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Abramoff Whistleblower Tom Rodgers Slams ’60 Minutes’ and Leslie Stahl’s Softballs; Rinku Sen Reports that Obama’s ICE Rips Families Apart


Tom Rodgers, Native American of the Blackfoot tribe, criticizes the velvet treatment of Jack Abramoff on CBS’ 60 Minutes on 11/6/11; Rinku Sen of Applied Research Center says Obama’s ICE is destroying families by deporting parents of kids who are US citizens.

Rodgers and two other Native Americans led the effort to expose Bush-era superlobbyist Jack Abramoff’s crimes against Indian tribes and the nation, and he joins us to recap Abramoff’s rehabilitation effort, launched on CBS with anchor Leslie Stahl.  Stahl failed to detail the real damage done by Abramoff, including how Tom DeLay let Abramoff and others write legislation–the “K Street Project”–and did not even mention the legal persecution of former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman or the role of morality cop Ralph Reed in Abramoff’s skullduggery.  Rodgers plans to shadow Abramoff on his book tour to make sure the media does its job.  Visit his website here.  We mention Leonard Peltier in our conversation, and you can hear Peltier tell his story in Robbie Robertson’s song, Sacrifice, at the end of the interview.

Rinku Sen returns for our second segment, starting at 44:09.  Sen is President of Applied Research Center, which has published an important new report about the department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and its treatment of undocumented parents of children who are US citizens.  In the first 6 months of this year, more than 46,000 parents of children who are citizens were deported; most of those kids are now orphans.  Sen describes the way ICE will arrest parents who are not accused of a crime, then “disappear” them into our privatized immigration detention system, usually hundreds of miles from their children.  They are unable to advocate for their kids in court hearings, and if they are out of contact for 15 out of 22 months, they lose parental rights.  While Obama says they are only trying to deport criminals, the data prove this to be false.  You can read the report here.