Podcast Show #95: The Fight against the National Defense Authorization ACT (NDAA)

The Boiling Frogs Show Presents Carl Mayer

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Carl Mayer returns to update desperate, disingenuous legal maneuvers from the "Justice" Department. Bottom line: unconstitutional detention rules are back in effect. Mayer and his co-counsel Bruce Afran represent Chris Hedges, Daniel Ellsberg and other plaintiffs, who won a permanent injunction against the broad, vague detention policies in section 1021 b 2 of the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). In this in-depth interview, Mayer first updates us on the scramble by government lawyers to reinstate the law, leading to a short-term "stay" of the ruling by Judge Katherine Forrest by an appeals court judge, following Forrest's refusal. Mayer offers commentary on key portions of Judge Forrest's ruling of September 12, which is blunt and unusual in many respects. You can download the ruling and follow the page references as we go through it. There's much more, including many quotes from the clear and blunt court ruling.

Mayer's team is fighting this case pro bono. You can contribute to help with legal expenses here or here.

Listen to the Preview Clip Here

Here is our guest Carl Mayer unplugged!

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MayerCarl Mayer runs the Mayer Law Group LLC and is the author of several books including “Shakedown” and “Public Domain, Private Dominion.” He is a former law professor and served as special counsel to the New York State Attorney General. Mr. Mayer dedicates his law practice, writing and electoral efforts to ending the tyranny of corporate power over American citizens. He has written in law journals opposing efforts by corporations to use the Bill of Rights intended only for American citizens to shield corporations from accountability and legal sanction. Mr. Mayer runs two blogs: one on national corporate corruption (Untouchables Group) and one on New Jersey corruption (New Jersey Untouchables).

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Podcast Show #21

The Boiling Frogs Presents Chris Hedges

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Chris Hedges gives us a quick sketch of his latest book “Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle”. He discusses the real role of the US media as one of the main culprits in promoting a sense of exceptionalism by disseminating fantasy, and poisoning civil and political discourse with entertainment and trivia. He talks about the spectacle surrounding Barrack Obama’s presidential campaign and his function as a brand just like any other commercial commodity brand advertised and promoted by corporations, the last decade’s coup d'état in slow motion, and much more!

ChrisHedges2Chris Hedges is a senior fellow at the Nation Institute and the Anschutz Distinguished Fellow at Princeton University. He has written nine books, including Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle, and the best-selling American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America. He spent two decades as a foreign reporter covering wars in Latin America, Africa, Europe and the Middle East, and served for eight years as the Middle East bureau chief of The New York Times, where he shared the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Journalism, for coverage of terrorism. Hedges also received the 2002 Amnesty International Global Award for Human Rights Journalism. His weekly column is published on Truthdig

Here is our guest Chris Hedges unplugged!

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Updates & Weekly Round Up for January 17

Boiling Frogs Video Project & Noteworthy Headlines

Soon-to- be- Launched Boiling Frogs Exclusive Video

BF0117I’m going to start with an exciting update on our Boiling Frogs Exclusive Video Project. Again, I’m not known for being very patient, and in this case I’m not able to contain my excitement.

Kristina Borjesson and Katrina Rill have been working very hard on the production side, and have been doing it under extraordinary circumstances. Kristina’s brother lives in Haiti and for almost 4 days they were unable to establish contact with him, know about his well-being or whereabouts. They heard from him yesterday, after days of frantic phone calls, e-mails, and stressful waiting-pacing. I am so very happy and relieved. Additionally, during that chaotic period they had to resolve several software-hardware related problems and glitches. Fortunately, they have now arrived at the ‘happy-satisfied-exciting’ stage where they are putting their final touches on our first four-part video series.

The upcoming video series will be based on exclusive interviews with Larry Wilkerson, with great footage. I don’t believe anyone has ever heard or seen some of the extraordinary revelations and commentaries contained in these clips; at least I hadn’t. Here is a glimpse of what I’m talking about from the transcript:

Larry Wilkerson on Israel:

I have not mentioned one other motivation in here which was, I think very much at work. And that’s Israel… Douglas Feith, for example as many people often said in the state department, including the highest members of the state department, was a card carrying member of the Likud Party… what it meant of course was that he had a double set of interests in mind at most times and those interests were not just America’s interests, they were Israel’s interests…

We have a situation today in both Israel and the United States created in part because of incompetent leadership but in part because of very venal leadership in exploiting the politics of fear, that can’t bring us peace—either of us—and is making lots and lots of money as Andrew Basevitch said, off not bringing us peace. Lots of money.

there are a group of people in this country who have an interest in Israel’s security that goes beyond America’s interests…. When the Cold War ended, Israel in that regard became a strategic liability, not an asset…

LW on our Disappearing Civil Liberties:

…So we’re moving away rapidly from all those things—the constitution, the rule of law, operating within our own revenues instead of debt, debt, debt and so forth, all because the presidency has become so powerful that it can do these things and it has become powerful in some respects because of the politics of fear…

