This week’s guests are Joel Brinkley and Gareth Porter. We will talk with both about their most recent articles (linked below) as well as other topics, as time allows. Feel free to post comments.
Joel Brinkley is the Hearst Visiting Professional in Residence at Stanford University. Brinkley joined the Department of Communication in the fall of 2006 after a 23-year career with The New York Times. There, he served as a reporter, editor and Pulitzer Prize winning foreign correspondent.
At Stanford, Brinkley writes an op-ed column on foreign policy that appears in about 50 newspapers and Websites in the United States and around the world each week, syndicated by Tribune Media Services. His areas of research include American foreign policy and the future of the nation’s newspaper industry.
Afghanistan’s Dirty Little Secret
This week’s guests are Denis Halliday and Tim Shorrock
A 34-year veteran of the UN, Halliday resigned in 1998 over the economic sanctions imposed on Iraq, characterizing them as “genocide“. He subsequently gave the following explanation of his decision to resign:
|“||I often have to explain why I resigned from the United Nations after a 30 year career, why I took on the all powerful states of the UN Security Council; and why after five years I continue to serve the well being of the people of Iraq. In reality there was no choice, and there remains no choice. You all would have done the same had you been occupying my seat as head of the UN Humanitarian Program in Iraq.I was driven to resignation because I refused to continue to take Security Council orders, the same Security Council that had imposed and sustained genocidal sanctions on the innocent of Iraq. I did not want to be complicit. I wanted to be free to speak out publicly about this crime.
And above all, my innate sense of justice was and still is outraged by the violence that UN sanctions have brought upon, and continues to bring upon, the lives of children, families – the extended families, the loved ones of Iraq. There is no justification for killing the young people of Iraq, not the aged, not the sick, not the rich, not the poor.
Some will tell you that the leadership is punishing the Iraqi people. That is not my perception, or experience from living in Baghdad. And were that to be the case – how can that possibly justify further punishment, in fact collective punishment, by the United Nations? I don’t think so. And international law has no provision for the disproportionate and murderous consequences of the ongoing UN embargo – for well over 12 long years.
In 2003 Denis Halliday was presented with the Gandhi International Peace Award in recognition of his work drawing attention to the plight of Iraqis. In 2007 he presented the same award to Media Lens whose co-founder David Edwards had interviewed Halliday in May 2000 about his work in Iraq. In 2009 Denis Halliday agreed to become a Patron of the Gandhi Foundation, and he presented the annual peace award to the Children’s Legal Centre.
On October 25, 2007, Halliday, Harold Pinter and John Pilger had a letter printed in the Daily Telegraph in which they condemned the “celebration of [former British Prime Minister] David Lloyd George’s legacy” (following the unveiling of a statue in Westminster in his honour) as “disgraceful”, likening his policies of aerial bombardment of Middle Eastern countries to the present day war in Iraq.
Denis was on-board the Ireland-flagged humanitarian ship the MV Rachel Corrie, en route to Gaza.
Tim Shorrock is an investigative journalist and labor activist. He is the author of SPIES FOR HIRE: The Secret World of Outsourced Intelligence, published in 2008 by Simon & Schuster. Over the past 35 years, his work has appeared in many publications in the United States and abroad, including Salon, the Journal of Commerce, Mother Jones, The Nation, Harper’s, Inter Press Service, The Progressive, Foreign Policy in Focus, Asia Times, Sisa Journal (Korea) and Hankyoreh 21 (Korea). He also appears frequently on the radio as a commentator on US-Korean relations and US intelligence and foreign policy, and has been interviewed on South Korea’s MBC, Pacifica’s Democracy Now, NPR’s Fresh Air and Air America.
Tonight’s guests are Tom Englehardt and Brad Friedman
This week saw two significant stories which we will examine in detail on the show.
We will be looking at this story with Tom Englehardt.
