Latest Event Updates

Show Details for August 6th, 2006

Posted on Updated on

Alternative Media – Raw Story; Lebanon and the UN

LARISA ALEXANDROVNA, Managing News Editor for Raw Story, on alternative media and what’s being missed

Monitor co-host Pokey Anderson will talk with Larisa Alexandrovna today.  Larisa, who was raised Jewish, will take a look at the uproar about Mel Gibson’s anti-Semitic comments, and what the media barons AREN’T looking at.  (See her piece below, “Mirror Mirror.”)  We’ll take a look at the evolving position of alternative media in the U.S., and some of the stories she’s following.
Larisa Alexandrovna is a journalist, essayist and poet. She is managing news editor for Raw Story, and contributes regularly to other publications in the alternative press. She spent part of her childhood in a part of the former Soviet Union which is now Ukraine, and speaks fluent Russian.

Her work is cited by mass media outlets such as Rolling Stone, New York Times, Mother Jones, and other notable publications. She is best known for her reporting on domestic intelligence issues and foreign military affairs. For the past year she has been focused on the build up for war with Iran.

Raw Story
“Mirror Mirror – The Passion of Hypocrites”
by Larisa Alexandrovna
Read it here“US military, intelligence officials raise concern about possible preparations for Iran strike”
by Larisa Alexandrovna
May 11, 2006
Raw Story
Read it here

QUOTES by Larisa Alexandrovna:
“This is after all an administration that writes its own news and disseminates it.” 

“The ‘values voter’ is and has always been a propaganda concept, sold and bought by the mass media to justify the inexcusable and twisted ‘compassionate’ authoritarian agenda.”

ROBERT NAIMAN of Just Foreign Policy on Lebanon and the U.N.

Monitor co-host Mark Bebawi welcomes Robert Naiman to the Monitor.  They’ll be talking about about UN resolutions, their implementation and the security council veto framed in the context of events in Lebanon.
Naiman is national coordinator of the new D.C.-based advocacy group Just Foreign Policy, which issued a statement today saying:

“Under international law the UN Security Council is supposed to act to stop crimes against peace but [it] cannot do so in this case because it is paralyzed by the veto of the Bush administration, which opposes an immediate cease-fire and is backed in this position by the United Kingdom. However, under resolution 377, ‘Uniting for Peace,’ the UN General Assembly can act when the Security Council fails to do so. This procedure has been used 10 times in the history of the UN, often at the initiative of the United States.”

Just Foreign Policy
“A Road to Peace in Lebanon?”
Jeremy Brecher and Brendan Smith
July 27, 2006
Read it here
“We are circulating a petition calling for the UN General Assembly to act to bring about an immediate cease-fire in Lebanon, Israel and Gaza. Any UN member country could put this forward. Even a significant movement towards the convening of the General Assembly to consider an immediate, unconditional cease-fire will put significant pressure on the major powers to support an immediate cease-fire.”

Just Foreign Policy: “This critical role of foreign policy in our domestic politics also opens up the opportunity that people who are more concerned with domestic issues such as health care, poverty, or civil liberties will begin to see that progress on any of these issues will be extremely difficult, if not impossible, so long as our current foreign policy remains in place.”


Show Details for July 30th

Posted on Updated on

SIBEL EDMONDS on whistleblowers and NSA surveillance


Mark Bebawi welcomes Sibel Edmonds back to the Monitor. She is a former Middle Eastern language specialist hired by the FBI shortly after 9/11. She was fired in 2002 after reporting serious security breaches and misconduct in the agency’s translation program. She has alleged not only FBI incompetence, but that high crimes are being covered up to protect a select few.
She challenged her retaliatory dismissal in court, but the district court dismissed her case when Attorney General John Ashcroft invoked the so-called state secrets privilege.  Ashcroft even retroactively classified material that had been public in 2002 Senate hearings on Edmonds’ allegations.The American Civil Liberties Union got involved, and said that the government is abusing the “state secrets privilege” to silence employees who expose national security blunders.  After a number of legal maneuvers and appeals, the case was dismissed in 2005 with no opinion provided; the case hearing was so secret that even Edmonds was not allowed in the courtroom.  This was followed by the Supreme Court declining to review it.  Sibel Edmonds is president of the National Security Whistleblowers Coalition.  That group is backing former intelligence analyst Russell Tice, who was dismissed by the National Security Agency in May 2005.  Tice worked on top-secret satellite intelligence collection programs. Tice has said he spoke to reporters for the NY Times prior to the newspaper’s story in December that disclosed the NSA program that intercepts Americans’ telephone calls and e-mails without a court’s approval.

RUSSELL TICE – whistleblower, subject of a subpoena
Russell Tice received a subpoena a few days ago to testify next Wednesday to a grand jury.  “The grand jury is conducting an investigation of possible violations of federal criminal laws involving the unauthorized disclosure of classified information,” according to a letter that accompanied the subpoena.  The location of the grand jury, the Eastern District of Virginia, “has often been chosen by the Justice Department for national security cases because the federal court there is generally thought to be favorable to the government,” according to the NY Times.
In response to the subpoena, Tice said to the NY Times, ““I feel this is an intimidation tactic aimed at me and anyone who’s considering dropping a dime on criminal activity by the government.”

