Meldungen (Feeds)

Bernie Sanders Delegates Prepare to Confront Obama About TPP, Symbol of Corporate Control

The Intercept - Engl. - Tue, 26/07/2016 - 23:09

Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders both now oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) — so why were so many Bernie Sanders delegates yelling about it Monday night and waving anti-TPP signs over their head?

The TPP has become a hot-button issue for a lot of progressives who want the party to take a more anti-corporate tone.

Some of the opposition comes from bad memories of the lost jobs that came in the wake of the NAFTA agreement in the 1990s. But the TPP is not actually a free trade pact. It won’t lower tariffs, the most common trade barriers.

In fact, the TPP is more focused on crafting regulatory regimes that benefit certain industries. It would expand corporate and investor rights at the expense of medical affordability, the environment, and labor rights.

For Bernie Sanders supporters — and some Trump supporters — the TPP has become shorthand for corporate control of the political process. Hillary Clinton was a late convert — and not particularly sincere at that.

So that’s why you saw Sanders delegates waving their sign around — and that’s why some of them plan to make their opposition known Wednesday night when the pact’s foremost proponent, President Barack Obama, speaks on the convention floor.

It’s not just a matter of principle either. Although Obama is leaving office, opponents of the pact worry that the next five months offer him an opportunity to seek a final vote on the agreement, including during the crucial lame-duck session after the election, but before inauguration.

Utah Sanders delegate Cheryl Butler told The Intercept that she anticipates the same raucous chants and sign-waving against the TPP that took place on the DNC floor on Monday.

“I think people that are very strongly against the TPP have a right and responsibility to make their voices heard,” she said.

Early Tuesday morning, during Oregon’s state party meeting, delegates broke out into chants of “No TPP!” during a speech by its Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden, who supports the agreement.

Jeremy Likens, a Sanders delegate from Oregon, explained that the campaign’s delegates came to the convention to move the party on issues, not just to support the Vermont senator.

“We’re here; we’re informed voters who care about things, like making sure to stop the TPP,” he said.

Carolanne Fry, another pledged Sanders delegate from Oregon, said she has met numerous Clinton delegates who also oppose the TPP, but that they didn’t appreciate the sign-waving tactics on Monday. “They were getting really frustrated that we were holding them,” she reflected.

Indeed, several Clinton delegates told The Intercept that they trusted Clinton’s judgment on the issue and would not take part in any protests of Obama’s speech.

Elena McCullough, who serves as the vice president of the Democratic Hispanic Caucus of Florida and as an at-large delegate for Clinton from Florida, said she prefers to trust her candidate over taking protest action.

“When [Clinton] takes the reins of the country, she is going to make a decision that she believes is best for the country. I’m very certain that whatever decision she does, … she will have analyzed it, she will have researched it, and she will do what is best for the country,” she said. “I don’t think we’re going to have any kind of scuffle in any way, shape, or form. I believe we’ve come together.”

Jamian Smith, a Clinton delegate from Washington state, said she’s “pretty sure” that delegates from her delegation, which is overwhelmingly made up of Sanders backers, will engage in some sort of protest during Obama’s speech. She, however, had no intention of joining them.

“I think the TPP could be improved. I don’t think that it’s necessary to completely scuttle it,” she said. “We prefer to go in the system. … holding up signs is great, you’re making your voice heard, but nothing’s really being done when you do that.”

Victor Quiroz, a Clinton delegate from California, sported an anti-TPP button. Yet he opposed making any sort of public statement during Obama’s speech. He was confident that Clinton would maintain her position.

“You don’t … embarrass your chief. You do not do that,” he instructed, opposing any protests. “Secretary Clinton, she opposes TPP.”

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Öffentlicher Appell an die deutsche Bundesregierung sowie die Institutionen des Europarates, der OSZE und der NATO

No to NATO - Tue, 26/07/2016 - 21:24

IALANA Stellungnahme

I

Als das türkische Verfassungsgericht Ende Februar 2016 die angeordnete Untersuchungshaft gegen zwei Journalisten aufhob, die die Unterstützung militanter Islamisten in Syrien durch türkische Stellen aufgedeckt hatten, drohte der türkische Präsident Erdogan den Richtern: „Ich sage es offen und klar, ich akzeptiere das nicht und füge mich der Entscheidung nicht, ich respektiere sie auch nicht.“ [i]Dieser Drohung hat er jetzt Taten folgen lassen.

Als Vorwand dafür hat er den am 15. Juli d.J. gescheiterten Putschversuch von Teilen des türkischen Militärs genutzt. Seit der Nacht vom 15. auf den 16. Juli 2016 sind an Hand von offenkundig lange vorbereiteten Listen fast 3000 RichterInnen und StaatsanwältInnen durch die Exekutive ihres Amtes enthoben und ein Großteil von ihnen verhaftet worden. Die Suspendierungen und Repressionen sind auf Tausende von Journalisten, Lehrern, Professoren, Rechtsanwälten und Angehörigen von Bildungseinrichtungen ausgedehnt worden. Zeitungen sowie Rundfunk- und Fernsehsender sind geschlossen oder gleichgeschaltet worden. Unter Berufung auf die türkische Verfassung und Art. 15 der Europäischen Menschenrechtskonvention hat die türkische Regierung zudem jetzt den „Ausnahmezustand“ verhängt, um sich lästiger rechtstaatlicher Fesseln zu entledigen.

II

Die NATO schweigt bisher zu diesen Vorgängen. Dabei sind alle NATO-Mitgliedsstaaten verpflichtet, „die Freiheit, das gemeinsame Erbe und die Zivilisation ihrer Völker, die auf den Grundsätzen der Demokratie, der Freiheit der Person und der Herrschaft des Rechts beruhen, zu gewährleisten“ (Satz 2 der Präambel des NATO-Vertrages).

Wir stellen fest, dass das Vorgehen von Präsident Erdogan und seiner Regierung mit den völkerrechtlichen Verpflichtungen unvereinbar ist, die die Türkei jedenfalls durch den Beitritt zum Europarat und durch die Ratifizierung der Europäischen Menschenrechtskonvention (EMRK) eingegangen ist. Die mit einer Verhängung des Ausnahmezustandes verbundene „Aussetzung“ grundrechtlicher Garantien der EMRK käme nach Art. 15 EMRK allein dann in Betracht, wenn „das Leben der Nation durch Krieg oder einen anderen öffentlichen Notstand bedroht ist“. Diese Voraussetzung ist in der

Türkei heute schon deshalb nicht gegeben, weil der versuchte Militärputsch bereits am 16. Juli d.J. niedergeschlagen und gescheitert war, also jedenfalls seitdem schon aus diesem Grunde nicht mehr als Rechtfertigung für die Verhängung des Ausnahmezustandes herangezogen werden darf. Die Türkei hat keinerlei Recht, die EMRK und die Unabhängigkeit der Justiz nach eigenem Belieben einzuschränken.

Es darf nicht hingenommen werden, dass die Meinungs-, Informations- und Versammlungsfreiheit sowie die Pressefreiheit in der Türkei entgegen Art. 9 und 10 EMRK eingeschränkt werden und dass entgegen Art. 5 und 8 EMRK die persönliche Freiheit und Sicherheit sowie das Recht auf Achtung des Privat- und Familienlebens von Erdogan-Kritikern nicht gesichert sind. Ferner verstößt es gegen die EMRK, dass den nach Medienberichten zwischenzeitlich mehr als 50.000 suspendierten türkischen Staatsbediensteten und anderen Verhafteten die in Art. 6 EMRK garantierten Rechte auf ein faires Verfahren vorenthalten werden. Ausweislich der uns von betroffenen Richtern zugegangenen E-mails werden die Betroffenen entgegen Art. 6 Abs. 3 EMRK jedenfalls nicht „innerhalb möglichst kurzer Frist … in allen Einzelheiten über Art und Grund der gegen sie erhobenen Beschuldigungen unterrichtet“. Beweise für eine behauptete Verwicklung in den gescheiterten Militärputsch oder andere Amtspflichtverletzungen werden den Betroffenen über den schlichten Verweis auf die Listen hinaus weder mitgeteilt noch gar nachprüfbar vorgelegt.

III

Die Suspendierungen und Verhaftungen der mehr als 500 Verwaltungsrichter, von mehreren Verfassungsrichtern und mehr als 2000 RichterInnen anderer Gerichte lassen die Zielrichtung erkennen: Die von Präsident Erdogan und seiner AKP-Regierung angeordneten und veranlassten Maßnahmen zielen vor allem auf die Ausschaltung einer unabhängigen Justiz, die Einschüchterung und Unterdrückung jeder Opposition, die Gleichschaltung der Presse und Medien sowie auf die möglichst ungehinderte Errichtung eines autoritären Präsidialregimes mit einem ungehemmten Führerkult.

Das dürfen die Vertragsstaaten der EMRK und die Institutionen des Europarates nicht länger widerspruchslos hinnehmen. Die Forderung der Bundeskanzlerin und von Bundesinnenminister de Maizière an Präsident Erdogan, das „Gebot der Verhältnismäßigkeit“ zu wahren, stellt die repressiven Maßnahmen gegen die türkische Bevölkerung im Grundsatz nicht in Frage, sondern geht von deren Legitimität aus. Sehr befremdlich ist es, dass Bundesaußenminister Frank-Walter Steinmeier am 21.7.2016 in Washington erklärt hat, der in der Türkei verhängte Notstand müsse „auf die unbedingt notwendige Dauer beschränkt und dann unverzüglich beendet“[ii] werden. Auch das legitimiert den aktuell verhängten „Ausnahmezustand“. Präsident Erdogan wird alldies freuen.

IV

  1. Wir fordern die deutsche Bundesregierung und die Regierungen aller Vertragsstaaten des Europarates auf, beim Europäischen Menschenrechtsgerichtshof in Straßburg eine Staatenbeschwerde nach Art. 33 der EMRK[iii] gegen die Türkei zu erheben, um ein EMRK-konformes Verhalten einzufordern und durchzusetzen. Zur Vorbereitung sollte unverzüglich eine Expertenkommission mit „fact finding“-Befugnissen entsandt werden. Sie sollte sicherstellen, dass sich verfolgte und verhaftete Bürgerinnen und Bürger in der Türkei ungehindert mit der Bitte um Unterstützung an sie wenden können.
  2. Auch die OSZE ist gefordert. Das „Menschenrechtskomitee („Human Dimension Committee“) der OSZE muss sich unverzüglich mit der Menschenrechtslage in der Türkei befassen. Sie sollte eine sofortige Rücknahme der pauschalen listenmäßigen Suspendierung der RichterInnen und StaatsanwältInnen, der Eingriffe in die Unabhängigkeit der Justiz und ein Ende der Verstöße gegen zentrale Menschenrechte einfordern.
  3. Der NATO-Rat muss  auf der Ebene der Staats- und Regierungschefs baldmöglichst zu einer Sondersitzung zusammentreten, um die Türkei eindringlich auf ihre demokratischen und rechtsstaatlichen Pflichten als NATO-Mitgliedsstaat hinzuweisen. Die in der Türkei im NATO-Rahmen stationierten 102 Atomsprengköpfe müssen dort unverzüglich abgezogen werden. Alle Waffen- und Rüstungslieferungen sowie alle Finanztransfers an das Erdogan-Regime müssen sofort bis auf Weiteres gestoppt werden.
  4. Die Tornado-Einheit der Bundes-Luftwaffe sollte unverzüglich aus Incirlik abgezogen werden.

