me?

If you have documents authorizing you to stay in the U.S., you must carry them with you. Presenting false or expired papers to DHS may lead to deportation or criminal prosecution. An unexpired green card, I-94, Employment Authorization Card, Border Crossing Card or other papers that prove you are in legal status will satisfy this requirement. If you do not carry these papers with you, you could be charged with a crime. Always keep a copy of your immigration papers with a trusted family member or friend who can fax them to you, if need be. Check with your immigration lawyer about your specific case.

Am I required to talk to government officers about my immigration history?

If you are undocumented, out of status, a legal permanent resident (green card holder), or a citizen, you do not have to answer any questions about your immigration history. (You may want to consider giving your name; see above for more information about this.) If you are not in any of these categories, and you are being questioned by a DHS or FBI agent, then you may create problems with your immigration status if you refuse to provide information requested by the agent. If you have a lawyer, you can tell the agent that your lawyer will answer questions on your behalf. If answering questions could lead the agent to information that connects you with criminal activity, you should consider refusing to talk to the agent at all.

If I am arrested for immigration violations, do I have the right to a hearing before an immigration judge to defend myself against deportation charges?

Yes. In most cases only an immigration judge can order you deported. But if you waive your rights or take “voluntary departure,” agreeing to leave the country, you could be deported without a hearing. If you have criminal convictions, were arrested at the border, came to the U.S. through the visa waiver program or have been ordered deported in the past, you could be deported without a hearing. Contact a lawyer immediately to see if there is any relief for you.

Can I call my consulate if I am arrested?

Yes. Non-citizens arrested in the U.S. have the right to call their consulate or to have the police tell the consulate of your arrest. The police must let your consulate visit or speak with you if consular officials decide to do so. Your consulate might help you find a lawyer or offer other help. You also have the right to refuse help from your consulate.

What happens if I give up my right to a hearing or leave the U.S. before the hearing is over?

You could lose your eligibility for certain immigration benefits, and you could be barred from returning to the U.S. for a number of years. You should always talk to an immigration lawyer before you decide to give up your right to a hearing.

What should I do if I want to contact DHS?

Always talk to a lawyer before contacting DHS, even on the phone. Many DHS officers view “enforcement” as their primary job and will not explain all of your options to you.
What Are My Rights at Airports?

IMPORTANT NOTE: It is illegal for law enforcement to perform any stops, searches, detentions or removals based solely on your race, national origin, religion, sex or ethnicity.

If I am entering the U.S. with valid travel papers can a U.S. customs agent stop and search me?

Yes. Customs agents have the right to stop, detain and search every person and item.

Can my bags or I be searched after going through metal detectors with no problem or after security sees that my bags do not contain a weapon?

Yes. Even if the initial screen of your bags reveals nothing suspicious, the screeners have the authority to conduct a further search of you or your bags.

If I am on an airplane, can an airline employee interrogate me or ask me to get off the plane?

The pilot of an airplane has the right to refuse to fly a passenger if he or she believes the passenger is a threat to the safety of the flight. The pilot’s decision must be reasonable and based on observations of you, not stereotypes.

What If I Am Under 18?

Do I have to answer questions?

No. Minors too have the right to remain silent. You cannot be arrested for refusing to talk to the police, probation officers, or school officials, except in some states you may have to give your name if you have been detained.

What if I am detained?

If you are detained at a community detention facility or Juvenile Hall, you normally must be released to a parent or guardian. If charges are filed against you, in most states you are entitled to counsel (just like an adult) at no cost.

Do I have the right to express political views at school?

Public school students generally have a First Amendment right to politically organize at school by passing out leaflets, holding meetings, etc., as long as those activities are not disruptive and do not violate legitimate school rules. You may not be singled out based on your politics, ethnicity or religion.

Can my backpack or locker be searched?

School officials can search students’ backpacks and lockers without a warrant if they reasonably suspect that you are involved in criminal activity or carrying drugs or weapons. Do not consent to the police or school officials searching your property, but do not physically resist or you may face criminal charges.

Disclaimer

This booklet is not a substitute for legal advice. You should contact an attorney if you have been visited by the FBI or other law enforcement officials. You should also alert your relatives, friends, co-workers and others so that they will be prepared if they are contacted as well.

NLG National Hotline for Activists Contacted by the FBI

888-NLG-ECOL

(888-654-3265)

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Letter from Lynne Stewart

9/27/12 9:15 am

Once again the 2d Circuit has turned me down–this time the whole Court, en

banc. Not surprising, I was well aware that we were dealing with the Company

Store and could expect very little. Nonetheless as a favorite line from Edna

St Vincent Millay:

“Pity me that the heart is slow to learn

What the Quick mind beholds at every turn”

I never lose hope that my case will be resolved as being too obvious a

contradiction to justice for them to sustain !

Our next stop is the petition for Certiorari to the Supreme Court, asking them

to hear us. We will be trying to impress them with the significant

wrongfulness of the whole prosecution itself and of the errors at trial and

later at sentencing. Our due date is some time in late December and we are

hoping to have Amicus support, so if you are part of a group that supports

lawyers or civil rights etc. please suggest it as early as possible. Contact

Jill Shellow, my lawyer by email, for further explanations.

Looking forward to my 73 birthday on October 8, the one bright ray of light is

that my husband, Ralph Poynter, will be speaking at the National Lawyers Guild

convention held in Pasadena, California from the 10th to 14th of October.

Addressing the Plenary he will speak of my case and that of other political

prisoners locked away for decades by a vindictive government. I wish I could

attend and meet and greet and hug and laugh with my lawyer buddies of many

years and many conventions but I will have to be content with my usual micro-

management style from afar — Texas, that is !!!

Meanwhile, I continue to tough it out. I am feeling quite well after the

surgery, an infection and then a severe iron deficiency — my usual vim and

vigor are back and ready for the fight with the Supreme Court who thinks

corporations are people—what will they make of me, a real person ??!! (smile)

Join me. Bring me Home, where I can join in some of the epic battles now at

hand.

Posted in BEHIND BARS, FROM LYNNE | No Comments »

“Court Denies Lynne Stewart Re-hearing” by Jeff Mackler

September 26th, 2012

Dear Friends of Lynne Stewart,

On Monday, September 24, 2012 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

rejected Lynne’s appeal for a re-hearing before the entire court. Her original

conviction was upheld in 2009 by a three-judge panel of the Second Circuit.

The Second Circuit’s opinion was not unexpected. This was the same court that

earlier pressed Federal District Court John Koeltl to re-consider his original

28-month sentence and instead sentence Lynne to ten years.

Lynne, a leading civil rights attorney for 30 years, was convicted in 2005 on

frame-up charges of conspiracy to aid and abet terrorism. Her crime? She

issued a press release on behalf of her client, the “blind sheik” Omar Abdel

Rachman, a leading Egyptian Islamic cleric, was also a victim of the U.S. “war

on terror” when a government-instigated frame-up trial convicted him of

conspiracy to destroy New York buildings. Typical of “conspiracy” convictions,

no evidence of wrongdoing was presented at his trial.

Rachman, a leading critic of the Hosni Mubarack dictatorship in Egypt, and now

serving a life sentence in Rochester, Minnesota, was the subject of national

attention a few months ago when Egypt’s new president, Mohammad Morsi,

embarrassed the Obama administration by demanding his release.

Lynne’s attorneys explained on Monday that “The clock now starts running on

our Petition for Certiorari to the Supreme Court. We have 90 days to get it

filed (with the possibility of a 30-day extension).”

Lynne is presently imprisoned at FMC Carswell outside of Fort Worth, Texas.

She has successfully recovered from a difficult surgery that was spitefully

delayed by prison authorities. For the past 45 days Lynne was denied all

visitors, mail and other basic prison rights on the trumped-up accusation that she violated prison rules in assisting a fellow prisoner certify a legal document.

Her spirits are high and she is now going through a backlog of some 100-plus

letters from friends and supporters.

Here’s a brief summary/timeline of Lynne’s case.

- indicted on April 9, 2002;

- on February 10, 2005, convicted on all counts of conspiracy to aid and

abet terrorism;

- on October, 17, 2006, sentenced to 28 months;

- on November 17, 2009, a US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit three-

judge panel upheld the conviction, shamelessly accusing Lynne of “knowingly

and willfully making false statements,” re-directing her case to District

Court Judge John Koeltl for re-sentencing, instructing him to consider

enhancements for terrorism, perjury, and abuse of her position as a lawyer –

an outrageous mandate intimidating Koeltl to comply.

- on November 19, 2009, Stewart jailed at MCC-NY, 150 Park Row, New York, NY;

andon July 15, 2010, Stewart re-sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for doing

her job honorably, ethically, and admirably with distinction for 30 years.

Disgracefully, Judge Koeltl explained it, saying: .”(C)omments by Stewart in

2006, including a statement in a television interview that she would do ‘it’

again and would not ‘do anything differently’ influenced (the)

decisionŠ.indicat(ing) the original sentence ‘was not sufficient’ to reflect

the goals of sentencing guidelines.”

Forgotten were Koeltl’s October 2006 comments, calling Lynne’s character

“extraordinary,” saying she was “a credit to her profession,” and that a long

imprisonment would be “an unreasonable result,” citing “the somewhat atypical

nature of her case (and) lack of evidence that any victim was harmed.”

He also considered her age (70), health (at times poor), distinguished career

representing society’s disadvantaged and unwanted, and the unlikelihood she’d

commit another “crime.” However, the Second Circuit Appeals Court intimidated

him to comply, his own career perhaps on the line otherwise.

Please write Lynne at:

Lynne Stewart

53504-054

FMC Carswell

P.O. Box 27137

Ft. Worth, Texas 76127

In solidarity,

Jeff Mackler, West Coast Coordinator

Lynne Stewart Defense Committee

-->

Write to Lynne Stewart Defense Committee at:

Lynne Stewart Defense Committee

1070 Dean Street

Brooklyn, New York 11216

For further information: 718-789-0558 or 917-853-9759

Visiting Lynne:

Visiting is very liberal but first she has to get people on her visiting list;

wait til she or the lawyers let you know. The visits are FRI, SAT, SUN AND MON for 4 hours and on

weekends 8 to 3. Bring clear plastic change purse with lots of change to buy from the

machines. Brief Kiss upon arrival and departure, no touching or holding during visit (!!) On visiting

forms it may be required that you knew me before I came to prison. Not a problem for most of

you.

Commissary Money:

Commissary Money is always welcome It is how Lynne pay for the phone and for

email.

Also for a lot that prison doesn't supply in terms of food and "sundries"

(pens!) (A very big list that includes Raisins, Salad Dressing, ankle sox, mozzarella (definitely

not from Antonys--more like a white cheddar, Sanitas Corn Chips but no Salsa, etc. To add money,

you do this by using Western Union and a credit card by phone or you can send a USPO money

order or Business or Govt Check. The negotiable instruments (PAPER!) need to be sent to

Federal

Bureau of Prisons, 53504-054, Lynne Stewart, PO Box 474701, Des Moines Iowa

50947-001

(Payable to Lynne Stewart, 53504-054) They hold the mo or checks for 15 days.

Western

Union costs $10 but is within 2 hours. If you mail, your return address must be

on the envelope. Unnecessarily complicated? Of course, it's the BOP !)

The address of her Defense Committee is:

Lynne Stewart Defense Committee

1070 Dean Street

Brooklyn, New York 11216

For further information:

718-789-0558 or 917-853-9759

Please make a generous contribution to her defense.

