Friday, July 24, 2015

Subjugated to the propaganda needs of empire

GUEST: Hatem Abudayyeh, executive director of the Arab American Action Network, and an organizer of the Rasmea Defense Committee, talks about the selective prosecution of Palestinian activists in the US.

Hatem covered the facts of Rasmea's case very thoroughly. The legal question revolves around Rasmea's failure to put her arrest by Israeli authorities on her request for US citizenship. Her defense claims that she was tortured and raped in custody and that her treatment in jail forced her into a false confession. Sound familiar? How many Blacks in America have spent decades in prison after such coerced confessions?

Rasmea's trial judge would not allow any evidence of torture of rape to be introduced at her first trail. Rasmea's obvious PTSD was similarly dismissed. She should get another trial, with her defense given the right to introduce this type of testimony.

I asked why Rasmea and other Palestinian activists have been harassed by the FBI over the last decade. With Rasmea, what made the FBI review her citizenship documents in the first place; she had committed no crime in the US? Hatem responded that our criminal justice system is being used to repress political dissent, something we have seen repeatedly in the history of the FBI. Perhaps a review of COINTELPRO will show how this was done in the 1960's. Our government's phony "War on Terror" has led to the same types of abuses today, with our Constitutional rights are being subjugated to the propaganda needs of empire. 

On another note, this was Gary's last day on Activist Radio. He is moving back to North Carolina, and we will miss his radio skills, his commitment to social change, and his ready wit. He has promised to be Activist Radio's roving reporter in North Carolina, and we will be calling on him for some on the ground reporting on issues like racial justice and labor rights. But it won't be the same. Time moves on. 

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