Egypt, Stop & Frisk, Mandatory Minimums, and Ellsberg on Manning

I think the events of the last month are basically a counter-revolution of the kind that accompanies most revolutions in modern history. The powers that be from the status quo have survived the revolution and they’re now digging in their heels to return the country to the way it was before Mubarak fell. They’re trying to turn back the clock; Mubarak’s lawyer is making noises about him being released from prison to walk as a free man.” – Chris Toensing, editor, Middle East Report

Egypt’s Military Executes Bloody Counterrevolution, as U.S. Stands Silent

Interview with Chris Toensing, editor, Middle East Report, conducted by Scott Harris

Egypt is rapidly unraveling in the aftermath of the military’s overthrow of the country’s first democratically-elected president, Mohamed Morsi, on July 3. After the Egyptian Army’s recent assault on Muslim Brotherhood protesters in Cairo and other cities that left as many as 1,000 dead and 4,000 injured, the Obama administration is said to be evaluating whether or not to continue the annual $1.5 billion in U.S. aid to the post-coup government there. As European Union foreign ministers also consider suspending aid to Egypt, Saudi Arabia, joined by the monarchies of Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, announced a $12 billion aid package for the generals now in charge, while pledging to make up any future reductions in aid from the U.S. and Europe.

Opportunity for Criminal Justice Reform Seen in Stop and Frisk Court Ruling and Department of Justice Sentencing Reductions

Interview with Marc Mauer, executive director of The Sentencing Project, conducted by Melinda Tuhus

Two events that occurred on Aug. 12 have been seen by some observers as an important “sea change” in the federal government’s approach to criminal justice. A ruling issued by Federal Judge Schira Scheindlin found that the New York City Police Department had engaged in “indirect racial profiling” in its practice of stop and frisk, targeting hundreds of thousands of people, the majority young African American and Latino men in high crime areas. The Stop and Frisk policy, deemed by Judge Scheindlin to be unconstitutional as practiced, found very few guns or other contraband resulting in arrests. The judge called for an independent monitor to make sure New York City’s Police Department followed measures restricting the program. Scheindlin’s ruling has been condemned by New York’s police commissioner as well as Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and the city is now appealing the decision to a higher court.

Daniel Ellsberg Reflects on Bradley Manning Trial Verdict and Current U.S. Crackdown on Whistleblowers and Journalists

Interview with Daniel Ellsberg, former military analyst, conducted by Scott Harris

[Editor’s note: This interview was recorded two days before a military judge, on Aug. 21, sentenced Pfc. Bradley Manning to 35 years in prison for providing more than 700,000 government files to WikiLeaks. The leak uncovered a shroud of secrecy surrounding military and diplomatic activities around the world.] Story continues

This week’s summary of under-reported news

Compiled by Bob Nixon
For weeks in January, a dense fog hung over Beijing, fueled by carbon from burning coal power plants and five million cars. The concentration of small particle matter hit 900 parts per million, 40 times the safe level as defined by the World Health Organization.
The Pentagon has a new strategy to confront the epidemic of sexual violence in the military. It has set up units of Special Victims Counselors, whose job is to work with victims of abuse during military proceedings. The Pentagon hopes these new officers will demonstrate to victims that they are serious about cracking down on sexual violence. In 2012, 26,000 soldiers reported being sexually abused, but the military only prosecuted 300 cases.
In a historic ruling, federal Judge Shira Scheindlin ruled the New York Police Dept.’s practice of “stop and frisk” amounted to indirect racial profiling and violated the constitutional rights of black and Latino men.

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