The 2nd story, discussed with Brad Friedman is the discrediting of Andrew Breitbart
Tom Engelhardt created and runs the Tomdispatch.com website, a project of The Nation Institute where he is a Fellow. He is the author of a highly praised history of American triumphalism in the Cold War, The End of Victory Culture, and of a novel, The Last Days of Publishing, as well as a collection of his Tomdispatch interviews, Mission Unaccomplished. Each spring he is a Teaching Fellow at the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley.
We will talk with Tom about his book, The American Way of War: How Bush’s Wars Became Obama’s, and the huge cache of secret US military files Wikileaks. released today by
Brad Friedman is an independent investigative journalist, blogger, broadcaster, VelvetRevolution.us co-founder, expert on issues of election integrity, and a Commonweal Institute Fellow. We talk to him this week about the discrediting of Andrew Breitbart
Tonight’s Guests are Marjorie Cohn and Robert Bryce
Some of the Headlines mentioned on the show tonight:
- US Ships massing off Iranian coast Israel prepares to strike, Via Raw Story
- Rolling Stone Reporter Michael Hastings: Reporters Write Puff Pieces For Access
- Giant Oil Slick Headed For Grand Isle
- US Healthcare system lags behind competitors – Commonwealth Fund assessment
Marjorie Cohn is Professor Cohn is immediate past president of the National Lawyers Guild. She lectures throughout the world on international human rights and U.S. foreign policy. A news consultant for CBS News, and a legal analyst for Court TV, she also provides legal and political commentary on BBC, CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, NPR, Air America and Pacifica Radio. Professor Cohn is the author of Cowboy Republic: Six Ways the Bush Gang Has Defied the Law and co-author of Cameras in the Courtroom: Television and the Pursuit of Justice. Her latest book is Rules of Disengagement: The Politics and Honor of Military Dissent (with Kathleen Gilberd), and her forthcoming anthology, The United States and Torture: Interrogation, Incarceration and Abuse, will be published in fall 2010 by NYU Press. Her articles have appeared in numerous journals such as Fordham Law Review, Hastings Law Journal and Virginia Journal of International Law, as well as The National Law Journal, Christian Science Monitor and Chicago Tribune.
Marjorie joins The Monitor tonight to talk about Kagan’s Troubling Record
Robert Bryce‘s articles have appeared in dozens of publications including the Atlantic Monthly, Wall Street Journal, Slate, New York Times, Washington Post, American Conservative, The Nation, Counterpunch and The Guardian. His first book, Pipe Dreams: Greed, Ego, and the Death of Enron, received rave reviews and was named one of the best non-fiction books of 2002 by Publishers Weekly. His second book, Cronies: Oil, the Bushes, and the Rise of Texas, America’s Superstate, was published 2004. His third book, Gusher of Lies: The Dangerous Delusions of “Energy Independence,” published in March 2008, was favorably reviewed by more than 20 media outlets. The American magazine called Gusher of Lies “a strong and much-needed dose of reality.” His most recent book is Power Hungry: The Myths of “Green” Energy, and the Real Fuels of the Future, was published in April 2010.
Robert joins The Monitor tonight to talk about a couple of his most recent articles:
Tonight’s Guests: Rick Rowley and John Steinbach
Richard Rowley joins Mark Bebawi for an interview about the July 2007 attack shown in a military video released last week by Wikileaks.
The leaked video shows Iraqis, including people working for Reuters, attacked — and then shows people in a van attempting to rescue the wounded being fired upon. See: http://wikileaks.org
Rick’s work can be seen at Big Noise Films – bignoisefilms.org
Rick has made four award winning feature documentaries with international theatrical distribution and dozens of short films and television pieces. He has reported from the front-lines of wars and the inside of social movements in Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine, Turkey, Mexico, Venezuela, Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, South Africa, Mali, Niger, East Timor and South Korea. His work has appeared on BBC, CBC, CNN International, Al Jazeera International, MBC, MTV, and Democracy Now. He has been awarded a Rockefeller Media Arts fellowship and a Jerome fellowship.