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Free Mumia NOW!

Prisonradio.org

Write to Mumia:

Mumia Abu-Jamal AM 8335

SCI Mahanoy

301 Morea Road

Frackville, PA 17932



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Rachel Wolkenstein

August 21, 2011 (917) 689-4009

MUMIA ABU-JAMAL ILLEGALLY SENTENCED TO

LIFE IMPRISONMENT WITHOUT PAROLE!

FREE MUMIA NOW!

www.FreeMumia.com

http://blacktalkradionetwork.com/profiles/blogs/mumia-is-formally-sentenced-to-life-in-prison-w-out-hearing-he-s

On August 13, 2012, without any notice and in violation of his constitutional rights and state law, Mumia Abu-Jamal was formally sentenced by Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Pamela Dembe to life imprisonment without parole. The impact of this illegal sentencing is to prevent a possible challenge to the slow death of life imprisonment. All sentences, including "mandatory" sentences, require a formal proceeding allowing the person to be sentenced the right to be heard and to challenge his sentence.

Mumia confirmed to his son Jamal and to attorney Rachel Wolkenstein during a visit with him on Sunday, August 19, 2012, that he had no prior knowledge of the re-sentencing. The record of this re-sentencing is contained in the official Court of Common Pleas Docket Sheet. In attempting to find out more details, Wolkenstein searched for the court file on August 20. But there is no file containing a record of this sentencing with the Criminal Division Court of Common Pleas Clerk. The information released so far by Elaine Rattliff, Deputy Clerk of Courts is that the sentencing followed a call from the Department of Corrections and further explanation awaits a call back from Court of Common Pleas Judge Pamela Dembe.

Notably Judge Dembe is same judge who refused in 2001 to consider a legal challenge to "hanging judge" Albert Sabo's self-confessed racism and bias against Mumia during his trial and post-conviction appeals from 1995-1998. Court reporter Terri Mauer-Carter heard Sabo declare before the start of the trial, "I'm going to help them fry the n-----."

For thirty years Mumia was kept in solitary confinement on death row under a death sentence that was illegally and unconstitutionally imposed. Federal district court Judge William Yohn ruled in December 2001 that Judge Albert Sabo incorrectly and unconstitutionally instructed the jury in deciding on life or death. Despite this decision, Mumia was kept on death row, in solitary confinement for the next ten years, while the prosecution pursued two appeals in the Federal Court of Appeals and two attempts at U.S. Supreme Court rulings to uphold the death sentence. All that time, Mumia sat in solitary confinement. According to Juan Mendez, the United Nations Special Rappatour on Torture, solitary confinement for longer than 15 days is a form of torture! Mumia should be freed from prison, now!

This latest legal outrage comes nine months after the state conceded defeat in obtaining its desired "legal lynching" of Mumia. On December 8, 2011, Philadelphia District Attorney, Seth Williams—with the support of Maureen Faulkner, the Fraternal Order of Police and former District Attorney, Philadelphia Mayor and PA governor, Edward Rendell—announced that they were no longer seeking a death sentence for Mumia. This was their recognition that it was neither legally possible nor politically advantageous to hold a new sentencing hearing.

Mumia's 1982 trial contained violations of every single element of due process and a fair trial. But it began with framing an innocent man. Mumia was framed for a crime he did not commit. His crime in the eyes of the state is that he was and continues to be "the voice of the voiceless," a former spokesman for the Black Panther Party and continuing supporter of the MOVE organization.

In his first phone call from general population on January 28, 2012, Mumia relayed the following message to his wife, Wadiya Jamal: "My dear friends, brothers and sisters – I want to thank you for your real hard work and support. I am no longer on death row, no longer in the hole, I'm in population. This is only Part One and I thank you for the work you've done. But the struggle is for freedom!"

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Police Attack Antiwar Protester

HANDS OFF NATE BUCKLEY!

http://vimeo.com/23300350#at=0

Police Brutality Against Anti War demonstrator Buffalo New York 2011

NFTA Police and anti terror task force assault anti war demonstration in Buffalo.

Nate Buckley maced while in handcuffs. His new trial date is October 16, 2012.

For updates or to donate please go to:

http://natebuckleydefense.wordpress.com/

Sign the petition:

https://www.change.org/petitions/district-attorney-drop-the-charges-against-nate-buckley

Watch a video of the incident:

http://vimeo.com/23300350#at=0

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Sign the petition for the NATO 5!

Drop all charges against the NATO 5 and all anti-NATO protesters!

Protesters are still being held in Cook County Jail in Chicago. Release them all

now!

Sign the Petition Here:http://www.iacenter.org/dropchargesonnatodefendants

The charges against the NATO 5 and the others are false. All these prisoners

urgently need your solidarity. Please sign our petition. Share it with your

family, friends and coworkers. Signing the petition will generate a direct email

to:

Illinois State's Attorney Anita Alvarez

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart

Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy, and

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel,

and several other public officials, demanding all charges against the NATO5

be dropped.

Email addresses for the targets

mayor.emanuel@cityofchicago.org

garry.mccarthy@chicagopolice.org

statesattorney@cookcountyil.gov

sheriff.dart@cookcountyil.gov

Thanks for your ongoing interest in the fight against FBI repression of anti-war

and international solidarity activists!

Our mailing address is:

Committee to Stop FBI Repression

PO Box 14183

Minneapolis, MN 55414

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Tarek Mehanna - another victim of the U.S. War to Terrorize Everyone. He was

targeted because he would not spy on his Muslim community for the FBI. Under the

new NDAA indefinite military detention provision, Tarek is someone who likely

would never come to a trial, although an American citizen. His sentencing is on

April 12. There will be an appeal.

