The 200k Challenge Live Webcast


Story Transcript

PAUL JAY, SENIOR EDITOR, TRNN: Welcome back to The Real News Network. I’m Paul Jay in Washington. And it’s night number two of the Real News Webathon. We’re heading towards our $200,000 target by the end of tomorrow night, and we’re doing–we’re on our way. We are over $160,000 (I think we’re closing in on $165,000) since we started this. If you want to get involved as a member of The Real News Network, you can either hit the donate button here. If you’re already a member of The Real News Network but it’s been a little while since you donated, you can hit the donate button here. Or, if you’re just so inspired, you can do it again. If you want to phone to get some help doing it, you can call 888-449-6772. That’s 888-449-6772. And make sure you get a pencil for this next number if you want to ask a question. Coming up now is Jeff Cohen. He was the founder of F.A.I.R. He is also the director of the Park independent media institute [Park Center for Independent Media]. And if you want to ask Jeff a question–and Jeff’s been one of the leading–I’d say leading voices in independent media, also in advocating a politics independent of two parties. Jeff Cohen is going to join us in a few minutes. And he’s also, I think, on the national board of the Progressive Democrats of America. So if you want to ask a question, you dial 888-816-8867. One more time: 888-816-8867. And one of our colleagues will help you get into the conversation here. Or you can email: questions (at) therealnews (dot) com. Either email your question or email with your phone number, and we’ll call you back and get you into the conversation. So now joining us is Jeff Cohen, and–who I’ve already introduced. Thanks for joining us, Jeff. Okay, now I’m not hearing Jeff. How about now? Try again. Hey, Jeff, are you there?

JEFF COHEN, MEDIA CRITIC: I’m great.

JAY: There you are.

COHEN: It’s great to be with you.

JAY: So, Jeff, you’ve been involved in independent media for a long time. Talk a little bit about the independent media landscape and why it matters.

COHEN: Well, the corporate media have never been so cozy with the powerful, so attracted by the trivial, so concentrated in [so] few corporate hands. And the great news about independent media, like The Real News Network, is you have this tool, the Internet, that allows you to bring these voices from around the world, critical voices, independent voices, to millions of people. It’s been an exciting last decade for independent media. As depressing as US politics have been, the [heartening] thing in the US political scene has been the growth of independent media. And that’s why I’m so happy to be here when you’re doing your webathon and you’re approaching $200,000 more that can allow you to do this journalism. I mean, think about it. In the last decade, the attorney general was forced to resign. Was it because The New York Times or Washington Post did something? No. It was because an independent blog site, Talking Points Memo, did something. When there was a military coup in Honduras and the US mainstream media was utterly clueless about what had happened, you can watch The Real News Network or watch or listen to Democracy Now! and understand that a democratic president had been overthrown and the US was sitting on its hands.

JAY: Jeff, one of the things we’re doing–.

COHEN: So, I mean, independent media is breaking stories, providing viewpoints. And it’s never been more important than today.

JAY: One of the things we’re doing is taking callers, calls from viewers over this webathon, letting people directly ask our guests questions. And Doug from Wisconsin’s on the line now. Go ahead, Doug. Doug, you there? Hello, Doug. Alright, we’re going to reconnect Doug. Okay. Let’s talk a little bit about what’s going on in politics in Washington right now. Obama’s made a deal on the Bush tax cuts. There’s talk of Bernie Sanders, the self-declared socialist–. I think they usually–in newspapers, they always have to say, “the only self-declared socialist in the Senate”. There’s a suggestion he might even filibuster this. There’s talk in the House of a kind of rebellion of progressive Democrats. Tell us what you know about all this.

COHEN: I think it’s a serious rupture. It’s probably a rupture between the base of the Democratic Party and the White House. It’s a rupture that’s probably a year and a half too late. I think that rupture between the [base] and the White House has meant that Progressive Democrats in Congress have had to decide: are they going to apologize for the White House when they know the White House is wrong for the 15th time? Or are they going to represent the base? Now, Bernie Sanders being an independent has been critical pretty consistently, not always, but pretty consistently of the White House. And if Bernie Sanders keeps doing [inaudible]

JAY: Jeff, I’m going to interrupt for just a sec. I know we’re live, but there’s something wrong with your sound. It keeps breaking up. So I’m going to talk for a few minutes, and we’re going to Skype you right back and get a better connection.

