Podcast Show #100: The Black Hole Called Guantanamo

The Boiling Frogs Show Presents Andy Worthington

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Journalist Andy Worthington updates us on Guantanamo, where 85 men cleared for release are still held. We talk about the September death of Adnan Latif, the Yemeni who had languished for 8 years since being cleared by Bush-era officials, the almost 100% denial rate for habeas corpus suits from Gitmo prisoners by the DC Court of Appeals in recent years, and the last British detainee still held, Shaker Amer.

About 49 minutes in, Sam Banning joins us to talk about his new documentary Cruel & Unusual about the "3 Strikes" law in California. The film was produced before voters approved Prop 36, which reformed the definition of a third strike to limit it to serious, violent crimes. Banning profiles 3 people convicted for a third strike for petty crimes, like forging a check for $140. The film also covers the Stanford Law project which has won challenges to 25-life sentences for minor crimes, and which helped get the measure on the ballot.

Listen to the Preview Clip Here

Here is our guest Andy Worthington unplugged!

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Police State Front: Your Children Belong to the State

California Eliminates Informed Parental Consent & Knowledge for Kids’ Vaccination

Vaccination

I just came across the following information on elimination of parental consent and knowledge as a  prerequisite to vaccinating children in California. I checked the date and went, ‘why in the world didn’t I hear about this?’ The information is several months old, but I decided to post it as a quick note for those who happened to miss this development on the police state front, thinking, if as an avid reader and news researcher I missed this, probably many others must have too. Here are a few excerpts on this issue: 

The state of California has just passed bill AB499, which will permit minor children as young as 12 years old to be vaccinated with sexually transmitted disease vaccines like Gardasil without parental knowledge or parental consent. This means that if you live in California, school or medical personnel would be allowed to vaccinate your child against an STD without your ever knowing it.

At issue, of course, is whether 12-year-olds are mature enough to fully analyze the benefits versus risks of vaccination (or any medical treatment for that matter), or recognize the alternatives to STD prevention, such as abstinence. Meanwhile, a child could suffer a vaccine reaction and the parent, not knowing the child had been vaccinated, could mistake it for the flu or another condition, delaying getting help until it is too late.

[Read more...]

Rep. Jean Schmidt Found Guilty of Accepting $500,000 in ‘Indirect’ Turkish Lobby Payment

The Revered Bruce Fein & Foreign Lobby Dollars in the Form of Illegal Payment of Legal Bills


schmidt

I’ve been meaning to write about this for weeks, and just got around doing it. Maybe the subconscious procrastination was due to the conscious sanitization of this news by venues like this. Maybe it was the dread of having to tackle one of the quasi media phony darlings like this guy. Or maybe it was the repressed exhaustion-frustration I went through a couple of years back with this. Okay, allow me to start with the fairly recent development reported ‘incompletely and badly’ by the New York Times:

Representative Jean Schmidt, Republican of Ohio, has been ordered by the House Ethics Committee to repay a Turkish-American group $500,000 for legal services it improperly paid for to help her pursue a defamation lawsuit and other legal proceedings against a Democratic opponent in the 2008 election.

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As you can see, very consciously the Times avoids naming ‘that Democratic opponent.’ Because naming him, David Krikorian, would require some fact citing and more context-background on the case; the case they together with the rest of the mainstream media went out of their way to black out. And doing ‘that’ would God forbid bring up the long-blacked-out state secrets privilege in my case. And ‘that’ my dear friends, is something that has been forbidden to these stenographers in the media circus.

So let’s continue the no-coverage coverage of a very significant case involving Congresswoman Jean Schmidt and the twisted and rechanneled Turkish Foreign Lobby dollars:

The action by the House committee, disclosed Friday, did not come with a formal punishment, because ethics investigators concluded that Ms. Schmidt had been misled by her own lawyers from the Turkish American Legal Defense Fund about who was paying the legal bills.

Ms. Schmidt was ordered to amend her annual personal financial disclosure reports to acknowledge the gift from the Turkish Coalition of America, which actually paid the bills, and then reimburse the lawyers.

fein

 The report above casually, and very quickly, glosses over one of the implicated, that is, directly implicated, parties in this case: Schmidt’s lawyer- the lawyer who supposedly, and intentionally, misled his client, and did so with a dollar amount not in the thousands, but actually half a million dollars. Ordinarily this slip by a government garbage disposal facility like the Times would not raise big flags. However, this lawyer is no ordinary lawyer. The lawyer in question here happens to be a famous, very public, high-profile and very deviously and shrewdly marketed man. The lawyer in this case is none other than deceivingly perceived Bruce Fein.  A man who has gotten very wealthy thanks to the foreign lobby, in this case the Turkish lobby in need of a man who knows the maze that gets the cheese to the congressional mice:

In 2007, Ayasli transferred $30 million in stock to fund a new endeavor, the nonprofit Turkish Coalition of America. The organization is headquartered in a Washington suite that has also been listed as the address for the Turkish Coalition USA PAC, the lobbying firm of Lydia Borland (who has represented the Turkish government), and the law firm of Bruce Fein and Associates (Fein comprises half of the Turkish American Legal Defense Fund).

In addition to the advocacy done through the ATC (which also funds trips to Turkey for congressional staff), a handful of its members--Citigroup, BAE Systems, Northrop Grumman, Chevron, Textron, United Technologies, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon, which spent a combined $80 million lobbying Washington last year lobbied Congress directly on the genocide resolution and other issues important to Turkey; the Aerospace Industries Association, a trade group, helped coordinate the effort.

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Oh wait, Bruce Fein is married to Mattie Fein, the Republican candidate who ran against Jane Harman in 2010. Had she won, how would one go about calculating and deducting her campaign-donation  ‘gifts’ from her husbands million-dollar foreign lobby gifts? Isn’t it interesting? And as far as Turkey’s former partner lobby, the Israeli Lobby, this is where Bruce & his voluptuous wife stand when given the Zionism litmus test:

7. Would you support Israel taking military action to stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons? Under what circumstances?

The United States should support whatever Israel believes is justified by national security worries over Iran.

I know Mr. Fein has many pro-liberties fans out there who are mistaking him for ‘real;’ some consider him a real constitutionalist who stands for liberties and against secrecy. That’s very similar to those who fell for Obama the constitutionalist. Remember, Obama the author of a very constitutional book? Recall the beautiful words spoken and sold as pro liberties, pro change, anti secrecy and beyond? Well, you have a similar situation with Mr. Fein: he talks a good talk, and writes well. As for who Mr. Fein is: you are looking at a man long succumbed to foreign lobby and military industrial complex lobby dollars. You are looking at a man far more loyal to Israel and its lobby than to our nation. You actually have a man who believes any war would be justified for the sake of Israel. And in the latest Schmidt case you are looking at a man who helped funnel half a million dollar foreign ‘Bakshish’ to his congresswoman friend, and even indicted by the lame Congressional Ethics Committee as an attorney who intentionally misled his client. [Read more...]