John Steinbach, activist educator and author, has written extensively about the environment and nuclear energy and weapons issues. His work has been published in Z Magazine, Resist, Covert Action Quarterly, Global Outlook and the Washington Peace Letter. With is wife, Louise Franklin-Ramirez, he authored the definitive map and database Deadly Radiation Hazards USA.
Steinbach joins Mark Bebawi to discuss his paper “Israel’s Nuclear Arsenal: Implications for the Middle East and the World.”
Quote: “It’s unfortunate that the administration has not invited Iran, North Korea and Syria to this conference, since it’s largely supposed
to be about preventing groups from getting nuclear material and the U.S. government has accused each of those countries in one way or another of at least being lax on the subject.
“We’ll likely never know the real reason for Netanyahu not coming to the conference, but one reason might be that the U.S. is saying it wants a Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty and Israel is on record as being against such a treaty. Israel has the most opaque nuclear weapons program — estimates range from 80 to 500 nuclear weapons. Regardless of the size of its nuclear arsenal, Israel has enough sophisticated nuclear weapons and the delivery system to destroy every country in the Mideast and southwest Asia.
“Contrary to what many are claiming, both Egypt and Turkey have stated that they had no plans to raise the subject of Israel’s nuclear weapons at
this conference in Washington, though many nations are sure to raise the subject at the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty [NPT] review conference in New York beginning May 1. It’s clearly Obama’s goal to come out of that conference focusing on Iran. The last NPT review conference ended in chaos when participating nations couldn’t even agree on an agenda.
“Israel and the U.S. have had this so-called ‘nuclear ambiguity’ agreement since Nixon and [Israeli Prime Minister Golda] Meir, which continues to this day — Obama was asked about Israel’s nuclear weapons by Helen Thomas and he refused to answer.”
Background: See the following recent interview with Helen Thomas, which includes video of her asking Obama about Mideast nuclear weapons at his first presidential news conference. Obama states he does not want to “speculate” if any nation in the Mideast has nuclear weapons. Thomas has not been called on by Obama since then. She states in this interview that if she is called on “I want to ask him if he ever found out whether anyone in the Middle East has nuclear weapons” but that she “doubts” she will be called upon again.
See Steinbach’s paper “Israel’s Nuclear Arsenal: Implications for the Middle
East and the World.”
He will be presenting the paper on Wednesday at the Institute for Policy http://www.hotsalsa.org/index.php?cid=1001360
Brad is an independent investigative journalist, blogger, broadcaster, VelvetRevolution.us co-founder, expert on issues of election integrity, and a Commonweal Institute Fellow.
Marjorie Cohn is the immediate past president of the National Lawyers Guild and a professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, where she teaches criminal law and procedure, evidence, and international human rights law. She lectures throughout the world on human rights and US foreign policy. Mark Bebawi spoke with her about John Yoo and Jay Bybee getting away with drafting the 2002 memo that gave legal cover for Bush/Cheney’s use of torture. She said on the topic: “A prior draft of the Office of Professional Responsibility’s report reportedly determined that John Yoo and Jay Bybee violated their professional obligations by writing the now infamous 2002 torture memo. After several months and likely pressure from the White House, the OPR’s conclusion was downgraded to ‘poor judgment,’ which will not trigger potential discipline of Yoo and impeachment of Bybee. This is consistent with Obama’s approach of shielding Bush officials from accountability to curry favor with Republicans.” Check out her article: http://marjoriecohn.com/2009/02/war-criminals-including-their-lawyers.html
This week’s guests:
Michael Ratner on Gitmo, torture and restoring justice
Dedrick Muhammad on race, class and equality in America
The Monitor’s Mark Bebawi spoke to Michael about the worst excesses of the Bush administration and the prospect of their reversal under an Obama administration. Of particular note is were the issues of Guantanamo and torture.
Dedrick is author of a just-released study, “The Unrealized American Dream,” from the Program on Inequality and the Common Good at the Institute for Policy Studies. The Monitor’s Mark Bebawi spoke to Dedrick about race, racism and the hope that the election of Barack Obama could create the space for serious (and overdue) discussion on this taboo topic. See http://www.ips-dc.org/articles/454