Confidential #4 – 2/06/05

Bulletin #4
Sunday, February 6, 2005

Please feel free to distribute.
www.struggle-and-win.net

THE STRUGGLE FOR FREE SPEECH RADIO
  1. Two opportunities to express your opinions, both on Monday, February 7.
2. Who makes programming decisions at KPFA?
3. Robbie Osman on the attack on WBAI’s Robert Knight.

THE WAR ON FREEDOM
4. Lynne Stewart verdict expected any day.
5. Alberto Gonzales’ testimony adds him to German War Crimes complaint.
6. What did Michael Chertoff know, and when did he know it?
7. Freedom of Information Act request to cost $373,000?
8. Kerry and 20 other Democratic Senators call for more troops.

EVENTS
9. Commemorate Haiti coup one year later.
10. Stop military recruitment in San Francisco schools.

1. Two opportunities to express your opinions, both on Monday, February 7:

KPFA 94.1 Local Station Board (LSB) Radio Hour: 1:00 pm.
Listener call-ins at 1:30 pm. Call (510) 848-5732.

Meet General Manager Roy Campanella:
Coalition for a democratic Pacifica
7:30 pm Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Hall
1924 Cedar at Bonita, Berkeley

2. Who makes programming decisions at KPFA?

KPFA has not had a Program Director for many years, and is about to hire one. The new Pacifica by-laws give the LSB the power to select a pool of candidates for the new Program Director, from which the KPFA General Manager will make a final hire. However, a proposal by former Pacifica National Board member Tomas Moran would make an end run around the LSB. Moran is proposing that a group of “unimpeachable community leaders” be “vetted” to screen and reduce the pool of applicants before the LSB gets involved. How the “community leaders” will be chosen is unclear, as well as what makes somebody “unimpeachable.”

But Moran doesn’t stop with this end run around the LSB. Concern has been expressed from several quarters that Moran’s proposal also aims to reduce the power of the Program Council. The KPFA Program Council — made up of department heads, staff members, LSB members and listener representatives — is currently empowered to make programming decisions. But, according to Moran, “the exact nature of the relationship and responsibilities between the PD [Program Director] and PC [Program Council] is not clear… [but] the PD represents the staff person most associated with content evaluation and decision-making…” This double-talk about the “decision-making” power of the Program Director seems to be aimed at diminishing the role of the Program Council.

Is Moran’s proposal retaliation for the Program Council’s still-unimplemented decision to move Democracy Now! to the 7:00 am time slot?

3. Robbie Osman on the attack on WBAI’s Robert Knight.

Long-time KPFA programmer Robbie Osman recently wrote about the attack on Robert Knight at WBAI, comparing it to a similar incident last year at KPFA involving Flashpoints programmer Miguel Molina and Program Coordinator Vini Beacham. Osman’s piece is posted on the Struggle and Win website
www.struggle-and-win.net, along with Robert Knight’s Open Letter to the Pacifica National Board. For background on the Beacham incident, see the Beyond Chron article at www.beyondchron.org/link.asp?smenu=110&sdetail=494.

4. Lynne Stewart verdict expected any day.

Lynne Stewart is awaiting her verdict after a seven month trial and four weeks of jury deliberations. Stewart is former Attorney General John Ashcroft’s poster child for the Bush adminstration’s attack on attorney-client privilege. She faces a possible 40 year sentence. The courthouse that Stewart goes to every day is the
same courthouse in which Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were “tried” and framed. Stewart brings a suitcase to court every day, containing personal possessions in case of a guilty verdict and denial of bail.

A statement by the Lynne Stewart Defense Committee says the “Trial of Lynne Stewart continues now more than ever as the touchstone for the right to vigorous counsel, the right to free and independent attorneys, free to keep us from false
imprisonment, isolation, cruel and inhuman treatment and torture. With the confirmation of Alberto Gonzales as US Attorney General, the fight continues in earnest.”