Another right we may kiss goodbye. We should not accept the verdict and continue

to fight for his release, just as we do for hero Bradley Manning, and all the

many others unjustly persecuted by our government until it is the war criminals

on trial, prosecuted by the people, and not the other way around.

Marilyn Levin

Official defense website: http://freetarek.com/

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HANDS OFF IRAN PETITION

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/hands-off-iran/?utm_medium=email&utm_sour\
ce=system&utm_campaign=Send%2Bto%2BFriend

(For a complete analysis of the prospects of war, click here)

http://nepajac.org/unaciran.htm

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"A Child's View from Gaza: Palestinian Children's Art and the Fight Against

Censorship" book

https://www.mecaforpeace.org/civicrm/contribute/transact?reset=1&id=25

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Justice for Albert Woodfox and Herman Wallace: Decades of isolation in Louisiana

state prisons must end

Take Action -- Sign Petition Here:

http://www.amnesty.org/en/appeals-for-action/justice-for-albert-woodfox-and-herm\
an-wallace

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WITNESS GAZA

http://www.witnessgaza.com/

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Write to Bradley

http://bradleymanning.org/donate

View the new 90 second "I am Bradley Manning" video:

I am Bradley Manning

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-P3OXML00s

Courage to Resist

484 Lake Park Ave. #41

Oakland, CA 94610

510-488-3559

couragetoresist.org

"A Fort Leavenworth mailing address has been released for Bradley Manning:

Bradley Manning 89289

830 Sabalu Road

Fort Leavenworth, KS 66027

The receptionist at the military barracks confirmed that if someone sends

Bradley Manning a letter to that address, it will be delivered to him."

http://www.bradleymanning.org/news/update-42811

This is also a Facebook event

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=207100509321891#!/event.php?eid=2071005093\

21891

Courage to Resist needs your support

Please donate today:

https://co.clickandpledge.com/sp/d1/default.aspx?wid=38590

"Soldiers sworn oath is to defend and support the Constitution. Bradley Manning

has been defending and supporting our Constitution." --Dan Ellsberg, Pentagon

Papers whistle-blower

Jeff Paterson

Project Director, Courage to Resist

First US military service member to refuse to fight in Iraq

Please donate today.

https://co.clickandpledge.com/sp/d1/default.aspx?wid=38590

P.S. I'm asking that you consider a contribution of $50 or more, or possibly

becoming a sustainer at $15 a month. Of course, now is also a perfect time to

make a end of year tax-deductible donation. Thanks again for your support!

Please click here to forward this to a friend who might also be interested in

supporting GI resisters.

http://ymlp.com/forward.php?id=lS3tR&e=bonnieweinstein@yahoo.com

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The Battle Is Still On To

FREE MUMIA ABU-JAMAL!

The Labor Action Committee To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal

PO Box 16222 • Oakland CA 94610

www.laboractionmumia.org

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Call for EMERGENCY RESPONSE Action if Assange Indicted,

Dear Friends:

We write in haste, trying to reach as many of you as possible although the

holiday break has begun.......This plan for an urgent "The Day After"

demonstration is one we hope you and many, many more organizations will take up

as your own, and mobilize for. World Can't Wait asks you to do all you can to

spread it through list serves, Facebook, twitter, holiday gatherings.

Our proposal is very very simple, and you can use the following announcement to

mobilize - or write your own....

ANY DAY NOW . . . IN THE EVENT THAT THE U.S. INDICTS JULIAN ASSANGE HANDS OFF

WIKILEAKS! FREE JULIAN ASSANGE! FREE BRADLEY MANNING!

Join the HUMAN CHAIN AROUND THE FEDERAL BUILDING!

New Federal Building, 7th and Mission, San Francisco (nearest BART: Civic

Center)

4:00-6:00 PM on The Day FOLLOWING U.S. indictment of Assange

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/12/mannings-message-christmas-eve-i-gr/

Demonstrations defending Wikileaks and Assange, and Brad Manning, have already

been flowering around the world. Make it happen here too. Especially here . . .

To join into this action plan, or with questions, contact World Can't Wait or

whichever organization or listserve you received this message from.

World Can't Wait, SF Bay

415-864-5153

sf@worldcantwait.org

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KEVIN COOPER IS INNOCENT! FREE KEVIN COOPER!

Reasonable doubts about executing Kevin Cooper

Chronicle Editorial

Monday, December 13, 2010

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/12/13/EDG81GP0I7.DTL

Death penalty -- Kevin Cooper is Innocent! Help save his life from San Quentin's

death row!

http://www.savekevincooper.org/

http://www.savekevincooper.org/pages/essays_content.html?ID=255

URGENT ACTION APPEAL

- From Amnesty International USA

17 December 2010

Click here to take action online:

http://takeaction.amnestyusa.org/siteapps/advocacy/index.aspx?c=jhKPIXPCIoE&\
b=2590179&template=x.ascx&action=15084

To learn about recent Urgent Action successes and updates, go to

http://www.amnestyusa.org/iar/success

For a print-friendly version of this Urgent Action (PDF):

http://www.amnestyusa.org/actioncenter/actions/uaa25910.pdf

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Short Video About Al-Awda's Work

The following link is to a short video which provides an overview of Al-Awda's

work since the founding of our organization in 2000. This video was first shown

on Saturday May 23, 2009 at the fundraising banquet of the 7th Annual Int'l

Al-Awda Convention in Anaheim California. It was produced from footage collected

over the past nine years.

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kTiAkbB5uC0&eurl

Support Al-Awda, a Great Organization and Cause!

Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition, depends on your financial

support to carry out its work.

To submit your tax-deductible donation to support our work, go to

http://www.al-awda.org/donate.html

and follow the simple instructions.

Thank you for your generosity!

