Jul 30 2010

Weekly Digest – 07/30/10

Weekly Digest | Published 30 Jul 2010, 1:31 pm | Comments Off on Weekly Digest – 07/30/10 -

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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:

* Two Perspectives on the WikiLeaks’ Afghan War Diary: A Journalist and a Veteran
* Black Agenda Report on the WikiLeaks Controversy
* Judge Strikes Down Parts of SB 1070 on Eve of Implementation
* Congress Reduces Sentencing Disparity in Crack Cocaine; Bill Still Promotes Racial Inequality

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Two Perspectives on the WikiLeaks’ Afghan War Diary: A Journalist and a Veteran

war diaryThe New York Times, the Guardian, and Der Spiegel simultaneously published on Sunday, an analysis of over 90,000 leaked, previously classified documents about the Afghanistan war. The documents, which span the period of January 2004 to December 2009, were provided to all three news outlets by WikiLeaks. Wikileaks is an online web organization that protects whistleblowers and in recent months has embarrassed the US government several times over its conduct in both Iraq and Afghanistan from secretly leaked documents. Buried in the latest batch of raw data are descriptions of never-reported incidents involving US and NATO civilian killings, extra-judicial killings of Taliban targets, the role of Pakistan’s intelligence agency in supporting the Taliban and other insurgencies, and the corruption of the Afghan government. The sheer number of documents makes this leak the biggest in US history, far eclipsing the Pentagon Papers by Daniel Ellsberg during the Vietnam war. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been widely profiled in the wake of the leak, and was heavily criticized by the US government for endangering the lives of troops and jeopardizing national security. However Assange, and the news outlets he shared the information with, claim they have withheld from publishing any such material.

GUEST: Anand Gopal, Afghanistan-based journalist. He has reported for the Christian Science Monitor and Wall Street Journal. He is currently working on a book about the Afghan war.

GUEST: Doug Tudor, a retired Navy master chief who served on the personal staff of 3 commanders at the US Central Command in Iraq and Afghanistan. He retired in order to run for Congress in Florida’s 12th Congressional district.

Find out more about Doug Tudor at www.teamtudor.org.

The entire war diary can be found at wardiary.wikileaks.org.

You can also download the html version of the diary (75 Mb) here: http://leakmirror.wikileaks.org/file/straw-glass-and-bottle/afg-war-diary.html.7z

Read Anand Gopal’s work online at www.AnandGopal.com.

Black Agenda Report on WikiLeaks Controversy

Glen FordGlen Ford is a writer and radio commentator and the Executive Editor of The Black Agenda Report. This week’s commentary is on the WikiLeaks Controversy.

Visit www.blackagendareport.com for more information.

Judge Strikes Down Parts of SB 1070 on Eve of Implementation

arizonaIn response to a July 6th motion filed by the Department of Justice, a Federal judge on Wednesday blocked key provisions of Arizona’s controversial Immigration law, Senate Bill 1070, from going into effect on July 29th. Portions of the law still became enforceable law as of 12:01 am Thursday morning, but the allowed provisions will not significantly change Arizona’s existing laws. The order for a partial injunction was celebrated both North and South of the Border, where attention has been focused on Arizona since April, when Arizona’s governor signed the hotly contested legislation into law. In explaining why she blocked parts of the S.B. 1070, Judge Susan Bolton wrote that some sections warranted a preliminary injunction because they would cause “irreparable harm” to the United States, the plaintiff. In addition, she found that, “There is a substantial likelihood that officers will wrongfully arrest legal resident aliens under the new (law).” Arizona Governor Jan Brewer responded to the ruling by saying an appeal is likely, calling yesterday’s ruling, “…a bump in the road”. Judge Bolton will continue hearing arguments presented for and against S.B. 1070. The Federal Government, civil rights groups, and a Phoenix police officer have filed lawsuits against Arizona. Community groups have been mobilizing around the country in protest, and here in Los Angeles where this program is recorded, protesters shut down a major intersection, resulting in ten arrests. I spoke on Thursday July 29th with:

GUESTS: Karen Tumlin, Managing Attorney at the National Immigration Law Center, Paulina Gonzalez, with Todos Somos Arizona, Los Angeles

Find out more about the National Immigration Law Center at www.nilc.org.

Protesters will be gathering on the corner of Wilshire and La Brea this morning at 10 am to protest SB 1070. Find out more at http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/todossomosarizona?ref=tsww

Congress Reduces Sentencing Disparity in Crack Cocaine; Bill Still Promotes Racial Inequality

crack cocaineThe House of Representatives just passed the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010, which aims to significantly reduce the differences in sentencing between crack and powdered cocaine convictions. For decades, those convicted for possession or distribution of crack cocaine, mostly Black Americans, were given disproportionately higher sentences than for powdered cocaine which result primarily in convictions for Whites. As of now, someone convicted of crack cocaine possession gets the same length of sentence as someone with 100 times the amount of powder cocaine possession, resulting in an enormous racial disparity in sentencing. Additionally, a mandatory minimum sentencing law required that a person in possession of as little as 5 grams of crack cocaine would have to be sentenced to a minimum of 5 years in prison. Now, after years of organizing against sentencing disparity and the mandatory minimum sentencing, racial justice groups can claim a small victory with the passage of the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010. While the bill is not retroactive or entirely fair, it does reduce the sentencing disparity based on amounts of possession to 18 to 1 and also eliminates the mandatory 5 year sentence. The US Senate passed the bill in March. It now heads to the desk of President Obama for his signature.

GUEST: Julie Stewart, Founder and President of Families Against Mandatory Minimums

Find out more at www.famm.org.

Sonali’s Subversive Thought for the Day

“INJUSTICE, n. A burden which of all those that we load upon others and carry ourselves is lightest in the hands and heaviest upon the back.” — Ambrose Bierce

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