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From the NYT: Robert Parry, Investigative Reporter and Founder of ConsortiumNews, Dies at 68

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Robert Parry, a tenacious investigative reporter and author who exposed details of the Reagan administration’s secret support for Nicaraguan rebels in the 1980s, died on Saturday in Arlington, Va. He was 68.

The cause was pancreatic cancer, said his wife, Diane Duston.

Mr. Parry won the George Polk Award for national reporting in 1984 for his disclosures that the Central Intelligence Agency had provided an assassination manual to the so-called contras, the right-wing insurgents who were seeking to topple the socialist government in Nicaragua. Mr. Parry was part of an Associated Press investigative team based in Washington when he broke the story.

For that reporting, he was also named a finalist for the 1985 Pulitzer Prize for national reporting.

In 1985, Mr. Parry broke news of the involvement of Lt. Col. Oliver L. North, a deputy director of the National Security Council, in a covert operation to support the contras with proceeds from clandestine arms sales to Iran. Congress had banned such support. The weapons had been sold to Iran to speed the release of American hostages in Lebanon.

See full piece at The New York Times

 

Christine Ahn, Founder of Women Cross DMZ, on “The Real News”

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Following an appearance on a recent IPA press release, Christine Ahn, Founder of Women Cross DMZ, was interviewed by Aaron Maté on “The Real News.” In the interview, Ahn discussed raised hopes of de-escalating tensions between North and South Korea in face of the upcoming Winter Olympics.

“It’s extraordinarily heartening and probably the most important single action that would avert a war on the Korean Peninsula that is being potentially waged by the Trump administration. As you may know, in the New Year’s address, Kim Jong-un, the leader of North Korea, basically in his New Year’s speech, extended an olive branch where he offered to send North Korean athletes to the South Korean Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. South Korean Moon Jae-in, he quickly seized that window of opportunity, and he quickly responded. And on January 9th they had the first high-level talks in over two years.” Later in the interview, Ahn described the importance of organizing women for the deescalation of conflicts when she said “… it was really a meeting of movements led by women because we know that when women are at the table, there is a greater chance of there being a peace agreement.”

 

NSA Whistleblower Thomas Drake, on The Real News Network

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Following an appearance on a recent IPA news release, Thomas Drake, whistleblower and former senior official of the National Security Agency (NSA), discussed in an interview for The Real News how the new FISA law expands warrantless surveillance of American citizens.

 

“For me, it’s the emperor, let’s just say the emperor here has no clothes. And it’s important that Americans and others wake up to the fact that this is simply a continuation of what has been in place now since shortly after 9/11 under “legal means.” And I’ve heard the argument, Aaron, I’ve heard the argument, “Well, hey. If you’ve done nothing wrong, you’ve said nothing wrong, you’ve not committed any crimes, you have nothing to worry about.” Did you know that under this reauthorization act, there is an extraordinary irony that an actual criminal, let’s say targeted legitimately, doing actually, probable cause of criminal activity, actually has more rights than an American would under this reauthorization bill.”

 

 

Norman Solomon in “The Washington Post”

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After appearing in a recent news release, RootsAction co-founder and IPA executive director, Norman Solomon, was quoted in the article “In deal with Trump, Democrats see opportunity– and peril.”

He said, “Short-term tactics may not serve progressive interests in the long term. I think this whole path of getting chummy with Trump is fraught with land mines and pitfalls, and Trump is an expert at detonating under people’s feet.”

Solomon, was a delegate last year to the Democratic National Convention for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), was a 2012 Congressional candidate, and is the author of numerous books and articles.

 

Nafeez Ahmed on “The Real News Network”

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nafeez ahmedFollowing an appearance on a recent IPA news release, Nafeez Ahmed, an independent, London-based investigative reporter, was interviewed by Aaron Maté on “The Real News Network”. Ahmed discussed how British government policies benefit extremists and endanger civilians.

“Britain over the last few years, especially under the government of May, has allied itself with the very regimes that are sponsoring jihadist groups. …

“There was a British government report that Theresa May is suppressing which identifies Saudi Arabia at the top of terrorist funding and she doesn’t want it to come out. …

“None of these concerns have been taken on board in terms of our actual policy and we continue to maintain this very, very direct and cozy alliance with these regimes and of course, in particular, Theresa May has signed off on a $2.5 billion arms deal with the Saudi regime. So what we’re seeing is that we are getting into bed, with what all our intelligence agencies are telling us, with the world’s chief sponsor of the world’s most barbaric terrorist entity.”

Ahmed’s books include A User’s Guide to the Crisis of Civilization. He is “System Shift” columnist at VICE. He just co-wrote the piece “The Manchester Bombing: Blowback from British state collusion with jihadists abroad” with author Mark Curtis.

 

Michael Beer on “The Monitor”

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Following an appearance on a recent IPA press release, Michael Beer, Director of Nonviolence International, was interviewed by Mark Bebawi on “The Monitor,” where Beer discussed the tension between Turkey and the Kurds.

“Given hundreds of years of Turkish/Ottoman dominion over Arabs, this Turkish invasion is unlikely to gain much support in Syria or the Arab world. The timing is remarkable just as the vice president of the U.S. arrived in Turkey. The U.S. cooperated, in part, because the U.S. already has troops in Syria in violation of international law and the U.S. constitution and has no credible platform to protest … European governments support it, and the Iranians refuse to release a public statement. We are seeing more and more countries follow the U.S. and Russia’s example of using military force outside of international law. This is a dangerous direction for the future security of planet earth.”

Beer was also interviewed by Scott Harris on “Between the Lines.”

 

Maria Luisa Mendonca in AlterNet

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Following an appearance in a recent IPA news release, Maria Mendonca, the director of Brazil’s Network for Social Justice and Human Rights, penned this article for AlterNet in which she discusses the unintended consequences of what she calls “impeachment theater.”

She writes: “The impeachment is aimed at distracting from the very real crimes perpetrated by the congressmen sanctimoniously casting judgment on the president. Since the beginning of the process, it was clear that the main charge brought against president Dilma Rousseff, based on an accounting mechanism characterized as “fiscal pedaling” (“pedaladas fiscais” in Portuguese), had the barely hidden objective of curtailing investigations of corruption against Congress members and implementing a conservative agenda that has consistently been rejected by the majority of Brazilian society in presidential elections since 2002.”

“This type of manipulation would not be possible without the support of Brazil’s major media outlets, which have mostly abandoned even the pretense of objectivity. The good news is that there is a growing number of independent, alternative media sources, which present accurate information from diverse perspectives.”

Mendonca recently wrote “Brazil’s Parliamentary Vote Is A Coup,” for The Progressive. She is also the editor of the book “Human Rights in Brazil“.

 

Vijay Prashad in AlterNet

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Following an appearance on a recent IPA news release, Vijay Prashad, author and professor of International Studies at Trinity College, penned an article for AlterNet, in which he discussed the possible negative consequences of U.S. military action in Libya.

“Will the airstrikes actually degrade and destroy the Islamic State? It is not merely the Islamic State that is Libya’s problem. Airstrikes such as this will only move these fighters to other locations – to Tunisia, for instance, or to Benghazi. They will continue to be a serious problem in North Africa.”

He also recently wrote “The World After Obama,” for Counterpunch. His most recent book is The Death of the Nation and the Future of the Arab Revolution.

 

Frederick Clarkson in Al Jazeera

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Following an appearance on a recent IPA news release, Frederick Clarkson, a senior fellow for Religious Liberty at social-justice think-thank Political Research Associates and author of When Exemption is the Rule: The Religious Freedom Strategy of the Christian Right, was quoted in an Al Jazeera article, in which he discusses the qualifications of Gov. Mike Pence as Donald Trump’s running mate. He states: “Pence needs to demonstrate that he brings knowledge, measured judgement and gravitas to the ticket.

“As a former six term member of Congress and current governor of a state, we can believe that Pence will do that. But then the question becomes, what is the substance that he brings? …

“Although abortion rights and marriage equality are part of the unambiguous law of the land, Pence represents the politics of permanent reaction and rollback, seeking to use the tools of government to undermine access to these rights wherever he can.”

Clarkson was also interviewed by Scott Harris on “Between the Lines” (WPKN), Laurel Avalon on “Peace and Social Justice” (KZFR) and Ian Masters on “Background Briefing.”

 

 

Marjorie Cohn in Alternet, the Independent and more

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Following an appearance on a recent IPA news release, Marjorie Cohn, a professor emerita at the Thomas Jefferson School of Law, was interviewed and quoted in articles for McClatchy, the Independent, Alternet and National ObserverShe was also interviewed on various radio shows, including KBOO radio (Portland), New Zealand Radio, WMNF radio (Tampa, FLA), KMEC radio (Northern Calif.) and Peoples Internet Radio (US, UK, Canada), and she has written an op-ed that has been published in both The Hill and CommonDreams. She discusses both the militarization of police in the U.S. and the foreign policy of and use of drones by the Obama administration. Cohn told Alternet: “There is so much secrecy surrounding Obama’s drone program and, even when he releases figures of civilian casualties, they just don’t add up, according to the leading NGOs. The lack of transparency around the Obama administration also extends to the legal rational for using targeted killings and drone strikes off the battlefield without respecting due process. This is also called an extrajudicial killing.

“With the lack of transparency in the federal government about drone policy abroad, there is no reason to believe there is going to be any more transparency on a local level.”

Cohn is also an editor and contributor to Drones and Targeted Killings: Legal, Moral, and Geopolitical Issues.

 

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