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D. VIDEO, FILM, AUDIO. ART, POETRY, ETC.:

[Some of these videos are embeded on the BAUAW website:

http://bauaw.blogspot.com/ or bauaw.org ...bw]

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NYC RESTAURANT WORKERS DANCE & SING FOR A WAGE HIKE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_s8e1R6rG8&feature=player_embedded

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

On Gun Control, Martin Luther King, the Deacons of Defense and the history of Black Liberation

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qzYKisvBN1o&feature=player_embedded

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

Danny Glover Greetings to the Labour Start Global Solidarity Conference

Join Danny Glover in supporting Nissan Mississippi workers' right to have a free and fair union election. Go to: www.labourstart.org/nissan and send a message to Nissan to stop the union busting and DO BETTER. For more information go to: www.DoBetterNissan.org.

Danny Glover, the star of Lethal Weapon and other Hollywood blockbusters, delivered a message to the LabourStart conference which opened yesterday in Sydney, Australia.

I'd like to ask you to take a minute to watch the video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-nkZ6yi8xzY&feature=youtu.be

Then please sign up to the online campaign, here:

http://www.labourstart.org/nissan

Here's why:

Management at Nissan’s plant in Mississippi is running an aggressive and sophisticated anti-union campaign against its employees who are forming a union to achieve a voice in the workplace.

Nissan is denying these workers a fair, democratic election, and management has sent a clear message to the workforce that considering a union could cost them their job.

Supported by workers, students, community leaders and human rights activists around the world, the United Auto Workers (UAW) have launched a campaign on LabourStart calling on Nissan’s Chief Operating Officer, Toshiyuki Shiga, to intervene to make things right in Mississippi.

Speaking yesterday at the LabourStart conference now taking place in Sydney Jeffrey Moore, one of the Mississippi auto workers, said:

“Nissan workers are seeking union representation because they want fairness and a chance to be heard.  They are seeking a voice on the job just like their colleagues in Japan and elsewhere.”

“At Canton Mississippi, Nissan management is making propaganda against the UAW and intimidating workers depriving them from a free choice. This is unacceptable and against freedom of association,” said Jyrki Raina, General Secretary of IndustriALL Global Union in support of the workers’ campaign.

“UAW has offered Nissan a positive, collaborative approach, but the US management is refusing partnership despite the fact that most of Nissan's operations in countries such as Mexico, Spain, UK, Russia, Japan, Australia, South Africa and Thailand are unionized and enjoy constructive labour and management relations,” said Raina.

Please spread the word -- let's make sure that Nissan is overwhelmed with messages of support for the workers in Canton, Mississippi.  Please forward this message to your fellow union members, your friends and your family.

Thank you.

Eric Lee

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Fukushima Never Again

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LU-Z4VLDGxU

"Fukushima, Never Again" tells the story of the Fukushima nuclear plant meltdowns in north east Japan in March of 2011 and exposes the cover-up by Tepco and the Japanese government.

This is the first film that interviews the Mothers Of Fukushima, nuclear power experts and trade unionists who are fighting for justice and the protection of the children and the people of Japan and the world. The residents and citizens were forced to buy their own geiger counters and radiation dosimeters in order to test their communities to find out if they were in danger.

The government said contaminated soil in children's school grounds was safe and then

when the people found out it was contaminated and removed the top soil, the government and TEPCO refused to remove it from the school grounds.

It also relays how the nuclear energy program for "peaceful atoms" was brought to Japan under the auspices of the US military occupation and also the criminal cover-up of the safety dangers of the plant by TEPCO and GE management which built the plant in Fukushima. It also interviews Kei Sugaoka, the GE nulcear plant inspector from the bay area who exposed cover-ups in the safety at the Fukushima plant and was retaliated against by GE. This documentary allows the voices of the people and workers to speak out about the reality of the disaster and what this means not only for the people of Japan but the people of the world as the US government and nuclear industry continue to push for more new plants and government subsidies. This film breaks

the information blockade story line of the corporate media in Japan, the US and around the world that Fukushima is over.

Production Of Labor Video Project

P.O. Box 720027

San Francisco, CA 94172

www.laborvideo.org

lvpsf@laborvideo.org

For information on obtaining the video go to:

www.fukushimaneveragain.com

(415)282-1908

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Labor Beat: SOJO - The Fight for Social Justice High School

["This is not an education plan, it's a business plan." quote from the video...bw]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AEkn1wmxCcE&feature=youtu.be

The fight for community democratic control of Social Justice High School is an important battle waged during the countdown to a possible strike of the Chicago Teachers Union in early September, 2012. And on August 31, students and faculty achieved a victory in forcing SOJO (as the High School is known) to hire back two teachers who were earlier fired for opposing destructive changes in the school's programs. All this took place in the midst of a student sit-in, an intense mass meeting of the school community, and a powerful student protest campaign that got the fired teachers reinstated.

Here are scenes from that fight: The dramatic August 23 mass meeting, testimonies of student leaders (one who reads a poem she was earlier prohibited from reading by CPS toadies), a big Chicago Teachers Solidarity Campaign indoor rally featuring speeches by the two fired teachers Angela Sangha and Katie Hogan; the student protest march two days later; the reinstatement of the two fired faculty members.

Speaking/interviewed: Andrea Guzman (Little Village community activist); Professor David Stovall (Advisory Local School Council representative); Dennis Kosuth (Chicago Teachers Solidarity Campaign member); Angela Sangha (founding teacher, Social Justice High School); Katie Hogan (founding teacher, Social Justice High School); Professor Rico Gutstein (University of Illinois - Chicago).

Please make a Donation to Labor Beat (Committee for Labor Access) and help rank-and-file tv:

https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=2F96...

Produced by Labor Beat. Labor Beat is a CAN TV Community Partner. Labor Beat is a non-profit 501(c)(3) member of IBEW 1220. Views are those of the producer Labor Beat. For info: mail@laborbeat.org, www.laborbeat.org. 312-226-3330. For other Labor Beat videos, visit YouTube and search "Labor Beat".