LW on the Role of Military Industrial Complex:

In our country, money is negating democracy. It is doing it in a host of ways. It is doing it in a way Dwight Eisenhower warned it would do in 1961 when departed the Oval Office…

…there’s nothing out there that will tell you how to deal with this. This is not the president of Lockheed Martin, the president of uh, of uh General Dynamics or Graumann or whatever plotting at night to take over Washington or to take your money away from you. This is much more insidious than that. It is power, and building over time as we decided after world war two to build a national security state and to make security the end all and be all of our existence. Just listen to the democratic candidates the other night in the debate. Every one of them I believe as I recall even the guys on the fringes they essentially said the first requirement of any president is to protect the United States of America. Hogwash. The first requirement of any president is to protect the Constitution. The Constitution will, if it’s adhered to, protect America.

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Okay, you see what I mean? How could I not be ultra excited?! The interview is loaded with macro points and facts long ignored by the media and others, and issues and realities that have been chosen by our public to be denied rather than being faced and dealt with.

Buckle up and get ready for our soon to be launched video series. For some of you who have not registered with the site, this is a good time and even a better reason to go ahead and do it. The full-length clips will be available only to Boiling Frogs Registered Users, those I refer to as members of the Irate Minority Club.

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ChrisHedgesWe had a great interview session with Chris Hedges. After reading his sound analytical pieces, hearing him articulate issues relevant to our discussion, and knowing a bit about his sincere and non-partisan outlook, I decided to add his ‘corner’ to my ‘must-read’ daily list. I say corner, because I don’t particularly like some of the angles and partisan approaches of the general site, and I believe that’s mutual, since those operating it happen to not like mine either 😉 On the other hand, I try to give credit where it’s due, and in this case, having Chris Hedges on board is a major positive.

This week we’ll interview Professor Julien Mercille and Coleen Rowley. I know I’ve said this a gazillion times, but I truly enjoy these sessions, and end up learning so much. I’m looking forward to having both guests this coming week.

Coming up on Friday: Our interview with Andy Worthington.

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And here is a round up of a few headlines and news of interest:

US Public Majority: Willing to Sacrifice Liberties for Perceived Security

The following makes us truly members of the irate minority club:
 

           Most OK with TSA full-body scanners
           By Thomas Frank, USA Today

Air travelers strongly approve of the government's use of body scanners at the nation's airports even if the machines compromise privacy, a USA TODAY/Gallup poll finds.

Poll respondents appeared to endorse a Transportation Security Administration plan to install 300 scanners at the nation's largest airports this year to replace metal detectors. The machines, used in 19 airports, create vivid images of travelers under their clothes to reveal plastics and powders to screeners observing monitors in a closed room.

In the poll, 78% of respondents said they approved of using the scanners, and 67% said they are comfortable being examined by one. Eighty-four percent said the machines would help stop terrorists from carrying explosives onto airplanes. The survey was taken Jan. 5-6 of 542 adults who have flown at least twice in the past year.

And, this one:

            Poll: Most Americans would trim liberties to be safer
            By Steven Thomma, McClatchy

After a recent attempted terrorist attack set off a debate about full-body X-rays at airports, a new McClatchy-Ipsos poll finds that Americans lean more toward giving up some of their liberty in exchange for more safety. The survey found 51 percent of Americans agreeing that "it is necessary to give up some civil liberties in order to make the country safe from terrorism.” At the same time, 36 percent agreed that "some of the government's proposals will go too far in restricting the public's civil liberties."

BodyScannersHere are my questions for the ‘majority’ who support giving up privacy and liberties for perceived security:

Let’s say the next attack, or attempted terrorist attack, takes place in a shopping mall on a busy Saturday. What should be our government’s measures and so-called solutions afterwards? Should they place metal detectors at all main entrances of all US shopping malls? And since they happen to be ‘ineffective,’ should they go all the way and have these body-scanners instead? But then, some terrorist or terrorist wanna-be or just mentally deranged person may try to pull the explosive truck in the parking lot trick. Then what? Should we also place search guards and detectors at all entrances of all US shopping malls?

Please feel free to replicate the example, scenario above, for all the mega movie theaters, mega hotels, mega amusement parks, mega restaurants, museums… Each one of them a possible target. Each one of them vulnerable. Each possible attack with a possible large civilian death toll. So I’m asking those supporters of giving up privacy and liberties for some irrational and perceived security: What would you want to be done to make you feel secure, safer? Will you be willing to stand in long lines and check points, spread your legs and arms before government patters, maybe even bend over for a good ole cavity search and enema, for shopping, dining, entertainment…? And don’t pull that ‘oh, that’s different’ line with me. Because it isn’t. Because there are millions of ways for those who are willing to execute terror plots, and there are thousands of places to be targeted. Even if we were to turn the entire country into a massive check point with scanners and patters, even if we were to turn our entire population into security guards and police… So, what you gonna do? Maybe ignorantly do the following: [Read more...]