 

Berlin, den 24./25.7.2016

 

 

 

[i] Vgl. u.a. http://www.faz.net/aktuell/politik/ausland/europa/tuerkei-lange-haftstrafen-fuer-regierungskritische-journalisten-14219395.html

[ii] http://www.faz.net/aktuell/politik/ausland/europa/tuerkei/frank-walter-steinmeier-ruft-erdogan-zu-verhaeltnismaessigkeit-auf-14350353.html

[iii] Art. 33 EMRK (Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms) – Inter-State cases: Any High Contracting Party may refer to the Court any alleged breach of the provisions of the Convention and the protocols thereto by another High Contracting Party.

 

 

 

 

IALANA

Marienstraße 19/20

10117 Berlin

www.ialana.de

*protected email*

 

Koordinierungskreis der Kampagne vereinbart nach der beeindruckenden Menschenkette die Fortsetzung der Aktionen

No to NATO - Tue, 26/07/2016 - 21:18
Pressemitteilung

Der Koordinierungskreis der Kampagne Stopp Ramstein traf sich in Frankfurt zur Auswertung der Menschenkette, des Camps und der inhaltlichen Veranstaltungen vom 10.-12.06.2016.

Koordinierungskreis der Kampagne vereinbart nach der beeindruckenden Menschenkette die Fortsetzung der Aktionen

Es wurde eine ausgesprochen positive Bilanz  – der  beeindruckenden, bislang größten Aktion der Friedensbewegung in Ramstein und der größte Protest, der bisher in einem westlichen Land gegen den Drohnenkrieg stattgefunden hat – gezogen.

Hervorgehoben wurde besonders:

  • Die Veränderung des politischen Klimas in der Region durch die vielfältigen Aktionen. Die Friedensbewegung ist vor Ort präsent und beeinflusst die öffentliche Debatte zunehmend, besonders mit den Argumenten gegen den Drohnenkrieg.
  • Die quantitativ großen Aktionen, die  Menschenkette mit ca. 5000 Menschen, eingebettet in eine inhaltliche Debatte über Friedenssicherung und Abrüstung, über Konversion und zivile Konfliktbearbeitung. Ramstein  2016 war antimilitaristische Aufklärung pur.
  • Die nachdrückliche Forderung an die Bundesregierung, die Nutzung der Satelliten-Relaisstation auf der Air Base Ramstein für den völkerrechtswidrigen US-Drohnen-Krieg sofort zu unterbinden.
  • Die immer wieder erhobene Forderung an die Bunderegierung, das Stationierungsabkommen zu kündigen und damit den weltweiten Drohneneinsatz von deutschem Boden aus zu beenden und die US Basis langfristig zu schließen. Der Schlüssel zur Beendigung der völkerrechtswidrigen Kriege von deutschem Boden aus liegt in Berlin bei der Bundesregierung. Diese Aussage durchzog wie ein roter Faden die Aktionen in Ramstein.
  • Betont wurde die solidarische Zusammenarbeit der unterschiedlichen Kräfte der Friedensbewegung, sowohl national als auch international. Bisher noch abseits stehende Menschen und Organisationen sollen verstärkt gewonnen werden.

Der Koordinierungskreis vereinbarte die Auswertung auf einem 2. Treffen fortzusetzen. Es bestand Einigkeit, dass die Aktionen mit einem Höhepunkt 2017 fortgesetzt werden sollen und dezentrale Aktivitäten in den einzelnen Städten vorbereitet werden. Zukünftig soll noch intensiver an konstruktiven Konzepten zur Überwindung von Rüstung und Militär, wie beispielsweise Konversion und zivile Konfliktbearbeitung, gearbeitet werden und diese allgemeinverständlich vermittelt werden.

Vereinbart wird die Einladung zur großen „Planungskonferenz Ramstein 2017“ am 26.11.2016 in Frankfurt/M. Dort sollen die Aktivitäten für das Jahr 2017 vereinbart werden.

Ein Auswertungspapier der Aktionen vom 10.-12.06. kann in Kürze auf den Webseiten der Kampagne Stopp Ramstein (www.ramstein-kampagne.eu) und des Bundesausschusses Friedensratschlag (http://www.friedensratschlag.de) heruntergeladen werden.

Der Koordinierungskreis begrüßt die bundesweite Demonstration der Dachverbände der Friedensbewegung am 8.10.2016 in Berlin.

Weitere Informationen: Reiner Braun (0172 2317475), Pascal Luig (0177 7872145), Horst Trapp (069 24249950)

Aktionsbüro Ramstein-Kampagne

Marienstraße 19/20

10117 Berlin

Tel.: 030 20 65 48 57

Fax: 030 31 99 66 89

*protected email*

www.ramstein-kampagne.eu

Rezepte gegen Terror gesucht

Hintergrund.de - Tue, 26/07/2016 - 20:52

Politiker suchen nach Antworten auf die Anschläge der vergangenen Tage –

Von REDAKTION, 26. Juli 2016 –

Nach den Anschlägen von Würzburg, München und Ansbach ist die Debatte um politische Konsequenzen voll entbrannt. Das Spektrum derjenigen, die sagen, es könne nicht weiter gehen wie bisher, reicht von Bayerns Innenminister Joachim Herrmann bis hin zur Fraktionschefin der Linken im Bundestag, Sahra Wagenknecht. Sie sagte gestern: „Der Staat muss jetzt alles dafür tun, dass sich die Menschen in unserem Land wieder sicher fühlen können. Das setzt voraus, dass wir wissen, wer sich

Weiterlesen...

Statement from the German Section of IALANA

No to NATO - Tue, 26/07/2016 - 20:02

Open Appeal to the German Government and to the Council of Europe, OSCE and NATO

I

In February 2016 the Turkish Constitutional Court revoked the pre-trial imprisonment imposed upon two journalists who had uncovered support provided by Turkish authorities to militant Islamists in Syria. In response, the Turkish President Erdogan threatened the judges: “I don’t need to accept [this decision], I want to make that clear. I don’t obey or respect the decision.[i] Deeds have now followed these words.

The pretext came in the form of the failed coup attempt by parts of the Turkish military in the night from July 15 to July 16, 2016. Since that night, the executive has removed almost 3000 judges and state prosecutors from office, with the majority of them also detained. It seems apparent that lists of targets had already been drawn up before the event. The suspensions and repression have been extended to include thousands of journalists, teachers, professors, lawyers and employees in various educational establishments. Newspapers and radio/TV broadcasters have been shut down or brought into line. Invoking the Turkish constitution and Article 15 of the European Convention on Human Rights, the Turkish government has declared a “state of emergency” in order to free itself from further bothersome constitutional limitations.

II

To date, NATO has remained silent on these events. This in spite of the fact that all NATO member states are obliged to “safeguard the freedom, common heritage and civilisation of their peoples, founded on the principles of democracy, individual liberty and the rule of law.” (Preamble to NATO Treaty, sentence 2)

We determine that the approach taken by President Erdogan and his government does not accord with the obligations of international law that Turkey entered into by joining the Council of Europe and by ratifying the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). The “derogation” from constitutional guarantees in a state of emergency, as regulated by Article 15 of the ECHR, only comes into consideration if “war or other public emergency [is] threatening the life of the nation”. This condition is not fulfilled in Turkey. The attempted military coup had already been defeated on July 16. Since it failed, it cannot be used as a justification for declaring a state of emergency. Turkey has no right at all to arbitrarily restrict the applicability of the ECHR and the independence of the judiciary.

It cannot be accepted that the freedoms of expression, information and assembly, as well as press freedom, are being restricted in Turkey, contravening Art. 9 and 10 of the ECHR, or that in violation of Art. 5 and 8, the right to liberty and security of person as well as the right to respect for one’s private and family life are not being guaranteed for those critical of the Erdogan government. Furthermore, it is a violation of the ECHR if the 50,000 suspended employees of the Turkish state and other detainees (as reported in the media) are not being guaranteed the rights secured in Art. 6 of the ECHR to a fair trial. According to e-mails sent to us by some affected judges, those affected by these measures are also not being “informed promptly, in a language which he understands and in detail, of the nature and cause of the accusation against him”, as per Art. 6 (3) of the ECHR. Those affected are not being presented with any verifiable evidence or even told about any evidence for the claims they were involved in the failed coup or for any other breaches of their official duties.

III

The suspensions and detentions of more than 500 administrative judges, several constitutional court judges, and more than 2000 judges from other courts all indicate the direction this is heading in: the measures being ordered by President Erdogan and his AKP government aim above all to neutralise the independent judiciary, to intimidate and repress any opposition, to bring the press and media into line, and to remove as many obstructions as possible to the establishment of an authoritarian presidential regime with an unbridled leadership cult.

The signatories to the ECHR and the institutions of the Council of Europe should no longer accept this without objections. The German Chancellor and the Minister of the Interior demanded that President Erdogan apply the “principle of proportionality”. With this demand they are not questioning the measures being taken by the government in principle, but rather assuming they are generally legitimate. It is very disconcerting to hear the German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier declare in Washington on July 21, 2016, that the state of emergency declared in Turkey has to be “limited to the absolutely necessary duration and then ended immediately”[ii]. This statement, too, legitimises the current “state of emergency”. So President Erdogan will be quite happy with it.

IV

  1. We call on the Federal German government and the governments of all contracting states in the Council of Europe to file an inter-state case against Turkey at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg under Art. 33 of the ECHR[iii], in order to demand and enforce conduct in compliance with the ECHR. To prepare for this, an expert commission with a fact-finding mandate should be deployed without delay. This commission should ensure that Turkish citizens being pursued or detained can turn to it with a request for support.
  2. The OSCE needs to act, too. The “Human Dimension Committee” of the OSCE needs to concern itself with the human rights situation in Turkey as soon as possible. It needs to demand an immediate retraction of the blanket, list-based suspensions of judges and state prosecutors, the interference in the independence of the judiciary, and the violations of core human rights.
  3. The NATO Council, at the level of heads of state and government, has to arrange an extraordinary meeting as soon as possible to strongly remind Turkey of its democratic and constitutional obligations as a member of NATO. The 102 nuclear warheads currently stationed in Incirlik (Turkey) as part of NATO operations should be withdrawn immediately. All deliveries of weapons and armaments, as well as all financial transfers, to the Erdogan regime need to be suspended immediately.
  4. The Tornado squadron of the German air force should be withdrawn as soon as possible from its deployment in Incirlik.

 

Berlin, July 24/25 2016

 

[i] See, for example: (EN) http://www.reuters.com/article/us-turkey-media-erdogan-idUSKCN0W10E6 or (DE) http://www.faz.net/aktuell/politik/ausland/europa/tuerkei-lange-haftstrafen-fuer-regierungskritische-journalisten-14219395.html

[ii] http://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/EN/Infoservice/Presse/Meldungen/2016/160721_BM_Ausnahmezustand_T%C3%BCrkei.html?nn=479796

[iii] Art. 33 ECHR (Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms) – Inter-State cases: Any High Contracting Party may refer to the Court any alleged breach of the provisions of the Convention and the protocols thereto by another High Contracting Party.

 

IALANA, Marienstraße 19/20, 10117 Berlin, *protected email* www.ialana.de

If Russian Intelligence Did Hack the DNC, the NSA Would Know, Snowden Says

The Intercept - Engl. - Tue, 26/07/2016 - 18:43

As my colleague Glenn Greenwald told WNYC on Monday, while there may never be conclusive evidence that the Democratic National Committee was hacked by Russian intelligence operatives to extract the trove of embarrassing emails published by WikiLeaks, it would hardly be shocking if that was what happened.

“Governments do spy on each other and do try to influence events in other countries,” Glenn noted. “Certainly the U.S. government has a very long and successful history of doing exactly that.”

Even so, he added, given the ease with which we were misled into war in Iraq by false claims about weapons of mass destruction — and the long history of Russophobia in American politics — it is vital to cast a skeptical eye over whatever evidence is presented to support the claim, made by Hillary Clinton’s aide Robby Mook, that this is all part of a Russian plot to sabotage the Democrats and help Donald Trump win the election.

Clinton campaign manager on DNC leak: Experts say "Russians are releasing these emails" to help Trump #CNNSOTU https://t.co/GwJhloosPs

— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) July 24, 2016

The theory gained some traction, particularly among Trump’s detractors, in part because the candidate has seemed obsessed at times with reminding crowds that Russian President Vladimir Putin once said something sort of nice about him (though not, as Trump falsely claims, that the American is “a genius”). Then last week, Trump’s campaign staff watered down a pledge to help Ukraine defend its territory from Russian-backed rebels and the candidate told the New York Times he would not necessarily honor the NATO treaty commitment that requires the United States military to defend other member states from a direct attack by Russia.

Since Trump has refused to release his tax returns, there are also questions about whether or not his businesses might depend to some extent on Russian investors. “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets,” Trump’s son Donald Jr. told a real estate conference in 2008, the Washington Post reported last month. “We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.”

Paul Manafort, who is directing Trump’s campaign and was for years a close adviser of a Putin ally, former President Viktor Yanukovych of Ukraine, called the theory that Trump’s campaign had ties to the Russian government “absurd.” (On Monday, Michael Isikoff of Yahoo News reported that a DNC researcher looking into Manafort’s ties to pro-Russian politicians in Ukraine in May had been warned that her personal Yahoo email account was under attack. “We strongly suspect that your account has been the target of state-sponsored actors,” the warning from the email service security team read.)

Unhelpfully for Trump, his most senior adviser with knowledge of the world of hacking, retired Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn, former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, told Bloomberg View that he “would not be surprised at all” to learn that Russia was behind the breach of the DNC network. “Both China and Russia have the full capability to do this,” he said.

Since very few of us are cybersecurity experts, and the Iraq debacle is a reminder of how dangerous it can be to put blind faith in experts whose claims might reinforce our own political positions, there is also the question of who we can trust to provide reliable evidence.

One expert in the field, who is well aware of the evidence-gathering capabilities of the U.S. government, is Edward Snowden, the former Central Intelligence Agency technician and National Security Agency whistleblower who exposed the extent of mass surveillance and has been given temporary asylum in Russia.

“If Russia hacked the #DNC, they should be condemned for it,” Snowden wrote on Twitter on Monday, with a link to a 2015 report on the U.S. government’s response to the hacking of Sony Pictures. In that case, he noted, “the FBI presented evidence” for its conclusion that North Korea was responsible for the hacking and subsequent release of internal emails. (The FBI is now investigating the breach of the DNC’s network, which officials told the Daily Beast they first made the committee aware of in April.)

What’s more, Snowden added, the NSA has tools that should make it possible to trace the source of the hack. Even though the Director of National Intelligence usually opposes making such evidence public, he argued, this is a case in which the agency should do so, if only to discourage future attacks.

Evidence that could publicly attribute responsibility for the DNC hack certainly exists at #NSA, but DNI traditionally objects to sharing.

— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) July 25, 2016

Without a credible threat that USG can and will use #NSA capabilities to publicly attribute responsibility, such hacks will become common.

— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) July 25, 2016

To summarize: the US Intel Community should modernize their position on disclosure. Defensive capabilities should be aggressively public.

— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) July 25, 2016

Another former insider with knowledge of American and Russian intelligence capabilities, Michael McFaul, the U.S. ambassador to Russia from 2012 to 2014, agreed that it should be possible for the U.S. to present proof if Russia was, in fact, responsible for the attack.

I assume that the US counterintelligence agencies have been investigating Russian theft of DNC emails. Hope they tell us results soon.

— Michael McFaul (@McFaul) July 24, 2016

As U.S. voter, I'm appalled by Russian meddling, want it investigated & stopped. As long-time analyst of Russia, Im impressed; they're good

— Michael McFaul (@McFaul) July 24, 2016

While we wait to see if the NSA will take its most famous former employee’s advice, it is worth reading a thorough review of the evidence produced so far, compiled for Motherboard by Thomas Rid, a professor at King’s College London who has charted the use of hacking for espionage.

As Rid explains, the attribution of the DNC hack to Russian intelligence agents was first suggested on June 15 by CrowdStrike, the cybersecurity firm hired by the Democrats to investigate the possible breach of their system in May.

Last month, one of the firm’s founders, Dmitri Alperovitch, explained in a detailed technical analysis of their findings that CrowdStrike discovered “two separate Russian intelligence-affiliated adversaries present in the DNC network in May.”

The groups, he added, are so familiar to the investigators from previous attacks that they have acquired commonly used nicknames in the security industry. One, “Cozy Bear” or “APT 29,” had been inside the committee’s network for about a year; a second, “Fancy Bear,” also called “APT 28,” breached the system in April.

We’ve had lots of experience with both of these actors attempting to target our customers in the past and know them well. In fact, our team considers them some of the best adversaries out of all the numerous nation-state, criminal and hacktivist/terrorist groups we encounter on a daily basis. Their tradecraft is superb, operational security second to none and the extensive usage of “living-off-the-land” techniques enables them to easily bypass many security solutions they encounter. In particular, we identified advanced methods consistent with nation-state level capabilities including deliberate targeting and “access management” tradecraft — both groups were constantly going back into the environment to change out their implants, modify persistent methods, move to new Command & Control channels and perform other tasks to try to stay ahead of being detected.

Cozy Bear is the group that “successfully infiltrated the unclassified networks of the White House, State Department, and U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff” last year, Alperovitch noted. Fancy Bear, he added, has “been linked publicly to intrusions into the German Bundestag and France’s TV5 Monde TV station in April 2015.”

Readers with a high level of technical competence can parse the clues explained fully in Alperovitch’s blog post, but he also noted a surprising fact: that the two groups thought to be affiliated with rival Russian intelligence agencies — the successor to the Soviet-era KGB, known as the FSB, and the GRU, a military intelligence service — appeared unaware of each other’s activities.

“We have identified no collaboration between the two actors, or even an awareness of one by the other,” Alperovitch observed. “Instead, we observed the two Russian espionage groups compromise the same systems and engage separately in the theft of identical credentials.”

One day after this initial attribution of the attack to Russian intelligence was made public by CrowdStrike and the DNC, someone using the pseudonym Guccifer 2.0, in reference to the Romanian hacker who famously uncovered George W. Bush’s secret career as a painter of selfies, started publishing documents stolen from the committee’s servers on a WordPress blog set up that day, and taunting the security experts on Twitter.

Guccifer 2.0, who claims to be a Romanian who dislikes Russians, told my colleague Sam Biddle that he or she had carried out the attack with no help from anyone else, just to expose “all those illuminati that captured our world,” and had provided hacked documents to WikiLeaks.

However, several analysts pointed out that there is evidence in the metadata that copies of the DNC documents posted online by Guccifer 2.0, starting with an opposition research dossier on Trump, appear to have been processed on a computer with Russian language settings. Parsing the documents on Twitter, the blogger Davi Ottenheimer and an information security analyst who writes as @pwnallthethings pointed out that copies of the stolen documents uploaded to WordPress rendered the hacker’s username, Iron Felix, in Cyrillic characters, and gave error messages for links in Russian.

8) Lol. Russian #opsec fail. pic.twitter.com/NdxGJP5izS

— Pwn All The Things (@pwnallthethings) June 15, 2016

@pwnallthethings "error! invalid hyperlinks" in Russian… pic.twitter.com/T9jmLnNiKF

— (((davi – ??))) (@daviottenheimer) June 15, 2016

Doubts were also cast over Guccifer 2.0’s identity by his or her apparent lack of fluency in Romanian in an online chat with Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai of Motherboard.

Despite Guccifer 2.0’s claims, CrowdStrike’s attribution to the previously known Russian groups was supported by subsequent research last month from two rival network security firms: Fidelis Cybersecurity and Mandiant.

“We performed an independent review of the malware and other data (filenames, file sizes, IP addresses) in order to validate and provide our perspective on the reporting done by CrowdStrike,” Michael Buratowski, a Fidelis senior vice president, explained in a detailed technical analysis. The firm’s conclusions supported the attribution to the two well-known Russian groups. Among other factors, Buratowski noted, “the malware samples were conspicuously large” and “contained all or most of their embedded dependencies and functional code.”

“This is a very specific modus operandi less sophisticated actors do not employ,” he argued.

A Mandiant researcher, Marshall Heilman, told the Washington Post he agreed that the malware and associated servers were consistent with those previously used by the two Russian groups.

The suspicion that the raid of the DNC servers might have been carried out by Russian intelligence was unsurprising to some experts, as Wired’s Andy Greenberg reported, given that the FBI warned both Barack Obama and John McCain in 2008 that their campaign computer systems had been breached by foreign hackers, most likely from Russia or China.

What makes the DNC breach new, however, is the fact that close to 20,000 emails and other documents — including personal information and credit card details of donors — were provided to WikiLeaks, which made them public on the eve of this week’s convention. Some of the private email traffic made public, which validated complaints from the Bernie Sanders campaign that the DNC officials favored Hillary Clinton, helped to reopen wounds from the bruising primary campaign.

Chants of "WikiLeaks" and "Lock her up" outside the DNC convention. pic.twitter.com/YksSfoWnKn

— Philip Crowther (@PhilipinDC) July 25, 2016

California Bernie delegates chanting "Wikileaks Wikileaks Wikileaks" pic.twitter.com/4wGOVYONCO

— Josh Barro (@jbarro) July 25, 2016

The role played by WikiLeaks, and the professed indifference of the group’s founder, Julian Assange, to the source of the hacked documents, caused some journalists to ask if the site had allowed itself to be used as part of a post-modern dirty trick, a sort of Watergate 2.0.

One reporter, James Surowiecki of the New Yorker, even mused about how WikiLeaks might have treated documents provided by the Watergate burglars had it been around in 1972 when the Republican operatives broke into the DNC office in that building, precisely to obtain damaging information about the party through theft and surveillance.

If WL had been around in '72, would it have published DNC documents Watergate burglars stole and transcripts from the bugs they planted?

— James Surowiecki (@JamesSurowiecki) July 24, 2016

Of course, many other reporters have taken the view that the material made public by WikiLeaks is clearly newsworthy, given that it helps expose the inner workings of a largely unaccountable private political party, which plays a central and privileged role in the election of America’s leaders. That is why an array of publications, including The Intercept, quickly started to provide reporting and analysis on what was revealed in the leaked documents.

Asked by NBC News on Monday if WikiLeaks might have been used to distribute documents stolen as part of a Russian intelligence operation, Assange insisted there was “no proof of that whatsoever — we have not disclosed our source, and of course this is a diversion that’s being pushed by the Hillary Clinton campaign.”

WATCH: No proof Russians used WikiLeaks in #DNCLeak, Julian Assange tells @RichardEngel on @NBCNightlyNews. https://t.co/UJCBe4fT9l

— NBC Nightly News (@NBCNightlyNews) July 25, 2016

Of course, given that a cornerstone of the WikiLeaks promise to sources is that the site was designed to receive material without revealing the identity of the leaker to anyone at the anti-secrecy group, it should be impossible for Assange himself to know that the hacked DNC documents did not come from a Russian intelligence operative — or, for that matter, a Republican one.

Convinced by the available evidence that the leak was orchestrated by Russian intelligence, Thomas Rid, the security analyst who writes for Motherboard, went so far as to suggest that by publishing these documents, WikiLeaks had become “a legitimate target” for counterintelligence operations by the five-nation club of the United States, Britain, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

23 June 2016, sadly, marks the day on which Wikileaks became a legitimate target for five-eyes (counter) intelligence operations.

— Thomas Rid (@RidT) July 24, 2016

Although WikiLeaks describes the hacked DNC emails as “part one of our new Hillary Leaks series,” Assange himself rejected the charge that he is helping in a partisan attack. “This is a quite a classical release,” he told Amy Goodman of “Democracy Now” on Monday, “showing the benefit of producing pristine data sets, presenting them before the public, where there’s equal access to all journalists and to interested members of the public to mine through them and have them in a citable form where they can then be used to prop up certain criticisms or political arguments.”

Assange demurred when Goodman asked if he preferred Trump over Clinton — “You’re asking me, do I prefer cholera or gonorrhea?” — but he was more forthright in an interview with Robert Peston of Britain’s ITV on June 12, two days before the DNC hack was first reported.

After telling Peston in that conversation, “We have emails relating to Hillary Clinton which are pending publication,” Assange was asked if his intention was to help Trump get elected. “Well, I think Trump is a completely unpredictable phenomenon. You can’t predict what he would do in office,” he replied. “From my personal perspective, well, you know, the emails we published show that Hillary Clinton is receiving constant updates about my personal situation; she has pushed for the prosecution of WikiLeaks, which is still in train. So, we do see her as a bit of a problem, for freedom of the press more generally.”

On Twitter, WikiLeaks has been more forthright about seeing the DNC emails and those from Clinton’s personal server — which the group copied from the State Department’s website to make into a searchable database — as material that can be used “to prop up certain criticisms” of the former secretary of state.

Hillary Clinton's showy rewarding of corruption by DWS is an ill wind for the corruption-overton-window of a future presidency.

— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) July 24, 2016

Audience at DNC turns on Bernie Sanders after he says "we must elect Hillary Clinton" following #DNCLeak https://t.co/yJszgko2XK #DNCinPHL

— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) July 25, 2016

Some of that criticism, however, has not been well-grounded in fact, leaving the organization open to accusations that, rather than serving as an impartial clearinghouse for leaks, annotated by its readers — like Wikipedia — it has evolved into a platform for analysis by a small circle of insiders.

To take one example, on Saturday, a WikiLeaks tweet incorrectly claimed that one email from the leak revealed that Luis Miranda, the DNC communications director, had suggested that Trump might have been right to say that Ted Cruz’s father was involved in the Kennedy assassination.

#DNCLeak: Trump may be right about Ted Cruz's father & JFK kill — Comms head Luis Miranda https://t.co/jjJV1ndJzM pic.twitter.com/UGbPNLutAE

— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) July 23, 2016

Reading the email itself, however, shows something quite different. The complete text of the email chain makes it clear that Miranda was contributing to a thread in which officials worked together to edit a draft of a humorous press release, or “hit,” that mocked Trump for making such an outlandish suggestion.

While Miranda did write to his colleagues that Cruz’s father might have been part of an anti-Castro Cuban exile community “with questionable histories,” he also indicated that he approved the final text, which was posted online by the DNC that same day. That text put Trump’s claim about Cruz’s father at the top of a list of examples of “the GOP’s presumptive standard bearer just spouting nonsense he reads on the internet or in the tabloids.”

Here's the May 3 DNC press release mocking Trump for discussing conspiracy theories, like Cruz's father killing JFK pic.twitter.com/hiDBXO75hH

— Robert Mackey (@RobertMackey) July 26, 2016

While such errors in the annotation of the DNC documents look more like sloppiness than an attempt to intentionally mislead readers, the mistakes point to a weakness in the platform’s development — the lack of a robust system for correcting mistakes noted by readers, like the one used by Wikipedia.

That problem has also been noted in the way WikiLeaks presented emails from Hillary Clinton’s private server first released by the State Department.

In March, WikiLeaks was criticized by some Twitter followers — including David Kenner, the Middle East editor of Foreign Policy — for the confusing way it presented the text of a draft opinion article sent to Clinton by a friend as if it were the text of an email from her — and one that revealed her secret plan to destroy the Syrian government to help Israel.

Hillary Emails: Overthrow #Syrian government to help Israel https://t.co/e93JddH9nv #syria #iran #saudi pic.twitter.com/yZysFuOT2H

— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) March 18, 2016

In fact, as the State Department’s website makes clear, that text was sent to Clinton as an attachment to a 2012 email from James Rubin, who served in Bill Clinton’s administration. Reading the email, Rubin attached his draft piece to make it clear that he hoped his essay — which was later published in slightly revised form by Foreign Policy — would convince the Obama administration to help Syrian rebels topple Bashar al-Assad largely to “forestall the biggest danger on the horizon, that Israel launches a surprise attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities.”

Rubin also made it clear in his email that he did not think Clinton shared his view of the situation at that time. “I know you may not agree,” he wrote, “but I thought it was better to share this with you first as at least a new way to look at the problem.”

Unfortunately, the way WikiLeaks described Rubin’s draft op-ed as one of “Hillary Emails” sowed confusion online and led to outraged blog posts and Russian news reports that mistakenly credited Assange’s group with revealing the text of a bombshell email from Clinton that offered insight into her thinking.

Despite concerns that the group’s own annotation of documents related to Clinton might be at times muddled, in his “Democracy Now” interview, Assange defended his decision not to “establish partnerships with the New York Times or the Washington Post,” as he has done in the past to ensure that leaked documents would come to light not only in raw form but also accompanied by some analysis from political or national security reporters.

Working with the editorial staffs of those newspapers on material like this “might be counterproductive,” Assange said, “because they are partisans of one group or another.”

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Öffentlicher Appell an die deutsche Bundesregierung sowie die Institutionen des Europarates, ...

Hintergrund.de - Tue, 26/07/2016 - 17:52

(26.07.2016/hg)

IALANA (International Association of Lawyers against Nuclear Arms) hat eine Stellungnahme zur Verhängung des Ausnahmezustandes in der Türkei abgegeben, die unter anderem an sämtliche Mitglieder des Bundestages versandt werden wird.  

Als das türkische Verfassungsgericht Ende Februar 2016 die angeordnete Untersuchungshaft gegen zwei Journalisten aufhob, die die Unterstützung militanter Islamisten in Syrien durch türkische Stellen aufgedeckt hatten, drohte der türkische Präsident Erdogan den Richtern: „Ich sage es offen und klar, ich akzeptiere das nicht und füge mich der Entscheidung nicht, ich respektiere sie auch nicht.“ (1) Dieser Drohung hat er jetzt Taten folgen lassen.

Als Vorwand dafür hat er den

Weiterlesen...

Akute „Sonderlage dahoam“ - der Münchenkommentar

Amazonas-Box/Frieden-etc. - Tue, 26/07/2016 - 16:46

Wob erzählt einges zur "Amok-Nacht" in München, zum Nachlesen beim ISW:
https://isw-muenchen.de/2016/07/akute-sonderlage-dahoam-muenchen-zwische...

Die Polizei zeigte, was sie konnte: Eine komplette Millionenstadt lahmlegen, sämtlichen Nahverkehr außer Betrieb setzen, die sofortige Schließung von Restaurants und Geschäften anordnen, den Hauptbahnhof verrammeln, Züge umleiten und vor allem selber herumstehen, nicht zuletzt sich selbst im Weg. Und mehr noch demonstrierte sie, was sie eben nicht konnte: Menschenleben schützen. Das ist die Krux jeder Polizeiarbeit, dass die Ordnungshüter naturgemäß immer erst nach der Tat aufkreuzen, wenn alles Schreckliche passiert ist, ..

Und hier weitere Gedanken, so sehe ichs auch:
www.internet-law.de/2016/07/muenchen-und-die-medialen-zerrbilder.html

"Mediale Zerrbilder" - das Spiegelbild zur Polizeiaktion.

Ist es auch Wahnsinn, hat es doch Methode (Shakespeare) - sofort wird die Stimmungsmache als verschärfte Machtphantasien umgesetzt:
www.imi-online.de/2016/07/26/reservist_innentruppe-fuer-die-polizei/ -->

“The Real Revolution is Down the Street, to Your Left” – The Green Party Rallies at the Democratic Convention

The Intercept - Engl. - Tue, 26/07/2016 - 15:15

For many Bernie Sanders supporters, the move to the Green Party’s Jill Stein was easily laid out. On Monday afternoon, hours before their candidate took the Democratic convention stage to reiterate his support for Hillary Clinton to the boos of some of his own delegates, a young man with a loudspeaker directed protesters to a park down the road from the Wells Fargo Center.

“The real revolution is down the street, to your left,” he told them, as others handed out “Jill 2016” posters to people still wearing their “Bernie 2016” shirts.

As several hundred people sat on a grass field waiting for Stein, the vibe was as much Coachella as it was leftist political rally. The crowd — as with Sanders rallies, largely white — lit up joints and hung out under trees, as speakers called attendees comrades, shouted out indigenous movements in Central America and the boycott movement in Palestine, and spoke in Spanish about Jill being “the only revolutionary.”

Stein, who took the stage in a sleeveless top and green scarf, introduced by Cornel West and hailed by a roaring crowd chanting “Jill not Hill,” welcomed Sanders supporters to her party, calling the move a “marriage made in heaven.”

“Many hearts are broken about the sabotage of the Bernie Sanders campaign,” she said, billing herself as the natural next choice for those broken hearts. “To all those delegates who are witnessing the demise of a movement inside the Democratic Party: there’s a new movement being born outside the Democratic Party.”

“This revolutionary campaign deserves a revolutionary party,” she added, thanking people for “refusing to let this revolution be intimidated.”

Stein, whose progressive platform has much in common with Sanders’s — from the focus on accessible education to the rejection of big money in politics — has marketed herself as the only possible continuation to his promises ever since he endorsed Clinton. And for many who were driven by Sanders’s vision more than by his party affiliation, switching to the Green Party felt more honest than supporting Clinton.

“I feel like it’s just a natural progression, it’s not really like saying goodbye to Bernie, it’s more like, see you on the other side,” said Rebecca Jurasin, who traveled to Philadelphia from Florida and carried a green sign saying “Berner for Jill.”

Jurasin said that Sanders’s Clinton endorsement came as a “punch in the gut,” but that she got over it quickly and still credits him for showing her the way now pointing her to the Green Party. “What he’s been telling us all along is that it’s really about us, it’s not about him,” she said. “He has inspired a whole generation of people, so my heartache only lasted a few seconds before I realized that what he has really done is, he has brought all of us out here to really talk about the ideas and figure out what we want to see for our country in the future.”

Jurasin always knew about the Green Party, but never gave it serious thought because she was so “entrenched” in the two-party system, she said, and the notion that by stepping outside of it “you’re throwing your vote away.” But she no longer feels that way, and her priority right now is less on winning this election than on putting more options on the table for the future.

“For too long America has played the short-term game and I think it’s time for us to play the long-term game,” she said. “We need more representation in this country and you cannot get that in the two-party system.”

That was the message speaker after speaker delivered in support of Stein — in speeches high on idealism if scarce on details on the third party’s impact on the current election.

“We have to get out there and spread the word that people can vote for the greater good,” said Joshua Harris, a young black man who’s running for Mayor of Baltimore on an independent ticket. “We don’t have to settle for anything less. No longer will we vote for the lesser of two evils.”

A common refrain on the streets of Philadelphia since the convention kicked off, the rejection of the “lesser of two evils” argument is what the Green Party has been banking on.

“When everybody asks you, are you scared of Donald Trump? I am actually scared of Donald Trump. But you know what, I’m scared of Hillary Clinton too,” anti-war activist and Codepink founder Medea Benjamin said in a speech endorsing Stein. “We can’t let our fear overcome us. Our fear has to turn to anger and our anger has to turn into the determination to change the whole damn system.”

While much of the crowd and speakers — Stein included — showed nothing but appreciation for Sanders, a couple speakers aimed some subtle criticism at him, for instance by promising the crowd that Stein “would never betray you.”

That message, too, resonated with some in the crowd. “I hung with him as long as I could, but he seems to be buying into it,” said Mary Ellen Marino, who was wearing a green Vote Jill pin over her pink Bernie 2016 shirt. “Hillary has stolen the election, taken him under her wing, to the point that he’s no longer of value for us. And Jill is there, saying all the right things.”

Speaking as a huge storm cut the rally short, and as rapper Immortal Technique tried to get hundreds of people huddled under a tent to find shelter somewhere safer, Marino, who heads the Progressive Democrats of New Jersey, said she had been a Democrat “for 75 years” and was even a delegate at the 1972 DNC.

But she first considered voting out of her party this week, after hearing Stein speak at two different events. “Everything that she said was amazing.”

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Bernie Sanders Left Delegates With No Way to Fight but Boo

The Intercept - Engl. - Tue, 26/07/2016 - 06:13

The first night of the Democratic National Convention featured rousing tributes to Hillary Clinton, blistering critiques of Donald Trump — and a chorus of boos from Bernie Sanders delegates at invocations to vote for Clinton, even when they came from Sanders himself.

Many commentators wondered why the Sanders delegates persisted in their protest, weeks after their nominee had conceded the election to presumptive nominee Hillary Clinton.

The answer may rest in a step that Sanders himself took.

In the lead-up to the convention, the Sanders campaign worked with both the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee to help write the party’s platform. Those meetings featured debates between the Sanders and Clinton teams, and while there was progress on many issues, there were many more where Team Sanders suffered defeats — including opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership and Israel’s occupation of the Palestinians, banning fracking, and enacting a carbon tax.

Throughout this process, Sanders openly considered bringing key issues where he was stymied to the convention floor itself, by submitting what is called a “minority plank.” That would have allowed his campaign to submit platform proposals to the floor for a vote among all delegates.

This is a process that has been used before, with some success. In 1948, Hubert Humphrey forced the Democratic Party leadership to add support for civil rights to the platform by using the minority plank procedure, which ended up boosting black turnout for the Democrats in the following election. In 1984 and 1988, the insurgent Jesse Jackson campaign mobilized its delegates to stage floor fights on a whole host of issues.

Fighting over the platform on the floor would have offered Bernie delegates the chance to continue doing what they do best — organize and make change. They would have had an opportunity to argue over issues the movement cared deeply about and possibly even move the Democratic Party in ways that Bernie’s inside negotiations with the DNC failed to.

But on July 10, Sanders’s campaign released a triumphant statement, calling the platform the “most progressive” in the Democratic Party’s history. On July 12, the Sanders campaign then abruptly ended its talk of a convention fight over the issues. “As a result of our success and the realization that further platform fights would be portrayed in the corporate media as obstructionist and divisive, the senator made the very difficult decision not to file minority reports,” Sanders policy chief Warren Gunnels wrote to key supporters.

But fighting those fights might well have been less “obstructionist and divisive” than the booing — and the unresolved frustrations the booing represented.

Sanders delegates, when deprived of the opportunity to work to improve the Democratic Party at the convention, booed because it was the only outlet they had.

Top photo: A Sanders backer raises a miniature figure in support of the candidate during his speech at the DNC.

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On Day One of the Democratic Convention, the Boos Have It

The Intercept - Engl. - Mon, 25/07/2016 - 23:53

The chants told the story as Bernie Sanders took the stage at the Pennsylvania Convention Center on Monday afternoon, a few hours before the opening of the Democratic National Convention.

“Bernie or bust!”

“Take it to the floor!”

“Never Hillary!”

At least 300 Sanders partisans were in the ballroom, and more were gathered outside.

Sanders endorsed Hillary Clinton earlier this month. But his delegates are having a hard time letting go.

They liked it when Sanders said, “What we want to achieve is nothing less than a transformation of American society.” To cheers, he called for higher taxes on the wealthy and corporations, a $15-an-hour minimum wage, and no congressional passage of the Trans-Pacific Partnership during the remainder of Obama’s term.

But he wanted one more thing — to throw his backers’ support behind Hillary Clinton’s campaign against Donald Trump in the general election. The crowd responded with boos and cries of “no!”

“Brothers and sisters, this is the real world we live in,” Sanders pled. “Trump is a demagogue.”

Bernie Sanders just got booed for asking his supporters to vote for Hillary Clinton https://t.co/nyX9IEPEYv #DNCinPHL

— Newsweek (@Newsweek) July 25, 2016

By the end, the chants had changed to “Thank you, Bernie!” Three young men in Robin Hood hats gave some final shouts “Bernie or bust!”

“If you could vote for Clinton, Trump, or stay home, which would you do?” I asked one of them, Sean Comfort, a Sanders-pledged delegate from Washington.

“We’re going to see how the convention runs and then we’ll see,” Comfort replied.

Sanders backers got some of the concessions they wanted from the Democratic National Committee. This year, 700 superdelegates, who are not bound by state voters, helped give Clinton a decisive edge over Sanders in the primary campaign. In the 2020 election, that number will be reduced to 250. The DNC also agreed to appoint a commission to study the possibility of opening up the party’s primaries to Republican and independent voters, another one of Sanders’s complaints.

Another Sanders supporter said he was ready to follow the recommendation of his favorite and cast his vote for Clinton. “Handing the White House over to Donald Trump and this Republican Party is not an option,” said Chris Pumpelly, a Sanders delegate from Kansas. “It is not acceptable as someone who believes in progressive and American values.”

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“The People Want Bernie” — Sanders Supporters Protest Hillary Clinton Nomination at DNC

The Intercept - Engl. - Mon, 25/07/2016 - 20:10

If the Democratic nominee were chosen by those who showed up in the streets of Philadelphia to protest the convention, there would be one uncontested winner. “The people want Bernie,” read a sign at a rally Sunday that drew the same enamored crowds that turned out for the Vermont senator along the primary trail. The sign summed up the general sentiment of the crowd, as the rally grew into the thousands and began marching from City Hall in 93-degree weather. As the DNC kicked off, downtown Philadelphia was all about Bernie.

Hillary Clinton’s name and image showed up mostly in signs and chants saying “Never Hillary,” “Warlord,” and “Hell no, DNC, we won’t vote for Hillary.” Last week’s DNC email leaks and the ensuing party scandal spilled into the streets, leaving Bernie supporters bitter and upset, and prompting calls for a “Demsexit” from the party. Using the same slogans seen at the Republican convention in Cleveland, some Bernie supporters sported “Hillary for Prison” shirts.

Of course, it won’t be the crowds in Philadelphia — largely white, as was the case on the campaign trail — that determine the nominee. But the number of protesters claiming they will always be with Sanders, and the growing chorus of those considering a switch to the Green Party’s Jill Stein, should be cause for concern for a party that’s losing legitimacy with many supporters. On Sunday, a group of “Black Men for Bernie” carried a DNC coffin. On Monday night, a candlelight vigil will mourn “the death of democracy.”

As protesters made clear on Sunday, and then again at another pro-Sanders rally on Monday morning, they won’t vote for Clinton just to avoid a Trump presidency, and the Democratic Party better not take their vote for granted.

That’s a position that has been met with ire and ridicule by many Clinton supporters and party loyalists, accusing Sanders die-hards of blind privilege and blaming them for a potential Trump victory. But many of those showing up in Philadelphia are not interested in “voting for the lesser of two evils,” as several people defined their options.

Anthony Crosby, 24, protesting the nomination of Hillary Clinton at the Democratic National Convention, July 25, 2016.

Photo: Alice Speri

“If your conscience lies elsewhere, you need to vote that way,” said Jeremy Thompson, a computer engineer from New Hampshire who took a Megabus to Philadelphia for the day, after the event transportation company Rally Bus canceled dozens of booked trips at the last minute. “Right now we have organized political parties that are ignoring the masses. If you vote the Democratic bill just because you think you have to oppose Trump, then you’re encouraging the Democratic Party to repeat the same horrific maneuvers they did this year and repeating the process of signing over our democracy out of fear.”

Thompson said he was “horrified” at the prospect of a Trump presidency — but that he won’t blame himself if that happens. That’s on the Democratic Party, he said.

“People might write in Bernie, they might write in Mickey Mouse, or they might vote for Jill Stein, but they’re not going to vote for Hillary just because the Democratic Party has engineered a situation where that’s their only choice,” he added.

While protesters at Monday morning’s rally agreed on their candidate of choice — some even holding out hope for an improbable reversal on the convention floor — there was less consensus on what to do next.

Some added “Or Jill” to old Vote Bernie signs, and many lifelong Democrats said this election cycle has left them irreparably disillusioned with a party that fails to reflect their values.

“If the Democratic Party is going to be corrupt, I’ll leave the Democratic Party and join a new party,” said 24-year-old Anthony Crosby, who had planned the trip from Colorado before Sanders endorsed Clinton and held a sign saying “We’re still with you Bernie.”

“I was a little upset he endorsed Hillary, but he didn’t concede. He didn’t drop out, and I’m not going to give up on him.” Crosby said he believes a Clinton or Trump presidency would be “equally bad.”

“I think they’re about the same. Hillary is just as bad, she gets away with a lot of stuff that is above the law,” he said. “I’m not going to vote for someone I don’t believe in.”

Caitlin Codini traveled from Seattle to protest at the Democratic National Convention.

Photo: Alice Speri

But others at the rally, as fervent in their support for Sanders, wouldn’t go that far, and many said they simply “don’t know” what they’ll do in November.

“That’s a terrifying thing for me to think about,” said Caitlin Codini, who crowdfunded her trip from Seattle. “I’ve always said that I would support Hillary Clinton for those two seconds in that voting booth if it came down to it, but I’m hoping it doesn’t come down to that, because I really don’t want to do it.”

“And I also don’t want Donald Trump to be president,” she added.

Codini had attached a “still” sign to her Feel the Bern poster. But asked whether Sanders himself was still “feeling the Bern,” she seemed more uncertain. “God, I hope so.”

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Group of Bernie Sanders Delegates Object to Tim Kaine VP Pick — May Protest on Floor

The Intercept - Engl. - Mon, 25/07/2016 - 19:55

A group of Bernie Sanders delegates to the Democratic National Convention announced their discontent with the selection of Tim Kaine as the vice presidential nominee on Monday and signaled they might protest that decision on the convention floor.

Calling themselves the Independent Bernie Delegates Network, the group includes 1,250 Sanders delegates — about two-thirds of the total Sanders delegate count —  who have been organized by RootsAction.org and Progressive Democrats of America. The group is holding snap straw polls among its members to help inform options for its actions at the convention.

In a survey of the delegates taken 10 days ago, just 3 percent said that Tim Kaine was an “acceptable” vice presidential choice for presumptive nominee Hillary Clinton. 9 percent were undecided, and 88.percent said the choice would not be acceptable.

Sanders delegates who spoke at the event cited the choice of Kaine as evidence that Clinton is not properly reaching out to their movement. Kaine has raised the ire of progressives by supporting moving the Trans-Pacific Partnership forward and backing the expansion of offshore drilling, something that concerned California Sanders delegate Normon Solomon.

“Tim Kaine will double down on making the ticket a target the size of a very big barn for the faux false demagogic phony economic populist claims of Donald Trump,” Solomon said. “It’s really important for us to recognize where the threat from within the Democratic Party is coming from that could enable or facilitate a Trump victory which we all are so dedicated here to preventing.”

Other delegates, like Karen Bernal, one of two elected co-representatives of the California Sanders delegation, downplayed the need for party unity in lieu of changing the party itself.

Matt Lubchansky/The Nib

The Nib is covering the Democratic National Convention.

“Bernie delegates came here with an entirely different agenda than the Democratic Party would like to see us be a part of,” Bernal said. Bernie delegates came not just to push a progressive agenda but also talk “about the power structure, its corruption and the fact that we utterly reject the system that we’re operating in now,” she said.

Manuel Zapata, a 29-year-old California Sanders delegate, cited the recently leaked DNC emails showing that staffers at the organization had derided the Sanders campaign as evidence of Clinton’s lack of respect for the movement.

“From the DNC’s leaked emails it’s clear…that they had the finger on the scale [for Clinton],” Zapata said. “We find it disrespectful that a madman like Donald Trump is reaching out for the progressive vote more than Hillary Clinton is.”

On Sunday, the network initiated straw polls of delegates attending the conference to ask them if they plan to take part in audible protests during the selection process of Kaine on the convention floor.
Solomon declined to share the vote totals at this time, but “it’s evident that a substantial majority of polls surveyed delegates…say they want to participate in protests on the floor” over Kaine’s selection, he said.

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Robert Kagan and Other Neocons Are Backing Hillary Clinton

The Intercept - Engl. - Mon, 25/07/2016 - 18:04

As Hillary Clinton puts together what she hopes will be a winning coalition in November, many progressives remain wary — but she has the war-hawks firmly behind her.

“I would say all Republican foreign policy professionals are anti-Trump,” leading neoconservative Robert Kagan told a group gathered around him, groupie-style, at a “foreign policy professionals for Hillary” fundraiser I attended last week. “I would say that a majority of people in my circle will vote for Hillary.”

As the co-founder of the neoconservative think tank Project for the New American Century, Kagan played a leading role in pushing for America’s unilateral invasion of Iraq, and insisted for years afterwards that it had turned out great.

Despite the catastrophic effects of that war, Kagan insisted at last week’s fundraiser that U.S. foreign policy over the last 25 years has been “an extraordinary success.”

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s know-nothing isolationism has led many neocons to flee the Republican ticket. And some, like Kagan, are actively helping Clinton, whose hawkishness in many ways resembles their own.

The event raised $25,000 for Clinton. Two rising stars in the Democratic foreign policy establishment, Amanda Sloat and Julianne Smith, also spoke.

The way they described Clinton’s foreign policy vision suggested that if elected president in November, she will escalate tensions with Russia, double down on military belligerence in the Middle East and generally ignore the American public’s growing hostility to intervention.

Sloat, the former deputy assistant secretary of state in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, boasted that Clinton will be “more interventionist and forward-leaning than Obama’s been” in Syria. She also applauded Clinton for doing intervention the right way, through coalitions instead of the unilateral aggression that defined the Bush years.

“Nothing that [Clinton] did was more clear than the NATO coalition that she built to defend civilians in Libya,” said Sloat, referencing the Obama administration’s overthrow of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi. That policy, spearheaded by Clinton, has transformed a once stable state into a lawless haven for extremist groups from across the region, including ISIS.

Kagan has advocated for muscular American intervention in Syria; Clinton’s likely pick for Pentagon chief, Michelle Flournoy, has similarly agitated for redirecting U.S. airstrikes in Syria toward ousting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Smith told the audience that unlike Trump, Clinton “understands the importance of deterring Russian aggression,” which is why “I’ll sleep better with her in the chair.” She is a former deputy national security advisor to Vice President Joe Biden.

Smith left the government to become senior vice president of Beacon Global Strategies, a high-powered bipartisan consulting group founded by former high-ranking national security officials.

When Robbie Martin, a filmmaker who recently produced a three-part documentary on the neoconservative movement, asked how Clinton plans to deal with Ukraine, Kagan responded enthusiastically.

“I know Hillary cares more about Ukraine than the current president does,” Kagan replied. “[Obama] said to me [that he wouldn’t arm Ukraine because] he doesn’t want a nuclear war with Russia,” he added, rolling his eyes dismissively. “I don’t think Obama cares about Putin anymore at all. I think he’s hopeless.”

Kagan is married to Victoria Nuland, the Obama administration’s hardline assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian Affairs. Nuland, who would likely serve in a senior position in a Clinton administration, supports shipping weapons to Ukraine despite major opposition from European countries and concerns about the neo-Nazi elements those weapons would empower.

Another thing neoconservatives and liberal hawks have in common is confidence that the foreign policy establishment is right, and the growing populist hostility to military intervention is naïve and uninformed.

Kagan complained that Americans are “so focused on the things that have gone wrong in recent years, they miss the sort of basic underlying, unusual quality of the international order that we’ve been living in.

“It’s not just Donald Trump,” Kagan said. “I think you can find in both parties a very strong sense that we don’t need to be out there anymore.”

“If, as I hope, Hillary Clinton is elected, she is going to immediately be confronting a country that is not where she is,” he said. “She is a believer in this world order. But a great section of the country is not and is going to require persuasion and education.”

Sloat agreed, arguing that “it’s dangerous” for people to draw anti-interventionist lessons from Libya and Iraq.

The Clinton-neocon partnership was solidified by Trump becoming the Republican nominee. But their affinity for each other has grown steadily over time.

The neoconservative Weekly Standard celebrated Clinton’s 2008 appointment as secretary of state as a victory for the right, hailing her transformation from “First Feminist” to “Warrior Queen, more Margaret Thatcher than Gloria Steinem.”

But the fundraiser was perhaps the most outward manifestation yet of the convergence between the Democratic foreign policy establishment and the neoconservative movement.

Hannah Morris of the liberal pro-Israel lobbying group J Street celebrated this bipartisanship as a “momentous occasion.”

“We could not be more proud to have [Kagan] here today,” she said.

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Do Black Kids Matter in Memphis?

The Intercept - Engl. - Mon, 25/07/2016 - 17:55

“Female on board!” the lieutenant called out, his voice booming off the concrete walls. It was the middle of shift change at the Shelby County Juvenile Detention Center in downtown Memphis, and the two-tiered housing unit was mostly quiet. “Female on board!” he yelled again. “That’s a PREA requirement,” Sheriff’s Department Chief Kirk Fields explained as he ushered me through the door. “Anytime the opposite sex enters the floor.”

PREA is the Prison Rape Elimination Act, sweeping federal legislation targeting the nation’s prisons and jails. Passed in 2003, the law was aimed in part at places like this — facilities for youth who present a danger to others or themselves. But while PREA has proven hard to implement, that’s not why I was there that day. Less than a year after Shelby County Sheriff Bill Oldham took over the detention center that sits directly above juvenile court, officials were running dangerously afoul of a different federal intervention — one designed specifically for Shelby County.

In the spring of 2012, the U.S. Department of Justice released the scathing results of a civil rights investigation into the Juvenile Court of Memphis and Shelby County (JCMSC). Almost 50 years after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that kids have the same due process rights as adults, the system in Memphis seemed frozen in time. Children received little meaningful defense representation in delinquency hearings and were subjected to hurried, ill-informed, and arbitrary decisions, including transfers to adult court. Worse, “we found that African-American children were treated differently and more harshly,” Assistant U.S. Attorney General Tom Perez said. While white kids who broke the law were often sent to diversion programs, black kids were more than twice as likely to be treated like adults. Those kept in custody here were subjected “to unnecessary and excessive restraint,” the DOJ report said, including the use of controversial “restraint chairs.”

It was not the first time the Justice Department had found problems in Memphis.

It was not the first time the Justice Department had found problems in Memphis. In 2000, the Civil Rights Division investigated 201 Poplar, the notorious adult jail down the road, after a prisoner was gang raped and sued in federal court. Finding intolerable conditions, the DOJ assigned a federal judge to oversee changes, who concluded in 2009 that the jail had achieved “substantial compliance” with its reforms.

But this time was different. The investigation into juvenile court was the first time the DOJ invoked a little-known clause of the 1994 Violent Crime and Law Enforcement Act — otherwise known as the Crime Bill — that gave it authority to intervene where it found constitutional violations in a local juvenile justice system. President Barack Obama’s administration offered what Perez called a “first of its kind” deal: a Memorandum of Agreement among the court, the county, and the DOJ. It was a blueprint for reform; independent monitors would regularly visit Memphis, submitting progress reports to the DOJ. The process would end when the court achieved — and maintained for one year — “substantial compliance with all substantive provisions” of the deal. The U.S. attorney for the Western District of Tennessee predicted Shelby County would become “a model for juvenile courts systems across the country.”

But more than four years later, that lofty goal seems out of reach. By the time I came to Memphis in early June, city residents were frustrated. While there was much documented progress in the hundreds of pages of monitors’ reports since 2012, the latest round — made public in March — contained significant red flags. One monitor had found “a serious lack of movement” to address racial disparities. More alarming, in a visit to the detention center last fall, another monitor, David Roush, found an “across-the-board deterioration … since the transfer of the facility to the sheriff.” There were more assaults, more kids exhibiting suicidal behavior, and more staff “reporting that they fear for their safety.” Although the restraint chair had been swiftly abolished, there was also “a 303 percent increase in the use of mechanical restraints.”

In early April, some 200 people attended a public meeting at the Civil Rights Museum, in the shadow of the Lorraine Motel, where Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. DOJ Special Litigation Counsel Winsome Gayle had traveled from Washington to speak. Among the attendees was a rapper and activist named P. Moses, co-founder of Black Lives Matter Memphis. The longer she listened, the more she felt “it was all for show.” Moses knew the limits of a federal intervention. She had once written a tribute to a black transgender woman named Duanna Johnson, who was beaten by Memphis cops at 201 Poplar in 2008 — just one year before the DOJ quietly lifted its oversight over the jail. Johnson was later shot dead in Moses’s neighborhood. Just a few days before this meeting, Moses had learned that the white police officer who shot and killed an unarmed black 19-year-old during a traffic stop would be allowed to retire with a government pension after being diagnosed with PTSD. News reports suggested the DOJ was looking into the shooting, but no one had heard much since.

She wanted to know why the supposedly cash-strapped juvenile court had received $250,000 from the county commission to install bulletproof safety glass in the judicial chambers.

Moses had a specific question in mind. She wanted to know why the supposedly cash-strapped juvenile court had received $250,000 from the county commission to install bulletproof safety glass in the judicial chambers. To Moses, the action held deep symbolism. If officials were fortressing themselves from the families they are supposed to serve, “What is that saying to the community about what you think of our children or what they’re gonna be in a few years?” Did they have any faith in their own agreement with the DOJ? And how are Memphians supposed to believe things will get better if the court is preparing for the worst? On the Black Lives Matter Memphis Facebook page in April, Moses posted a news report about the red flags at the detention center. “The problem is the system,” she wrote, “not the children.”

Today, far beyond Memphis, there is a growing recognition that the problems underlying crime are systemic — and that America’s criminal justice system has been a devastating failure for kids — especially kids of color. The Obama administration has sought ways to steer young people away from its grip, through initiatives like My Brother’s Keeper and the National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention, whose selected cities included Memphis. There is also a wider cultural backlash against decades of crime policy that said children stopped being children once they were accused of breaking a law, from the U.S. Supreme Court’s chipping away at the harshest punishments for juveniles to activists who have confronted Hillary Clinton with her past rhetoric about “superpredators.” The shift is especially consequential at the state level, where “adult time for adult crime” is increasingly seen as bad policy. The National Conference of State Legislatures has documented wide-reaching attempts to “restore jurisdiction to juvenile court.”

But as Shelby County shows, any meaningful changes will require a deeper reckoning. The DOJ’s experiment in Memphis could have been carried out in cities across the country. Last year, following the upheaval in Ferguson, Missouri, after the clearing of the cop who killed 18-year-old Michael Brown, the DOJ released an investigation into the juvenile justice system in St. Louis County, which exposed parallel problems to those in Memphis, including the blunt observation that “black children are treated significantly worse than white children.” At a time when Americans have looked to the Obama administration to hold law enforcement officials accountable for violence against black communities, a daunting question looms: Whose job is it to fix systemic problems that have existed for generations? And how do they do it?

Juvenile Court Judge Dan Michaels in his office on July 11, 2016.

Photo: Brandon Dill

As I toured the Memphis detention center in June, I had another question in mind. Why would a juvenile court under federal monitoring hand over control to the local sheriff? The transfer flew in the face of experts like Roush, the monitor who called it “accepted best practice” for kids to be detained in facilities operated by a “youth-serving parent agency … not local law enforcement.” Police are trained to exert authority and force compliance — standard in adult jails, but counterproductive at best when used on kids. It seemed like a blatant step backward.

Nevertheless, Fields and his lieutenant were eager to show that they are running a kinder and gentler jail. The cafeteria had a fresh coat of paint and a ban on talking during meals was being lifted. A Positive Behavior Management System (PBMS) was being rolled out, in which kids could earn points for privileges; bright signs posted messages like “PBMS: SEEKING SOLUTIONS, NOT BLAME.” An empty cell was now a makeshift library, with a rug and plastic chair abutting a metal toilet, and a former storage area was being used to expand Hope Academy, the court’s K-12 program. A friendly counselor showed me a monthly “newsletter” she produces, four photocopied pages printed with blurry photos of animals, a poem, and word games. One page listed three boys’ upcoming birthdays, alongside a message: “May all your dreams and wishes come true!”

All the kids I saw were black. Fields, who is also black, offered an explanation for some of the alarming figures found in the monitors’ reports.

The relative quiet was at least somewhat due to a steady drop in admissions in recent years, thanks in part to the implementation of things like the Law Enforcement Assessment Phone-In — which lets police issue summons rather than arresting kids for minor offenses — and a new Detention Assessment Tool, which measures whether to hold or release kids brought into custody. The official population that afternoon was 48, an encouraging drop from Roush’s last visit, which found 81. All the kids I saw were black. Fields, who is also black, offered an explanation for some of the alarming figures found in Roush’s report. “Our policy states that anytime we put restraints on a child, it’s considered ‘use of force,’” he said. This includes such routine tasks as transporting a kid to a medical appointment, where handcuffing is “standard operating procedure.” In the interest of accuracy, Fields said, the department is now separately documenting such routine tasks from confrontational incidents.

Downstairs, I met Juvenile Court Judge Dan Michael, who called the latest figures and media reports overblown. A seventh report was due for release any day now — it would set the record straight.

A bald, bearded man with an affable air, Michael wore a light suit and a yellow bow tie. His signature white cowboy hat hung by his desk. Previously chief magistrate of juvenile court, he had been elected in August 2014, defeating city court judge Tarik Sugarmon. The candidates represented distinct eras in Memphis politics. Although Michael’s campaign website described how he ran his family’s auto shop before becoming a lawyer at age 40, he had first been appointed to the court in 1997 by veteran Judge Kenneth Turner, who embodied the court’s entrenched white establishment. Sugarmon was the son of black civil rights activists; he marched with Martin Luther King Jr. during the sanitation strikes and participated in the “Black Monday” boycotts of 1969, in which students stayed home from school to protest segregation. Sugarmon’s father, a retired judge, previously worked under Turner at juvenile court. On the campaign trail, the younger Sugarmon invoked the DOJ investigation: “We have now a 50-year continuum of a system that, up until recently, we were the only ones that knew it was unfair.”

Despite his ties to the court’s establishment players, Michael considers himself something of a reformer. “I think of myself as a change agent,” he told me. He exudes compassion for the juveniles in his care, while talking seriously about crime. “My role is to save that child’s life while protecting you,” he assured an audience after his election. He also wanted to make something very clear to me: “We don’t jail children.” The facility upstairs, he reminded me, is “pre-trial only.” A court officer stressed the same thing during our tour — “remember, this is not a jail” — but it seemed like a distinction without a difference. Children may sleep in single occupancy “rooms,” not “cells,” but the steel toilets and thin green mattresses betrayed the euphemism.

When I asked why he had handed the detention center to the sheriff, these distinctions were harder to maintain.

Yet, when I asked why he had handed the detention center to the sheriff, these distinctions were harder to maintain. “The sheriff of Shelby County is the professional jailer, if you will,” Michael explained. “He runs all the pretrial centers.” Faced with hiring and budget challenges, he’d decided to leave detention to the experts, to “make sure those children got the protection they need.”

I asked about the stark racial disparities — or Disproportionate Minority Contact (DMC), in DOJ parlance. The last report on equal protection suggested a lack of will to address it. “Again, the Court MUST take the lead on this,” it urged, in bold text. Although Michael credited the Law Enforcement Assessment Phone-In and other tools for reducing the total number of kids in the system, the monitor found that the race gap had actually increased among those in detention. “I’m gonna be real blunt with you,” Michael said. “The federal government cannot point to one DMC program anywhere in the country that they have funded that has successfully lowered the stat,” he said. “Not one.” Memphis is a majority black city. Its problems go back to the era of forced busing, white flight and all the myriad factors that set the stage for the high poverty, crime, and unemployment that plagues this and other urban centers. If it was up to any one person to fix this, he seemed to be saying, it was not up to him.

Michael reiterated his commitment to reform — but he doesn’t want the federal government in Memphis forever. “My goal is to complete the MoA and say, ‘Bye, we’re good. Let’s move on.’”

The exterior of Shelby County’s juvenile courthouse.

Photo: Brandon Dill

For a tidy history of its youth justice system, Shelby County offers a 30-minute film made in 2010 titled “100 Years of Juvenile Court.” Set to soft piano music, the story begins with an 1898 editorial in The Commercial Appeal, “To Save the Young.” It asked lawmakers to address the problem of kids jailed alongside adults — a growing concern of the progressive movement. “What police need now is a place for juvenile offenders that fall into their hands,” the editorial read, “but they will not get it until this county agrees to share the expenses of establishing one with the city.”

The tension between Shelby County and the city of Memphis has never been resolved. Today, Memphis is surrounded by affluent, nearly all-white suburbs like Germantown and Collierville, which became incorporated towns in the mid-1800s. The largely unspoken divide becomes most explicit where children are concerned; following a controversial plan to consolidate Memphis city and Shelby County schools in 2011, numerous suburbs broke off to form their own municipal districts.

The Commercial Appeal article did not have black children in mind. While today juvenile jails are a symbol of criminalization of black youth and the school-to-prison pipeline, the establishment of the new juvenile court in 1910 reflected the influence of white child welfare activists, particularly the women behind the Memphis Playground Association, which sought to keep children off the street. In Gateway to Justice, an early history of Shelby County’s juvenile court, historian Jennifer Trost describes how it fell to Memphis’s black community to keep pace with new models of juvenile justice. “As long as blacks did not challenge the rules of segregation and took on the responsibility for funding separate facilities,” she wrote, “white reformers were willing to accept their participation.”

Memphis’s juvenile justice system took shape against a particularly dangerous backdrop — at least 15 lynchings took place between 1890 and 1930.

The results were “separate and unequal.” In 1914, the Memphis Digest published an article about a 4-year-old orphan arrested for stealing a pair of shoes. The child was taken in by child welfare activist Julia Hooks, who created a black juvenile court through community donations. Why, the author asked, “are these Negro women of very moderate means and many heavy burdens left by the city to buy a court building, while the white children have recently been moved into admirable quarters provided by the cost of the city?” There was also the Shelby County Industrial and Training School, where a “negro department” was created only after local residents raised funds; the county dictated that white boys receive training, while black boys were “paroled” to do farm work for locals.

Memphis’s juvenile justice system took shape against a particularly dangerous backdrop — at least 15 lynchings took place between 1890 and 1930. Against such instruments of Jim Crow-era racial control, the court’s early, mostly female leadership was benevolent in its enforcement of white supremacy. One judge, appointed in 1920, saw the court as “a strong arm used to supplement home care and training, or to supply it where it does not exist,” according to Trost, who notes that inevitably, this meant using her authority “to enforce deferential behavior of black children toward whites.” There were “white days” and “colored days” for hearing cases, and “files were color-coded” according to race.

The court remained segregated until 1964, the year Judge Kenneth Turner — the judge who first appointed Michael — assumed the bench. A former police captain with no legal training, Turner is the unmitigated hero of “100 Years of Juvenile Court,” lauded for his colorblind approach to justice and for shaping JCMSC into a model admired nationwide. A memoir by an Episcopalian youth minister recalls how, early in his tenure, Turner’s juvenile summons program brought kids to his organization, helping them avoid a criminal record. But news reports reveal Turner’s more punitive innovations, a number of which especially hurt black families. He showed fondness for public shaming, inviting reporters to delinquency hearings and ordering bright orange vests reading, “I am a vandal.” He fined parents for truancy — “If you can’t control your child, call the police,” he told one mother — and charged room and board for kids in detention, a move hailed as “revolutionary” by one widely syndicated editorial. Turner was especially famous for prosecuting fathers who failed to pay child support. One 1967 article describes how he sent a man to Shelby County Penal Farm for nearly a year without advising him of his right to trial. Later, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed a civil class action alleging that JCMSC routinely jailed destitute fathers without any due process.

Presiding over juvenile court more than 40 years, Turner would ultimately embody the flaws of its design. Juvenile justice was rooted in a legal philosophy known as parens patriae, in which the state decides what is in a child’s best interest. For its noble intentions, the U.S. Supreme Court warned in 1966, in Kent v. United States, there was evidence that “the child receives the worst of both worlds … neither the protections accorded to adults nor the solicitous care and regenerative treatment postulated for children.” This was true in the case of an Arizona teenager named Gerald Gault. After he was jailed for “placing lewd phone calls” to a female neighbor, the American Civil Liberties Union challenged his trial as “barren of any legal protection of a juvenile’s rights.” In 1967, the Court agreed, ruling for the first time that juveniles had such due process rights as the right to counsel and the right against self-incrimination.

But Turner’s attention was elsewhere. In March 1968, weeks before King was shot, he ordered arrests of students participating in the sanitation strikes, charging parents $10 a day for each day a child missed school. Asked about Gault that year, Turner said, “I’m more concerned with the fact that in Tennessee, 89 of our counties do not have proper facilities for the detention of juveniles.” While he was not alone in resisting the ruling, the 1973 PBS documentary Juvenile Court offered a glimpse into the result. “Guilt is presupposed by every adult from the outset,” one reviewer writes, “and all procedure seems deliberately geared toward searching for personality disorders, exacting confessions, or cutting plea deals with defense attorneys.” It was in this era, following a different ruling that required judges to be admitted to the bar, that Turner designed a “referee” system, appointing people to hear cases on his behalf, while preserving his authority. A Memphis police sergeant would later describe the atmosphere to journalist Nina Bernstein: Turner’s court had “its own rules, day by day.”

By the early 1990s, in keeping with the tough on crime era, Turner was increasingly transferring juveniles to adult court, calling them “vicious young criminals” — or “VYCs” — who should be separated from “juveniles who are more amenable to habilitation.” Today, Shelby County District Attorney Amy Weirich continues the tradition. While Weirich denies that race has any bearing on her decisions, the equal protection monitor has cited a “significant overrepresentation of Black youth” in her requests. One of the most positive results of the DOJ intervention has been a drastic drop in transfers granted by the court — from 194 in 2009 to 47 last year.

But vulnerable teenagers still end up in the adult system. In 2013, the Memphis Flyer described a transfer hearing for a black 14-year-old named Jonathan Ray, who had a history of abuse and mental problems. Ray had set fire to the steps of his house, killing his mother. With little time for his attorney to prepare — and against the pleadings of relatives — Michael concluded that Shelby County “can’t wait six years to see if [Ray] is fit for rehabilitation.” He sent him to adult court, where Ray pleaded guilty. He is scheduled for release when he’s 40 years old.

JIFF program participants (from left) Adarius Boltze, 16, Devion Thomas, 14, case mentor Grady Turner, Cordarius Lane, 15, and case mentor Troy Dotson prepare for a treetop rope course and zipline activity in Memphis on July 12, 2016.

Photo: Brandon Dill

Around the corner from juvenile court, in a former YMCA, I met half a dozen teenagers at JIFF — Juvenile Intervention & Faith-based Follow-up — which partners with the court’s Youth Services Bureau. “We love JIFF,” a JCMSC official told me, and it is easy to see why. It takes some of their most challenging kids and gives them job training and education, along with serious Bible study. JIFF also pairs kids with ex-juvenile offenders who act as mentors. The resulting bond is clear. When I asked the kids what they liked most about JIFF compared to juvenile court, the word I heard most was “love.”

The kids were not eager to talk about the detention center. They complained that it was cold, that staff played favorites, that the rule against talking made no sense. They especially hated being locked in their room for days at a time as punishment. But one teenager, a veteran of the system, said it was better than other jails he’d been in. At least he had his own room.

At JIFF, like at the detention center, all the kids were black. It reminded me of an old quote in the Tri-State Defender, the black alternative weekly in Memphis, from a county commissioner named Henri Brooks: “You would think that white children never get in trouble.”

Although few were eager to talk about it, the DOJ would never have come to Memphis were it not for Brooks. Elected in August 2006, months after Turner’s official retirement from the court, she immediately caused an uproar. Turner “ran that system down there on what I call ‘Plantation Politics,’” Brooks told the Defender, “and unless we update the court now, there will be no changes.” Brooks worked in juvenile court from 1976 to 1987. Speaking to me over the phone, she described the court’s operating assumption about black people: “There was something criminal in our genes. So we had to be controlled.”

A former state representative and chairwoman of the Tennessee Legislative Black Caucus, Brooks stirred controversy long before setting her sights on juvenile court. Her confrontational manner, while polarizing, was also likely one consequence of working in an environment where the existence of racism was aggressively denied. A 2005 bill she proposed to collect data on racial profiling was dismissed by an opponent as “a waste of money and a waste of time.” When Brooks warned that a 2004 seatbelt law could be used as a pretext to target black drivers, The Tennessean called her claim “amazing.”

But Brooks’s persona also eclipsed her most significant contributions. It was because of her that Tennessee became the first state to pass legislation enforcing Title VI of the Civil Rights Act. Yet she became more famous for a months-long controversy that broke out in 2001, after the speaker of the house confronted her for refusing to stand during the Pledge of Allegiance. “He talked to me like a master to a slave,” Brooks declared, later explaining that honoring the flag would be an affront to her ancestors. That year, a man burned her in effigy on the capitol steps.

Upon returning to Memphis, Brooks teamed up with another black commissioner, Deidre Malone, in a push to add a second judge to the juvenile court. The goal, Malone told The Commercial Appeal, was to address a generation of discrimination against black kids, in part perpetuated by Turner’s handpicked successor, Judge Curtis Person. “For years now, suburban courts all over the county have been allowed to establish diversion programs for white children committing the same offenses,” Malone said. Person responded angrily, writing that Brooks had a “personal mission to disrupt this court.” Others admitted that the court needed reform, but agreed that the problem was Brooks herself. One columnist noted that, while 75 percent of the court’s employees were black, “if you look at who holds the upper-level and highest-paying jobs, Brooks’s ‘plantation’ claim starts to make sense.”

“They acted like I was crazy,” Brooks recalled. Yet many Memphis residents agreed with her. In 2006, “my staff set up town hall meetings all over the city.” They met in churches and other venues, inviting parents of children who had been through juvenile court to speak. Attendees shared a litany of complaints, from endless delays to arbitrary decisions by referees. One mother described waiting two years for a hearing date in her child support case, only to have her case worker scold her “for not getting involved ‘with a better man,’” The gatherings were recorded and transcribed. Before long, “I think I had about seven or eight 10-inch binders” filled with grievances, Brooks said. The files became the basis for a Complaint and Request for Investigation, which she formally filed to the Civil Rights Division of the DOJ on Jan. 15, 2007.

While the DOJ considered the complaint, critics denounced Brooks for traveling to Washington on taxpayers’ dime — one letter to The Commercial Appeal called it “outrageous,” saying Brooks “should have paid for the trip out of her own funds.” To “defuse” the controversy, The Commercial Appeal reported, a local pastor collected donations from families “concerned about justice,” offering to cover the $1,000 in expenses. But Brooks would soon be vindicated. In August 2009, the DOJ announced it would investigate Shelby County Juvenile Court. A year and a half later, following repeated visits and a review of some 65,000 defendant files, the DOJ issued its announcement on the Memorandum of Agreement. By then, however, Brooks had been cut out of the process. The deal with the DOJ was signed by County Mayor Mark Luttrell and Person, a vocal skeptic of the department’s report.

Today, Brooks takes little pleasure in having been proven right by the DOJ’s investigation, which she says was too little too late. “It almost brought tears to my eyes to think of the others who had been before juvenile court before this even happened,” she says.

In June, the DOJ quietly released its seventh round of monitors’ reports on JCMSC. Racial disparities persisted and “physical restraints remain a problem,” Roush wrote, having last visited the detention facility in April. The Sheriff’s Department’s efforts to be more nuanced in documenting use of handcuffs have produced new problems. “Mechanical restraints are substantially undercounted,” Roush reported, urging “immediate action” to gather more accurate data.

But the most damning conclusion was perhaps the most predictable. Sheriff’s officers, it turns out, are not trained to work with kids. “An underlying assumption exists that there are no difference between juvenile and adult detention skills,” Roush wrote, calling the mindset “a fundamental problem.” Over email, a Sheriff’s Department spokesperson cited “specialized training” underway for new hires. He also addressed the $250,000 bulletproof glass: It was the result of a safety assessment requested by JCMSC, he said, implemented as part of the sheriff’s takeover of overall security.

The release of the monitors’ reports made no headlines this time. A few weeks later, on July 10, following the shooting deaths of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Philando Castile in Minneapolis, and five police officers in Dallas, a small gathering took place outside the Civil Rights Museum. “The rally evolved into a protest march,” the Memphis Flyer reported, with 1,000 people marching through downtown to the I-40 bridge, which runs over the Mississippi River. Traffic was blocked for hours. Although the Memphis protests ended “peacefully … with no arrests,” they sparked rage among other city residents. Racist comments proliferated on the Black Lives Matter Memphis Facebook page. But others called it a moment of awakening. “Black lives matter,” a Commercial Appeal columnist wrote, comparing it to the declaration “I am a man.”

A few days later, after days of similar protests across the country, President Obama held a town hall, broadcast by ABC News. Attempting a conciliatory tone, he shared his own experiences with racism. “It’s not as bad as it used to be, but it’s still there,” he said.

But for some in the audience, the event fueled further anger. Erica Garner, whose father’s last words, “I can’t breathe,” became a rallying cry, was denied a chance to ask a question. Two years after the DOJ said it was looking into her father’s killing by police, she had no answers. Meanwhile, the man who had filmed his death faced jail time. Garner’s shouts were heard by audience members, journalists, and the president alike: “A black person has to yell to be heard?”

This article was reported in partnership with NextCity.

 

Top photo: JIFF program participants (from left) Markel Davis, 16, Devion Thomas, 14, Cordarius Lane, 15, Kerron Young, 17, Fredrick Jordan, 13, and Adarius Boltze, 16, are seen before taking part in a treetop rope course and zipline activity in Memphis on July 12, 2016.

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The post Do Black Kids Matter in Memphis? appeared first on The Intercept.

Neue Email-Affäre belastet US-Demokraten

Hintergrund.de - Mon, 25/07/2016 - 17:50

Der Parteivorstand der Demokraten hat im Vorwahlkampf entgegen der gebotenen Neutralität insgeheim Hillary Clinton unterstützt, wie von Wikileaks veröffentlichte Emails belegen. Clintons Wahlkampfteam macht Russland für die Veröffentlichung verantwortlich –

Von REDAKTION, 25. Juli 2016 –

Was der demokratische Sozialist Bernie Sanders und seine Anhänger schon lange vermutet hatten, hat sich nun bestätigt: Mitglieder des Parteivorstands der Demokraten, dem Democratic National Committee (DNC), hatten trotz gebotener Neutralität einseitig Partei für Hillary Clinton im Vorwahlkampf ergriffen.

Das geht aus der Email-Korrespondenz des Parteivorstands hervor, die am Wochenende von Wikileaks veröffentlicht wurde. Knapp zwanzigtausend Emails wurden online gestellt, die der Enthüllungsplattform durch einen

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Innenminister Herrmann: Islamistisches Motiv des Bombenanschlags

Hintergrund.de - Mon, 25/07/2016 - 17:50

(25.07.2016/hg/dpa)

Der Bombenanschlag im fränkischen Ansbach hat nach Ansicht von Bayerns Innenminister Joachim Herrmann (CSU) vermutlich einen islamistischen Hintergrund. Man müsse davon ausgehen, dass die Motivation des Täters nicht völlig unabhängig von islamistischem Gedankengut gesehen werden müsse, sagte Herrmann am Montag in Nürnberg.

In der Unterkunft des Täters seien zwei Handys gefunden worden mit mehreren weiteren Sim-Karten sowie ein Laptop, sagte Herrmann. Eine erste Auswertung habe Hinweise darauf gegeben, dass Gewaltvideos mit islamistischer Ausrichtung und salafistischem Inhalt dabei seien. Das Allermeiste sei auf Arabisch.

Die Umstände der Tat deuteten in der Summe „schon sehr“ darauf hin, dass das Geschehen einen islamistischen Hintergrund haben

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Türkei: Festnahme von 42 Journalisten angeordnet

Hintergrund.de - Mon, 25/07/2016 - 17:50

(25.07.2016/hg/dpa)

Bei den Massenfestnahmen nach dem Putschversuch in der Türkei gehen die Behörden nun auch gegen Journalisten vor. Die Istanbuler Staatsanwaltschaft ordnete am Montag im Zusammenhang mit den Ermittlungen zum Putschversuch die Festnahme von 42 Journalisten an, wie die staatliche Nachrichtenagentur Anadolu meldete. Darunter ist die prominente Regierungskritikerin Nazli Ilicak.

Die Nachrichtenagentur DHA berichtete, die Ermittlungen richteten sich gegen Medien aus dem Netzwerk des Predigers Fethullah Gülen. Die Regierung macht Gülen für den Putschversuch verantwortlich. Anadolu meldete, zunächst seien fünf der verdächtigen Journalisten festgenommen worden. Ilicaks Haus in Istanbul sei durchsucht worden. Nach Angaben von DAH wird nach Ilicak im Ferienort Bodrum

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Der Verfall deutscher Redaktionen

Rationalgalerie - Mon, 25/07/2016 - 02:00
Husch, husch ins Maulkörbchen, Heribert Prantl! : Deutsche Medienkonsumenten sind hart im Nehmen: Sie leben mit konsturierten Feindbildern, die der Wirklichkeit im Wege stehen, sie kennen von ihren Journalisten schwere Wahrnehmungsverluste, sie leben auch mit Nachrichtenverweigerungen wenn die jeweiligen Neuigkeiten in den Redaktionen nicht erwünscht sind. Doch...

Ikone Jesse Owens

Rationalgalerie - Mon, 25/07/2016 - 02:00
Der Film „Zeit für Legenden“ : In seinem hochaktuellen Film „Zeit für Legenden – Die unglaubliche Geschichte des Jesse Owens“, zeigt Regisseur Stephen Hopkins wie der alltägliche Rassismus der 1930er Jahren nicht nur in den USA grassierte, sondern besonders im Nazi-Deutschland zu Hitlers Zeit, der mit...

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