On Chicago CAN TV Channel 19, Thursdays 9:30 pm; Fridays 4:30 pm. Labor Beat has regular cable slots in Chicago, Evanston, Rockford, Urbana, IL; Philadelphia, PA; Princeton, NJ; and Rochester, NY. For more detailed information, send us a request at mail@laborbeat.org.

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all the sons

By Tommi Avicolli Mecca

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fp2jvlAk8-w&list=PL835C332FF6CFF1F3&index=1&feature=plcp

Published on Aug 27, 2012 by avimecca

Men have been going off to war for centuries. In the past couple centuries, they have been migrating to other countries (especially the U.S.) for work. They have been organizing, too, to fight oppression and stop the deaths of their sons and brothers.

"And I don't know why it has to be this way again."

I wrote this song for the mothers, too, who lose their sons to war and murder by police officers. Maybe someday "it doesn't have to be this way again."

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Labor Beat: Chicago Teachers Stand Strong

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SOLj6B4cF2w&feature=youtu.be

On May 23, 2012, Chicago Teachers Union held a massive rally at the Auditorium

theater to inform their membership about the coming contract struggle they face.

In the climate of school closings, budget cuts, a terrible new proposed

contract, and teacher-bashing on the part of Mayor Rahm Emmanuel and Chicago

schools CEO Jean-Claude Brizzard, CTU took to the streets to show their numbers

and appeal to the public, and within two weeks CTU was voting to authorize a

strike.

Meanwhile a few blocks away, Stand Up Chicago, Action Now, and many other

community organizations rallied against the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME,

the operator of the Chicago Board of Trade) and the $110 million tax break

they've been given by Illinois. CME is one of the most profitable companies in

the region, and yet now Illinois government is making broad cuts to social

programs needed by struggling families. These two marches converged at Jackson

and LaSalle in a unified demand for economic justice for Chicago's 99%.

Please make a Donation to Labor Beat (Committee for Labor Access) and help

rank-and-file tv:

https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=9789970

Produced by Labor Beat. Labor Beat is a CAN TV Community Partner. Labor Beat is

a non-profit 501(c)(3) member of IBEW 1220. Views are those of the producer

Labor Beat. For info: mail@laborbeat.org, www.laborbeat.org. 312-226-3330. For

other Labor Beat videos, visit YouTube and search "Labor Beat".

On Chicago CAN TV Channel 19, Thursdays 9:30 pm; Fridays 4:30 pm. Labor Beat has

regular cable slots in Chicago, Evanston, Rockford, Urbana, IL; Philadelphia,

PA; Princeton, NJ; and Rochester, NY.

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Guantanamo Bay Prisoners Were Tortured with Sesame Street

http://www.inquisitr.com/245285/guantanamo-bay-prisoners-were-tortured-with-sesa\
me-street/

Guantanamo Bay prisoners were reportedly tortured with the sounds of children's

Sesame Street songs, in an attempt to get them to talk.

Read more at

http://www.inquisitr.com/245285/guantanamo-bay-prisoners-were-tortured-with-sesa\
me-street/#HYqlyB1jssypzpFM.99

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15 yr old Teen girl in jail beating video speaks out on cop attacking her in

Police brutality case

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bDzQ8Vay3Pg&feature=share

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1000 year of war through the world

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NiG8neU4_bs&feature=share

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Anatomy of a Massacre - Afganistan

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v6BnRc11aug&feature=player_embedded

Afghans accuse multiple soldiers of pre-meditated murder

To see more go to http://www.youtube.com/user/journeymanpictures

Follow us on Facebook (http://goo.gl/YRw42) or Twitter

(http://www.twitter.com/journeymanvod)

The recent massacre of 17 civilians by a rogue US soldier has been shrouded in

mystery. But through unprecedented access to those involved, this report

confronts the accusations that Bales didn't act alone.

"They came into my room and they killed my family". Stories like this are common

amongst the survivors in Aklozai and Najiban. As are the shocking accusations

that Sergeant Bales was not acting alone. Even President Karzai has announced

"one man can not do that". Chief investigator, General Karimi, is suspicious

that despite being fully armed, Bales freely left his base without raising

alarm. "How come he leaves at night and nobody is aware? Every time we have

weapon accountability and personal accountability." These are just a few of the

questions the American army and government are yet to answer. One thing however

is very clear, the massacre has unleashed a wave of grief and outrage which

means relations in Kandahar will be tense for years to come: "If I could lay my

hands on those infidels, I would rip them apart with my bare hands."

A Film By SBS

Distributed By Journeyman Pictures

April 2012

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Photo of George Zimmerman, in 2005 photo, left, and in a more recent photo.

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2012/04/02/us/the-events-leading-to-the-sooti\
ng-of-trayvon-martin.html?hp

SPD Security Cams.wmv

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9WWDNbQUgm4&feature=player_embedded

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Kids being put on buses and transported from school to "alternate locations" in

Terror Drills

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qFia_w8adWQ

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Private prisons,

a recession resistant investment opportunity

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DIGLDOxx9Vg

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Attack Dogs used on a High School Walkout in MD, Four Students Charged With

"Thought Crimes"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_wafMaML17w

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Common forms of misconduct by Law Enforcement Officials and Prosecutors

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ViSpM4K276w&feature=related

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Organizing & Instigating: OCCUPY - Ronnie Goodman

http://arthazelwood.com/instigator/occupy/occupy-birth-video.html

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Rep News 12: Yes We Kony

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=68GbzIkYdc8

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The New Black by The Mavrix - Official Music Video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4rLfja8488

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Japan One Year Later

http://www.onlineschools.org/japan-one-year-later/

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The CIA's Heart Attack Gun

http://www.brasschecktv.com/videos/assassination-studies/the-cias-heart-attack-g\
un-.html

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The Invisible American Workforce

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/8/5/new_expos_tracks_alec_private_prison

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Labor Beat: NATO vs The 1st Amendment

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HbQxnb4so3U

For more detailed information, send us a request at mail@laborbeat.org.

