Amy Goodman gets grilled by Canadian border officials

I didn’t realize this was still happening now that Bush and Cheney were gone.

Amy Goodman (of Democracy Now!) was stopped by Canadian border guards as she tried to cross into Canada in order to speak at a couple of functions. She was held for over 90 minutes and was issued a “control” document, basically a temporary visa. She and her crew were photographed and told they had to show proof of leaving Canada by midnight today.

She felt quite threatened. As they were held, the guards went through their car and actually went into their computers. Specifically, the officials demanded to know if Amy Goodman was going to speak against hosting the 2010 Olympic games in Canada. It is quite chilling listening to her description of what happened. She was unaware of being on a ‘watch list’, but now wonders.

In this video Goodman also went into some detail about her arrest at the Republican convention in Minneapolis while there covering the protests.While listening to her describe what happened at the Canadian border,  I couldn’t help thinking the guards were sending her a strong message meant to intimidate her, warning her somehow to watch the content of her speech she was about to give. It just doesn’t sound like a friendly, open society. She felt violated.


Listening to Goodman speak reminded me of the old German Nazi films, and the Gestapo saying… “Your papers please..?”

Sifton: “Up to 100 detainees have died in US custody”

Raw Story:

Any torture investigation should focus on the deaths of approximately 100 prisoners who were in U.S. custody, says attorney and human rights investigator John Sifton. Senate torture hearings have examined the effectiveness of enhanced interrogation techniques but Sifton says this is the wrong focus. “Those are the wrong debates to be having right now,” Sifton told Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman.

“We knew that up to a hundred detainees had died in US custody in Iraq and Afghanistan, and we had published this information previously. But I brought it up again, because I feel like the debate right now about torture is missing the point,” he said.

“These aggressive techniques were not just limited to the high-value detainee program in the CIA. They spread to the military with disastrous results. They led to the deaths of human beings. And when there’s a corpse involved, when there’s a dead body involved, you can’t just have a debate about policy differences and looking forward or looking backward.”


Read the article in The Daily Beast by John Sifton entitled “The Bush Administration Homicides“.

Robert Scheer of TruthDig on Democracy Now!

Veteran Journalist Robert Scheer, of TruthDig, is a guest on Democracy Now! and discusses the AIG Bonuses, the “Backdoor Bailout” and Why Obama Should Fire Geithner, Summers. This interview, seriously, is a must see.

Perp Walks Instead of Bonuses“:

There must be a criminal investigation of the AIG debacle, and it looks as if New York’s top lawman is on the case. The collusion to save this toxic company in order to salvage the rogue financiers who conspired to enrich themselves by impoverishing millions is being revealed as the greatest financial scandal in U.S. history. Instead of taking bonuses, the culprits should be taking perp walks… Read this excellent piece.

Part 1:

Part 2:

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There go the judges…

To put this cartoon in context, from cartoonist John Cole:

87 months in federal prison probably isn’t long enough for Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conahan. The two former Luzerne County judges pleaded guilty Thursday afternoon in federal court to fraud and kickback charges relating to a privately owned juvenile detention center.

The two admitted to receiving $2.6 million in kickbacks from the center’s owners, but Ciavarella maintains there was no quid-pro-quo in the scheme. However, given the rate at which he shipped juveniles off to detention (roughly one in four, or about 2.5 times higher than the state average), it sure looks like some form of back-scratching was going on.

The feds didn’t include this quid-pro-quo in their case yesterday. But Assistant U.S. Attorney Gordon Zubrod says he and his team still firmly believe one occurred and will present that to a federal judge when Ciavarella and Conahan are sentenced later this year.

Jailing Kids for Cash – by Amy Goodman (also posted at TruthDig)

As many as 5,000 children in Pennsylvania have been found guilty, and up to 2,000 of them jailed, by two corrupt judges who received kickbacks from the builders and owners of private prison facilities that benefited. The two judges pleaded guilty in a stunning case of greed and corruption that is still unfolding. Judges Mark A. Ciavarella Jr. and Michael T. Conahan received $2.6 million in kickbacks while imprisoning children who often had no access to a lawyer. The case offers an extraordinary glimpse into the shameful private prison industry that is flourishing in the United States…

In the article by Amy Goodman, she writes about two young people and their experiences under these judges.. This is unbelievable. So, is this the ‘free market’ at work?

Tennessee Landowners File $165M Suit Over Massive Coal Ash Spill

Democracy Now!

Landowners in Tennessee have filed a $165 million lawsuit against the Tennessee Valley Authority in the wake of last week’s massive spill of over one billion gallons of toxic coal ash next to a coal-burning steam plant. The sludge spilled out of a coal plant retention pond, burying homes and roads. It is believed to be the largest coal ash disaster in US history. The amount of ash released would fill 450,000 standard dump trucks.

Goodman’s guest in this interview is Matt Landon, a volunteer with United Mountain Defense, a Knoxville, Tennessee-based environmental group. The group has been on the ground at the site of the coal ash spill since last week.

The transcript of this interview.

You all might be interested in reading this:
Coal Ash Is More Radioactive than Nuclear Waste (from the Scientific American)

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CNN Sanchez: Amy Goodman on Barack Obama

Amy Goodman speaks on the first African-American president-elect Barack Obama visiting the White House which was built by slaves. President Bush’s use of well over 1,000 signing statements and President Obama signing an executive order to shut down the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Amy Goodman interviews Mark Crispin Miller

The Raw Story

Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman talked to Mark Crispin Miller about a Republican contractor who has been required to testify about his connection to possible fraud concerning the 2004 presidential election. Crispin Miller points to reporting by RAW STORY to help explain the details of why this Republican contractor, Mike Connell, could be so important.

