The latest abomination in a US death chamber took place on Tuesday night in Missouri when Cecil Clayton, 74, was injected and killed with a single dose of pentobarbital. The condemned inmate was executed despite overwhelming evidence of his intellectual disability.
In response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by The New York Times, the Justice Department has partially declassified a report about the F.B.I.’s involvement in administering the warrantless surveillance program authorized by the FISA Amendments Act. When the report was completed in September 2012, it was entirely classified and the department announced only that it existed.
You can also read the Times’ story concerning the report here: F.B.I. is Broadening Surveillance Role, Report Shows – NYTimes.com.
Here are some more links of interest concerning Ferguson.
- Marcia Chalelain presents a crowdsourced syllabus about race, African American history, civil rights, and policing. How to Teach Kids About What’s Happening in Ferguson – The Atlantic.
- “This is only the beginning, we’ll be back tomorrow.” Juan Thompson reports on what happened Monday night. “Burn This Shit Down”: Mayhem and Protests Engulf Ferguson – The Intercept.
- Two experienced attorneys explain what, in their view, are serious flaws with the grand jury process in the Darren Wilson case. Legal Experts Explain Why The Ferguson Grand Jury Was Set Up For Failure | ThinkProgress.
- From Socialist Worker: The president who has ordered bombs dropped on seven countries and whose administration has directly assisted in the militarization of police departments like Ferguson’s across the country says there is never an excuse for violence. The American way of violence and injustice | SocialistWorker.org.
- From WSWS: The entire process through which the grand jury arrived at its decision is a legal fraud. The outcome is not the result of fair judicial proceedings, but political calculations. No indictment for Ferguson cop who killed Michael Brown – World Socialist Web Site.
- My friend Rob Usdin writes on the psychology of riots and those of us who look on. Blue Jersey:: Ferguson – The Psychology of Riots and Poverty.
- The Morning News presents links to a bunch of Ferguson-centric articles.
- One of my favorite Christian writers, Ben Irwin, says he’s done praying for peace in Ferguson, so long as “peace,” on the lips of those of us still clinging to our unearned privilege, means peace for us and our kind.
Peter Montgomery from People for the American Way puts this week’s Supreme Court decisions in historical context.
Samuel Alito is the single most pro-corporate Justice on the most pro-business Court since the New Deal. Still, Alito’s one-two punch was another extraordinary milestone for the strategists who have been working for the past 40 years to put business firmly in the driver’s seat of American politics.
Many would suggest that the modern right-wing movement began with the failed presidential bid of Barry Goldwater. But there’s a strong case to be made that it begins in earnest with a 1971 memo by Lewis Powell, who argued that American businesses were losing public support and called for a massive, continuing campaign to wage war on leftist academics, progressive nonprofit groups, and politicians. The memo by Powell, who was later appointed to the Supreme Court via a nomination by Richard Nixon, inspired a few very wealthy men like Adolph Coors, John M. Olin, and Richard Mellon Scaife, who set about creating and funding a massive infrastructure of think tanks, endowed academic chairs, law schools and right-wing legal groups, including the Federalist Society, which has nurtured Alito’s career.
Read the full article: Samuel Alito: A Movement Man Makes Good on Right-Wing Investments | Peter Montgomery.
Glenn Greenwald appeared on Morning Joe to discuss recent revelations concerning the NSA’s surveillance programs. I would urge you to watch the first 17 minutes.
You can see the full interview with Edward Snowden on the Guardian Website.
From Joe Kishore, at WSWS:
The Obama administration’s recently-leaked “white paper” on the assassination of US citizens, and the actions carried out on the basis of the arguments it advances, must be taken as a dire warning to the working class in the United States and around the world. The democratic rights of the people are in grave peril. The American ruling class, steeped in lawlessness and violence, is moving toward dictatorship.
Though many believe that HR347 was enacted specifically to quell the growing tide of protest, some think it simply gives legal weight to policies long in practice.
Inside that new anti-Occupy bill. [Salon.com] – HR 347 makes it a prosecutable offense to knowingly, and without lawful authority, enter “(1) the White House or its grounds or the Vice President’s official residence or its grounds, (2) a building or grounds where the President or other person protected by the Secret Service is or will be temporarily visiting, or (3) a building or grounds so restricted due to a special event of national significance.”
Judge declares Illinois’ eavesdropping law unconstitutional. [ChicagoTribune.com] – A Cook County judge on Friday declared the state’s controversial eavesdropping law unconstitutional, securing an important victory for activists who want to videotape the police in public but muddying the legal waters as the city gears up for potentially thousands of demonstrators for the NATO summit in May.
When the US Government Can Kill You, Explained. [Mother Jones] – On Monday, the Obama administration explained when it’s allowed to kill you.