Law and Disorder Radio – Max Blumenthal on the Israelification of American Domestic Security – Class Action Lawsuit on Behalf of Women Farmers – Hosts: Heidi Boghosian, Michael Steven Smith & Michael Ratner – Produced by Geoff Brady

Law and Disorder Radio

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The Israelification of American Domestic Security

We’ve discussed on an earlier show the massive coordinated effort among the federal, state and local police involving a consulting organization called the Police Executive Research Forum. In Max Blumenthal’s recent article From Occupation to “Occupy”: The Israelification of American Domestic Security, he digs deep and reveals critical connections at every level of law enforcement with Israel’s national security tactics. Recently the New York Police Department disclosed its use of “counter-terror” measures against Occupy protesters at Zuccotti Park. There are more connections yet to be made, says Blumenthal.

Max Blumenthal:

Cathy Lanier, the chief of the Washington, DC Metropolitan Police said no experience had more impact on her life and doing her job than going to Israel.

She said she designed her entire Homeland Security Program for the DC Police based on her experience being trained in Israel.

Yamam is the elite force of the border police in Israel which is one of the most thuggish elements of the Israeli military. It’s a quasi-police force that is also active in the West Bank.

We’ve never had Congressional H]hearings on why elements from an autocratic dictatorship like Bahrain–which was shooting demonstrators at the time, which was shooting people as they entered hospitals to get treatment–was allowed to train with our police forces.

There’s not just a sharing of tactics, there’s a sharing of weaponry that’s being used against American civilians, against kids who think their birthright was sold, that was first tested on Palestinians.

They’re studying with some kind of “Harvard professors” of anti-terrorism.

The bridge for American police officers to go to Israel is the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA).  A Washington, DC-based think tank with an arm in Jerusalem, I think. A lot of the people making the case for the Iraq War were in JINSA.

They claim to have sent over 9,000 American law enforcement officials to Israeli-led training sessions.

One of the things they learned was how to secure large venues, like sporting events, shopping malls and concerts.

They also learned to look out for and take down suicide bombers.

You’re supposed to think of the Anti-Defamation League as a Jewish civil rights group that fights the defamation of the Jewish people and humanity. This is not the extent of the ADL’s work.

All new FBI agents are required to be taken to the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC by the ADL, according to official FBI recruiment material that I found.

The Mall of America: an Israeli security team stops and interrogates 1,200 American shoppers a year.

The NYPD, under the leadership of Ray Kelly, who has been to Israel repeatedly to speak at Israeli neoconservative conferences, set up a “demographics unit” to spy on Muslim communities around the city.

Guest – Max Blumenthal, award-winning journalist and bestselling author. His articles and video documentaries have been in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Daily Beast, The Nation, The Guardian, the Independent Film Channel, The Huffington Post,, Al Jazeera English and many other publications. His book Republican Gomorrah: Inside the Movement that Shattered the Party, is declared a bestseller among major newspapers.

 Class Action Lawsuit on Behalf of Women Farmers

They’ve always had a presence in the fields, but in recent years women have come to run a quickly increasing share of America’s farms. Of the 3.3 million U.S. farm operators counted in 2007 census data, more than one million, or nearly one third, were women. That number represents a 19 percent increase in just five years, significantly outpacing overall growth in the profession. And the proportion of women who are the principal operators of the farms they work on has also increased over the past decade—women now manage 14 percent of the nation’s 2.2 million farms.

Yet throughout this time, women farmers have faced routine and systematic discrimination by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In 2001, female farmers filed a lawsuit against the USDA for gender discrimination in its farm loan programs. In the years leading up to the lawsuit, having been repeatedly denied loans by the USDA Farm Service Agency and its predecessor the Farmer’s Home Administration, many women plaintiffs had given up farming entirely. The lawsuit claimed that many who applied or tried to apply for farm loans were turned down because of their gender.

The government’s own reports confirm claims of widespread gender discrimination. In 2003, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights issued a report highlighting the inadequate civil rights record of the USDA.

Attorney Kristine Dunne:

  • The loans provided are a last resort, where farmers have been unable to obtain loans from traditional commercial lenders.
  • The women farmers lawsuit, which is now Love v. Vilsack, was filed initially as a class action on behalf of women all across the country.
  • The courts have not granted it class certification, which may not be a surprise to your listeners if they’ve heard about the Walmart litigation.
  • The USDA has had an office of civil rights, so that women farmers or any farmers had a complaint of discrimination or how they were being treated with regard to their farm loans, could call up to office of civil rights in Washington DC and complain. That office was effectively dismantled.
  • That was actually a requirement to preserve their discrimination complaint rights.
  • The woman farmer is going to be offered up to $50,000 if she has a successful claim under the USDA-proposed program. In past programs, these are for African American farmers, and now the ongoing Native American farmers’ claims programs, those amounts have been different. There is a category that they could get up to $50,000 but also up to $250,000. That is very troubling to women farmers that they’re not offered the same relief.
  • Women are finding that there are opportunities for them; in the past its been a man’s job.
  • Women have been at the forefront in advances of organic farming and other types of niche farming.
  • Our lead plaintiff Rosemary Love suffered terribly, she had her animals literally dying on her farm because the USDA wouldn’t release the funds that she had been awarded through a farm loan.
  • There are other examples where USDA officials at the local level have propositioned women, have told them to their faces that farming isn’t for women.
  • The case is on hold; it’s been on hold for a number of years while the government and women farmers try to mete out a resolution.
  • A woman farmer can be successful in establishing that she indeed was discriminated against. She was wrongly denied a farm loan 30 years ago and all that mounting debt from that discrimination may not all be forgiven.

Guest – Kristine Dunne with the law firm Arent Fox in Washington, DC. Kristine’s focus is on litigation and counseling relating to employment, labor and OSHA matters, in addition to providing legal advice to educational institutions and other non-profit organizations. She currently serves on the firm’s Pro Bono Committee.