Historic Vigil and Compassionate Release for Lynne Stewart
It’s been seven weeks since Warden Jody Upton of FMC Carswell approved compassionate release for Lynne Stewart. This decision was based on the medical findings of Stage 4 cancer that spread to Lynne’s scapula, lymph nodes and lungs. A massive vigil was held last week for Lynne at Federal Bureau of Prisons Headquarters in Washington DC. We’re joined today by former Attorney General of the United States Ramsey Clark, who is helping to get Lynne Stewart released from prison.
- The matter is now on the desk of the director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons. It’s been there for about five or six weeks, which is intolerably long because every day counts.
- Lynne is in desperate physical condition; her cancer is spreading. She has appointments at Sloan Kettering when she gets out that may extend her life.
- It’s slipping away while the director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, who seems to be opposed to compassionate release or any broad application of it, sits on her application.
- Charles Samuels seems to have isolated himself from this issue. Any letters to Director Samuels would be helpful and important.
- He’s being bombarded, but for some reason he’s holding out, because he wants an interpretation of the compassionate release statute that would enable the release of only those who are going to die in the very near future, have no hope of living longer.
- Right now we have an urgent human matter: a very wonderful human being, mother and grandmother is dying in prison.
- Please write to: Charles E. Samuels Jr. / Federal Bureau of Prisons / 320 1st Street Northwest / Washington DC 20534
Guest – Ramsey Clark was the Attorney General of the United States under President Lyndon B. Johnson. He was the first Attorney General at the Justice Department to call for the elimination of the death penalty and all electronic surveillance. After he left the Johnson administration, he became a important critic of the Vietnam War and continued defending the rights of people worldwide, from Palestinians to Iraqis, to anyone who found themselves at the repressive end of government action.
Whistleblower Case Updates
Attorney Michael Ratner:
- June 19th Anniversaries: execution of the Rosenbergs. Julian Assange marks 1 year at the Ecuadorian embassy.
- Snowden: we don’t know where he is, massive revelations.
- The question you should be asking: is Dick Cheney a traitor? Is George Bush a traitor? Aren’t those the real traitors, the real people to be held accountable?
- We should look at what they told us. Ed Snowden told us about a massive domestic surveillance operation.
- Their job is to tell the American people what they’re doing so we can debate it and discuss it–not to put forward basically false stories of who they’ve purportedly stopped.
- This is about knowing where every one of us is all the time.
- Freedom of the Press Foundation – Bradley Manning transcripts
- This is really a war on whistleblowers and really a war of the United States trying to keep control of all of the information it can and control the internet from the top down.
Richard Falk, U.N. Rapporteur on Palestinian Rights, Calls for Close of UN Watch
There was a time in the mid-1800s when the territory of the Lakota Indians reached 90 million acres. Now they’re separated into tribal councils and relegated to reservations. Their children are seized and put into foster homes with white families. During Republican administrations, more than 700 Lakota children were taken annually by a private corporation called the South Dakota Children’s Home Services. In April, a grassroots movement led by Lakota grandmothers touring the country built support for a formal UN complaint of genocide against the United States government and constituent states.
There’s basically a decade involved here during which the state of South Dakota engaged in a systematic program of the removal of Lakota children from their parents, from their extended families and from their entire tribe.
Some 740 Lakota children a year during that period were taken from their families and tribes.
Over half of them were never returned. 80-90 percent of those children were placed in white foster care.
- This is clear violation of the Indian Child Welfare Act which was the piece of legislation that mandated that if an Indian child were taken from the child’s parents they were required to be placed with Native American people.
- This is has been absolutely openly defied by the state of South Dakota.
- There has been an official notice of intent to file the complaint with the United Nations.
- We need to understand that there has been a longstanding policy in the Republican Party, when the Republican Party comes into power in Washington, DC, where they engage in this process to try and assimilate the native tribes.
- They’re constantly trying to eliminate the ownership of land and integrate them into society, basically to eliminate their culture.
- That was why the US Congress back in 1978 made the move to establish the American Indian Policy Review Commission and the Indian Child Welfare Act, to stop the states from engaging in that type of activity of assimilation.
- What we’ve seen by William Janklow, a former South Dakota congressman, governor, and attorney general, is the process to attempt to take as many of the children away as they possibly could and place them in huge group homes such as those run by South Dakota Children Homes Services, Inc.
- There is a subtext to this issue. We’ve discovered that during the Bush administration, from 2001 to 2009, there was systematic program of funneling federal funds into South Dakota to finance the seizure of these children. A substantial portion of that money from the federal government was transferred to pharmaceutical corporations, who were in fact administering Zoloft and other psychoactive drugs involuntarily to these children to control their moods and attitudes.
- They refuse to give information about who the children are, where they’ve been taken, where they’ve been placed. Some of them have been taken out of the state; we traced a number of them to Utah.
Guest – Daniel Sheehan is the lead attorney and general counsel for the Lakota People’s Law Project (LPLP). Currently, LPLP is working in South Dakota to stop violations of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) and rescue Lakota children from an abusive state care system. Award-winning journalist Laura Sullivan has just completed a hard-hitting investigative series on the situation in Lakota Country airing now on NPR. Sheehan traced the institutionalization of state kidnapping of Native children back to the late William Janklow, a former South Dakota congressman, governor, and attorney general notorious for his role in what the the Lakota refer to as the “Reign of Terror” on the Pine Ridge Reservation in the years following the American Indian Movement-led occupation of Wounded Knee in 1973. According to Sheehan, members of the George W. Bush administration tipped off Janklow on a Texas strategy to grab millions of dollars in federal subsidies by administering a psychological test devised by the Eli Lilly pharmaceutical corporation to children taken into protective custody. Replicating the strategy, South Dakota developed a mental health test failed by 98% of Native children, who then become “special needs” cases under federal law, with the state receiving up to $79,000 for each Indian child and the child being placed involuntarily on psychoactive drugs.