Wednesday, April 16, 2014

$1,259: What Corporate Tax Dodgers Cost the Average Taxpayer

Published on Wednesday, April 16, 2014 by Common Dreams

$1,259: What Corporate Tax Dodgers Cost the Average Taxpayer

Regular citizens and small business owners 'footing the bill' for offshore tax havens

- Jacob Chamberlain, staff writer

The average U.S. taxpayer would have to pay an extra $1,259 in taxes per year to make up for revenue lost to offshore tax havens and corporate tax dodgers, according to a report released by U.S. PIRG to mark Tax Day on Tuesday.

That lost revenue must be made up somewhere, the group notes, and that burden falls on average tax payers through cuts to public services, higher taxes, and national debt.

According to the report, Picking up the Tab: Average Citizens and Small Businesses Pay the Price for Offshore Tax Havens, corporations and wealthy individuals evade an estimated $184 billion in state and federal income taxes per year, using "complicated accounting tricks to shift their profits to offshore tax havens."

$110 billion of that comes from corporations such as Pfizer, Microsoft, Citigroup and General Electric.

“Average taxpayers and small business owners foot the bill for offshore tax dodging," said the report's co-author Dan Smith. "Every dollar in taxes companies avoid by booking profits to shell companies in tax havens must be balanced by cuts to public programs, higher taxes for the rest of us, or more debt.”

Likewise, the average small business would have to pay around $3,923 on Tax Day to make up for corporate tax havens.

"Offshore tax havens give large multinationals a competitive advantage over responsible small businesses which don’t have subsidiaries in tax havens to reduce their tax bills," the group writes. "Small businesses get stuck footing the bill for corporate tax dodging."
And the practice has been continually upheld by U.S. lawmakers.

As U.S. PIRG points out, the Senate Finance Committee just recently voted for "two especially egregious offshore loopholes," costing the U.S. around $8 billion in lost revenue over the next two years.

One such Committee vote allowed General Electric to keep its 18 subsidiaries in tax haven accounts, amounting to $110 billion kept offshore. GE had hired 48 lobbyists to persuade the lawmakers.

GE filed a federal tax rate of negative 11.1 percent between 2008 and 2012 and actually received net tax payments from the government.

"Tax haven abusers benefit from America’s markets, public infrastructure, educated workforce, security and rule of law—all supported in one way or another by tax dollars – but they avoid paying for these benefits," the group writes.
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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.

Source URL: http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2014/04/16-4

Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218. Ph: 410-366-1637; Email: mobuszewski [at] verizon.net. Go to http://baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com/

"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs

Baltimore Activist Alert - April 16-18, 2014

24] John Judge, presente – Apr. 16
25] The Memorial to the Lost – through Apr. 18
26] Impact of Harsh Sentencing on Communities of Color – Apr. 16
27] ForestDefender – Apr. 16
28] Benefit at the ballpark for law students – Apr. 16
29] Cuba and the U.S.: What's Next – Apr. 16
30] Lobby Rep. Sarbanes -- Apr. 16
31] The Jet that Ate the Pentagon – Apr. 16
32] Free legal advice for homeowners -- Apr. 16 & Apr. 24
33] CRITICAL MONTHLY MEETING – Apr. 16
34] Film THICK – Apr. 16
35] Street Harassment Panel – Apr. 16
36] Green GW Food Desert Panel – Apr. 16
37] Black Farmers Discrimination Litigation – Apr. 17
38] Bound As Fast In Wedlock As A Slave Can Be – Apr. 17
39] InterFaith Tour Program – Apr. 17
40] After Cannabis Prohibition – Apr. 17
41] “Expulsions: Brutality and Complexity in the Global Economy” – Apr. 17
42] D.C. Sustainability and Social Enterprise Summit goes – Apr. 18
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24] – With sadness, I am reporting that long-time D.C. activist John Judge died in the early morning of Wed., Apr. 16. John had suffered a stroke in March, and was eventually able to find a hospital bed at the Washington Center for Aging Services. It is unclear what caused his death, so an autopsy will be performed. At some future date, there will be a memorial service.

25] – The Memorial to the Lost will be on display outside of the Chevy Chase Presbyterian Church until Fri., Apr. 18. Stop by anytime you are driving on Connecticut Ave. and pass by the Chevy Chase Circle. The Memorial To the Lost will display 176 t-shirts, noting those people who died in the greater Washington D.C. area in 2013 to gun violence, and will be planted in the church yard to draw attention to 'too many gun deaths' and asking all to act to stem the flow of illegal guns.

26] – Low-Level Crime, Maximum Time: The Impact of Harsh Sentencing on Communities of Color will be discussed on Wed., Apr. 16 at 11:45 AM at The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, 1629 K St. NW, 10th Floor. In the last three decades, state and federal prison populations have skyrocketed, due largely to the War on Drugs and the rise of so-called “get tough” initiatives – like mandatory minimum sentencing for low-level offenders – that result in huge racial disparities in our prison system. Join The Leadership Conference Spring Interns for a panel discussion about mandatory minimum sentences, the adverse effects these policies have on communities of color, and efforts that are underway to correct this injustice. See https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1et96ZbKpRKD2GlCibBvOGPND3L9XfkPcpM5GdhCdSWg/viewform.

27] – On Wed., Apr. 16 from noon to 1:30 PM, Amazon Watch Invites You to a "Green-Bag Lunch" presentation: ForestDefender: A Legal Web tool to Support Communities and Indigenous Groups in Protecting Their Rights and Their Forests by Allison Silverman, Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) at the Amazon Watch / CIEL conference room, 1350 Connecticut Ave. NW, #1100 (south of Dupont Circle, above Panera / Cosi), WDC 20036. ForestDefender is a new legal web tool to empower indigenous peoples and other local communities to defend their rights and their forests. It provides users with a rights-based approach to evaluating whether forest governance activities respect international rights. It increases access to information and improved comprehension of such information which will support real progress towards stronger laws, safeguards and enforcement related to forest protection in REDD+ priority countries. It is a tool that allows CIEL to leverage its expertise in international environmental and human rights law and to expand our reach beyond our current partners to other lawyers, activists and community members around the world. Silverman is an attorney with CIEL's Climate and Energy Program. Her practice focuses on strengthening forest governance by working with local communities and indigenous peoples to defend their rights and forests. She advocates for international climate change policies that incorporate human rights to safeguard communities and ecosystems, working closely with partners from other civil society groups and local communities.

28] – Get a ticket at CAMDEN YARDS for the Orioles versus the Tampa Bay Rays on Wed., Apr. 16 at 12:30 PM in Section 332 [Upper Reserved] for $13. Contact Lou Curran at lcurran@opd.state.md.us or 410-499-8899. The net proceeds of the ticket sales will equally benefit MPILP and UBSPI, two non-profit groups providing UB and UMd law students with paid summer clerkships in non-profit public interest organizations and select government agencies in Maryland.

29] – On Wed., Apr. 16 from 4 to 6 PM, catch Cuba and the U.S.: What's Next at American University, Hughes Formal Lounge in Hughes Hall, 4400 Massachusetts Ave. NW. This panel discussion is organized by participants of the Alternative Break Program at American University, who recently returned from Havana, Cuba. See http://www.ips-dc.org/events/cuba_and_the_us_whats_next.

30] – The Pledge of Resistance-Baltimore usually delivers a letter to Rep. John Sarbanes’ Towson office on the third Wednesday of the month at 4:30 PM. On Apr. 16, help deliver the letter to Suite 303, 600 Baltimore Ave., Towson 21204. This month’s letter asks Sarbanes to support portions of the Better Off Budget: Rep. Keith Ellison's Inclusive Prosperity Act (H.R. 1579) to create a tiny sales tax on speculative Wall Street trades; Rep. John Conyers' Humphrey-Hawkins Full Employment and Training Act (H.R. 1000); Rep. Barbara Lee's Repeal of the Authorization for Use of Military Force (H.R. 198) to reverse Public Law 107-40 that has been used to justify open-ended foreign military operations; and Rep. Jerrold Polis' BREATHE Act (H.R. 1154) to amend the Clean Air Act by eliminating special loopholes exploited by oil and gas companies. Finally, we are urging Rep. Sarbanes to speak out against the use of killer drone strikes. Contact Max at 410-366-1637 or mobuszewski at Verizon.net.

31] – As part of the Global Day of Action on Military Spending, find out about the Jet That Ate the Pentagon on Tues., Apr. 15 from 4:45 to 7 PM at Veterans Park, Bethesda at the intersection of Woodmont and Norfolk. The street theatre will bring attention to the need to cut Pentagon spending and instead fund jobs, community services, and carbon-free energy. The group plans on “flying” a mock F-35 that will fall apart. The F-35 is the poster child for wasteful Pentagon spending: during its life, it is projected to cost $1.5 trillion, which is more than the combined spending on the Korean and Vietnam Wars (in inflation-adjusted dollars)—and it doesn’t even work. Contact Jean Athey at jlathey@hprg.com or 301.570.0923.

32] – There is a workshop for free legal advice for homeowners who are behind on property taxes and water bills on Wed., Apr. 16 from 5 to 8 PM at the Enoch Pratt Free Library, Pennsylvania Ave. Branch, 1531 W. North Ave., Baltimore 21217. Also the same program is available on Thurs., Apr. 24 from 4:30 to 7:30 PM at the Enoch Pratt Free Library, South East Anchor Branch, 3601 Eastern Ave., Baltimore 21224. Call 443-703-3052.

33] – On Wed., Apr. 16 from 7 to 8:30 PM, there is a very CRITICAL MONTHLY MEETING at the Church of the Redeemer, 5603 N. Charles St., Baltimore 21210. There will be a de-briefing from the legislative session, sharing war-stories, revealing which legislators showed strong support for Get Money Out of Maryland, and discussing how to increase our power and win in 2015. Enter from E. Melrose Ave., just north of the church. If coming from the south (Northern Pkwy), turn right. If coming from the north (Stevenson Ln,), turn left. Go to http://www.getmoneyoutmd.org/.

34] – On Wed., Apr. 16 at 7 PM at Busboys & Poets, 14th and V Sts. NW, Busboys and Poets' ZAMI and Tagg Magazine present the film screening of "THICK," followed by a Q&A with filmmaker and actors to benefit the Wanda Alston House, the only dedicated space in D.C. for homeless LGBTQ youth and Tagg Fest, a day of events for everyone under the Tagg rainbow. A concoction of ABC's current hit "Scandal," HBO's seminal show "The Wire," The Godfather Trilogy, and Showtime's cult classic "The L Word," the film has the ingredients to be a captivating fan favorite Visit http://washingtonpeacecenter.net/node/11885.

35] – The GWU Feminist Union is hosting a Street Harassment Panel on Wed., Apr. 16 at 7 PM at Monroe Hall, Room B32, 2115 G St. NW. It will feature representatives from Stop Street Harassment and Collective Action for Safe Spaces. Discuss what street harassment is, who is affected and how we can fight back! See https://www.facebook.com/events/1440614436182186/.

36] – The Green GW Food Desert Panel is on Wed., Apr. 16 at 8 PM at the Elliott School of International Affairs, Room B17, 1957 E St. NW. To help celebrate Earth Month Green GW is hosting a panel of speakers to talk about food deserts in the DMV area. Learn about what food insecurity is, what effects it has on human health and on the environment. You will learn some healthy quick recipes. Go to https://www.facebook.com/events/1514262085468075/.

37] – There is a panel discussion: Black Farmers Discrimination Litigation on Thurs., Apr. 17 from 12:15 to 2 PM at Moot Courtroom, 5th Floor, 4340 Connecticut Ave. NW, WDC. Join UDC David A. Clarke School of Law for a presentation on the current state of litigation/restitution in the class action suit against the US Department of Agriculture for lending discrimination against Black Farmers. The panel will include presiding federal judge Hon. Paul Friedman, Class Co-Counsel Andy Marks of Coffey Burlington, and Deputy Ombudsman for the Black Farmers’ Settlement, Alva Waller. Attendance is free of charge, but advance registration is required at http://www.law.udc.edu/event/BlackFarmersPanel.

38] – On Thurs., Apr. 17 from 6 to 7:30 PM hear about "'Bound As Fast In Wedlock As A Slave Can Be': African-American Marriage, Slavery, and Freedom” at City View Room, 1957 E St. NW, WDC. The Africana Studies Program presents George Washington University’s third annual Emancipation Day Celebration featuring Tera Hunter, Professor of History and African American Studies at Princeton University. Professor Hunter is author of the acclaimed To 'Joy My Freedom: Southern Black Women's Lives and Labors after the Civil War (Harvard, 1998) and is working on a book exploring the history of marriage among African-Americans in the 19th century (forthcoming, Harvard). The event will include a book signing and Q&A. See http://history.columbian.gwu.edu/bound-fast-wedlock-slave-can-be-african-american-marriage-slavery-and-freedom.

39] Learn about the InterFaith Tour Program on Thurs., Apr. 17 from 6:30 to 8:30 PM at George Washington University, Funger Hall Room 220, 2201 G St. NW. The InterFaith Tour program is organized by five French students from different faiths (Christian, Muslim, Jewish, agnostic and atheist) who all belong to COEXISTER - The French InterFaith Youth Movement. Since they started 9 months ago, they've been to more than 45 countries and have met religious leaders such as Pope Francis (private audience). The students will discuss their journeys. See http://www.interfaithtour.com/en/.

40] – The topic “After Cannabis Prohibition: Investigating What Comes Next for the Economy, Public Safety, and America's Families” will be examined on Thurs., Apr. 17 at 6:30 at Busboys & Poets, 1025 5th St. NW. Join the newly formed DC-MD-VA Cannabis Coalition for an evening that brings together policy reform advocates, legislators, and the simply curious to celebrate progress and discuss cannabis law reform in the Mid-Atlantic region. The DMVCC will present awards recognizing the contributions of three individuals who have been instrumental in making progress in the cause.

Keynote speaker Doug Fine will round out the evening with a rollicking and inspiring presentation culled from his years of investigative research into the policies, economics, and sustainability of cannabis and hemp. After 40 years and over a TRILLION taxpayer dollars, the end of cannabis prohibition is near. According to Gallup, 58% of Americans now favor marijuana legalization, and more and more states are pressuring the federal government to follow their lead as America's longest war winds down. Bestselling investigative journalist Doug Fine, author of “Too High to Fail and Hemp Bound,” will tell stories and present images from the front lines in North America, South America, and Europe. He will focus on the real world economic benefits of cannabis and hemp, which he has been studying from the fields for five years. Visit http://busboysandpoets.com/events/event/private-event-dmv-cannabis-coalition-award.

41] – Saskia Sassen presents “Expulsions: Brutality and Complexity in the Global Economy” on Thurs., Apr. 17 at 7:30 PM @ Red Emma's, 30 W. North Ave., Baltimore 21201. Soaring income inequality and unemployment, expanding populations of the displaced and imprisoned, accelerating destruction of land and water bodies: today’s socioeconomic and environmental dislocations cannot be fully understood in the usual terms of poverty and injustice, according to Saskia Sassen. They are more accurately understood as a type of expulsion—from professional livelihood, from living space, even from the very biosphere that makes life possible.

This hard-headed critique updates our understanding of economics for the twenty-first century, exposing a system with devastating consequences even for those who think they are not vulnerable. From finance to mining, the complex types of knowledge and technology we have come to admire are used too often in ways that produce elementary brutalities. These have evolved into predatory formations—assemblages of knowledge, interests, and outcomes that go beyond a firm’s or an individual’s or a government’s project. Sassen's research and writing focuses on globalization (including social, economic and political dimensions), immigration, global cities (including cities and terrorism), the new technologies, and changes within the liberal state that result from current transnational conditions. Call 410-230-0450. Go to http://www.redemmas.org.

42] – The DC Sustainability and Social Enterprise Summit goes from 9:15 AM to 4 PM on Fri., Apr. 18 at the University of the District of Columbia, 4200 Connecticut Ave. NW. Co-sponsored by UnSectored, UDC, Three Birds, Sustainable DC, this year's Summit is focused on accelerating impact through cross-industry and cross-sector collaboration. Keynote speakers include Seth Goldman of Honest Tea and Aaron Hurst of the Purpose Economy. Early bird ticket prices are $10 for students & $20 for professionals. Regular ticket prices are $20 for students and $40 for professionals. Go to http://www.dcsocent.org/.

To be continued.

Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218. Ph: 410-366-1637; Email: mobuszewski [at] verizon.net. Go to http://baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com/.

"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs

NSA Spying is Here to Stay


NSA Spying is Here to Stay
By Jim Hightower

On Monday, April 14, the the Washington Post and the Guardian US newspapers received the Pulitzer for Journalism Public Service for their reports on NSA spying. In light of their hard work, let's recap events of the last year.

Embarrassed and irritated by Edward Snowden's leaks, Obama charged last year at a press conference that Snowden was presenting a false picture of NSA by releasing parts of its work piecemeal: "Rather than have a trunk come out here and a leg come out there," he said, "let's just put the whole elephant out there so people know exactly what they're looking at. ... America is not interested in spying on ordinary people," he assured us. The government, he went on, is not "listening in on people's phone calls or inappropriately reading people's emails."

Six days later, a Washington Post headline declared: "NSA broke privacy rules thousands of times per year." In an internal audit in May 2012 of its DC-area spy centers, the agency itself found 2,776 "incidences" of NSA overstepping its legal authority. As the American Civil Liberties Union noted, surveillance laws themselves "are extraordinarily permissive," so it's doubly troubling that the agency is surging way past what it is already allowed to do. The ACLU adds that these reported incidents are not simply cases of one person's rights being violated — but thousands of Americans being snared, totally without cause, in the NSA's indiscriminate, computer-driven dragnet.

The agency's surveillance net stretches so wide that it is inherently abusive, even though its legal authority to spy on Americans is quite limited. U.S. Rep. James Sensenbrenner, the sponsor of the PATRIOT Act (which NSA cites as its super-vac authority), said that Congress intended that it should apply only to cases directly tied to national security investigations. No lawmaker, he said, meant that government snoops should be able to conduct a wholesale grab of Americans' phone, email and other personal records and then store them in huge databases to be searched at will.
Yet look at what NSA has become:

— The three billion phone calls made in the U.S. each day are snatched up by the agency, which stores each call's metadata (phone numbers of the parties, date and time, length of call, etc.) for five years.

— Each day telecom giants turn over metadata on every call they have processed.

— Every out-of-country call and email from (or to) a U.S. citizen is grabbed by NSA computers, and agents are authorized to listen to or read any of them.

— The agency searches for and seizes nearly everything we do on the Internet. Without bothering with the constitutional nicety of obtaining a warrant, its XKeyscore program scoops up some 40 billion Internet records every month and adds them to its digital storehouse, including our emails, Google searches, websites visited, Microsoft Word documents sent, etc. NSA's annual budget includes a quarter-billion dollars for "corporate-partner access" — i.e., payments to obtain this mass of material from corporate computers.

— Snowden says that in his days as an analyst, he could sit at his computer and tap into any American's Internet activity — even the President's. A blowhard congress critter called that a ridiculous lie, but Snowden was proven right. In 2005, another analyst did tap into ex-President Bill Clinton's personal email account.

— Asked at a senate hearing whether his agency collects data "on millions or (even) hundreds of millions of Americans," NSA Director James Clapper said: "No." He later apologized, claiming he was confused by U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden's question. But when asked by Wyden to correct his erroneous answer in the hearing record, Clapper refused.

— The sheer volume of information sucked up by the agency is so large that as of 2008, it maintained 150 data processing sites around the world.

— NSA's budget is an official secret, but a Snowden document shows that it gets about $11 billion a year in direct appropriations, with more support funneled through the Pentagon and other agencies.

President Obama recently announced an "overhaul" of the NSA's collection of bulk phone records. The reform may require phone companies to store metadata it collects for 18 months for the NSA's use with the approval from a special court. This might sound reasonable, but it is still gathering bulk data on millions of innocent Americans — by corporations for the government. And what about Internet, email and other surveillance? NSA is too heavily vested in its programs; it is not going to give up spying on us.

This article was published at NationofChange at: http://www.nationofchange.org/nsa-spying-here-stay-1397664084. All rights are reserved.

Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218. Ph: 410-366-1637; Email: mobuszewski [at] verizon.net. Go to http://baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com/

"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs

Which Side Are You on? Why This Student Sit-in Against Peabody Coal Matters

Published on Wednesday, April 16, 2014 by Common Dreams

Which Side Are You on? Why This Student Sit-in Against Peabody Coal Matters
by Jeff Biggers

Entering its second week, the inspiring Washington University sit-in against Peabody Energy has already gone beyond its goals to cut school ties with the St. Louis-based coal giant, and forced the rest of the nation to ask themselves an urgent question in an age of climate change and reckless strip mining ruin: Which side are you on?

Will other schools, alumni groups -- and investors in Peabody Energy -- follow the lead of the Washington U. students?

Case in point: Tonight in my native Saline County in southern Illinois, the county commissioners genuflected to short-term Peabody coal dollars over the "negative impact on about a dozen homeowners who live near the site of the proposed mine," according to one cynical commissioner, and voted to allow the company to close off Rocky Branch road for a proposed strip mine expansion, despite the lack of EPA permits, and documented evidence of flooding, blasting and emergency access problems.

Facing financial ruin, grave heath problems and displacement, the Rocky Branch residents will fight on, thanks to the Wash U. students, and continue to tell the truth: We all live in the coalfields now, in this age of climate change, and it is no longer acceptable to allow anyone to be collateral damage to a disastrous energy policy.

As Rolling Stone recently noted, Peabody CEO Greg Boyce just might be one of the biggest obstacles to meaningful climate change action in the world.
And the historic legacy of those obstacles -- from the heartland to the far reaches of Asia -- should make Washington University end its shameless relationship with Boyce and Peabody immediately.

My family and communities in southern Illinois have literally been fighting the plunder of our communities, farms, forests and coal mining laborers by Peabody coal, along with various other out-of-state companies, since Mr. Francis Peabody himself sank his first historic mine in our parts in 1895.

When Wash U. students joined retired coal miners at Peabody headquarters last year, to reclaim promised health benefits lost in a bankruptcy scheme -- one southern Illinois miner died in 2012 in Peabody's violation-ridden mines -- we were reminded that our coal mining family members even had to pitch a veritable war against Peabody and its sycophants for a living wage, workplace safety and civil rights back in the 1930s, and earlier decades.

But southern Illinois, despite its historic role in coal mining, has hardly cornered the market on suffering -- especially when it comes to Peabody coal plunder.
In the 1950s, when Peabody collapsed due to market pressures, and relocated its famous brand name to St. Louis under Sinclair Coal Company control, it began one of the most shameful chapters in American history by manipulating the relocation of thousands of Hopi and Navajos on Black Mesa in Arizona and carried out decades of strip mining ruin and water contamination.

In the meantime, Peabody also shifted its massive strip mining operations to central Appalachia, made famous by John Prine's "Paradise" ballad about the loss of his family's community in western Kentucky. "Mr. Peabody's coal train has hauled it away," go the chilling lyrics.

Today, recording over $7 billion in revenues, Peabody has taken its devastating plunder worldwide.

Peabody now operates the largest strip mine in the eastern states, in a controversial operation in Indiana.
With an eye to the spiraling and poorly regulated Asian market, Peabody is expanding its operations in Mongolia.

Despite the magnitude of climate change and the loss of Indonesia's forests and carbon sink for the world, Peabody is expanding operations in that country.

In Australia, Peabody coal miners have launched recent strikes, while religious, farm and environmental groups have called out its reckless mine expansion and lack of a moral compass.

Back in the Midwest, over 217 communities are outraged by their soaring electricity rates from a Peabody boondoggle Prairie state coal-fired plant.
How much longer should educational institutions and other civil rights-minded investors enable the Peabody mine disasters?

That's the big question the Washington University students have asked their administration -- and the rest of the nation.

And that is the big question we must all answer.

Meanwhile, for more information on the Rocky Branch strip mine showdown in southern Illinois, see:

• Judy's Rock: More Road Blocks of Peabody's Dead End
• Mr. Peabody's Coal Train Ain't Haulin' Away Rocky Branch
• Residents Stand Up to Peabody Coal at Historic EPA Hearing
• Illinois Strip Mine Showdown is Last Best Hope for Coalfield Justice

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.

Jeff Biggers is the author of The United States of Appalachia, and more recently, Reckoning at Eagle Creek: The Secret Legacy of Coal in the Heartland (The Nation/Basic Books). Follow him on twitter: @JeffRBiggers
Source URL: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2014/04/16-1

Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218. Ph: 410-366-1637; Email: mobuszewski [at] verizon.net. Go to http://baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com/

"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs

5 Explosive Revelations Leaked from Senate Report Exposing CIA Torture

Published on Alternet (http://www.alternet.org)

AlterNet [1] / By Alex Kane [2]

5 Explosive Revelations Leaked from Senate Report Exposing CIA Torture

April 15, 2014 |

The controversy over a Senate investigation documenting the Central Intelligence Agency’s post-9/11 regime of global torture continues to generate headlines—even though the report has yet to be released. he Senate report has sparked a bitter war between the CIA and senators like Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), who accused the CIA of spying on those looking at CIA documents on torture.
But while the official inquiry has not been published, dogged journalists have published key—and disturbing—details of what is contained in it.

Based on CIA documents, senators on the powerful committee conducted a four-year long, $40 million inquiry into the CIA’s detention and interrogation program, which included torture tactics like the waterboarding of terrorism suspects, beatings and the smashing of suspects’ heads into walls. While the public may be aware of some of these practices due to past revelations, the information carries heavy weight because it is the Senate confirming many of those claims, which has oversight power over the agency.

The CIA’s torture program started soon after 9/11. The Bush administration signed off on what they called “enhanced interrogation techniques,” but which clearly constituted torture, a crime under U.S. and international law.
The American people may never see the full report. Earlier this month, the Senate committee voted to declassify the executive summary and conclusions of the report—480 pages out of 6,400. But the White House and CIA are now vetting the report [3]to determine what exactly gets declassified. That fact has prompted people like Trevor Timm, writing in theGuardian [4], to call on somebody to leak the full report.

Meanwhile, journalists like Al Jazeera America’s Jason Leopold, McClatchy’s Ali Watkins, Jonathan Landay and Marisa Taylor and others are busy digging up details they can confirm and publish for the public. Here are five important revelations from recent news reports on the Senate’s landmark report on CIA torture.

1. Black site at Guantanamo. It is well known that the Guantanamo Bay detention center is where hundreds of prisoners have been held without charge. But what wasn’t officially confirmed until recently is that Guantanamo was also the site of a CIA black site—a detention center the CIA did not acknowledge where they tortured suspects. The CIA operated such sites in a number of countries, and the Senate investigation reportedly says a black site was operated at the Guantanamo detention center.

On April 9, Jason Leopold wrote in Al Jazeera America [5] that the Senate inquiry confirms the CIA used the Cuba prison as a black site. Leopold wrote that “top-secret agency documents reveal that at least 10 high-value targets were secretly held and interrogated at Guantánamo’s Camp Echo at various times from late 2003 to 2004.” The detainees were then taken to Morocco, and then officially sent back to Guantánamo in September 2006.

2. CIA used British-controlled island. Leopold also revealed [5] that the Senate report confirms long-standing claims of high-level British collusion with the CIA.
Journalists and human rights advocates have claimed that a United Kingdom-controlled island called Diego Garcia, located in the Indian Ocean, was used to secretly detain suspects. The Senate report says the CIA used the island with the “full cooperation” of Britain.

These reports have sparked a debate in Britain [6]. Human rights investigators are urging the government to come clean. The report seems to confirm the story of Abdel-Hakim Belhaj, who was rendered to Libya and was told by a Libyan security force member that he stopped at Diego Garcia.

Belhaj says he was tortured during his CIA-led rendition and during his incarceration in Libya.

The confirmation of the use of a British-controlled island is the latest reminder of high-level collusion between the UK and the U.S. in prosecuting the war on terror.

3. CIA handed over prisoners who are now dead. Yet another explosive detail in Leopold’s report is that 10 terror suspects eventually handed off to foreign governments are unaccounted for. U.S. officials told Leopold they are presumed dead.
Those 10 suspects were part of a larger group of 85 detainees that were deemed to be low-level enough to be taken to Guantanamo or given to foreign countries. Leopold writes that 24 of the men labeled “low-value” were “been wrongfully detained and rendered to other countries on the basis of intelligence obtained from CIA captives under torture and from information shared with CIA officials by other governments, both of which turned out to be false.”

4. CIA went beyond legal memo. In 2002, the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel drafted a report authorizing CIA torture, saying that the use of waterboarding, sleep deprivation and stress positions were perfectly legal. It was written by Deputy Assistant Attorney General John Yoo; Jay Bybee, then head of the office, signed off on it.

But even that memo attempting to legalize torture wasn’t enough for the CIA. On April 11, McClatchy reported [7] that the CIA went beyond what it was authorized to do by the Bush administration.

In a phone interview with AlterNet, Leopold said this revelation casts a harsh light on the Obama administration’s arguments that those who relied on Department of Justice legal advice shouldn’t be prosecuted. “It literally demolishes any rationale that Obama and Holder had for not investigating, for not bringing criminal charges, or even launching a criminal inquiry, against people who were responsible for implementing this,” said Leopold.

Despite the fact that CIA operatives went beyond legal advice, the Senate report does not recommend that a criminal investigation be launched for the purposes of prosecuting people.

Another revelation in the report is that the Justice Department legal memo was based on CIA information the Senate report says was wrong. For instance, the CIA claimed that repeatedly waterboarding a suspect was not effective. But in fact, the CIA waterboarded terrorism suspects Khalid Sheikh Mohammad and Abu Zubaydah 183 and 83 times, respectively.

“If the CIA fundamentally misrepresented what it was doing and that was what led [Justice Department] lawyers to conclude that the conduct was legal, then the legal conclusions themselves were inaccurate,” Andrea Prasow, senior national security counsel for Human Rights Watch, told McClatchy. [7]

5. CIA lied about number of prisoners. McClatchy’s reporters also revealed that the CIA lied about the number of prisoners it had in its custody in black sites around the world. The CIA’s claim that the torture program was “targeted” was “BS,” according to one former U.S. official.

In addition, the CIA held 26 people that did not meet the legal standard for detaining someone.

Source URL: http://www.alternet.org/world/5-explosive-revelations-leaked-senate-report-exposing-cia-torture

Links:
[1] http://alternet.org
[2] http://www.alternet.org/authors/alex-kane
[3] http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2013/05/the-absurdity-of-letting-the-cia-vet-the-torture-report/275646/
[4] http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/apr/05/leak-cia-report-torture-redacted-transparency
[5] http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2014/4/9/senate-cia-torture.html
[6] http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/apr/13/cia-black-site-diego-garcia-uk-role
[7] http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2014/04/11/224085/cias-use-of-harsh-interrogation.html

Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218. Ph: 410-366-1637; Email: mobuszewski [at] verizon.net. Go to http://baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com/

"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Guantanamo Hearings Halted Amid Accusations of FBI Spying on Legal Team

http://readersupportednews.org/news-section2/318-66/23138-guantanamo-hearings-halted-amid-accusations-of-fbi-spying-on-legal-team

Ackerman reports: "The US government's troubled military trials of terrorism suspects were dealt another blow on Monday when proceedings were halted after an allegation surfaced that the Federal Bureau of Investigation turned a member of a 9/11 defendant's defense team into a secret informant."

The FBI had a mole inside detainees' defense team. (photo: Michelle Shephard/AP)

Guantanamo Hearings Halted Amid Accusations of FBI Spying on Legal Team
By Spencer Ackerman, Guardian UK

15 April 14

Allegations surfaced Monday that the FBI turned a member of a 9/11 defendant’s defence team into a secret informant

The US government’s troubled military trials of terrorism suspects were dealt another blow on Monday when proceedings were halted after an allegation surfaced that the Federal Bureau of Investigation turned a member of a 9/11 defendant’s defense team into a secret informant.

Judge James Pohl, the army colonel overseeing the controversial military commission at Guantánamo, gaveled a hearing out of session after barely 30 minutes on Monday morning, following the revelation of a motion filed by the defense stipulating that the FBI approached an unidentified member of the team during the course of an investigation into how a manifesto by accused 9/11 architect Khalid Shaikh Mohammed found its way to the media.

Defense attorneys argued the government plunged them into a potential conflict of interest, as they would need to potentially defend themselves against a leak investigation, risking their ability to put their clients’ legal needs ahead of their own.

They implored Pohl to investigate, and if necessary, assign their clients with new independent counsel to advise the defendants about the existence and implications of conflict of interest. That could be a lengthy process – potentially the next delay for a proceeding that has yet to get out of the pretrial stage nearly two years after the latest incarnation of the 9/11 military trials began.

“We have an impossible situation in terms of representing our client … on any issue,” said James Harrington, a civilian attorney for Mohammed’s co-defendant Ramzi bin al-Shibh in the case, which carries the death penalty.

“To say this is a chilling experience for all of us is a gross understatement,” Harrington said.

On 6 April two FBI agents approached the defense security officer assigned to bin al-Shibh’s defense team with a document that “in essence, seeks to enlist defense personnel” in an inquiry into the manifesto leak, said Walter Ruiz, an attorney for co-defendant Mustafa Ahmed al-Hasawi.

Harrington said the unnamed security officer, a contractor for the firm SRA International, had signed the document, which was written to indicate the start of an “ongoing” relationship with the bureau.

A defense security officer is a non-lawyer assigned by the commission’s convening authority to advise the defense team on the handling of classified information, among other issues. The officer would have had “unlimited access to our files,” Harrington said, although not to those of the other legal teams.

Cheryl Bormann, an attorney, for co-defendant Walid bin Attash, indicated that the officer signed the FBI document, and warned that she and her colleagues had no way of knowing if other members of the 9/11 defense teams had been similarly been covertly enlisted to inform on their colleagues. She and other lawyers said the question effectively paralyzed their ability to represent their clients.

“I cannot advise Mr bin Attash that there is conflict-free counsel now, because I quite honestly don't know that there is. I know I've done nothing wrong, but I can't vouch for anybody else on my team. I can't vouch for anybody else in this joint defense,” Bormann said.

Monday morning’s hearing was supposed to address bin al-Shibh’s competency to understand the pre-trial proceedings. Bin al-Shibh has repeatedly complained of “sounds and vibrations” in his cell at Guantánamo’s most secret detention facility that disrupt his sleep and concentration. Bin al-Shibh and his four co-defendants were in court on Monday morning, and did not issue any outbursts, which have disrupted previous hearings.

The chief prosecutor of the military commissions, army brigadier general Mark Martins, asked Pohl to proceed as scheduled.

Martins said he was not aware of the FBI approaching the defense team, a contention Harrington supported. The motion detailing the allegation, filed unexpectedly late Sunday night and first reported by Carol Rosenberg of the Miami Herald, was unsealed Monday, but a declassification review must proceed before it is yet available to the public. It is as yet not public which agency, if any, triggered the FBI’s involvement.
Harrington said one of the FBI agents who approached the contractor was named Kelley Clark. The defense attorney defended the Defense Security Officer as a “good man” placed in an impossible situation.

“We do not believe he did anything wrong. We believe the FBI is the one that did the wrong from the beginning,” Harrington told reporters after the hearing.
Defense lawyers implored Pohl to delay the pre-trial hearing and order an investigation into the FBI’s unexpected involvement in the defense team. Pohl ordered a secret session with the prosecution, apparently related to the competency issue and not the FBI, and an open session for Tuesday morning.

“This is more than just something where there's some circumstantial evidence where something that may have happened. Here it really happened,” Harrington told Pohl.
In January, the Huffington Post and Channel 4 in the UK published a 36-page manifesto by Mohammed, the first such statement from the alleged 9/11 architect to leak out during his 10 years in US captivity. According to a March letter Martins sent to 9/11 families, the prosecutor on 3 March requested Pohl order an inquiry “as to how this letter was released, and to take action to ensure that the Commission process cannot be used to inappropriately disseminate propaganda.”

Lieutenant Colonel Todd Breasseale, a Defense Department spokesman on detainee affairs, noted that “the prosecution has not alleged misconduct on the part of the defense, with regard to the document attributed to Mr Mohammed.” Breasseale declined to comment about which agency prompted FBI involvement.

Harrington was unaware what law the media acquisition of Mohammed’s manifesto would have broken. It was an unclassified document, not part of the court proceedings that are governed by a nondisclosure agreement, that was distributed to attorneys at Guantánamo late last year.

The possibility of the FBI enlisting bin al-Shibh’s Defense Security Officer as an informant on the defense teams follows on the heels of revelations and suspicions that attorneys’ communications are monitored at Guantánamo.

The Central Intelligence Agency was able to secretly mute commission courtroom proceedings in January 2013 when attorneys attempted to discuss the agency’s former off-the-books prisons.

In April 2013, over half a million defense counsel emails were inappropriately turned over to a Department of Defense agency, prompting Pohl to temporarily delay pretrial hearings in the case of Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, the accused organizer of the deadly 2000 USS Cole bombing.

In December 2013, Vocativ reported that a system at Guantánamo called RedWolf surreptitiously intercepts and records phone, email and Voice Over Internet Protocol communications. The US Southern Command denied violating the confidentiality of attorney-client conversations.

Ruiz said that the new indication of secret FBI involvement in defense counsel raised a concern “about the privilege and the confidentiality of our communications.”

Even before the FBI allegation arose, the multitude of pre-trial motions had already backed up the military commission for the 9/11 defendants. James Connell, a lawyer for co-defendant Ali Abdul Aziz Ali, told reporters on Sunday afternoon that he was “no longer confident” that the military trial could begin in 2016.

The five 9/11 co-defendants have waited years for their trial to unfold. Most were taken into secret CIA detention in 2002 and 2003 before being sent to Guantánamo in 2006. A 2008 war-crimes trial was aborted, as was the Obama administration’s 2009 plan to try them in civilian court in New York. The co-defendants were arraigned in 2012.

Karen Greenberg, the director of Fordham University Law School’s Center on National Security, said the alleged FBI involvement demonstrated the superiority of federal civilian courts over the military commissions as a venue for the 9/11 trial. “It's hard, if not impossible, to imagine a federal court judge, allowing such a violation to occur in a federal court prosecution,” Greenberg said.

Harrington told reporters after the hearing that the FBI may have jeopardized an already tenuous trust that the 9/11 legal teams have built with their detained clients.

“If you’re one of the detainees, you say, ‘Now they can spy on my lawyers, and spy on someone on the lawyers’ team and get information on the lawyer, how can I possibly trust the lawyer, or any lawyers?’ That’s a valid question,” Harrington said.

© 2014 Reader Supported News

Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218. Ph: 410-366-1637; Email: mobuszewski [at] verizon.net. Go to http://baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com/

"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs

Vigil on Tax Day at 33rd & Charles Sts. in Baltimore

As part of the Global Day of Action on Military Spending, find out about the Jet That Ate the Pentagon on Tues., Apr. 15 from 4:45 to 7 PM at Veterans Park, Bethesda at the intersection of Woodmont and Norfolk. The street theatre will bring attention to the need to cut Pentagon spending and instead fund jobs, community services, and carbon-free energy. The group plans on “flying” a mock F-35 that will fall apart. The F-35 is the poster child for wasteful Pentagon spending: during its life, it is projected to cost $1.5 trillion, which is more than the combined spending on the Korean and Vietnam Wars (in inflation-adjusted dollars)—and it doesn’t even work. Contact Jean Athey at jlathey@hprg.com or 301.570.0923.

Vigil to say "No Drone Research at JHU" each Tuesday at 34th & North Charles Sts. Join this ongoing vigil on Apr. 15 from 5:30 to 6:30 PM. This Tuesday, the vigil will be part of the Global Day of Action on Military Spending. Call Max at 410-366-1637.

Dear Max,

Tax Day is also the Global Day of Action on Military Spending (GDAMS.) On every continent, peace and disarmament, sustainable development groups will hold events.

In 65 locations across the US, activities, forums and vigils will be held to raise the call to Move the Money from wars and weapons to fund jobs, public services and transition jobs in defense industries to green sustainable manufacturing.

Join the global action by calling Congress 202-224-3121
Tell your Senator and Representative: Cut $100 billion over ten years wasted on nuclear weapons. Urge your Senators to co-sponsor the SANE Act, S. 2070 and your Representative to cosponsor the REIN IN Act, H. R. 4107.

Background:
MA Senator Ed Markey introduced Senate bill S. 2070, the Smarter Approach to Nuclear Expenditures (SANE) Act. OR Congressman Earl Blumenauer introduced a companion bill in the House, H.R.4107, the Reduce Expenditures in Nuclear Infrastructure Now (REIN-IN) Act.

Join the Tax Day/GDAMS actions on social media: Sign onto the Thunderclap asking Congress to eliminate the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO), also known as the Pentagon” slush fund.” It is a simple one step action that can reach tens of thousands. Just click on this link.

Power to the peaceful,

Judith Le Blanc
Field Director

PS: Join an event in your area. US Tax Day/GDAMS sponsored by: Alliance for Global Justice, American Friends Service Committee, CODEPINK, Fellowship of Reconciliation, Foreign Policy in Focus, Friends Committee on National Legislation, National Priorities Project, National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee, Peace Action, Progressive Democrats of America, United for Peace and Justice, USAction, US Labor Against the War, War Resisters League, Women’s Action for New Directions & Women’s Legislators.

Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218. Ph: 410-366-1637; Email: mobuszewski [at] verizon.net. Go to http://baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com/

"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs

Monday, April 14, 2014

Pledge-FOC meeting/Can you sign the letter?

Friends,

The Pledge of Resistance-Baltimore usually meets on Mondays at 7:30 PM, and the meetings take place at Max’s residence. The next meeting will be on Mon., Apr. 14. The proposed agenda will include a report on the appeal of conviction of the CIA Five, anti-drone activities, including the Spring Actions, Patrick Bond, the NSA discussions at JHU, the visit to Sarbanes’ office, Earth Day, and May Day. Call 410-366-1637 or email mobuszewski at verizon.net for directions.

Can you sign the letter below? Can you help deliver the letter on April 16th at 4:30 PM?

Kagiso,

Max

Pledge of Resistance-Baltimore, 325 East 25th Street, Baltimore, MD 21218

Rep. John Sarbanes
600 Baltimore Ave.
Suite 303
Baltimore, MD 21204

April 16, 2014

Dear Representative Sarbanes:

Members of the Pledge of Resistance-Baltimore are voters and supporters of Progressive Democrats of America. The House failed to pass the Progressive Caucus' Better Off Budget, which would have put millions of Americans to work and raised revenues, while repealing military authorization, containing waste, closing loopholes, and protecting the environment. We call upon you to cosponsor the following legislation to accomplish several of these goals, (if you haven't already):

Rep. Keith Ellison's Inclusive Prosperity Act (H.R. 1579) to create a tiny sales tax on speculative Wall Street trades--not pensions or investments held by regular people--and raise up to $350 billion dollars a year. These revenues could fund permanent living-wage jobs, rebuild communities, launch a green energy boom, extend quality education to all, expand mass transit, guarantee healthcare for all, and address other human needs.

Rep. John Conyers' Humphrey-Hawkins Full Employment and Training Act (H.R. 1000) that would create employment opportunities for the unemployed. Since 2000, about 50,000 industrial jobs have vanished each month. Service sector jobs are also disappearing. America needs a 21st century “New Deal” to put unemployed Americans to work rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure and communities.

Rep. Barbara Lee's Repeal of the Authorization for Use of Military Force (H.R. 198) to reverse Public Law 107-40 that has been used to justify open-ended foreign military operations which have squandered lives and depleted the treasury while making us less safe. It's time to wrap up the militarism and return to diplomacy and cooperation to achieve national security.

Rep. Jerrold Polis' BREATHE Act (H.R. 1154) to amend the Clean Air Act by eliminating special loopholes exploited by oil and gas companies. We can prosper economically and protect our environment by investing in clean 21st Century energy, instead of wasting tax money subsidizing dirty, harmful carbon-based energy.

Finally, we are seeking an end to the use of killer drone strikes, which we believe to be illegal and unconstitutional. We ask you to speak out against this assassination program, which ignores any veneer of due process. Consider as well a request for the full, unclassified release of information surrounding the administration’s drone policy.

We look forward to your response. And when you are ready, we would like to meet with you, preferably in Baltimore. But if necessary, we will travel to your D.C. office. We thank you for your consideration regarding these critically important issues, and look forward to ongoing discussion and engagement with you in the coming months.

Peace,

Max Obuszewski, on behalf of Pledge of Resistance-Baltimore/Fund Our Communities

"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs

Carter: Pope Said He Wants to Boost Role of Women in the Church

http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/Jimmy-Carter-Pope-women-Roman-Catholic-Church/2014/04/11/id/565090/

Newsmax

Carter: Pope Said He Wants to Boost Role of Women in the Church
Friday, April 11, 2014 12:16 PMBy: Melanie Batley

Former President Jimmy Carter has revealed that Pope Francis told him in a correspondence that the future status and role of women in the Roman Catholic Church should be "improved or enhanced."

In an interview with Time magazine, Carter said he wrote a letter to Pope Francis urging the church to do more to denounce atrocities like genital mutilation and, in some societies, the continued practice of child marriage, and he was pleased with the response.

"His letter was very gracious to me, his response. He said that he thought that the status of women and the role of women in the Catholic Church in the future should be improved or enhanced. I was very pleased to get that response," Carter said.

Francis:Pope’s Hidden Life Revealed.

"I noticed that now, about 10 days ago, Pope Francis appointed an eight-person committee to deal with the problem of priests abusing children. Half of the committee members were women, one of whom had been abused as a girl by a priest."

Carter said he hoped to have the chance to meet the Pope.

"If he comes to the United States, I'd like very much to meet him. If I go to Italy, I will certainly request to meet with Pope Francis, whom I admire very much."

In the wide-ranging interview, Carter talked about a number of the themes in his recent book, "A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence, and Power."

Carter, a deeply committed Christian, explained the contention in his book that Jesus Christ was the greatest liberator of women in his culture.

"He set an example that should be emulated down to the ages, and one of the examples that he set invariably in every word and deed of his life was to emphasize the equality of women and even to exalt women well beyond any status they had enjoyed in any previous decades or centuries or even since then," Carter told Time.

"But unfortunately there have been interpretations of what Jesus did by very wonderful theologians that wrote individual letters to individual churches all across Asia minor and so forth, that can be misinterpreted and to prove by male religious leaders that women should not be equal in the eyes of God."

Carter also talked about belief that colleges and collegiate athletic programs need to be more effective in addressing the issue of rape on campus.

"There's a common perception among college administrators that they should conceal the high level of sexual assaults that take place on their campuses because it would bring discredit to the university, bring them a bad name if it was publicized," Carter told Time.

He said that by discouraging women from prosecuting, colleges "give the men, who are inclined to be rapists, the conviction — which is accurate — that they can do it with impunity."

Carter also highlighted his concerns about human trafficking and prostitution and the ways he believes the United States could better tackle the problem.

"The United States is heavily involved in human slavery. The officials particularly at the local level throughout America look the other way for prostitution. The policemen are either bribed or they are given free sexual favors or they get orders from their chief of police that come from the mayor and city council, 'Oh, let's not rock the boat.' So prostitution thrives in the United States."

Francis:Pope’s Hidden Life Revealed.

Carter believes the current policy of punishing women involved in prostitution, many of whom he says were brought into the trade involuntarily, is misguided. He proposes a solution that would see the United States following the example of other countries, such as Sweden, by focusing on bringing charges against the brothel owners, pimps, and the male customers.

"I would like to see our country follow it, but so far there is not any question about it. Everybody just sits back and says this is the way it is to be. But if you arrest two or three prominent men in a community, in Atlanta, New York, or wherever, the prostitution would drop off immediately and you would remove almost completely the involuntary sale of prostitutes against their will in those communities," Carter told Time.

Related Stories:

•Jimmy Carter: Religion Causes Unequal Pay Between Sexes
•Carter: 100,000 Girls Sold Into Slavery Last Year in US

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218. Ph: 410-366-1637; Email: mobuszewski [at] verizon.net. Go to http://baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com/

"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs

Government Secrets: Bureaucratic Wars on Who Gets Prosecuted

http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/23049-government-secrets-bureaucratic-wars-on-who-gets-prosecuted

Government Secrets: Bureaucratic Wars on Who Gets Prosecuted
Monday, 14 April 2014 00:00 By Dina Rasor, Truthout | Solutions

CIA director Leon Panetta. (Photo: Sgt. 1st Class Jim Greenhill / National Guard)

Jobs in government mean doing just enough good, but not too much to irritate those in power and lose your job. Writer Dina Rasor says Daniel P. Meyer was a master at the game, but clearly not as masterful as Leon Panetta, former secretary of defense and CIA director.

Rising in the ranks as a government official requires the skill of walking, day after day, on the bureaucratic knife's edge. No matter how skillful one becomes at this endeavor, the danger of falling is always close at hand. Daniel P. Meyer, former director of Whistleblowing and Transparency at the Department of Defense Inspector General Office (DOD IG), is currently mired in one such cautionary tale.

As an advocate for whistleblowers, I have known and worked with Dan during his decade in the government and watched him get a foothold in the bureaucracy, build a base of "stakeholders" in the bureaucracy and the Congress and build his turf and power. Although his record is not perfect, Dan has occasionally provided help to civilian whistleblowers in a defense bureaucracy that is known to squash them like a bug. Over the decades, I have worked with other staffers in the DOD IG - people who wanted to do some good - but, as I often told frustrated whistleblowers, jobs in government mean doing just enough good, but not too much to irritate those in power and lose your job. Dan was a master at the game.

Being a "master" didn't mean he always used his powers for good. At one point, he gained the confidence of one of the whistleblowers I worked with and tried to reason with a DOD contractor powerhouse that was trying to crush the whistleblower's inconvenient truth-telling. Dan failed miserably. He was trying to appease both a formidable company and an IG bureaucracy that feared that company - all while thinking that he might help the whistleblower. He ended up exchanging privileged information with the whistleblower's enemies, and it was a calamity. He damaged the whistleblower by continuing the bureaucratic game of trying to please all sides. But while this maneuver hurt the whistleblower, it helped keep Dan balanced on that bureaucratic knife's edge.

One of the signs that Dan had advanced up the power ladder in his field was when he was assigned - or "detailed" in Pentagon language - to become the executive director of intelligence community whistleblowing and source protection, in July 2013. He was assigned to implement some of President Obama's Presidential Policy Directive 19, to attempt to appease outraged supporters and others on his heavy-handed actions and prosecutions of national security whistleblowers.

This was an especially important position, because the appointment took place during the storms of controversy in the intelligence agencies over the leaks by Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden. According to the website Government Executive, six months before he took the new job, Dan had been asked by the acting Defense Inspector General Lynne Halbrooks to "lead an interagency working group preparing national security-related agencies' response to Presidential Policy Directive 19. That White House order signed last October extends protections to national security whistleblowers not provided in the main law."

Dan was now playing at a higher level in this new detail. He was working with the intelligence community, the DOD and the White House, dealing with high-security information and the whistleblowers who had leaked it. Not bad for 10 years of working in bureaucracies - especially the DOD IG, which was known for its factional fighting and turf wars. Little did Dan realize that he was about to fall off that knife's edge.

A High-Level Breach

Let us shift our attention, momentarily, to Leon Panetta - a man who has not had to play a game for power for decades. High-level jobs have been shoved at him with each Democratic president, after his long stint in Congress. He was the director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and chief of staff for President Clinton, and CIA director and secretary of defense for President Obama. During his term as CIA director, he oversaw the operation that killed Osama Bin Laden, which was seen as one of the Obama administration's top victories. Panetta had been at the top of the list of Washington players for decades.

Panetta was excited about the Bin Laden capture and urged the intelligence and DOD bureaucracies to cooperate with the director and producers who were making a movie about the supersecret operation. The film, Zero Dark Thirty, promised to be Obama's equivalent of Jack Kennedy's PT 109 movie and would also make the other players in the Bin Laden capture, including Panetta, look like heroes too.

In June of 2011, Panetta held a closed ceremony at the CIA headquarters to honor the participants in the raid on Osama Bin Laden's headquarters. According to a story written by the Project on Government Oversight (POGO), based on a draft DOD IG report that was leaked to POGO, Panetta breached security by offering up highly classified material while giving his speech at the event. (Full disclosure: I am the founder of POGO and still serve on its board of directors.)

POGO's Adam Zagorin reported that:

"During this awards ceremony, Director Panetta specifically recognized the unit that conducted the raid and identified the ground commander by name," the draft report says. "According to the DoD Office of Security Review, the individual's name is protected from public release" under federal law, the report says.
"Director Panetta also provided DoD information, identified by relevant Original Classification Authorities as TOP SECRET//SI//REL TO USA, AUS, CAN, GBR, NZL, as well as, SECRET/ACCM," the report says.

It is not clear that Panetta knew that there was an unauthorized person in the audience, but a screenwriter, Mark Boal, working on Zero Dark Thirty, who did not have a clearance of any kind, had been invited to attend the event. According to POGO:
The IG report says special operations personnel were not pleased to discover that an outsider was at the CIA event. At a reception following the ceremony, Admiral William H. McRaven, one of the raid's overseers, was introduced to a person "identified as the maker of The Hurt Locker," the draft report says. "ADM McRaven and DoD special operators present were all 'universally surprised and shocked' that a Hollywood executive attended this CIA Headquarters awards ceremony."

"ADM McRaven informed us he was concerned about the possible release of the special operators' identities," the draft report says.

As secrecy surrounding the raid eroded, in part through the appearance of a filmmaker at the CIA event, the military became increasingly concerned that participants in the raid could be targeted for terrorist retaliation. The report notes that McRaven held a meeting with families of special operators to tell them that "additional protective monitoring" would be provided and "to call security personnel if they sensed anything."

Panetta claimed that he did not know that a screenwriter for the movie was in the audience. However, later, after he became secretary of defense in mid-2011, he emphasized that people associated with Zero Dark Thirty were to be accommodated by the government to a high extent. As POGO wrote from the DOD IG report:
… the IG report describes how the Obama Administration threw its support behind a Hollywood project depicting one of President Obama's most dramatic triumphs, the nighttime SEAL team assault on the compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan where bin Laden - referred to as "UBL" - had been hiding.

After Panetta became secretary of defense, senior Panetta aides implored a resistant Special Operations Command to assist, according to the draft IG report.
"Secretary Panetta wants the Department to cooperate fully with the makers of the UBL movie," a Pentagon undersecretary emailed the head of Special Operations, according to the report.

Emailing a senior Pentagon colleague during the summer of 2011, defense department spokesman George Little offered a glimpse of Panetta's enthusiasm. "I hope they get Pacino to play [Secretary Panetta]," the report quotes Little as having written. "That's what he wants, no joke!"

This aforementioned IG report was a result of a request in August 2011 by the then-chairman of the House Committee Homeland Security, Rep. Peter King (R-NY). Although the DOD IG began its investigation in December 2011, the investigation went slowly to the frustration of both Rep. King and to POGO, which was monitoring its progress. In June 2013, POGO received a draft report from an anonymous source. The report demonstrated that Mr. Panetta, wittingly or unwittingly, had released classified material that could potentially endanger the military personnel that performed the Bin Laden mission. Panetta declared at various times that he did nothing wrong, but the draft report was out and put on POGO's website for public viewing. The DOD IG was now in the position of embarrassing Secretary Panetta before they had a chance to soften the report. Now the IG had a new mission and it wasn't to try to correct Panetta's security breach - it was to find out how POGO got the report.

Having worked with leaked draft reports before from the DOD, usually the DOD bureaucracy feels like it has to then issue the final report with most of the information, charges and conclusions intact with only a few fig leaves. That is what makes draft reports so valuable, because they have often committed truth and not yet gone through the political Cuisinart and turned to useless pabulum. Not so, when you are looking at protecting a secretary of defense with close ties to the White House.
Amazingly, 10 days after POGO put the draft report on its website, the DOD IG issued the final report, taking out all references to Leon Panetta's classified disclosure and mainly talking about the DOD helping with the movie. The DOD IG press person said that the draft report was a "pre-decisional working draft," and that even though they had interviewed and investigated Panetta's role in the classified documents, they referred the matter to the CIA IG, where reports are usually secret. Panetta had retired back to his university think tank and walnut farm in California four months before this report was issued. It is good to be king of the two agencies that were investigating you, even if it is in a retirement mode.

Adding insult to injury, the IG staff who had issued the final report on June 14, with no references to Panetta, received a "Team of the Year" award for their redacted final report, in a closed ceremony two days before the de-Panettaized final report was issued, according to a story in Bloomberg News. The DOD IG, it seemed, wanted to make sure that everyone realized that this report with the redacted material was part of a team effort and everyone should be a team player.

Almost every whistleblower I have worked with has been accused of not being a "team player": code for not going along with the powers that be in the bureaucracy, whether they are right or wrong.

Off the Knife's Edge

With the Panetta mess tied up with a neat bow, the DOD IG higher-ups turned to the real danger in their minds: Who leaked the unclassified draft report to POGO? The IG investigated its own employees after POGO posted the unclassified draft report on its website, but was unable to find the source of the leak to POGO. In the course of its investigation, Dan Meyer told the investigators from the DOD IG that he had given the draft report to two oversight committees in Congress - the Senate Intelligence Committee and the Senate Armed Services Committee - during a meeting with another IG staff member in December 2012. At that moment, Dan fell off the knife's edge with the bureaucracy he has played so well for over 10 years.

Dan disclosed that he might be in trouble at a Georgetown seminar in February 2014. The transcript of the seminar was obtained by Firedoglake, and it shows that Dan thought it was part of his job to give, when requested, unclassified information to Congress. According to Dan's biography on LinkedIn (his official DOD biography cannot be located on the IG website), part of his DOD IG job was, "Serves as liaison to Executive branch agencies and Legislative stakeholders in the federal whistleblowing process."

When he told the audience of the seminar that he was possibly in trouble, Dan also mentioned that he thought that he was giving the report to the oversight committees on behalf of his boss, as reported by Firedoglake:

"I have been found actually to have made an unauthorized disclosure to the Congress with the insider threat protocol. It was on Zero Dark Thirty. So I can't really comment on some of the investigations, but I was completely shocked when I saw that finding because in doing what I did with both the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Senate Intelligence Committee I was working at the behest of my boss."
Firedoglake went on to note:

Meyer believes that whistleblowers "complete the constitutional feedback loop."
"Whistleblowers are the transmission between the Congress and the people. So, when a whistleblower comes to me and they want to go to the Congress," they are completing a key component of this country's representative democracy.

However, the DOD IG is in total battle mode over this "unauthorized disclosure" by Dan. An internal memorandum, written by Deputy Chief of Staff Brett Mansfield, was leaked to POGO to show what was in store for Dan for not being a "team player." From POGO's report:

The memorandum from Brett A. Mansfield, deputy chief of staff at the IG's office, refers to "the unauthorized disclosure of an OIG draft report" without identifying the report; people familiar with the matter said that was a reference to the investigation involving Panetta. The memorandum also spelled out strictures against sharing unpublished IG reports with Congress.

For example, it says, "In general the OIG does not provide draft reports to outside stakeholders to include members of Congress and their staff." It adds that Meyer was "reminded of his responsibility to ensure the protection of sensitive information to include information marked For Official Use Only (FOUO)," a designation commonly employed to keep various kinds of unclassified material from public release. It says that "the lack of FOUO markings does not make information automatically releasable" - implying that releasing information to Congress is not an official use. It discusses restrictions on "draft and pre-decisional information." And it says that the only people who had the authority to approve Meyer's disclosure to Congress were the inspector general or a particular subordinate.

The memo seems to convey that sharing information with Congress is subject to some of the same restrictions as releasing information to the public.

It is ironic that the top powers of the DOD IG were so exercised about Dan giving an unmarked but possible For Official Use Only (FOUO) report to the appropriate Congressional oversight committees, while Panetta spewed out highly classified details with an uncleared movie screenwriter in the audience. I have, along with most of the Washington media, been publishing and distributing leaked FOUO documents for decades. My FOUO documents leaked out of the Pentagon included embarrassing audits on overruns, investigations of fraud, and even detailed test reports on the mechanical and technical failures on weapons such as the M-1 tank. The Pentagon was always intent on finding my internal sources, but it was because I was embarrassing them. Not once did they accuse me of hurting national security, because they knew that sensitive information and even benign information would be stamped secret by a heavy handed classified stamper in the DOD.

IG Deputy Chief of Staff Mansfield claimed that even though the document didn't have the FOUO markings, Dan should have known the documents should have been stamped that way. This claim is just one step down from the ridiculous ploy that the DOD tried during the Reagan and Bush I Administrations by having DOD workers sign a nondisclosure agreement that they would get in trouble for leaking "classifiable" documents, i.e. documents that were not marked classified but could be classified in the future.

Dan now faces suspension and the revoking of his secret security clearance for passing on unclassified information to the oversight committees of Congress, while Leon Panetta has his reputation intact despite citing deeply classified information to an unsecured crowd. Because Dan was detailed to work for the Intelligence Community inspector general to implement some of Obama's new, albeit weak, protections for national security whistleblowers, being suspended will ruin his carefully crafted job and power climb. Losing his security clearance for not even distributing classified material will ruin his whole career.

We Should Not Forgive the Bureaucracy

Is the current IG retaliating against Dan because he backed the wrong bosses in his 10 years at DOD IG? Or is this controversy an excuse to drive him from his interest and zeal to implement the president's new directives? Or, perhaps, is the IG using Dan to hoist his head on a petard to show others in the DOD, the DOD IG and the rest of the government bureaucracies that you are never to give any information, even when asked, to the oversight committees of Congress because it could embarrass your boss, your department head or even a powerhouse Defense secretary like Leon Panetta?

It is impossible to know. But all these scenarios are possible. I have been following the palace intrigue in the DOD IG for decades, and it is a fractionized organization that also has competing protectors in Congress. Dan has some of that protection, but as the father of the nuclear navy, Admiral Hyman Rickover (who was no saint) has said, "If you are going to sin, sin against God, not the bureaucracy. God will forgive you but the bureaucracy won't."

So is there any solution to this? Usually, I try to find simple and doable changes to fix a governmental problem. But this problem is everywhere. It is the same problem we see in relation to Wall Street: No one will prosecute the companies and individuals that helped wreck our country's economy in 2008. It is the same problem we see in military contracting: Large DOD contractors get away with producing grossly overpriced weapons that can fail and kill soldiers, while the overseeing military generals watch with a wink and a nod.

This is all part of a sad story about power, power in the government due to position and power in the bureaucracy that is sought by many lower-level government employees. Just like troops become very disillusioned when they see their leaders, their generals, suck up to defense companies while ignoring the troops needs and safety, middle of the road government bureaucrats, even ones in oversight organizations like the DOD IG, get disillusioned when they can never do the right thing and get away with it.

If the Congress and others put pressure on the DOD IG to not take action against a conforming employee like Dan Meyer, it may set a better example for others who have to make daily decisions on sources and whistleblowers that bring them evidence of wrongdoing. It would also help establish that the Congress has a right to ask executive branch department employees for information that they must have to do even the most basic of oversight. Government workers need to see that they can bring wrongdoing to Congress under protection. Congress needs to establish its rights again for access to executive branch information. If Dan loses, Congress also loses some of its power.

Daniel P. Meyer may survive this ordeal - but his upward mobility in the bureaucracy is over. He will not be forgiven. In turn, we should not forgive the bureaucracy that allowed Leon Panetta to walk away without even a blip in his reputation.

Copyright, Truthout.

Dina Rasor is an investigator, journalist and author. Rasor has been fighting waste while working for transparency and accountability in government for three decades. In 1981, Rasor founded the Project on Military Procurement (now called the Project on Government Oversight, or POGO) to serve as a nonprofit, nonpartisan watchdog over military and related government spending. Rasor's most recent book, "Betraying Our Troops: The Destructive Results of Privatizing War," chronicles first-hand accounts of the devastating consequences of privatized war support for troops and the overall war effort in Iraq. She also founded the Bauman & Rasor Group that helps whistleblowers file lawsuits under the federal qui tam False Claims act and has been involved in cases which have returned over $100 million back to the US Treasury.

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Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218. Ph: 410-366-1637; Email: mobuszewski [at] verizon.net. Go to http://baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com/

"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs

General Court-Martial Convening Authority Approved Pvt. Manning’s Record of Trial

Big news folks.

The Convening Authority has rejected Chelsea's request for clemency, which means the only person left with the authority to immediately reduce her sentence is President Obama. Outrageously, the White House has stated they won't respond to Chelsea's request for executive clemency until after her appeals process, which could take years. In other words, it's nothing but a stalling method until President Obama is out of office.

The Support Network will be organizing a call-in to the White House for later this week (stay posted for the e-mail!) In the meantime, I welcome people's suggestions for additional ways to protest this decision while calling on President Obama for action. Let's brainstorm!

In solidarity,
Emma

USARMY Ft McNair MDW Mailbox Mediadesk OMB
Mon, Apr 14, 2014 at 1:09 PM

News Release: (UNCLASSIFIED)

NEWS RELEASE

The U.S. Army Military District of Washington
Guardians of the Nation’s Capital

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 14 -
12
DATE: April 14, 2014

GENERAL COURT-MARTIAL CONVENING AUTHORITY APPROVED PVT. BRADLEY E. MANNING’S RECORD OF TRIAL

FORT LESLEY J. McNAIR, DC - The general court-martial convening authority in the case against Pvt. Bradley E. Manning approved the court-martial results on Thursday, April 10.

Maj. Gen. Jeffrey S. Buchanan, Joint Force Headquarters-National Capital Region and the U.S. Army Military District of Washington, commanding general, approved the findings and sentence adjudged at the court-martial. Buchanan’s decision comes after consideration of clemency matters submitted by Manning’s defense counsel in March. His decision to approve the results of the court-martial, which concluded on Aug. 21, 2013, means that no clemency was granted in the case. Manning’s case will be appealed, automatically, to the Army Court of Criminal Appeals in accordance with the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

Manning pled guilty to 10 separate offenses but was ultimately found guilty of 20 offenses, including seven specifications of wrongful possession and transmission of national defense information, five specifications of theft of government information, two specifications of unauthorized access to a government computer and wrongful possession and transmission of protected government information, five specifications of violation of lawful regulations related to his computer use and storage of classified information, and one specification of wrongful publication of U.S. intelligence information. Manning was sentenced to 35 years confinement; reduction to the rank of private (E-1); dishonorable discharge; and forfeiture of all pay and allowances. Presiding judge Col. Denise Lind granted Manning 1,293 days of confinement credit against the sentence to confinement.

Buchanan’s options as convening authority included disapproval of all or part of the findings and disapproval or modification of all or part of the sentence in the case. Convening authorities do not have authority to impose additional punishment or change a court finding of not guilty to guilty.
Manning’s case will now be transferred to the Army Court of Criminal Appeals.

Media queries may be emailed to the U.S. Army Military District of Washington Public Affairs Office at usarmy.mcnair.mdw.mbx.mediadesk-omb@mail.mil.

-30-

Baltimore Activist Alert Apr. 14 – Apr. 20, 2014

Baltimore Activist Alert Apr. 14 – Apr. 20, 2014

"I speak as an American to the leaders of my own nation. The great initiative in this war is ours.
The initiative to stop it must be ours." - Martin Luther King Jr.

Friends, this list and other email documents which I send out are done under the auspices of the Baltimore Nonviolence Center. Go to www.baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com. If you appreciate this information and would like to make a donation, send contributions to BNC, 325 East 25th Street, Baltimore, MD 21218. Max Obuszewski can be reached at 410-366-1637 or mobuszewski [at] verizon.net.

Tune into the Maryland Progressive Blog at http://mdprogblog.org.

1] Books, buttons & stickers
2] Web site for info on federal legislation
3] Join Nonviolent Resistance lists
4] Buy coffee through HoCoFoLa
5] Celebration of the Journey of Harriet Tubman – through Apr. 20
6] "Deadly Medicine: Creating the Master Race" – through Apr. 30
7] Human, Soul & Machine: The Coming Singularity – through Aug. 31
8] "Years of Living Dangerously" – Apr. 13
9] Marc Steiner on WEAA – Apr. 14 – Apr. 18
10] End Gun Violence – Apr. 14
11] Film "Bidder 70l" – Apr. 14
12] HONORABLE RICARDO ZWAIG at UMBC – Apr. 14
13] Pledge of Resistance/Fund Our Communities meeting – Apr. 14
14] Onondaga Nation at the White House – Apr. 15
15] Tax Day Demonstration – Apr. 15
16] Philadelphia Peace Vigil – Apr. 15
17] Jet That Ate the Pentagon – Apr. 15
18] Condemn drone research at JHU on Tax Day – Apr. 15
19] Support restaurant workers meeting – Apr. 15
20] NSA surveillance and university complicity – Apr. 15
21] Documentary “Growing Cities” – Apr. 15
22] DivestFest OPEN MIC – Apr. 15
23] Baltimore Ethical Society Spring Flower Sale – ends Apr. 15
-----
1] – Buttons, bumperstickers and books are available. “God Bless the Whole World, No Exceptions” stickers are in stock. Donate your books to Max. Call him at 410-366-1637.

2] – To obtain information how your federal legislators voted on particular bills, go to http://thomas.loc.gov/. Congressional toll-free numbers are 888-818-6641, 888-355-3588 or 800-426-8073. The White House Comment Email is accessible at http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/.

3] – THE ORGANIZING LIST will be the primary decision-making mechanism of the National Campaign of Nonviolent Resistance [NCNR]. It will be augmented by conference calls and possibly in-person meetings as needed. It will consist of 1 or 2 representatives from each local, regional, or national organization (not coalitions) that wishes to actively work to carry out the NCNR campaign of facilitating and organizing nonviolent resistance to the war in Iraq. To join the ORGANIZING List, please send your name, group affiliation, city and email address to mobuszewski at Verizon dot net. Different local chapters of a national organization are encouraged to subscribe.

THE NOTICES LIST will include only notices of NCNR actions and related information and is open to any interested person to subscribe. It will be moderated to maintain focus & will include periodic notices about getting involved in NCNR national organizing. To join the NOTICES List, send an email message to mobuszewski at Verizon dot net.

4] – You can help safeguard human rights and fragile ecosystems through your purchase of HOCOFOLA Café Quetzal. Bags of ground coffee or whole beans can be ordered by mailing in an order form. Also note organic cocoa and sugar are for sale. For more details and to download the order form, go to http://friendsoflatinamerica.typepad.com/hocofola/2010/02/hocofola-cafe-quetzal-order-form-2010.html. The coffee comes in one-pound bags.

Fill out the form and mail it with a check made out to HOCOFOLA on or before the second week of the month. Be sure you indicate ground or beans for each type of coffee ordered. Send it to Adela Hirsch, 5358 Eliots Oak Rd., Columbia, MD 21044. Be sure you indicate ground (G) or bean (B) for each type of coffee ordered. The coffee will arrive some time the following week and you will be notified where to pick it up. Contact Adela at 410-997-5662 or via e-mail at adela4peace@verizon.net.

5] – The exhibit Northern Star: A Celebration of the Journey of Harriet Tubman will run until Sun., Apr. 20 at the Enoch Pratt Free Library, Central Library, 400 Cathedral St. Call 410-396-5430. Go to http://www.prattlibrary.org/locations/central.

6] – The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum's production, "Deadly Medicine: Creating the Master Race" will be exhibited at the Health Sciences and Human Services Library at University of Maryland, Baltimore, Frieda O. Weise Gallery, 601 W. Lombard St. The exhibition will feature photos, films, testimonials and other documentation of Nazi racial experimentation and theories. The exhibit will continue through April 30. Call 410-706-7545. See http://hshsl.umaryland.edu/gallery/.

7] – See the exhibit Human, Soul & Machine: The Coming Singularity, which
delves into the various ways technology affects lives through the perspective of inventors, futurists and 40 plus visionary artists. The intent is to bring new thoughts on artificial intelligence, robotics, genetics, nanotechnology, 3D printing, and big data, and you can see it through August 31 at the American Visionary Art Museum, 800 Key Hwy. Call 410-244-1900. Go to http://avam.org. A ticket costs $20.

8] – People across the country are coming together for the nationwide premiere of a major new show about climate change: "Years of Living Dangerously." It shines a light on some important stories around the world. You can join a local watch-party in Baltimore on Sun., Apr. 13 at 7 PM. RSVP at http://act.350.org/event/years_attend/7135/signup/?t=3&akid=4435.75494.9FZjXX.

9] – The Marc Steiner Show airs Monday through Friday from 9 to 11 AM on WEAA 88.9 FM, The Voice of the Community, or online at www.weaa.org. The call-in number is 410-319-8888, and comments can also be sent by email to steinershow@gmail.com. All shows are also available as podcasts at www.steinershow.org.

10] – On Mon., Apr. 14 from 5 to 6 PM, End Gun Violence! Join the Washington Chapter of Heeding God’s Call at their second and fourth Monday of the month vigil at REALCO Guns, 6108 Marlboro Pike, District Heights, MD 20747. This is an effort to convince the gun shop owner to sign the 10-Point Code for responsible gun dealers based on the one signed with Wal-Mart by Mayors against Illegal Guns. According to the Post, Realco Guns in District Heights sold 86 guns linked to homicides within the last twenty years with 300 guns sold there being linked to non-fatal shootings, as of 2010. In that article Major Andy Ellis of the Prince George’s (MD) Police Department is quoted as saying, “I can only imagine how much lower our violent-crime rate would be if Realco sold shoes instead of guns.” Go to http://www.heedinggodscall.org/.

11] – Beyond the Classroom presents the film BIDDER 70 on Mon., Apr. 14 from 7 to 9 PM at the University of Maryland, 1104 South Campus Commons, Building 1, College Park, Maryland. It tells the story of an extraordinary, ingenious and effective act of civil disobedience demanding government and industry accountability. In 2008, University of Utah economics student Tim DeChristopher committed an act which would redefine patriotism in our time, igniting a spirit of civil disobedience in the name of climate justice. Follow Tim, BIDDER 70, from college student to incarcerated felon. Visit https://www.facebook.com/events/459629574163568/.

12] – On Mon., Apr. 14 at 7:15 PM at UMBC in the ADMINISTRATION BLDG, ROOM 101, THE HONORABLE RICARDO ZWAIG, first male Latino judge in the State of Maryland, is to speak. The recipient of the 2013 UMBC Outstanding Alumnus Award in the Humanities, he is an associate judge, District Court of Maryland, District 10 - Howard County. The event is sponsored by The Spanish Language Latino Culture and the Legal Profession (UMBC).

13] – The Pledge of Resistance-Baltimore usually meets on Mondays at 7:30 PM, and the meetings take place at Max’s residence. The next meeting will be on Mon., Apr. 14. The proposed agenda will include a report on the appeal of conviction of the CIA Five, anti-drone activities, including the Spring Actions, the NSA discussions at JHU, the visit to Sarbanes’ office, Earth Day, and May Day. Call 410-366-1637 or email mobuszewski at verizon.net for directions.

14] – On Tues., Apr. 15 at 11 AM in the White House Picture Postcard Zone, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., members of the Onondaga Nation, a treaty-recognized sovereign Indian nation with homelands in upstate New York, will file a petition against the United States with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR). Since 1788, 2.5 million acres of land have been stolen from the Onondaga Nation by New York State, and the failure of the domestic court system has left the Nation with no choice but to seek assistance for human rights violations from the international community.

Chiefs from the Onondaga Nation and supporters will demonstrate in front of the White House in traditional dress and with a historic wampum belt commissioned for the Nation by President George Washington to signify peace and friendship while ratifying the 1794 Treaty of Canandaigua. The Nation is not seeking evictions, monetary damages or a casino. Instead, it is asking to continue a healing process between themselves and others who live in the region, and for a ruling that would allow the Nation to continue its role as an environmental steward of the land it once conserved for centuries. See http://www.onondaganation.org/.

15] – On Tues., Apr. 15 from noon to 1 PM, join a Tax Day Demonstration at the Media Post Office, Baltimore Pike & Monroe St., Media, PA 19063. Join with the Peace Center of Delaware County in saying Taxes for Need...Not War & Greed! Call 610-544-1818.

16] – Each Tuesday from 4:30 - 5:30 PM, the Catholic Peace Fellowship-Philadelphia for peace in Afghanistan and Iraq gathers at the Suburban Station, 16th Street & JFK Blvd., at the entrance to Tracks 3 and 4 on the mezzanine. The next vigil is Apr. 15. Call 215-426-0364.

17] – As part of the Global Day of Action on Military Spending, find out about the Jet That Ate the Pentagon on Tues., Apr. 15 from 4:45 to 7 PM at Veterans Park, Bethesda at the intersection of Woodmont and Norfolk. The street theatre will bring attention to the need to cut Pentagon spending and instead fund jobs, community services, and carbon-free energy. The group plans on “flying” a mock F-35 that will fall apart. The F-35 is the poster child for wasteful Pentagon spending: during its life, it is projected to cost $1.5 trillion, which is more than the combined spending on the Korean and Vietnam Wars (in inflation-adjusted dollars)—and it doesn’t even work. Contact Jean Athey at jlathey@hprg.com or 301.570.0923.

18] – Vigil to say "No Drone Research at JHU" each Tuesday at 34th & North Charles Sts. Join this ongoing vigil on Apr. 15 from 5:30 to 6:30 PM. This Tuesday, the vigil will be part of the Global Day of Action on Military Spending. Call Max at 410-366-1637.

19] – On Tues., Apr. 15 from 7 to 8 PM at the Plymouth Congregational United Church, 5301 N. Capitol St. NE, WDC 20011, attend a planning meeting for the protest at the National Restaurant Association’s Conference on April 29. Call 410-218-4835.

20] – The Human Rights Working Group and the New Political Society at Hopkins will present a panel discussion about NSA surveillance and university complicity. The panel will feature Hopkins cryptologist Matt Green (whose blog post "A Few Thoughts on Cryptographic Engineering” was
critical of NSA spying and was briefly censored by university administrators), as well as two leading critics of government surveillance, Chris Soghoian of the ACLU and Shahid Buttar of the Bill of Rights Defense Committee. The event is happening on Tues., Apr. 15 at 7 PM in Mergenthaler 111 on JHU’s Homewood Campus. For the Working Group, go to http://hrwgjhu.wordpress.com/, and for the JHU New Political Society, see http://jhunps.com/.

21] – BloomScreen & the Center for Science in the Public Interest present the documentary “Growing Cities” on Tues., Apr. 15 from 7 to 9 PM at 3322 11th St. NW, WDC. The film examines the role of urban farming in America and asks how much power it has to revitalize our cities and change the way we eat. See http://tinyurl.com/growing-cities-trailer.

In their search for answers, filmmakers Dan Susman and Andrew Monbouquette take a road trip and meet the men and women who are challenging the way this country grows and distributes its food, one vacant city lot, rooftop garden, and backyard chicken coop at a time. Join them as they discover that good food isn't the only crop these urban visionaries are harvesting. They're producing stronger and more vibrant communities, too. The screening will be followed by a discussion hosted by Catherine Kastleman, Project Coordinator for Food Day. Visit http://www.foodday.org/. The suggested donation is $10. Light healthy refreshments will be served. See https://www.facebook.com/events/662141177166337/?ref=2&ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming.

22] – DivestFest OPEN MIC night takes place on Tues., Apr. 15 from 7 to 9 PM at the Amphitheater of American University. Fossil Free AU has been building a beautiful campaign to push the Board of Trustees to divest from the endowment fossil fuel companies. We are welcoming performers of ALL (singers, dancers, slam poets, musicians, mimes and MORE!) kinds to our next community event! Join the Fossil Free AU Coalition for an evening of expression in the Amphitheater on Tuesday, April 15th. Come watch and sign up here to share at the open mic! https://docs.google.com/forms/d/110owfJzK1bv7cWRRr7u_mbw8FpJ0VTtjn2mKUBQOJjA/viewform?edit_requested=true.

23] – The Baltimore Ethical Society Spring Flower Sale ends Tues., Apr. 15. Get your seeds and bulbs through Flower Power and the Baltimore Ethical society gets 50% of the proceeds in return. BES member and master gardener Rosalie Donatelli attests to the high quality of the bulbs and plants. Also, purchases have a 100% money back guarantee and are shipped at the appropriate time for planting in your location. You can either pick up a catalogue and order form at BES or just go on-line to the BES Flower Power page. The catalogue has more complete information about the products, but ordering on line is fast and easy! Go to http://www.flowerpowerfundraising.com/campaign?campaign_id=17633&user_campaign_id=407705.

To be continued.

Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218. Ph: 410-366-1637; Email: mobuszewski [at] verizon.net. Go to http://baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com/.

"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs