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Local police may be finding themselves on the frontlines of domestic counter-terrorism if a program launched recently by the Los Angeles Police Department is adopted in other large cities. Since 9/11 the government has tried to engage local police to do their counter-terrorism work for them, collecting so-called street level intelligence about suspicious activities that might predict another attack.
So far it hasn’t worked out that way. But an LAPD official has devised a possible solution that the LA Times calls “so cheap, so easy to implement and so innovative” that officials in DC are thinking of making it a national model for all police departments. What are the implications of the implications of having local police become intelligence officers. Jim Lafferty, Executive Director of the Los Angeles National Lawyers Guild says to start, many people may find themselves on more lists.
Guest – Jim Lafferty, Executive Director of the Los Angeles National Lawyers Guild, host of the Lawyer’s Guild Radio Program on Pacifica’s KPFK.
The Iron Heel, written by Jack London, was one of the first dystopian novels chronicling a growing police state in the US. Part of The Iron Heel is also newly published in a reader titled The Radical Jack London, edited by Jonah Raskin. Reviews say that Jonah shows London to be America’s leading revolutionary writer at the turn of the twentieth century. Today we are joined in studio by Jonah Raskin and will examine comparisons of what London sets forth in his novel to what has happened to the United States since 9/11.
London set out to travel as a hobo by train, eventually arrested in Erie County, New York and spent time in a penitentiary. He wrote The Road, which inspired Jack Kerouac. He spoke to bankers and businessmen about socialism and revolution. While wanting to meet the charismatic writer, the businessmen had listened but eventually responded, “we’re going to crush you.” London was a socialist, artist and propagandist.
Guest – Jonah Raskin, Professor and Chair of Communication Studies at Sonoma State University. He is also the author of American Scream: Allen Ginsberg’s Howl and the Making of the Beat Generation.