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Info on Podcast #153

Child detainee challenges our kangaroo court; Obama denounces GOP as PBC cheers; Chew reviews Inception. Prof. Lisa Hajjar was at Guantanamo for a recent session of the infamous military commissions for Omar Khadr, a Canadian who was picked up in Afghanistan in 2002 when he was 15. Prof. Hajjar is a sociologist from UC Santa Barbara and an editor of Middle East Report who details the Khadr case, the flimsy evidence (including torture-induced false confessions) and the remarkable competence displayed by the now-23-year-old as he has fired lawyers, demanded to represent himself, and threatened to boycott the proceedings. The American military lawyers assigned to represent him show remarkable courage in denouncing a rigged system. Prof. Hajjar also comments on the recent Supreme Court denial of an appeal from another Canadian brutalized by the US, Maher Arar. Her detailed article is here, and adds important new details and context to the Arar case. Two other Canadians were also held in Syria, where they were tortured and interrogated at the same time as Arar; one was a friend from Toronto who was the original focus of investigators. While a Canadian commission fully investigated the Arar case and delivered a formal apology and $10.5 million settlement to Arar, the US courts have consistently blocked his access to justice. In the second segment starting at 1:03 you will hear President Obama’s weekly radio/internet address interlaced with PBC’s comments. For the first time, Obama directly criticizes Republicans in the Senate for blocking extension of unemployment benefits and loans for small business. PBC cheers, sort of. And Gary Chew has a review of the new film Inception that you’ve gotta hear, maybe twice. Like the movie, his review is based on dreams, and like its star, Leo DiCaprio, Gary is a writer/actor of considerable talent. The Chew review starts at 1:16:30