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Investigative journalist Jason Leopold returns to talk about his legal victory in Gitmo memo case, decline of hunger strike, and timeline of hunger strikes since 2002; Dan Johnson, founder of People Against the NDAA, reports on pending legislation in Albany, NY; Will Durst offers his not-so-sober assessment of Sen. Ted Cruz.Click here for GoDaddy deal that benefits the PBC podcast!
Jason Leopold reports on his victory in federal court, where judge Royce Lamberth ordered the commandant at Guantanamo to release his memo about invasive genital searches and other security crackdowns in the Spring of this year. He recounts the ham-handed way the Pentagon tried to block release, and then delivered different versions of the memo with blackouts of different parts. The judge dismissed fears of an al Qaeda invasion of Guantanamo, the reason offered by the government for excessive, obsessive secrecy. You can see the memo here, along with other FOIA demands that Leopold is working on, including the Senate Intel Committees report on torture and detention.
We talk about the report in the NY Times by Charlie Savage that the Guantanamo hunger strike is “largely over”, and Leopold points out that this was a description of the paper’s, not the Pentagon’s. We also talk about the graphic report he co-wrote for al Jazeera this week, which depicts the timeline of hunger strikes at Guantanamo since 2002. He also reports that, despite Obama’s comments in May, only 2 prisoners have been released, there are no apparent releases in the pipeline, and that the envoy post at the State Department has not been filled.
At 33:30, Dan Johnson joins us to talk about his organizing efforts to stop the NDAA’s detention law, which permits the detention of an American accused of terrorism crimes–without charge or trial, at a military base. We have covered this important issue in depth here, just enter NDAA in the search window for links to many podcasts.
Johnson explains why he decided to become an activist on this issue, founding PANDA, (People Against NDAA) and his concern that thought crimes could trigger the extreme detention clauses of NDAA. He is very well-informed, and comments on the trial of the NDAA challenge brought by plaintiffs Chris Hedges, Dan Ellsberg etal and the hostile attitude of government lawyers.
Since Congress has tried and failed to fix the defects in NDAA, Johnson advocates “interposition”, and credits James Madison. By holding local electeds to their oaths to defend the Constitution, local legislation is being advanced to interpose enforcement of the federal law. There is a measure before the Common Council in Albany, New York right now that needs just one more vote to pass. PANDA’s website, with support for activists, is here.
At 55:40, Will Durst recaps the Ted Cruz almost-filibuster this week.