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Anti-War Demonstrators Storm Pentagon 1967/10/24

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mDiFkckszCw

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Liberal Hypocrisy on Obama Vs Bush - Poll

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pl_HGEXq_aM&feature=player_embedded

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Greek trade unionists and black bloc October 2011

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sHMLD_Vql0o&feature=player_embedded#!

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The Battle of Oakland

by brandon jourdan plus

http://vimeo.com/36256273

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Officers Pulled Off Street After Tape of Beating Surfaces

By ANDY NEWMAN

February 1, 2012, 10:56 am

http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/01/officers-pulled-off-street-after-ta\
pe-of-beating-surfaces/?ref=nyregion

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Defending The People's Mic

by Pham Binh of Occupy Wall Street

The North Star

January 20, 2012

http://www.thenorthstar.info/?p=53

Grand Central Terminal Arrests - MIRROR

Two protesters mic check about the loss of freedom brought about by the passage

of the NDAA and both are promptly arrested and whisked out of public sight.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o7Tj7tEVx8A&feature=player_embedded

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This is excellent! Michelle Alexander pulls no punches!

Michelle Alexander, Author of The New Jim Crow, speaks about the political

strategy

behind the War on Drugs and its connection to the mass incarceration of Black

and Brown people in the United States.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P75cbEdNo2U&feature=player_embedded

If you think Bill Clinton was "the first black President" you need to watch this

video and see how much damage his administration caused for the black community

as a result of his get tough attitude on crime that appealed to white swing

voters.

This speech took place at Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem on January 12,

2012.

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Release Bradley Manning

Almost Gone (The Ballad Of Bradley Manning)

Written by Graham Nash and James Raymond (son of David Crosby)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dAYG7yJpBbQ&feature=player_embedded

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School police increasingly arresting American students?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zl-efNBvjUU&feature=player_embedded

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FYI:

Nuclear Detonation Timeline "1945-1998"

The 2053 nuclear tests and explosions that took place between 1945 and 1998 are

plotted visually and audibly on a world map.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I9lquok4Pdk&feature=share&mid=5408

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We Are the 99 Percent

We are the 99 percent. We are getting kicked out of our homes. We are forced to

choose between groceries and rent. We are denied quality medical care. We are

suffering from environmental pollution. We are working long hours for little pay

and no rights, if we're working at all. We are getting nothing while the other 1

percent is getting everything. We are the 99 percent.

Brought to you by the people who occupy wall street. Why will YOU occupy?

OccupyWallSt.org

Occupytogether.org

wearethe99percentuk.tumblr.com

http://wearethe99percent.tumblr.com/

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

Drop All Charges on the 'Occupy Wall Street' Arrestees!

Stop Police Attacks & Arrests! Support 'Occupy Wall Street'!

SIGN THE ONLINE PETITION AT:

http://bailoutpeople.org/dropchargesonoccupywallstarrestees.shtml

DROP ALL CHARGES ON THE OCCUPY WALL STREET ARRESTEES!

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

We Are The People Who Will Save Our Schools

YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFAOJsBxAxY

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

In honor of the 75th Anniversary of the 44-Day Flint Michigan sit-down strike at

GM that began December 30, 1936:

According to Michael Moore, (Although he has done some good things, this clip

isn't one of them) in this clip from his film, "Capitalism a Love Story," it was

Roosevelt who saved the day!):

"After a bloody battle one evening, the Governor of Michigan, with the support

of the President of the United States, Franklin Roosevelt, sent in the National

Guard. But the guns and the soldiers weren't used on the workers; they were

pointed at the police and the hired goons warning them to leave these workers

alone. For Mr. Roosevelt believed that the men inside had a right to a redress

of their grievances." -Michael Moore's 'Capitalism: A Love Story'

- Flint Sit-Down Strike http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h8x1_q9wg58

But those cannons were not aimed at the goons and cops! They were aimed straight

at the factory filled with strikers! Watch what REALLY happened and how the

strike was really won!

'With babies & banners' -- 75 years since the 44-day Flint sit-down strike

http://links.org.au/node/2681

--Inspiring

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

HALLELUJAH CORPORATIONS (revised edition).mov

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ws0WSNRpy3g

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

ONE OF THE GREATEST POSTS ON YOUTUBE SO FAR!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M8C-qIgbP9o&feature=share&mid=552

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

ILWU Local 10 Longshore Workers Speak-Out At Oakland Port Shutdown

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3JUpBpZYwms

Uploaded by laborvideo on Dec 13, 2011

ILWU Local 10 longshore workers speak out during a blockade of the Port of

Oakland called for by Occupy Oakland. Anthony Levieges and Clarence Thomas rank

and file members of the union. The action took place on December 12, 2011 and

the interview took place at Pier 30 on the Oakland docks.

For more information on the ILWU Local 21 Longview EGT struggle go to

http://www.facebook.com/groups/256313837734192/

For further info on the action and the press conferernce go to:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jz3fE-Vhrw8&feature=youtu.be

Production of Labor Video Project www.laborvideo.org

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

UC Davis Police Violence Adds Fuel to Fire

By Scott Galindez, Reader Supported News

19 November 11

http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/275-42/8485-uc-davis-police-violence-add\
s-fuel-to-fire

UC Davis Protestors Pepper Sprayed

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6AdDLhPwpp4&feature=player_embedded

Police PEPPER SPRAY UC Davis STUDENT PROTESTERS!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wuWEx6Cfn-I&feature=player_embedded

Police pepper spraying and arresting students at UC Davis

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WmJmmnMkuEM&feature=player_embedded

*---------*

UC Davis Chancellor Katehi walks to her car

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=CZ0t9ez_EGI#!

