Stephen Kohn explains whistleblowing as a civil liberties and a First Amendment issue, the role of whistleblowers as enablers of congressional oversight, and discusses the legal and political implications involved in whistleblowing. He talks about the broken Merit System Protection Board, the abuses of secrecy laws and State Secrets Privilege, the current status of whistleblower protection laws in Congress, the case of Halliburton whistleblower Bunnatine Greenhouse, the current administration’s highly disappointing stand against national security whistleblowers despite President Obama’s endorsement prior to his elections, and more!
Stephen M. Kohn is the Executive Director of National Whistleblowers Center, one of the nation’s foremost experts in whistleblower protection law, and the author of the first legal treatise on whistleblowing, Protecting Environmental and Nuclear Whistleblowers: A Litigation Manual. Since 1984, Mr. Kohn has successfully represented whistleblowers in numerous cases (both at trial and on appeal), has testified in Congress on behalf of whistleblower reforms, and has worked directly with the staff of the Senate Judiciary Committee on drafting the Sarbanes-Oxley corporate whistleblower law. Mr. Kohn has a J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law; an M.A. in Political Science from Brown University; and a B.S. in Social Education from Boston University. In addition to his books on whistleblower law, Mr. Kohn is the author of Jailed for Peace and American Political Prisoners.
Following a statement on the Floor of the House of Representative, Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), co-author of HR 676 with Congressman John Conyers (D-MI), today made the following statement about the House health care plan:
“The Book of Ecclesiastes says ‘To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven… a time to plant, a time to reap.’
“Many years ago, people in states across America planted the seeds of single payer health care. Those seeds have sprouted and borne fruit where powerful state citizens’ movements exist to create not-for-profit health care. This led to passage of an amendment to the Health Care bill which protected the rights of states to pursue single payer. Unfortunately that amendment was taken out of the bill, and we must try to get it into the conference report.
In an unprecedented ruling in a courtroom in Milan, at the end of a trial that — in fits and starts — has lasted for over two years, 22 CIA agents and a US Air Force Colonel received sentences of between five and eight years (and two Italian agents received three-year sentences) for their involvement in the kidnapping and “extraordinary rendition” of Abu Omar (Osama Mustafa Hassan Nasr). An Egyptian cleric, Abu Omar was seized in broad daylight from a street in Milan on February 17, 2003, and rendered to Egypt, where he was held for four years, and subjected to torture, before being released without charge in 2007. Continue reading →
This event was recorded on 29 October 2009 in Old Theatre, Old Building
Leading thinker Professor Noam Chomsky considers the state and future of human rights. Noam Chomsky is professor of linguistics at MIT.
“This is the most complete air missile defense system we’ve ever done anywhere in the world.”
The distance between Tel Aviv and Tehran is 993 miles [1,598 kilometers), so the U.S. missile radar overshoots the mark by almost 2,000 miles. Enough to cover all of eastern and most of southern Russia where the bulk of that nation’s strategic missile forces are stationed.
The United States and Israel have just completed the largest joint interceptor missile exercises ever conducted by the two nations and, in terms of scope and sophistication, possibly the most comprehensive joint live-fire anti-ballistic missile drills held by any combination of countries.
An official document from the Department of the US Air Force reveals that the military base in Palanquero, Colombia will provide the Pentagon with “…an opportunity for conducting full spectrum operations throughout South America…” This information contradicts the explainations offered by Colombian President Alvaro Uribe and the US State Department regarding the military agreement signed between the two nations this past October 30th. Both governments have publicly stated that the military agreement refers only to counternarcotics and counterterrorism operations within Colombian territory. President Uribe has reiterated numerous times that the military agreement with the US will not affect Colombia’s neighbors, despite constant concern in the region regarding the true objetives of the agreement. But the US Air Force document, dated May 2009, confirms that the concerns of South American nations have been right on target. The document exposes that the true intentions behind the agreement are to enable the US to engage in “full spectrum military operations in a critical sub-region of our hemisphere where security and stability is under constant threat from narcotics funded terrorist insurgencies…and anti-US governments…”
The military agreement between Washington and Colombia authorizes the access and use of seven military installations in Palanquero, Malambo, Tolemaida, Larandia, Apíay, Cartagena and Málaga. Additionally, the agreement allows for “the access and use of all other installations and locations as necessary” throughout Colombia, with no restrictions. Together with the complete immunity the agreement provides to US military and civilian personnel, including private defense and security contractors, the clause authorizing the US to utilize any installation throughout the entire country – even commercial aiports, for military ends, signifies a complete renouncing of Colombian sovereignty and officially converts Colombia into a client-state of the US.
On September 11, 2001, my office building, the World Trade Center, was attacked by al Qaeda, a murder cult of Saudi Arabians, funded by Saudi Arabians. And so, in response to the Saudis’ attack, America invaded … Afghanistan. Like, HUH? Continue reading →
A US registered plane named in a 2007 European Parliament report into alleged Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) “extraordinary rendition” flights was observed to land at Birmingham Airport in England on October 2 of this year.
The 22-seat Gulfstream jet was met minutes later by two special forces helicopters belonging to Britain’s elite Special Air Service. The two army air corps Dauphin 2 helicopters are used by the SAS from their base at Credenhill, near Hereford.
The plane, registered N478GS, arrived in the UK from an undisclosed location.
The Gulfstream is registered to L-3 Integrated Systems, a Montana-based subsidiary of a US defence corporation. According to a report in the Daily Mail, the parent company, L-3 Communications, is a “multi-billion-dollar defence corporation based in New York, whose clients include several American government departments, among them the Department of Homeland Security.”
Interest rates. The Fed does not need slinky women in plunging necklines to peddle money. All it needs is low interest rates. When rates are pushed lower than the rate of inflation, the Fed provides a subsidy for borrowing. This is not as hard to grasp as it sounds. If I offered to give you $1.00 for very 90 cents you gave me in return, you would buy as many dollars from me as you could. The Fed operates the same way. It generates market activity by creating incentives for borrowing. Borrowing leads to speculation, and speculation leads to steadily rising asset prices. This is how the game is played. The Fed is not an unbiased observer of free market activity. The Fed drives the market. It fuels speculation and controls behavior by fixing interest rates.
When Lehman Bros flopped last year, markets went into freefall. A sharp correction turned into a full-blown panic. The bubble burst and trillions of dollars in credit vanished in a flash. Trading in exotic debt-instruments stopped overnight. A global sell-off ensued. Markets crashed. For a while, it looked like the whole system might collapse.