COHEN: Okay.

JAY: So–well, so for people who aren’t following this story, and for American viewers, you may not know, but about 40 percent of our viewers at The Real News are not from the United States, so they may not be following this so well. But the fight over this Bush tax cuts and whether to extend cuts for the top two percentile, those people making over $250,000, it looks like perhaps it’s becoming a watershed moment. One would have thought perhaps the health-care legislation would have been that kind of watershed moment, that in the lead-up to the vote on the health-care legislation, before the public option had been dropped, there was a press conference of the Progressive Democrats in the House (I can’t remember the exact number; it might have been 20 or 30 House members), who put a line in the sand and said, we are not going to vote for this health-care legislation if it doesn’t have a robust public option. And I guess as most Americans know, or people that follow The Real News, but people from outside may not know that almost all of them in the end decided that they had to vote, they thought, for this health-care legislation that did not include a public option, because they thought it would, quote-unquote, so weaken the presidency. So now it seems like what they got was a weakened presidency anyway, and they got a fairly lousy health-care legislation. Jeff, I was just sort of talking about the Progressive Democrats and the fact they thought they had to vote for this last bill even though they said they wouldn’t, the health-care bill, because they didn’t want to, you know, wound the presidency. And I don’t know if you agree with what I’m saying. They wound up with a wounded presidency and a lousy health-care bill. Are you there, Jeff?

COHEN: You’re completely right. It’s been what’s happening for a year and a half.

JAY: Go ahead, Jeff. So talk a little bit about what’s happening now in terms of–. Do you think that they’ve kind of decided now they’re not going to worry about this and they’re actually going to fight on this Bush tax cut extension?

COHEN: Yeah. I think there’s a feeling among some Democrats in Congress that they have to protect Obama from himself, you know, they have to protect Obama from his own idiocy, and if they don’t give him a backbone, he’ll never find his own backbone, and they’ll all go down to a crushing defeat in 2012. And I think that’s the psychology. And, you know, what’s really important is whenever you hear in the United States, in Washington, that there’s some sort of bipartisan deal, that’s when people in the United States who are working class or middle class should hold on to their pocketbooks and their wallets, because they’re about to be the victims of thievery.

JAY: Alright, we are having some–.

COHEN: –what’s happened in this country is–. Are you having trouble with the audio?

JAY: Well, it froze for a second, but it’s okay now. Keep going.

COHEN: Yeah. Alright. I guess to make a long point short, we have a bipartisan–

JAY: No, this Skype connection is–. Jeff, we’re going to have–we’re going to–.

COHEN: –consensus on many issues in this country. Do you want to call me on the phone and we’ll do the audio through the cell?

JAY: Yeah, we’re going to have to do something. Do you want to–. We’re–I tell you what, Jeff, we’ll reconnect, but we have–Doug from Wisconsin’s on the line. So I’ll take Doug’s call while we reconnect, one way or the other, with Jeff. Doug, are you there? Doug from Wisconsin, are you there? Hello, Doug. Alright. So it looks like I’m on my own here. Alright. So Jeff had just said something, which I’ll comment on until we get Jeff back, this issue of middle-class, working-class people have to think about their pocketbook whenever they hear this issue’s raised in Washington. But this whole question of the Democratic Party rarely gets talked about, that there are in fact different classes represented in the Democratic Party. You have, of course, the trade unions, who represent a certain section of the working class. A lot of ordinary people that get involved in the Democratic Party, they’re voting for it or working for it or knocking on doors. But you also have people from the elite in the Democratic Party, and generally speaking that’s who winds up controlling the Democratic Party. They usually get to decide who really is the nominee, and you get to choose between two or three possible people. But if you look at somebody like Kucinich or someone–and you can hear a phone–I just heard a phone ringing; I’m not sure you can–the candidates that are not considered, “mainstream”, which essentially means don’t get early funding. We know that Barack Obama got very early funding from Wall Street. In fact, interesting, Tom Ferguson has pointed out (the political scientist) that at a time when Barack Obama was actually behind Hillary Clinton in the polls, early, very early in the primaries, Barack Obama was actually getting more funding from Wall Street than Hillary Clinton was, the senator from New York. And I guess lots of people have drawn some conclusions from that given the team President Obama appointed around him, which was essentially a Wall Street team, and even to some extent a Goldman Sachs team. So the question–as soon as we get Jeff Cohen back–I want to raise with him and raise with you our viewers: what is the attitude towards working within the Democratic Party, recognizing that there are class stratification within the party? And can ordinary working people and others, ordinary people, get some real influence in a democratic administration once elected? I’ve had the opportunity to talk to trade union leaders who have been able to have meetings at the White House. They get to see the President, something that almost never happened under the Bush administration. Presidential staff ask them questions. They get the consultation. They get their input. But the problem is, at the end of the day, most of what they ask for does not get implemented or fought for. One of the examples is the EFCA, the Employee Free Choice Act, which the unions have said was, at least next to health care, their number one legislative agenda. There would not be a President Obama if there hadn’t been unions and union supporters and union members knocking on doors and contributing millions and millions of dollars to the Democratic Party campaign. And Barack Obama said he was for EFCA. But after a lot of opposition from the Republican Party, and some from within his own party, it became further and further off the agenda, to the point now that EFCA is not even talked about anymore. At a time when perhaps the Democrats, when they controlled the Senate, could have more ruthlessly used some of the rules in the Senate to push through a legislative agenda, instead we had a kind of bipartisanship, we were told, and the bipartisanship essentially was, let’s compromise and compromise and compromise, not so much I think because the administration was afraid of the Republican Party, but because the administration and the Democratic Party leadership are so focused on winning the votes of this little independent stratum, that sort of 5, 6, 7 percent that might go this way or that way in an election, and that stratum finds it as easily to choose to vote Republican as Democrat. And so the idea is if you look like you’re not in a big war with the Republicans, they’re more likely to vote for you, except there’s millions of people who either don’t register to vote, who register but never do vote, who are poor or are in sections of the working class working, you know, two jobs and come home exhausted and won’t go vote unless the election seems directly meaningful to them, which means you have to do something for them. [coughs] Excuse me. And so the Democratic Party, rather than–the leadership, I should say, of the Democratic Party, rather than focusing, for example, on trying to register new voters, on creating legislation to make it easier for voters to get involved, and directing policies more to the segment of the society who might be inspired to vote if they felt there were some policies that more directly help them, they don’t. And that, in my own view, is because we, you know, journalists and everybody, needs to recognize just there’s an objective fact in this society, which is there’s classes here, and just as there’s classes in the society, the classes are allied in various ways, actually, within both parties: there’s an alliance of classes in the Democratic Party, and there’s an alliance of classes within the Republican Party. And you have the sort of right of the elite in the Republican Party allied with the right in the working class and the right in some of the trade unions as well, and the Democratic Party is sort of this liberal section of the elite allied with a section of the trade unions and trying to rally and, out of necessity, have some kind of policies that are supposed to appeal to a broader section. But my question for you, viewers–and if you want to get in on this conversation, let me give you the number. Again, it’s 888-816-8867. That’s 888-816-8867. And get in on this. My question is: should people continue to fight within the Democratic Party? Do they think that’s possible, to actually achieve not only power but power that actually effects legislation that people want, or not? I see Jeff is sort of back here. No? Jeff is now trying to get on the phone with us.

COHEN: Should I mute the whole computer?

JAY: Ah, there you are. I heard Jeff. Why don’t we bring–. There he is. Jeff, are you hearing me?

COHEN: I could.

JAY: Yeah, there you are.

COHEN: Yes.

JAY: Alright, we’re seconds away from Jeff. Okay, Jeff, are you with me? Jeff Cohen, are you there?

COHEN: Yes, I am.

JAY: Alright. Good.

COHEN: Can you hear me?

JAY: Yes. We are cooking with gas, we are. Alright. So I just gave this long rant, and I’ll recap it to you in about seven seconds. We don’t only live in a class society when you talk about middle class and elite and lower class and the poor, but there’s classes within the Democratic Party, and that rarely gets talked about. And the issue is that the elite section of the Democratic Party, in the end, because they have more money, at least for–one of the reasons, tends to control the agenda, in the final analysis. So for ordinary people–. We are getting a bit of an echo. I think you want to turn off your computer sound. Turn off your computer speaker there, Jeff. Sorry for this, people at home, but we’re low-tech at The Real News. Alright. Are you there Jeff?

COHEN: Okay. How’s that?

JAY: That’s perfect. Now we’re good. So, anyway, you understand the question. So, given the situation now, what do you think people should be doing? Do they give up on the Democratic Party? Or is there some kind of fight to be waged there?

