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Saturday, April 18, 2015

The renowned activist and linguist weighs in on the recent shift in relations between Cuba and the United States, as well as drone strikes in Yemen and the activities of the leftist parties Syriza and Podemos in Greece and Spain, among other current events, in an interview on RT's "Going Underground." read more


Trevor Aaronson, The Intercept: When you're introduced to Saeed Torres in the new documentary (T)ERROR, you hear him bickering with the filmmaker, Lyric Cabral. ... (T)ERROR picks up Torres's story after these stings (warning to readers: spoilers ahead). Living in a rundown apartment somewhere in the Northeast, he gets a call from the FBI. They want him to go to Pittsburgh to get to know a terrorism suspect -- a 34-year-old white Muslim convert named Khalifah al-Akili. ... What no one knew -- not even the FBI -- was that Cabral and Sutcliffe began filming al-Akili's side of things after he sent the email, which a lawyer who received it happened to forward to them. The documentary then becomes a house of mirrors, with each side of the FBI's counterterrorism operation being reflected onto the other, revealing a mash-up of damaged people being exploited by overzealous government agents, with no sign at all of anything resembling terrorism or impending danger to the public. "I felt I was almost obligated to expose these guys," al-Akili told the filmmakers. read more


Friday, April 17, 2015

Throughout 2012, numerous American factions were pushing for U.S. intervention in Syria to bring down the regime of Bashar Assad, who throughout the War on Terror had helped the U.S. in all sorts of ways, including torturing people for them. But by then, Assad was viewed mostly as an ally of Iran, and deposing him would weaken Tehran, the overarching regional strategy of the U.S. and its allies. The prevailing narrative was thus created that those fighting against Assad were "moderate" and even pro-Western groups, with the leading one dubbed "the Free Syrian Army."

Whether to intervene in Syria in alliance with or on behalf of the "Free Syrian Army" was a major debate in the West through the end of that year. Then-Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee John Kerry was openly discussing ways for the U.S. to aid the rebels to bring about regime change. Sen. Joe Lieberman was saying: read more


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

NEW YORK -- There was a time in Washington when a letter from Ralph Nader to the president or a Cabinet official might evoke not only a response but a press conference, news reports and action. Nader, with his armies of lawyers and citizen action committees behind him, could mobilize formidable forces, inside and outside government, on behalf of citizens. But with the rise of the corporate puppet Ronald Reagan, and once Bill Clinton and the Democratic Party sold out to corporate power in exchange for corporate money, electoral politics became farce, legislation and laws were turned over to lobbyists and corporate attorneys, and the citizen, whom Nader has spent his life defending, became irrelevant.

Nader still writes letters to the powerful, pounded out on his 50-year-old manual Underwood typewriter, but they are rarely answered. That he writes them, that he refuses to surrender and doggedly struggles against all odds for a restoration of American democracy read more


Monday, April 13, 2015

As a South Carolina police officer faces murder charges after his fatal shooting of unarmed Walter Scott was caught on video, we look at what happened to the man who filmed Eric Garner's fatal chokehold on Staten Island. While no police officers were indicted for Garner's death, the man who filmed the attack, Ramsey Orta, is now locked up in jail after facing what he described as harassment by local police. Orta was first arrested on an unrelated gun charge the day after the Staten Island coroner declared Garner's death to be a homicide. He was later arrested and jailed on a drug charge. His mother, brother and wife have all been arrested, too. Supporters have accused the New York City Police Department of targeting Orta's family for releasing the Garner video. We are joined by Ramsey Orta's aunt, Lisa Mercado, as well as Orta family attorneys William Aronin and Ken Perry. read more


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www.huffingtonpost.com

"Satire becomes destroyed in essence in the hands of figures like Colbert, Jon Stewart and others," Hedges asserts. "They will attack the excesses or the foibles of the system, but they are never going to expose the system itself because they are all millionaires, they are commercially supported. You have very few people (George Carlin was one) who will stand up and do it. If you do that, it is tough to make a living. Carlin maybe being the exception. But if you really use satire the way Swift used satire, to expose the English barbarity in Ireland because culture, like everything else in the society has been completely corporatized."

Chris Hedges

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