Law and Disorder Radio – Brian Becker on Libya – Better This World Documentary on FBI Entrapment of Activists – Hosts: Heidi Boghosian, Michael Steven Smith & Michael Ratner – Produced by Geoff Brady

Law and Disorder Radio

The Truth About the Situation in Libya: Cutting Through the Government Propaganda and Media Lies

Libya, a country of 6 million people, possesses the largest of Africa’s oil reserves. Its oil is of a particular high quality. Since March 19, 2011 the air forces of Britain, France and the United States have conducted nearly 7,500 bombing attacks. Meanwhile, ground forces made up of special operations and commando units are NATO-led and direct the military operations of the so-called rebel forces. In his recent article titled “The Truth About the Situation in Libya: Cutting Through the Government Propaganda and Media Lies,” ANSWER Coalition National Coordinator Brian Becker lays out the history and facts about the ongoing Libya invasion. See Partial Interview Transcript

Brian Becker:

  • Unfortunately there’s a large number of people who have accommodated themselves to a full scale demonization of the targeted government, in this case Qaddafi and Libya.
  • Targeted comprehensively by the corporate sponsored media in the United States, in Britain and France. The United States, Britain and France, the former colonizers and slave traders of Africa, always assign their bombing missions and invasions a noble cause.
  • They characterized the targeted government as having threatened a full scale massacre in Benghazi. There was no proof offered of that. The propaganda campaign is always part of the overall war effort.
  • Qaddafi came to power in 1969; he immediately evicted the US Air Force base and the two British bases that were the dominant powers inside of Libya.
  • The National Transition Council, the group that is fighting Qaddafi, and is sponsored by NATO, their first act when they formed a government coming into being was to invite those same powers to begin bombing the country.
  • In 2004 after the invasion of Iraq, George W. Bush and the European powers there ended the sanctions on Libya.
  • Libya attempted to accommodate itself to the western powers.
  • He was a player; they don’t want players, they want puppets.
  • He let the companies come in but he kept irritating and annoying them.
  • In the recent months we’ve seen demonstrations of hundreds and thousands of Libyans, maybe as many as a million gathering in Green Square against the bombing of Tripoli.
  • Not all of them were with Qaddafi, some of them were but they nonetheless were against the bombing of their city by a foreign power.
  • In the last days, there’s been a psychological war to overthrow the government in Tripoli.
  • What we don’t see is NATO carried out 7,500 bombing missions, many of them against military formations of the Qaddafi government, many against civilian and communication centers.
  • Why don’t they start bombing Saudi Arabia? There’s no elections in Saudi Arabia, women can’t drive cars in Saudi Arabia, the punishment for women committing adultery is stoning to death. There’s no protest in Saudi Arabia because they’re met with torture, imprisonment and execution.
  • Why? Because the Saudi government functions a proxy, puppet client regime of the United States.
  • If you watch TV or read US media you’d think there were 40 years of dark grim dictatorship with nothing good; the nightmare is finally ending.
  • There was mass illiteracy in 1969, today 92 percent of the people are literate. Life expectancy of Libyans today is 77 years old. The entire operation is a NATO operation.
  • The slogan of self determination has no credibility except in that struggle against imperialism.
  • In World War I when that war was about to end, there was a secret treaty called the Sykes-Picot Treaty. What that treaty showed was despite the utterances of self determination at that time by Woodrow Wilson and the other western leaders, that these powers were secretly dividing the spoils of war.
  • If this operation in Libya succeeds, the use of foreign military forces and intelligence forces, and drone aircraft and military operations, the same tactics will be applied to countries deemed too independent of the dictates in Washington.
  • Because it’s Obama and not the Republicans, too many progressive anti-war normally active people are sitting on the sidelines, watching, wondering rather than building a militant anti-war movement in the United States.

Guest – Brian Becker, National Coordinator for the ANSWER Coalition. He’s also been a central organizer of the mass anti-war demonstrations that have taken place in Washington, D.C. over the past decade.

Better This World: Katie Galloway

In recent shows we’ve talked about the cases involving the FBI’s targeting of protesters, over-zealous prosecutors, and their collective impact on domestic dissent. These topics are just part of a riveting story in the documentary titled Better This World, directed and produced by Katie Galloway and Kelly Duane dela Vega, produced also by Mike Nicholson.

It’s a story of two boyhood friends from Texas who travel to the 2008 Republican National Convention in Minnesota and find themselves embroiled in an FBI case involving multiple domestic terrorism counts. Better This World gets right to the heart of the so-called War on Terror, its impact on civil liberties and protest activities. One review described the film as: “Riveting. Structured like a taut thriller, it delivers a chilling depiction of loyalty, naivete, political zealotry and the post-9/11 security state — and it features one doozy of a kicker in the ‘where are they are now’ category.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Katie Galloway:

  • It was early 2009 and we saw a headline in the New York Times about the arrest of two young activists at the Republican National Convention. I didn’t hear about the story until David McKay was going to trial.
  • His co-defendant had taken a plea, that’s what most people do in the federal system for sure.
  • David had decided to roll the dice and he was going to federal trial. He was alleging that he had been entrapped.
  • David and Brad went to an informational meeting in Austin, Texas about protesting at the Republican National Convention. Anarchist collective.
  • While there they were approached by a well-known activist, Brandon Darby, who had gained some measure of fame after Hurricane Katrina and co-founded an organization called Common Ground.
  • For two years leading up to the convention, multiple law enforcement and federal agencies had been involved in proactive investigations into activist groups who might be coming to the RNC.
  • David and Brad by coming to this meeting raised the suspicion of the government.
  • There’s a lot of love in both families for these two guys.
  • It’s a story about friendship and loyalty against the back drop of the post-9/11 domestic security apparatus with the full weight of the state on these guys trying to turn them against each other.
  • What I learned is that the “war on terror” is really an extension, a continuation of the “war on drugs.” The rampant yet increased use of informants in the “war on terror.”
  • David, who built Molotov cocktails but didn’t use them, was facing 30 years. Our sentences are 5 to 12 times longer than other countries. We get a strong sense of collateral damage of federal prosecutions, what it puts the families through. The tendency is to absolutely demonize the defense.
  • We’re trying to make sure this film becomes part of the national dialogue about life after 9/11, about the legal system, the tension between civil liberty and security.
  • When we got to Minneapolis we thought we would follow the legal cases as they unfolded. Our normal style is verite, letting things play out before the camera. We quickly realized that the heart of the story is what led to the six months leading up to the convention.

Guest – Katie Galloway, director/producer of Better This WorldKatie has directed and produced numerous award-winning films and series for PBS Frontline and POV, among others. Her feature documentary Prison Town, USA (POV 2007), called “documentary making at its best” by the San Francisco Chronicle and “intriguing” by the New York Times, was developed as a fiction series by IFC, for which she co-wrote the first 3 episodes. Her critically acclaimed film Better This World (POV 2011) has won 3 top documentary awards on this year’s festival circuit. Galloway taught documentary production at the Columbia Journalism School and now teaches Media Studies at U.C. Berkeley.