Occupy Seattle - 84 Year Old Woman Dorli Rainey Pepper Sprayed

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TTIyE_JlJzw&feature=related

*---------*

THE BEST VIDEO ON "OCCUPY THE WORLD"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S880UldxB1o

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

Shot by police with rubber bullet at Occupy Oakland

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I0pX9LeE-g8&feature=player_embedded

*---------*

Copwatch@Occupy Oakland: Beware of Police Infiltrators and Provocateurs

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VrvMzqopHH0

*---------*

Occupy Oakland 11-2 Strike: Police Tear Gas, Black Bloc, War in the Streets

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Tu_D8SFYck&feature=player_embedded

*----*

Quebec police admitted that, in 2007, thugs carrying rocks to a peaceful protest

were actually undercover Quebec police officers:

POLICE STATE Criminal Cops EXPOSED As Agent Provocateurs @ SPP Protest

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KoiisMMCFT0&feature=player_embedded

*----*

Quebec police admit going undercover at montebello protests

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gAfzUOx53Rg&feature=player_embedded

G20: Epic Undercover Police Fail

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jrJ7aU-n1L8&feature=player_embedded

*----*

WHAT HAPPENED IN OAKLAND TUESDAY NIGHT, OCTOBER 25:

Occupy Oakland Protest

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wlPs-REyl-0&feature=player_embedded

Cops make mass arrests at occupy Oakland

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R27kD2_7PwU&feature=player_embedded

Raw Video: Protesters Clash With Oakland Police

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CpO-lJr2BQY&feature=player_embedded

Occupy Oakland - Flashbangs USED on protesters OPD LIES

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QqNOPZLw03Q&feature=player_embedded

KTVU TV Video of Police violence

http://www.ktvu.com/video/29587714/index.html

Marine Vet wounded, tear gas & flash-bang grenades thrown in downtown

Oakland

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cMUgPTCgwcQ&feature=player_embedded

Tear Gas billowing through 14th & Broadway in Downtown Oakland

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OU4Y0pwJtWE&feature=player_embedded

Arrests at Occupy Atlanta -- This is what a police state looks like

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YStWz6jbeZA&feature=player_embedded

*---------*

Labor Beat: Hey You Billionaire, Pay Your Fair Share

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PY8isD33f-I

*---------*

Voices of Occupy Boston 2011 - Kwame Somburu (Paul Boutelle) Part I

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DA48gmfGB6U&feature=youtu.be

Voices of Occupy Boston 2011 - Kwame Somburu (Paul Boutelle) Part II

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cjKZpOk7TyM&feature=related

*---------*

#Occupy Wall Street In Washington Square: Mohammed Ezzeldin, former occupier of

Egypt's Tahrir Square Speaks at Washington Square!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ziodsFWEb5Y&feature=player_embedded

*---------*

#OccupyTheHood, Occupy Wall Street

By adele pham

http://vimeo.com/30146870

*---------*

Live arrest at brooklyn bridge #occupywallstreet by We are Change

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yULSI-31Pto&feature=player_embedded

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

FREE THE CUBAN FIVE!

http://www.thecuban5.org/wordpress/index.php

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JmS4kHC_OlY&feature=player_embedded

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

One World One Revolution -- MUST SEE VIDEO -- Powerful and beautiful...bw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aE3R1BQrYCw&feature=player_embedded

"When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty." Thomas Jefferson

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

Japan: angry Fukushima citizens confront government (video)

Posted by Xeni Jardin on Monday, Jul 25th at 11:36am

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVuGwc9dlhQ&feature=player_embedded

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

FREE BRADLEY MANNING

http://www.bradleymanning.org/news/national-call-in-for-bradley

I received the following reply from the White House November 18, 2011 regarding

the Bradley Manning petition I signed:

"Why We Can't Comment on Bradley Manning

"Thank you for signing the petition 'Free PFC Bradley Manning, the accused

WikiLeaks whistleblower.' We appreciate your participation in the We the People

platform on WhiteHouse.gov.

The We the People Terms of Participation explain that 'the White House may

decline to address certain procurement, law enforcement, adjudicatory, or

similar matters properly within the jurisdiction of federal departments or

agencies, federal courts, or state and local government.' The military justice

system is charged with enforcing the Uniform Code of

Military Justice. Accordingly, the White House declines to comment on the

specific case raised in this petition...

That's funny! I guess Obama didn't get this memo. Here's what Obama said about

Bradley:

BRADLEY MANNING "BROKE THE LAW" SAYS OBAMA!

"He broke the law!" says Obama about Bradley Manning who has yet to even be

charged, let alone, gone to trial and found guilty. How horrendous is it for the

President to declare someone guilty before going to trial or being charged with

a crime! Justice in the U.S.A.!

Obama on FREE BRADLEY MANNING protest... San Francisco, CA. April 21, 2011-

Presidential remarks on interrupt/interaction/performance art happening at

fundraiser. Logan Price queries Barack after org. FRESH JUICE PARTY political

action:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IfmtUpd4id0&feature=youtu.be

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

Labor Beat: Labor Stands with Subpoenaed Activists Against FBI Raids and Grand

Jury Investigation of antiwar and social justice activists.

"If trouble is not at your door. It's on it's way, or it just left."

"Investigate the Billionaires...Full investigation into Wall Street..." Jesse

Sharkey, Vice

President, Chicago Teachers Union

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BSNUSIGZCMQ

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

Julian Assange: Why the world needs WikiLeaks

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bVGqE726OAo&feature=player_embedded

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

Coal Ash: One Valley's Tale

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6E7h-DNvwx4&feature=player_embedded

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

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