Bishop Thomas Gumbleton on the (im)morality of wars, the new START treaty, and the sex abuse scandal in his church; PBC on the lost interview with Joe Sestak, and John Isaacs on START and nuclear disarmament. Bishop Gumbleton, retired Catholic bishop from Detroit, says the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan--and the use of drones--are immoral, and criticizes other religious leaders for failing to speak out; he has reservations about the new START treaty with Russia; and he decries the crimes of pedophile priests and their coverup by church leaders, right up to the Pope. PBC explains what happened to the interview with Rep. Sestak, candidate for Senate in Pennsylvania, and recaps the conversation. Then he talks with John Isaacs, executive director of the Council for a Liveable World about the START treaty that Obama plans to sign in Prague later this week. Isaacs addresses some of the issues raised by Bishop Gumbleton and talks about prospects for Senate ratification of the treaty. With a range of establishment voices, including Kissinger, calling for nuclear disarmament, Isaacs believes this is the best chance in the last 20 years for meaningful change.
A pre-election report from the U.K.; Mark Fiore, creator of animated political cartoons. In the first segment, our correspondent Prof. David Coates of the Wake Forest political science dept. reports from Edinburgh, Scotland on the upcoming election for Prime Minister. Incumbent Gordon Brown of the Labour Party is polling 7-10 points behind Conservative challenger David Cameron. Some of the issues and political divisions are similar to the US. Coates also reports on the Chilcot investigation into Britain's decision to join Bush's folly in Iraq. His new book is Answering Back: Liberal Responses to Conservative Arguments, and Coates will return in a future podcast to comment on American politics and year 1 of Obama. Mark Fiore is the talented cartoonist whose Flash animations are featured on the home page here at peterbcollins.com, along with the sites of many newspapers and his own home on the web. We talk about some of his recent episodes, and play the audio. He describes how he dreams up these powerful little packages of satire, how big he draws Obama's ears, and more; somehow, we end up talking about the Catholic sex scandal, and conclude it's time to turn control over to the nuns.
On March 31, a federal judge in San Francisco ruled against NSA wiretapping in the Bush era, in the al Haramain case that we have been following closely here for several years. Attorney Jon Eisenberg, interviewed in podcast #118, explains the victory. It's the first, and possibly last, decision that clearly defines the "warrantless" domestic surveillance as ILLEGAL.
In #120, which we'll post on April 5, you'll hear me lobby US Senate candidate Joe Sestak, D-PA, on restoring our 4th Amendment rights. I hope you will lobby your representatives to reform the FISA "Reform" of 2008 to give back the rights we had pre-Bush/Cheney. In February, both houses approved the ugly extension of the Patriot Act, without a wimper from the compliant public. Please speak up, and don't let the phony anger of the teabag right dominate the agenda. Obama will likely make another Supreme Court appointment in the near future--we must insist that the nominee reflects progressive views on constitutional rights, privacy rights, and executive power and accountability. If Obama appoints a pro-corporate person with a conservative record, we must be prepared to stage a "Miers" intervention. That refers to the way Republicans leaned on Bush II to withdraw the nomination of his clearly unqualified crony, Harriett Miers (who joined Alberto Gonzales and Michael Brown in Bush's Axis of Dunces). This may be our last chance in (enter your guess below) a while to put a real liberal on the Court.
Bush wiretapping ruled illegal! More on CIA use of LSD and assassinations. Attorney Jon Eisenberg returns to our program to discuss his legal victory against the NSA wiretapping under Bush. Judge Vaughn Walker ruled against the government and the Obama team's legal ploys. Eisenberg explains the ruling, possibility of an appeal and his view of our prospects for regaining our 4th Amendment rights. Journalist H. P. Albarelli, Jr. returns to talk about his important book, A Terrible Mistake: The Murder of Frank Olson and the CIA's Secret Cold War Experiments. Albarelli has painstakingly revealed the layers of lies surrounding the 1953 death of Olson, CIA experiments with LSD on unsuspecting people--and even a whole town in France--the agency's use of thugs and mobsters as assassins and enforcers, and the investigations that ultimately showed that Olson did not commit suicide, but was killed by CIA operatives. He also talks about the 2001 anthrax attacks and says he doubts the FBI assertion that Dr. Bruce Ivins was responsible. Albarelli has 2 websites, here and here.