National Security Whistleblowers Coalition
“Ex-NSA Officer Subpoenaed in Leaks Case”
By Mark Sherman
AP; Washington Post
Friday, July 28, 2006

Blogger GLENN GREENWALD on the presidential power grab

Pokey Anderson will discuss presidential overreach and other Constitutional issues with Glenn Greenwald.  She will also ask him about whether his success as a blogger and author can serve as a model for other efforts to counter the pro-Bush media chorus.
Greenwald is a Constitutional law attorney, and author of the political blog, “Unclaimed Territory.”In about eight months, he went from blogger to author to bestselling author — his book went to the No. 1 spot on Amazon’s best-seller charts even before advance copies were printed.  The book is a reasoned yet unflinching look at presidential overreach: “How Would a Patriot Act: Defending America from a President Run Amok.” Greenwald has written for American Conservative magazine and appeared on a variety of television and radio programs, including C-Span’s “Washington Journal,” Air America’s “Majority Report” and Public Radio International’s “To the Point.” His reporting and analysis have been credited in The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, Salon, Slate and a variety of other print and online publications. Glenn splits his time between New York City and Brazil.

“How Would a Patriot Act? Defending American Values from a President Run Amok”
Working Assets Publishing (May 15, 2006)

“Over the past five years, a creeping extremism has taken hold of our federal government, and it is threatening to radically alter our system of government and who we are as a nation.  This extremism is neither conservative nor liberal in nature, but is instead driven by theories of unlimited presidential power that are wholly alien, and antithetical, to the core political values that have governed this country since its founding.”

Unclaimed Territory

Homeland Security Agent editing Wikipedia, suppressing evidence of same

Posted on

It appears that a satire based Wiki site, Encyclopedia Dramatica, accidentally uncovered that a Wikipedia administrator was an employee of the Department of Homeland Security and exposed it, after they learned he was suppressing possible evidence of the 9/11 attacks on Wikipedia articles. In response, that admin and others organized to get it quickly removed removed from Wikipedia. Full timeline is compiled here. Why is a USDHS employee suppressing information on Wikipedia?

Original link

Hat tip to MarkM for the link and story

Show details for July 23rd

Posted on Updated on

The Monitor: The conflict in Lebanon. The US racial wealth divide.
ALI ABUNIMAH on the conflict in Lebanon

Ali AbuNimah

 Mark Bebawi will discuss background and context of the current conflict between Israel and Hezbollah with our guest, Ali Abunimah.  He is a full-time researcher in social policy at the University of Chicago.A writer and commentator on Middle East and Arab-American affairs, Abunimah’s articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Financial Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Jordan Times, Lebanon’s Daily Star and Ha’aretz, among others. He is a frequent guest on local, national and international radio and television, including CNN, MSNBC, Fox, the BBC, PBS and many others. Abunimah lectures frequently at colleges in the United States.

He was born in the United States and grew up in Europe. Both of his parents are originally from Palestine. He received his BA from Princeton University and MA from the University of Chicago. Abunimah travels often to the Middle East.  

His recent book contributions include “No Justice, No Peace,” in “The Anti-Capitalism Reader,” edited by Joel Schalit. New York: Akashic Books, 2002; “The US Media and the New Intifada” (with Hussein Ibish) in “The New Intifada,” edited by Roane Carey. New York: Verso Books, 2001; “The Palestinian Right of Return” (with Hussein Ibish), Washington, DC: ADC, 2001; “The Media’s Deadly Spin on Iraq” (with Rania Masri) in “Iraq Under Siege” edited by Anthony Arnove. Cambridge, MA: South End Press, 2002 (Updated Edition).

Visit Electronic Lebanon, Electronic Intifada and Electronic Iraq to stay up to date with Ali’s latest articles.

BETSY LEONDAR-WRIGHT discusses the US racial wealth divide


co-host Pokey Anderson welcomes Betsy Leondar-Wright back to the show, to continue our discussions of wealth disparity and class in America.  Betsy has co-authored a new book, “The Color of Wealth: The Story Behind the U.S. Racial Wealth Divide.”Betsy has been communications director at United for a Fair Economy for nine years. A long-time economic justice organizer and researcher, she is also the author of Class Matters: Cross-Class Alliance Building for Middle-Class Activists (New Society Publishers, 2005.)  She is a co-author of UFE’s report, “The State of the Dream 2005: Disowned in the Ownership Society,” and co-editor of The Wealth Inequality Reader (Dollars and Sense, 2004).  She lives in Boston.

“The Color of Wealth: The Story Behind the U.S. Racial Wealth Divide,” by Meizhu Lui, Barbara Robles, Betsy Leondar-Wright, Rose Brewer, and Rebecca Adamson, with United for a Fair Economy
“Class Matters: Cross-Class Alliance Building for Middle-Class Activists,” by Betsy Leondar-Wright

United for a Fair Economy
“‘ America is a meritocracy’, my father always told me. The harder he worked, the more money he got: clear cause and effect. But my father had a legacy that he couldn’t see, a legacy he only got because he is white. He was a World War II-era veteran, and bought his first house with a Veterans Administration mortgage, which almost all veterans of color were denied. His parents got Social Security old-age benefits when the program excluded domestic and agricultural workers, which meant that most people of color did not qualify. Of course effort and talent make a difference in climbing the staircase to prosperity. But for most white men, the staircase has been an escalator powered by public assistance. Historically, for people of color, the escalator has been broken or has run backwards.”     — Betsy Leondar-Wright

You can download yesterday’s show here