The full transcript of Mark Crispin Miller’s interview is available here.

This testimony that Mark Crispin Miller refers to is connected to this previous post from earlier today.



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Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! interviews Mark Crispin Miller

Truthout:

 Democracy Now!’s Amy Goodman interviews professor Mark Crispin Miller on election fraud, voter intimidation, voting machine malfunctions and the Bradley Effect. Miller is the author of “Loser Takes All: Election Fraud and the Subversion of Democracy, 2000-2008.”

To read the article at Truthout go here.

I just started reading this book this evening. It is riveting from the first page..

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Amy Goodman Free From Jail

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Glenn Greenwald had some MUST-READ reporting today on what is happening in St. Paul at the RNC Convention, and outside it:

“Scenes from St. Paul”

There are numerous updates (8 so far), photos, and videos (including this one). Don’t miss this post.

more about “Amy Goodman Free From Jail“, posted with vodpod

Fox host: RNC Protesters Should Just be Left in Jail…


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“The hosts of Fox & Friends were predictably irate on Tuesday about the alleged anarchists who have been witnessed causing disruptions during the Republican National Convention, while ignoring questionable police tactics and seemingly indiscriminate arrests directed against peaceful protesters and journalists.”

“Gretchen Carlson even appeared to believe that there was no difference between the thousands of orderly protesters and the few dozen individuals who appear in Fox video breaking windows and overturning park benches and litter baskets. “‘Peaceful, family-friendly march’ — is that why I was running for cover into Walmart?” she asked.”

Yes, let’s just forget that sweeping police raids that happened across the city, involving teams of 25-30 officers in riot gear, with semi-automatic weapons drawn, entering homes of those suspected of planning protests, handcuffing and forcing them to lay on the floor, while law enforcement officers searched the homes, seizing computers, journals, and political pamphlets. If that isn’t considered unlawful search and siezure, I don’t know what is. I’d like to see Kilmeade’s & Gretchen’s reaction, if it were them that were forced to lay face down with handcuffs on for 45 minutes while they unlawfully search her home.

Or that, St. Paul was the most militarized American city starting Sunday night, even more so than Manhattan in the week of 9/11 — with troops of federal, state and local law enforcement agents marching around with riot gear, machine guns, and tear gas cannisters, shouting military chants and marching in military formations.

“Steve Doocy explained to her that there was a distinction. “These are some of the protesters, and in a moment you’ll see them start to run,” he said, narrating the video he had shot earlier. “Apparently some of the nitwits, these anarchists behind there, are throwing stuff at some of the police.”

Continue reading

Update: Democracy Now!’s Amy Goodman, Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar Released After Illegal Arrest at RNC

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Democracy Now!

UPDATE

Democracy Now!’s Amy Goodman, Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar Released After Illegal Arrest at RNC

Goodman Charged with Obstruction; Felony Riot Charges Pending Against Kouddous and Salazar

ST. PAUL–Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman and producers Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar have all been released from police custody in St. Paul following their illegal arrest by Minneapolis Police on Monday afternoon.

All three were violently manhandled by law enforcement officers. Abdel Kouddous was slammed against a wall and the ground, leaving his arms scraped and bloodied. He sustained other injuries to his chest and back. Salazar’s violent arrest by baton-wielding officers, during which she was slammed to the ground while yelling, “I’m Press! Press!,” resulted in her nose bleeding, as well as causing facial pain. Goodman’s arm was violently yanked by police as she was arrested.

On Tuesday, Democracy Now! will broadcast video of these arrests, as well as the broader police action. These will also be available on: www.democracynow.org

Goodman was arrested while questioning police about the unlawful detention of Kouddous and Salazar who were arrested while they carried out their journalistic duties in covering street demonstrations at the Republican National Convention. Goodman’s crime appears to have been defending her colleagues and the freedom of the press.

Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher told Democracy Now! that Kouddous and Salazar were arrested on suspicion of rioting, a felony. While the three have been released, they all still face charges stemming from their unlawful arrest. Kouddous and Salazar face pending charges of suspicion of felony riot, while Goodman has been officially charged with obstruction of a legal process and interference with a “peace officer.”

Democracy Now! forcefully rejects all of these charges as false and an attempt at intimidation of these journalists. We demand that the charges be immediately and completely dropped.

Democracy Now! stands by Goodman, Kouddous and Salazar and condemns this action by Twin Cities’ law enforcement as a clear violation of the freedom of the press and the First Amendment rights of these journalists.

During the demonstration in which the Democracy Now! team was arrested, law enforcement officers used pepper spray, rubber bullets, concussion grenades and excessive force against protesters and journalists. Several dozen demonstrators were also arrested during this action, including a photographer for the Associated Press.

Amy Goodman is one of the most well-known and well-respected journalists in the United States. She has received journalism’s top honors for her reporting and has a distinguished reputation of bravery and courage. The arrest of Goodman, Kouddous and Salazar and the subsequent criminal charges and threat of charges are a transparent attempt to intimidate journalists.

Democracy Now! is a nationally-syndicated public TV and radio program that airs on over 700 radio and TV stations across the US and the globe.

Video of Amy Goodman’s Arrest: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYjyvkR0bGQ