President Donald Trump Picks John Bolton ForNational Security Adviser
In these unsettling times it was particularly disturbing to a lot of people to learn last week that President Trump chose John Bolton to replace general H. R. Macmaster as his National Security Adviser. Trump also replaced Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with the neo-conservative CIA director Mike Pompeo. It will be remembered that John Bolton was instrumental in getting the USA to attack Iraq on the pretext that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and ties with the terrorist organization Al Qaeda.
Bolton now alleges that Iran is building nuclear bombs and advocates for preemptively bombing Iran, which would be an illegal act of aggression.
Guest ” Phyllis Bennis directs the New Internationalism Project at IPS, working as a writer, activist and analyst on Middle East and UN issues. She is also a fellow of the Transnational Institute in Amsterdam. In 2001 she helped found and remains active with the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation. She works with many anti-war organizations, and writes and speaks widely across the U.S. and around the world as part of the global peace movement. She has served as an informal adviser to several top UN officials on Middle East and UN democratization issues.Phyllis Bennis writes about issues related to the Middle East and the United Nations. She wrote the book Understanding the US Iran Crisis: A Primer. She has contributed articles to the Nation magazine, the New York Times, The Washington Post, and Counterpunch.
Rare: Judge Finds Activists Not Guilty On Necessity Defense
Thirteen environmental protesters were recently found not guilty in actions protesting a gas pipeline in the densely populated West Roxbury, Massachsuetts. In 2015 activists climbed into holes dug for the pipeline being built by the Houston-based company Spectra Energy. Judge Mary Ann Driscoll found them not responsible after hearing each one argue their actions to try and stop climate change were a legal necessity.
The so-called necessity defense is rarely accepted in US courts. Defendants relying on this defense argue that they should not be held liable for their actions because their conduct was necessary to prevent a greater harm.
In this case, the official court record will only state the charges were converted from criminal misdemeanors to civil infractions and that all defendants were found “not responsible. But the judge DID state from the bench, on the record, that she was finding the defendants “not responsible” on the basis of necessity.
In response, environmentalist Bill McKibben, Tweeted this message: Good golly! A few minutes ago a Boston judge acquitted 13 pipeline protesters on the grounds that the climate crisis made it necessary for them to commit civil disobedience. This may be a first in America.
In general, a judge hearing a civil infraction case doesn’t have to give any reasons for finding a defendant not responsible. Here, the judge told lead counsel Andrew Fischer that she would state on the record that necessity was her reason for finding them not responsible.
The sustained resistance campaign would not have been possible without the support of the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, who represented every person who was arrested (often through multiple appearances) and supported the ongoing training efforts.
Guest – Kelsey Skaggs, Executive Director of the Climate Defense Project, she has worked on environmental issues at Crag Law Center in Oregon; on international environmental policy at Universal Rights Group in Geneva; and defending free speech activists at Media Legal Defence Initiative in London. Kelsey has also written about First Amendment issues related to NSA surveillance programs. She holds a B.A. in International Relations from the University of California, Davis, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Kelsey is licensed to practice law in the State of California.
Guest – Marla Marcum, Director of the Climate Disobedience Center andis a United Methodist committed to supporting people of all faiths and no particular faith to act boldly for justice. An experienced campaigner, trainer, pastor and lay leader, she brings two decades of social justice organizing experience with faith-based, youth, and grassroots groups.
Co-host Michael Smith Discusses Being Plaintiff In Saudi Arabia Terror Lawsuit