Law and Disorder Radio – Senate Democrats Help Block DOJ Civil Rights Division Nominee – Ajamu Baraka on Ukraine – Hosts: Heidi Boghosian, Michael Steven Smith & Michael Ratner – Produced by Geoff Brady

Law and Disorder Radio

Hosts Discuss the CIA Spying on Senate Committee Staff Computers

Heidi Boghosian: This Goes Back to 2009 when the CIA Destroyed Videotapes of Interrogation.

Feinstein: “Oh, This is Great.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Senate Democrats Help Block Key DOJ Civil Rights Division Nominee

We take a looking at how a group of Senate Democrats broke ranks with President Obama to block key nominee Debo Adegbile as head of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division. Seven Democrats joined with Republicans to defeat Adegbile’s bid. That defeat was driven by the Philadelphia Fraternal Order of Police, who launched a campaign against Adegbile and his work defending imprisoned Black Panther Mumia Abu-Jamal. Specifically, Adegbile was part of a team of lawyers at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund who successfully argued the trial judge’s jury instructions violated Abu-Jamal’s rights.

 

 

Professor Mark Taylor:

  • The recent campaign has been foregrounded especially on FOX television news, where you heard leading anchors and reporters connecting Debo Adegbile to Mumia Abu-Jamal.
  • The Fraternal Order of Police wrote letters to media outlets. They wrote a letter to President Obama objecting to Debo Adegbile. This is fully congruent to what we in Educators for Mumia Abu-Jamal have experienced from the Fraternal Order of Police throughout the years.
  • The Fraternal Order of Police will even stoop to maintaining a blacklist online of any of us educators around the country not only for working for Mumia but for just for signing ads in the New York Times on behalf of Mumia Abu-Jamal’s new trial or release with restitution, whatever the case, they’ll maintain those charges.
  • The Fraternal Order of Police will put pressure on venues that host the events for Mumia Abu-Jamal.
  • It is a national organization, and in their letter to President Obama they claim to represent some 350,000 police officers across the country and claim to be speaking for those 350,000.
  • There are elements of the Fraternal Order of Police all over the country who will step forward to ratchet up this venom against Mumia Abu-Jamal.
  • They have always used Maureen Falkner, the widow, to be in the position of the grieving widow of the slain police officer in spite of the fact that there is exculpatory evidence. They don’t want to discuss that; they want to play the drama of the grieving relative instead.
  • Of course that has powerful media appeal that often in our infotainment industry overrides argument, we know.
  • There is a stigmatization that is pervasive throughout much of our culture that causes lawyers, public relations officers and others to back away from the issue.
  • It’s an outrageous departure and betrayal of a tradition of civil rights advocacy that at least Democratic Party affiliates like to say they have supported through the years.
  • We will hope that voters will make them pay a price for this kind of vote.
  • We have voting rights issues because Debo Adegbile would have the job of which states to sue for Voter ID laws that are oppressive to African-Americans.
  • Educators for Mumia Abu-Jamal

Guest – Professor Mark Taylor, founder of Educators for Mumia Abu-Jamal, a group of teachers from all levels of education, organizing since 1995 for a new a trial for Mumia. Mark Taylor is a professor of Theology and Culture at Princeton Theological Seminary.

ukraine_protest Ukraine and the Pathology of America’s Liberal Worldview: An African-American Perspective

In his recent article, “Ukraine and the Pathology of America’s Liberal Worldview: An African-American Perspective” returning guest Ajamu Baraka calls it a massive cognitive deficiency that President Obama asks Congress to agree on a billion-dollar package aid for the Ukraine. Meanwhile, the elite opinion in the United States has embraced the position that cuts in public expenditures and services at every level of government are a reasonable and unavoidable necessity. Baraka says the crisis is here in the United States, with extended unemployment benefits for the 1.3 million people who lost their jobs in Detroit.

Ajamu Baraka:

  • It’s clear that there was legitimate social opposition in the Ukraine to some of the policies of the government there and there was an attempt to express some of those concerns, that was quickly taken advantage of by some elements of Ukrainian society that are associated with some of the more fascist elements that have been aligned with the far right for decades.
  • Some of those right-wing forces ended up being the primary shock troops engaged in all kinds of violent activities.
  • A decision was made in which the protesters had won many of their demands in terms of political reforms, but that agreement was jettisoned by those right-wing forces.
  • The result was that basically that they stormed the institutions of the government and proclaimed themselves the new government.

There’s real danger in characterizing this as a popular revolution. It’s clear that more than half of the population of Ukraine was still not convinced that a revolutionary movement was called for, one which violated the tenants of the Ukrainian constitution.

It became clear that the character of this revolution was one that was not really committed to social change.

  • Here we have a situation in Detroit, a city that is basically bankrupt as a consequence of these predatory banks and the disintegration of the U.S. economy and its urban cores.
  • When the city officials went to the administration looking for assistance, of course the line was, there’s no assistance for you.
  • It’s not just Detroit; it’s across the country. We saw in December, Congress, when striking their budget deals, they eliminated extensions for the long term unemployed.
  • When it comes to the American people, the working class, the poor, there’s no money, there’s only growing austerity, but when it comes to advancing what many of us call the “empire” they can always find resources.
  • The one billion dollar package to the Ukraine is a stark contrast to the line, “There’s no resources to bail out the people of Detroit.”
  • Ultimately the winners in the Ukraine chess game will be U.S. capital and some European capital that will benefit also.
  • The Ukrainian economy will be forced to open up. The financial sector will be exposed. Banks will be taken over. Whatever state industries that are viable will be seized, privatized. There will be massive unemployment.
  • The Ukrainian workers will find that their wages will not only not increase but probably will be further eroded because they’re in competition with other poor workers throughout western Europe.
  • That’s why the U.S. is salivating at the prospects of penetrating the Ukrainian economy.
  • For reasons that are not really clear to me, many folks in the west, in the U.S., don’t seem to be able to recognize this growing threat, this tendency to align themselves with the most reactionary elements on the planet.
  • It is a global strategy on the part of U.S. and western imperialism and the alignment they’ve made is with fascist elements within the Ukraine.
  • It’s similar to alignments being made in slightly different ways to the radical right in Venezuela, to the continued support to the right-wing government in Israel.
  • What we see is a counter-revolutionary strategy based on closer alignments with right wing forces throughout the world.
  • There’s been mass confusion, people not being able to differentiate between the left and right, all they see is opposition and the opposition is enough for them to align with it.

Guest – Ajamu Baraka, longtime activist, veteran of the Black Liberation Movement, human rights defender, founding director of the US Human Rights Network, member of Coordinating Committee of Black Left Unity Network and Associate Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies.