Jun 29 2007

Weekly Digest – 06/29/07

Weekly Digest | Published 29 Jun 2007, 12:45 pm | Comments Off on Weekly Digest – 06/29/07 -

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Our weekly edition is a nationally syndicated one-hour digest of the best of our daily coverage.

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This week on Uprising:

* Update on the Occupied Territories with Dr. Mona El Farra
* Empire Notes on torture and the treatment of detainees
* Retired CIA Officer Ray McGovern comments on the “Family Jewels”
* Black Agenda Report on the Federal Elections Commission
* An Environmental Justice Activist travels to the US Social Forum

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Update on the Occupied Territories

Freedom Next TimeGuest: Dr. Mona El Farra, a physician who works and lives in Gaza, and writes for the blog, From Gaza with Love.

This week the Israeli Army entered the Gaza strip and killed 13 Palestinians, including a 12 year old boy. It was the bloodiest fighting that Gaza has seen since its takeover by the Hamas party two weeks ago. While Hamas fighters were among the dead, the organization has reduced its attacks on Israel since the major fighting with the rival Fatah party. After Hamas won a majority of seats in the Parliamentary elections in 2006, Israel, the US, and the European Union imposed sanctions on the Palestinian government, leading to tensions between the ruling Fatah party and Hamas. Those tensions resulted in an all-out civil war between the two groups in late 2006 and 2007. Hamas now has complete control of the Gaza strip while Fatah remains in charge of the West Bank. The context of this in-fighting is of course the on-going Israeli occupation. I spoke recently with Dr. Mona El Farra, a physician who works and lives in Gaza, and writes for the blog, From Gaza with Love. She is the Vice president of the Palestinian Red Crescent Society, the Middle East Children’s Alliance Project director in Gaza, and a member of the Union of Health Workers Committee. Dr. El Farra is currently in the United States at the US Social Forum and joined us for an interview.

Empire Notes on torture and the treatment of detainees

GUEST: Rahul Mahajan, author of Full Spectrum Dominance and The New Crusade

Empire NotesEmpire Notes are weekly commentaries filed by Rahul Mahajan, author of Full Spectrum Dominance and The New Crusade. Today’s commentary is on torture and the treatment of detainees.

Empire Notes is online at www.empirenotes.org.

Retired CIA Officer Ray McGovern comments on the “Family Jewels”

GUEST: Ray McGovern, retired CIA officer, who served under seven US Presidents over 27 years and presented the morning intelligence briefings at the White House for many years.

The CIA recently gave up its stranglehold over secret documents it called “The Family Jewels.” Hundreds of pages of documents were declassified revealing long-secret records that detail some of the agency’s worst illegal abuses during 25 years of overseas assassination attempts, domestic spying and kidnapping. The documents were assembled in the early 1970s as part of an internal investigation of illegal activities and turned over to Congress which ordered multiple investigations and reforms. The documents have now been released by CIA director Michael Hayden who said the documents serve as “reminders of some things the CIA should not have done.” These things include assassination attempts against Cuban president Fidel Castro, spying on antiwar activists, secret CIA holding cells and the detention of suspected spies, and the surveillance of US residents. Critics like my next guest, Ray McGovern, contend that these secrets are nothing new, nor are they a drastic departure from current CIA actions. Ray McGovern is a retired CIA officer who served under seven US Presidents over 27 years and presented the morning intelligence briefings at the White House for many years. I asked him what his initial reaction to the release of the so-called “Family Jewels” was.

Black Agenda Report on the Federal Elections Commission

GUEST: Bruce Dixon is a radio commentator and managing editor of The Black Agenda Report

This week’s commentary is on the Federal Elections Commission. Visit www.blackagendareport.com for more information.

An Environmental Justice Activist travels to the US Social Forum

Freedom Next TimeGuest: Bianca Encinias, campaign organizer with the Southwest Network for Environmental and Economic Justice

About 10,000 activists from the United States and other countries have gathered this weekend in Atlanta, Georgia, for the first ever US Social Forum. The USSF is being held in the tradition of the World Social Forum, which in turn was a response to the annual World Economic Forum. Among the litany of causes being represented at the forum is the issue of Environmental justice. I spoke recently with a young activist who has traveled to Atlanta to participate in the USSF. Bianca Encinias is a campaign organizer with the Southwest Network for Environmental and Economic Justice. Along with a number of other environmental justice activists representing various groups from around the nation, Bianca hopes to connect and strategize with like-minded people about the state of environmental racism and economic injustice among communities of color, and how these various organizations plan to respond. I asked her to begin by explaining the basis of her activism.

For more information about the Southwest Network for Environmental and Economic Justice, visit www.sneej.org, www.myspace.org/sneej1, or call 505-400-9201

For more information about the US Social Forum, visit www.ussf2007.org.

Sonali’s Subversive Thought for the Day:

Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet deprecate agitation, are men who want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the roar of its many waters. — Frederick Douglass

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