Public Hostage, Public Ransom:, Ending Institutionalization in America; and The Movement To Ban Killer Drones

Public Hostage, Public Ransom:, Ending Institutionalization in America

In the 1970s the shocking horrors of Willowbrook State School on Staten Island in New York City were exposed to the entire world. Some 30,000 disabled people lived in an isolated place segregated from the rest of society and horribly abused and neglected daily.

Dr. William Branston worked there and blew the whistle, telling the truth about this horrific place, the Willowbrook hell hole.

The mistreatment of disabled people and elderly persons mistreatment is facilitated because the institutions that has them get Medicaid funding. It is a national scandal. Willowbrook is seen as a turning point in the beginning of the disability rights movement in the United States.

The ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle said life in the community is a necessary condition for a person’s complete flourishing as a human being. This Is what needs to be done. Re-integrating these people into the community is the goal today across the USA.

We are joined in this interview by my friend and colleague attorney Richard Levy. It was Richards law firm, Eisner and Levy represented Dr. Branston in a class action lawsuit against the state of New York.

Guest – Dr. William Bronston, author of Public Hostage, Public Ransom:, Ending Institutionalization in America. Dr. Bronston is an advocate for deinstitutionalization. He was a physician at Willowbrook State School in New York; medical director and consultant for the California Department of Developmental Services.


The Movement To Ban Killer Drones

On October 29, as Joe Biden pulled U.S. forces out of Afghanistan, his administration launched a hellfire missile from an MQ-9 Reaper drone in Kabul that killed 10 civilians, including seven children, and then lied about it. They called it a righteous strike conducted in self-defense.

Nearly three weeks later, an extensive investigation by The New York Times revealed that the target of the drone strike, Zemari Ahmadi, was a U.S. aid worker, not an ISIS operative, and the explosives in the Toyota that the drone targeted were most likely water bottles.

Now an independent Pentagon review has concluded that no crimes were committed by U.S. forces, even though footage showed a child present minutes before the drone attack. The Air Force Inspector General admitted that 9 seconds before the strike, the surveillance video showed the presence of 4 children in the strike zone. But under international law, a targeted killing is only legal if its necessary to protect life, and no other means ” including capture or nonlethal incapacitation ” is available to protect life.

Nick Mottern is co-coordinator of Ban Killer He said, The Pentagon’s assertion that no one did anything illegal to cause the drone deaths of the Ahmadi family members is a shameful side-stepping and a further cover-up of who made what decisions and why in this horrible slaughter. We need to see all the records surrounding this incident, including those that may help us to know the role of President Biden, if any.

Ban Killer is calling for reparation payments of at least $3 million for each of the 10 members of the Ahmadi family.

Meanwhile, although Biden withdrew the troops from Afghanistan, he has pledged to continue over-the-horizon operations from afar. Biden is following in the footsteps of his predecessors who all used drone strikes which killed untold numbers of civilians.

The drone that killed the Ahmadi family was operating out of Creech Air Base in Nevada. Ban Killer Drones helped organize the annual Shut Down Creech Week from Sep. 26 through Oct. 2.

Guest – Nick Mottern. Nick has been an tireless organizer of the movement to ban armed drones.

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