Lew Rockwell, founder and Chairman of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, discusses his article “The Police State Abolishes the Trial” about the disappearance of jury trials in federal courts; the sub-1% acquittal rate for the few defendants who actually do go to trial; how prison sentences ruin lives and careers (unless you prefer working at the Waffle House); how mandatory minimum sentencing took away judicial discretion and helped the US achieve the world’s largest prison population; why jury service usually amounts to twelve people doing the prosecution’s bidding; and why “privatized” prisons are not triumphs of free market capitalism.
Will Grigg, blogger and author of Liberty in Eclipse, discusses why the American Dream is collapsing; the dollar’s rapid decline since leaving the (partial) gold standard in 1971; keeping the fiat currency game going by waging war – the biggest public works/jobs stimulus program imaginable; how the dollar’s reserve currency status, solidified by dollar denominated oil sales, has let the US expand its empire far beyond sustainability; and why economic troubles often prompt people to scapegoat minorities, rather than directing their anger toward the actual causes.
Grant F. Smith, director of the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy in Washington, D.C., discusses the clarification of his August article “Does AIPAC Have Only Two Major Donors;” how AIPAC has changed its mandatory disclosures and tax returns to obfuscate the organization’s donors and methods; how the American Israel Education Foundation (AIPAC’s “travel agency”) shuttles members of Congress to and from Israel, even though lobby-sponsored trips are supposed to be banned; the organizations (not just AIPAC) that constitute what is known as the “Israel lobby;” and how the Foreign Agents Registration Act is selectively enforced based on political concerns, not objective criteria.
Gareth Porter, independent historian and journalist for IPS News, discusses why the US seems to crank up the pressure on Pakistan every time the Afghan War takes a turn for the worse; the domestic national security reasons for Pakistan’s government/military alliance with the Haqqani network; why provocative and threatening pronouncements by US officials aren’t as persuasive as they used to be; and why the Obama administration has decided to run for reelection on a reckless foreign policy – one that may lead to a disastrous war in Pakistan.
The Other Scott Horton (no relation), international human rights lawyer, professor and contributing editor at Harper’s magazine, discusses his recent articles “Injudicious Judge Dismisses Civil Libertarians” and “Brennan Does Yemen;” why rising tensions in Pakistan may result in US forces being kicked out – if they will leave; how the AUMF is used to justify warfare anywhere, with nearly anyone; how the CIA transformed from a civilian intelligence gathering/analyzing agency into yet another clandestine military outfit; and the competing military doctrines of politicians and generals, respectively: waging a multi-front, constantly expanding, never-ending global war and fighting more limited engagements that can be defined, won, and used for self-promotion.
M.J. Rosenberg, journalist and Senior Foreign Policy Fellow at Media Matters Action Network, discusses his two recent articles “If Tom Friedman can say it, you can too” about how criticism of the Israel lobby has gone mainstream and “On Israel & Palestine, Barack Obama Is Rick Perry;” the large percentage of Israelis who are OK with a Palestinian state, even though their government vehemently opposes one; why, when it comes to Israel, Obama wins the prize for most sycophantic US President in history; AIPAC’s excellent return on investment for its campaign contributions and lobbying efforts; and why Democrats are even more slavishly devoted to the Likud party line than Republicans.
Zak Carter discusses the Rock the Revolution music tour to support Ron Paul and raise awarness for liberty issues, a list of bands committed to play in venues across the country starting in October, an opening for talented folks in the entertainment business to help in Las Vegas and Cleveland, and where you can go to donate to the tour (with remaining proceeds going to Veterans for Peace to help injured vets ignored by the VA).
Eric Margolis, internationally syndicated columnist and author of War at the Top of the World and American Raj, discusses accusations by US government officials that Pakistan’s ISI is using the Haqqani network as a proxy to conduct terrorist attacks against US targets; how a combination of heated rhetoric and excessive faith in US special forces could lead to a raid of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons facilities; and why the US/Pakistan alliance has always been tenuous, since Pakistan must act against its own national interests to placate the US.
Jacob Hornberger, founder and president of the Future of Freedom Foundation, discusses why the Jose Padilla case may be the most important of our lifetimes; how Americans lost most of their Constitutional protections against government abuses, thanks to runaway Executive branch power and a deferential Congress and court system; why the “no touch” sensory deprivation treatment of Padilla qualifies as torture and probably made him crazy; the curious timing of John Ashcroft’s ballyhooed “dirty bomb” allegations against Padilla – right after Coleen Rowley blew the whistle on FBI failures before 9/11; why an appeals court deemed Padilla’s seventeen year prison sentence too lenient; and the similarities between the collection of US national security laws imposed since 9/11 and Egypt’s emergency law.
Independent investigative journalist Joe Lauria discusses Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s request for full UN membership during his speech to the General Assembly; how most media coverage has failed to distinguish between statehood (some 130 countries already recognize Palestine) and the various degrees of UN membership; charting Palestine’s options and chances of success in the Security Council and General Assembly; how Palestine’s upgrade to “observer state” would grant them access to the International Criminal Court and sovereign control of their territorial waters – two things Israel’s defenders want to avoid; and why European countries may eventually take over the “honest broker” role, played so poorly by the US for decades.
Sandy Tolan, author of The Lemon Tree: An Arab, a Jew, and the Heart of the Middle East, discusses his article “It’s the Occupation, Stupid” about how the encroachments on historic Palestine leave little room for a two-state solution; how Tolan’s extended research for his upcoming book gave him ample opportunity to observe daily life in the West Bank – and the omnipresent signs of occupation; the large percentage of Palestinian men who have spent time in Israeli jails; and the “musical intifada” at an Israeli checkpoint, where Mozart’s music brought a brief glimmer of hope to a desolate Palestinian town.
John Glaser, Assistant Editor at Antiwar.com, discusses the claims that NATO airstrikes have killed hundreds of Libyan civilians in Sirte; how militant groups in Africa and beyond have suddenly become well armed, thanks to the looting of Gaddafi’s huge weapons cache; why Libya’s factions aren’t likely to ever form a strong central government, meaning NATO is yet again staying for the long haul; how AFRICOM is helping expand the empire into regions of minimal US influence – as difficult as it is to believe such places exist; and the trio of African Islamic movements deemed dangerous by the US.
Trita Parsi, founder and president of the National Iranian American Council, discusses his article “The coming Republican push on Iran” about the only foreign policy goal the GOP can agree on; why Republicans can always out-hawk Obama, no matter how belligerent he is; why Obama chose to push sanctions on Iran, rather than engage them diplomatically; the politics of the failed uranium swap deal; and why we shouldn’t despair about the few voices arguing with the Iran warmongers – more help is on the way.
Former CIA officer Philip Giraldi discusses his article “Tapping the Israeli Embassy” about what Shamai Leibowitz learned while working as an FBI counterintelligence translator; the allied groups that make up the “Bomb Iran” lobby; catching Jane Harman and an unnamed congressman from Indiana acting like Israeli operatives; and how Israel’s “perception management” campaign makes Americans believe Iran is a dire threat and must be defeated in war.
Sheldon Richman, senior fellow at The Future of Freedom Foundation, discusses how Palestinian statehood has been deferred and denied since Israel’s founding in 1948; Israel’s “facts on the ground” that are getting larger and more numerous by the day, making a Palestinian state untenable by design; Obama’s attempt to kill statehood without casting a veto and dropping the “honest broker” charade for good; and the different degrees of UN “promotion,” short of statehood, available through the Security Council and General Assembly.