A Tribute to Nelson Mandela

December 6, 2013

This 12-minute remembrance is a succinct overview of Nelson Mandela’s adult life as a leader of the ANC fighting South Africa’s Apartheid system of government. The clip includes rare footage of a news interview with Mandela when he was in hiding in 1960, and audio of his trial in 1964. Nelson Mandela became South Africa’s first black president in 1994.

Democracy Now! dedicates a full hour of coverage on Mandela’s life and work. You can view the entire segment here.


In Court: Bradley Manning Caused No Harm To The U.S.

July 11, 2013

In this nine minute video, an ex-Guantanamo Bay prosecutor describes his testimony in the Bradley Manning Court Marshal trial saying Manning’s leaked documents to WikiLeaks were already available to the public, and therefore caused no damage to U.S. national security.


Matt Taibbi Exposes More Lies About the Big Bank Bailout

January 15, 2013

In the latest edition of Rolling Stone, Matt Taibbi breaks down what really happened during the bank bailout, and how the government is helping the banks lie about their balance sheets to prevent “panic.” In Taibbi’s analysis, the bailout was never about jump-starting the economy. Ultimately, the banks took tax-payer money to keep them from going out of business, and now get deferred tax credits, so that they don’t have to pay anything into the economy. Sound like a raw deal?

The seventeen minute video above by Democracy Now! is worth every minute.

There’s also the transcript.

And here’s the Rolling Stone article: “Secrets and Lies of the Bailout: The federal rescue of Wall Street didn’t fix the economy – it created a permanent bailout state based on a Ponzi-like confidence scheme. And the worst may be yet to come.”

Bradley Manning’s Lawyer Puts the Military On Trial For Turture

December 3, 2012

As WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, says during an interview from the Ecuadorian embassy in London, Bradley Manning’s trial is not about Bradley Manning (although it is) – it’s about what has happened to Bradley Manning since his arrest in Baghdad in 2010.

Manning’s lawyers are putting the military on trial for torture.

The seventeen minute segment above is a vivid description of Manning’s conditions during his 2 year imprisonment, mostly in solitary confinement in an 8 foot cell. Military psychiatry experts who evaluated Manning testified that they were frustrated that the military was not taking their advice in his treatment. Namely, that he was not a suicide risk, and that what they were doing to him was torture.

In a brilliant move, Manning’s lawyer drew in chalk the actual dimensions of his cell and had Manning get inside.

During Manning’s testimony, it was clear that the Army Private was not the mentally unstable loose cannon that the military was trying to portray him to be before the trial started.

Each authority in some way connected with Manning’s imprisonment is denying that he or she was in charge of orchestrating and enforcing the torture-like conditions. In other words, everyone was “just following orders,” but the orders were given by the tooth fairy.

Will they get away with it?

(Interestingly, the best sources for news about this trial are the Guardian Newspaper in Britain, and Democracy Now! an alternative news program that started in the US on public radio.)

Bradley Manning May Plead Guilty to Lesser Charges

November 9, 2012

Breaking news from Amy Goodman, and Democracy Now. Goodman writes: “Accused U.S. Army whistleblower Bradley Manning has offered to submit a partial guilty plea on charges of leaking classified documents to WikiLeaks in return for the government agreeing to pursue lesser charges. Manning’s attorney David Coombs says he is prepared to plead guilty to some of the charges, but not the entire case as a whole. Manning is reportedly ready to admit to leaking the documents to WikiLeaks but is refusing to plead guilty to the charges of espionage or aiding the enemy. He has been held in military custody since May 2010, following his arrest while serving in Iraq. We are joined by Denver Nicks, author of the book, “Private: Bradley Manning, WikiLeaks, and the Biggest Exposure of Official Secrets in American History.”

Anti-Austerity Is Fair And Reasonable

May 22, 2012


French President François Hollande was sworn in on Saturday (May 19th). During his inaugural speech, he said:

“My real enemy doesn’t have a name or a face or a party. He’ll never run as president, so he’ll never be elected, although he does govern. My enemy is the world of finance.”

Amy Goodman, “Democracy Now” host and reporter, spoke about the anti-austerity backlash in Europe with Associate Professor of Economics and Law, William Black (who is also a white-collar criminologist and former senior financial regulator).

The transcript is below. The video is 3:50 minutes. (The very beginning of the video has a clip of President Hollande’s speech, and glimpses of huge anti-austerity protests in Spain and Greece.)


AMY GOODMAN: Now, William Black, I wanted to end by asking you quickly about the economic crisis in Europe. In Spain, over 100,000 people took part in anti-austerity rallies Sunday. In Greece, anti-bailout parties won the nation’s recent election. And in France, François Hollande was sworn in today as France’s new president, becoming the first French Socialist in power since the ’90s. He recently said his enemy was the world of finance.

FRANÇOIS HOLLANDE: [translated] My real enemy doesn’t have a  name or a face or a party. He’ll never run as president, and so he’ll never be elected, although he does govern. My enemy is the world of finance.

AMY GOODMAN: That is François Hollande, France’s new president. William Black, your final response?

WILLIAM BLACK: Finance is supposed to simply be a middleman to help the real economy. It in fact now completely dominates and is a parasite on the real economy. German austerity has pushed the entire eurozone into recession and the periphery into Great Depression-level unemployment. And the same arguments are being made in the United States and are used as a pretext to try to destroy Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. It is economically illiterate, but politically attractive.

AMY GOODMAN: Your assessment of President Obama versus President Bush?

WILLIAM BLACK: Well, less bad on this subject, but President Obama is also—feels that he must politically say there’s a vital need to balance the budget, which is to say, to have austerity, even though he’s looked at Europe and seen that the worst possible thing you can do in a great recession, or the attempted recovery from a great recession, is to start reducing the spending and such.

And Obama needs to go back to what he originally proposed, which was brilliant. It was a Republican idea: revenue sharing. We all knew that the states and localities, unlike the federal government, cannot run significant deficits, and that there was going to be a financial holocaust that was going to reduce vital services and throw hundreds of thousands of public workers out of work when they were most needed and exacerbate the great recession and dramatically slow the recovery. So, the recovery bill that—the stimulus bill that President Obama proposed had that provision. The Blue Dog Democrats, the conservative Democrats, and the Republicans got together to kill that. And unfortunately, the Obama administration didn’t fight for it.

Here’s what we know. The Wall Street Journal just ran an op-ed saying, don’t allow the federal government to help the states. That tells you that’s what they’re scared of. It would be economically brilliant, it would be politically brilliant, to bring back the revenue sharing provisions, which are, after all, a Republican idea, and make the Republicans make the call that they want a financial holocaust throughout America, and they want us to slip back into a recession.

AMY GOODMAN: William Black, I want to thank you for being with us, author of The Best Way to Rob a Bank is to Own One, associate professor of economics and law at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, also a white-collar criminologist and former senior financial regulator. This is Democracy Now! Back in a minute.

“Shadow CIA” Monitoring Critics of Goldman Sachs, Corporations, and the US Government

February 29, 2012


Wiki Leaks is publishing 5,000 emails from Stratfor, a private company that collects “private lies of private spies,” according to Wiki Leaks founder, Julian Assange. “Democracy Now’s” Amy Goodman spoke to a representative of Wiki Leaks in this 8 minute video.