Hosts Update on Hurricane Sandy
Obama Re-election: What Does It Mean for Basic Civil Rights? Drones, Guantanamo, Military Commissions, Warrantless Wiretapping.
PLO and CCR Victory – Muhammad Salah
Holy Land Case Update – Supreme Court Refuses to Review Sixth Amendment Right
Russell Tribunal on Palestine: Attorney Diana Buttu
The final session of the Tribunal focused on the responsibility of the United States of America and the United Nations regarding the Israeli breaches of international law towards Palestine and Palestinians. There is now a situation in which Israel has achieved a status of immunity and impunity, facilitated by the US, despite its complete disregard for the norms and standards of international law. We hear an excerpt of a speech by Human Rights Attorney Diana Butto at the Russell Tribunal on Palestine.
Speaker – Diana Buttu is a Palestinian-Canadian lawyer and former spokesperson with the Palestine Liberation Organization. She is best known for her work as a legal adviser and negotiator on peace negotiations between Israeli and Palestinian organizations. Buttu was born in Canada to Palestinian parents. She began her work as a negotiator in 2000, shortly after the outbreak of the Second Palestinian Intifada, as a spokesperson for the Negotiations Support Unit of the Palestine Liberation Organization.
The Moral Challenge of ‘Kill Lists’ by Ray McGovern
The Obama administration has conducted hundreds of drone strikes in several countries, killing civilians including a US citizen. Critics point out that as the Obama administration assassinates it’s suspects, it also avoids the legal complications of detention. In last week’s New York Times, authors Jo Becker and Scott Shane expose the priest-like role of counterterrorism adviser John Brennan as he provides President Obama with the moral justification for extrajudicial murder. The framing of John Brennan’s role of priestly adviser caught Ray McGovern’s attention. His recent article The Kill List of Barack Obama dissects the New York Times story.
- There has been a sharp increase in the number of drone strikes against Pakistan and of course Somalia and Yemen.
- London-based Bureau for Investigative Journalism estimates that about 830 civilians including women and children may have been killed by drone attacks in Pakistan. 138 in Yemen, and 57 in Somalia. It’s incredibly naive to think that this helps in any way in the war on terrorism.
- This wonderfully insightful and dangerous New York Times article a week ago talked about the conundrum of aligning these activities with US legal and moral principles. Conundrum? That’s an impossibility.
- The Fifth Amendment prevents this sort of thing if you take the interpretation we’ve always had.
- As the New York Times article mentions, out of 30 assassinations that are known about, just one escaped assassination and was brought before a court. It’s much easier to kill them.
- If you wanted to learn about al-Qaeda, don’t you think Osama Bin Laden could’ve told us some stuff about al-Qaeda?
- Any military-aged male in the area of a “bad guy” is fair game.
- Maybe I can draw from my own experience in the CIA. I know about lists. I know that when there was a coup in Indonesia in 1965, that there were lists given to the Indonesian authorities of communists. How many communists on that list? A million. How many were killed, were murdered? 500,000 plus. How many were put in prison? The other 500,000.
- The drones are really accurate but the target information is notoriously inaccurate.
- I love Fordham and I hate to see the administration and the very wealthy trustees who have lots of money to give to Fordham, determine who comes in to give the commencement address.
- I think that you have to have some kind of personal involvement with innocent suffering. I think that you have to have some sense of the injustice others suffer to let your heart be touched by this direct experience.
- Obama’s fallen in with a rough crowd.
- I was attracted to getting outside of my Catholic walls. There’s a small church down in Washington, DC called the Church of the Savior.
- I found out they were doing wonderful things like preventing housing from being gentrified so poor people can still live there. Healthcare, jobs, addictions, a hospice for people too sick to be on the street.
- There’s been one major change for the good in this country. That is Occupy.
- When you look for proof that Occupy has incredible potential, look no farther than what the president and the top Senators thought necessary to inject it into the NDAA on New Year’s Eve, which allows them to use the US Army, of all things to wrap us all up without charge, without court proceedings.
Guest – Raymond L. McGovern, retired CIA officer turned political activist. McGovern was a federal employee under seven U.S. presidents in the past 27 years. Ray’s opinion pieces have appeared in many leading newspapers here and abroad. He has debated at the Oxford Forum and appeared on Charlie Rose, The News Hour, CNN, and numerous other TV and radio programs and documentaries. Ray has lectured to a wide variety of audiences here and abroad. Ray studied theology and philosophy (as well as his major, Russian) at Fordham University, from which he holds two degrees. He also holds a Certificate in Theological Studies from Georgetown University. A Catholic, Mr. McGovern has been worshipping for over a decade with the ecumenical Church of the Savior and teaching at its Servant Leadership School. He was co-director of the school from 1998 to 2004. Ray came from his native New York to Washington in the early ’60s as an Army infantry/intelligence officer and then served as a CIA analyst from the administration of John F. Kennedy to that of George H. W. Bush. Ray’s duties included chairing National Intelligence Estimates and preparing the President’s Daily Brief, which he briefed one-on-one to President Ronald Reagan’s most senior national security advisers from 1981 to 1985.