There will be press conference and rally in San Francisco the day after the verdict. That same evening there will be a celebration/meeting at the Socialist Action Bookstore, 298 Valencia at 14th Street, in SF. For updates and the location
of the press conference, check www.lynnestewart.org.

5. Alberto Gonzales’ testimony adds him to German War Crimes complaint.

As reported in CONFIDENTIAL #3, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) filed a war crimes complaint with the German Prosecutor’s Office against Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, former CIA director George Tenet, and other senior military and civilian officials. CCR has now added Alberto Gonzales to the complaint, as a result of his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee. His testimony, according to CCR, “demonstrates his involvement in setting policy where torture and inhumane treatment was authorized at the highest levels of the Bush Administration.” The German Prosecutor’s Office has already concluded that a high-ranking military investigation of the Abu Ghraib abuses (The Fay Report, Spring 2004) was designed to cover up the role of high-ranking officials. Go to CCR’s website at
www.democracyinaction.org/dia/organizations/ccr/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=325 to send a message to German prosecutors to continue to actively pursue the war crimes complaint.

6. What did Michael Chertoff know, and when did he know it?

In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, Michael Chertoff, Bush’s nominee for Chief of Homeland Security, was put in charge of the Justice Department’s roundup of hundreds and hundreds of immigrants. Many of these detainees were held incommunicado and denied access to lawyers. Yet Chertoff testified at his Senate confirmation hearing last Wednesday that he didn’t know until 2003 that these detainees were barred from talking to lawyers. Too bad he didn’t read the numerous news reports many of us saw during that awful period. Perjury? His nomination is expected to sail through Congress.

7. Freedom of Information Act request to cost $373,000?

The Justice Department says that People for the American Way must pay $373,000 to get them to look for documents about the detention of people jailed after 9/11. And the payment won’t guarantee that anything found will be released. The civil rights and constitutional liberties group, which sued for the records last year under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), accused the Justice Department of making the cost prohibitive. They will apply for a waiver and go to court if the waiver is denied. “If that’s what it takes to track down secrecy in our court system, things are worse than I thought,” said Lucy Dalglish of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.

8. Kerry and 20 other Democratic Senator call for more troops.

Twenty-one Democratic senators, led by John Kerry, sent a letter to Bush in January, urging him to set aside more money in the war budget, because “the United States military is too small for the missions it faces.” The Senators also include liberals such as Hillary Clinton, Edward Kennedy and Patrick Leahy. Of the 16 states whose Democratic senators signed the letter, 12 voted Democratic in November. The letter states, “With nearly 150,000 troops and Marines in Iraq, nearly 20,000 in Afghanistan, and tens of thousands more in Korea and elsewhere, we are left to conclude that the American military is too small, not simply for the challenges we face today, but also as an appropriate hedge against future dangers.”

9. Commemorate Haiti coup one year later.

The US-led coup in Haiti culminated last February 29, 2004 when a contingent of US Marines kidnapped President Jean-Bertrand Aristide from his residence, put him on a plane and expelled him from the country. Hundreds of thousands have been driven into internal exile, thousands have been killed in political violence, and hundreds of political prisoners have been incarcerated during the ensuing occupation.

On Monday, February 28, march in solidarity with the Haitian people. Rally at 4:30 pm at UN Plaza in San Francisco. March at 5:00 pm to the SF Chronicle; Chilean, French and Brazilian Consulates; and end at Senator Dianne Feinstein’s office. To endorse, email [email protected], or call the Haiti Action Committee at
(510) 483-7481. (The deadline to get on the leaflet is Friday 2/11.)

10. Stop military recruitment in San Francisco schools.

In November, 63% of San Franciscans voted for Prop N, which calls for the immediate withdrawal of all US troops from Iraq. But SF high school students are still being actively recruited by the military on campus. Join with peace activists (students, teachers and parents) to speak out at the SF Board of Education meeting on February 22, 7:00 pm, at 555 Franklin Street, 2nd floor (near Golden Gate).