COHEN: No, I don’t think you give up on the Democratic Party. Over a period of years you try to take over the Democratic Party. I mean, there was a religious right movement that took over the Republican Party in city after city, state after state, and then they started on many issues dictating to a major–one of the two major parties in this country. There’s no reason that progressive activists, the labor movement, the progressive religious community in the US, civil rights groups, feminist groups, environmental groups can’t band together and take over, in a grassroots fashion, the other major political party, the Democratic Party. But I think the point you made about the sector of the Democratic Party that has the most power–it’s something that you and I discussed on The Real News Network many, many months ago, that there’s a Wall Street wing of the Democratic Party that’s represented by the Geithners and the Summers and the Rubens, and in many ways the Obamas, that that’s the wing of the party that needs to be weakened. And I think the role of the independent media in pointing that out, that Wall Street and big corporations are dominant in both major parties, that’s an important thing that doesn’t get pointed out in mainstream media, but it does in independent media.

JAY: So what do you do with this dilemma? My cousin says to me, if I say anything like this to her, and she says, well, what did you want me to do, vote for McCain-Palin? What do you do with the issue that the alternative to people that agree with you seems so abhorrent that you wind up–and the Obamas of the party count on this–you really have nowhere else to go, and you wind up voting for whatever the Democratic candidate is anyway?

COHEN: Well, it’s truly a dilemma. If you saw my colleague Norman Solomon in yesterday’s New York Times, he was predicting and calling for a Progressive Democrat to challenge Obama in all the primaries and caucuses in 2011 and 2012. That’s one approach. I mean, keep in mind that if the Republicans nominate Palin or someone like Palin, most people in this country, from moderate to left wing, are going to be so afraid of the attacks on US citizens in terms of their freedom of speech and the freedom of press, I think there will be a natural drifting back to whoever the Democratic nominee is. But what you need to tell your cousin is that this struggle for the soul of a major political party takes years and years. In the Republican struggle, the Goldwater wing of the party, the right wing of the party, had suffered a huge shellacking in 1964, and it was said that, well, they’ve really been put in their place and they’re not going to come back. Within 8 to 12 years they were controlling that party, and within 16 years they controlled the White House. So it’s not something that happens fast. But a long-term fight for control of that major party known as the Democrats, in my humble opinion, is the only way you’re going to move a progressive agenda forward. Might it take 2 years, 4 years, 10 years, 12 years? Yes, it may. But I don’t see any other strategy, because we live in a country that doesn’t have a parliamentary system. The elections are winner-take-all. And it’s hard for a third party to start, because we don’t have, like, proportional representation like they do in most of Western Europe. So, again, this is not rocket science. When people say, oh, that could never happen, a ideologically motivated or philosophically motivated grassroots series of movements taking over a major party, that can’t happen, but the reality is in many ways that happened in the Republican Party. It needs to happen in the Democratic Party.

JAY: Well, hang on, let me challenge you on that, because I don’t–. Did the Tea Party movement really take over the Republican Party, or did the old-school Karl Rove Republicans find a way to make use of the Tea Party to rebrand the Republican Party? I mean, a lot–like, take Rand Paul, for example. Apparently, Karl Rove and associated organizations raised over $1 million or so for Rand Paul’s candidacy. Now, Rand Paul, I interviewed him in New Hampshire when he was helping his father in the primaries in 2008, and Rand Paul said my–me and my father’s followers have more in common with [Dennis] Kucinich and Kucinich’s followers then they do with the Bush administration. Now, that was mostly on foreign policy issues. But at the time, Rand Paul says the issue of war is so important it actually trumps the things we disagree on. Now, that’s a completely different Rand Paul, I think, that wound up running in the election and winning. Now we’ll see what he does, now that he’s elected. But instead of their Tea Party taking over, maybe what they’ve just done is helped the Republicans reposition themselves while they’re in opposition, ’cause they always scream about small government and austerity until they’re in power; then when they’re in power they spend money perhaps even faster than the Democrats do.

COHEN: Well, I agree with your critique of the Republican Party, but the reality is that the Republican Party used to include many, many, many moderates, and they were a very, very strong factor in the Republican Party in the 1960s and 1970s. Indeed, arguments have been made by credible people that Richard Nixon’s domestic policy was more progressive in 1970 then Barack Obama’s domestic policy is in 2010. You know. So, I mean, we got the Environmental Protection Agency, we got all sorts of big government programs. And, I mean, there has been a fundamental right-wing shift in the Republican Party from the ’70s, you know, from the ’60s and ’70s into the ’80s and ’90s, and it fundamentally shifted, I believe, and you can go issue by issue. I mean, remember, Ronald Reagan, when he was the Governor of California, a Republican, signed abortion choice. Now, I think that basically was his position, but he understood, because the religious right had taken over the party, that if he wanted to be the President of the United States and the head of the Republican Party, he had to change his position on abortion, and he did. And I would argue that those people that were pushing for a change of position on abortion were largely a grassroots movement. The big business elements in the Republican Party were not anti-abortion but a largely religious base. Right-wing grassroots, working first in cities and towns and counties, and then states, and then nationally, have fundamentally changed much of the platform of the Republican Party.

JAY: Right. Now, let me just get back to viewers for a second.

COHEN: I’m saying–yeah.

JAY: Just–I just want to remind viewers, if they want to get in on this conversation, you can email: questions (at) therealnews (dot) com again: questions (at) therealnews (dot) com, or you can phone 888-816-8867. Again, 888-816-8867. And if you call that number, our colleagues will get you in on this conversation. And we have an email from a caller. And the caller says that he’s detecting–I’m sorry, this is an email–he writes that he’s detecting right now, over the–during this debate over the Bush tax cuts, a little more openness to kind of critique some of the contradictions within Obama’s position on the tax cuts. He says, to read it, there seems to be even the left of center mainstream media has become somewhat critical of the Obama administration. And, of course, one place in terms of mainstream media where you hear this most overtly is on MSNBC, which is a place you used to work at, with Rachel Maddow now and [Keith] Olbermann. Talk a little bit about that MSNBC phenomenon. And is this part of a solution on the media front or not?

COHEN: No, it’s not a solution. Indeed, the solution on the media front is The Real News Network and Democracy Now! and Common Dreams and Truthout. That’s the solution. I was at MSNBC. It’s owned by General Electric. Soon it may be owned by Comcast. Those corporations have major interests. And one thing you don’t see on MSNBC, and you haven’t seen it even much with Rachel Maddow, very little with Olbermann, almost never with Ed Schultz, is a critique of one of the dominant power players in the United States, and that’s the military-industrial complex. You very [rarely] hear a critique of one of the worst foreign-policy blunders in recent US history, and that’s the endless war in Afghanistan. It just doesn’t happen. If you want a real debate on the important issues facing our country, like the huge military budget that’s eating away at our national budget, you have to turn to places like The Real News Network. You’re not going to get that on MSNBC. And I would suggest–.

JAY: Why do you think that is? What’s stopping MSNBC?

COHEN: I didn’t hear that question.

JAY: I said, what’s stopping MSNBC from talking about these things?

COHEN: I think MSNBC is the left wing of the corporate media spectrum. And because it’s the left wing of the corporate media spectrum, there will still be many issues that rarely get discussed. And among those issues are many issues that you discuss on The Real News Network every week, like the bipartisan consensus around Israel, defense of Israel, anything Israel does. That’s never questioned on MSNBC. Tell me the last time you heard anyone on MSNBC question it. ‘Cause I watch the network every night.

JAY: Now, one of the things about MSNBC–and I find there’s times when Olbermann and Rachel Maddow are the only ones that get heard by millions of people, say certain things. But on the other hand, in a more structural way, it’s when the drumbeats of war get really loud and the intimidation factor starts to kick in, I guess the real problem is something you had direct experience with. So just quickly recap what happened to you when you were producing the [Phil] Donahue show on MSNBC.

COHEN: Yeah. I was at MSNBC in 2002 and the beginning 2003. That’s when MSNBC– by the way, under the same management, very similar people running it. That’s when they were trying to imitate Fox. And on the Phil Donahue show, any time we tried to have a dissenting voice in the last months of that program, management would demand that if we had one voice that was anti-war, we had to have two guests on the show that were pro-war. If we had a segment with two people on the left, we had to have three guests on the right.

JAY: You actually got a memo about this, right?

COHEN: And when producers–.

JAY: I said, you actually got a memo–.

COHEN: Go on.

JAY: I said, you actually got a memo directing you about this, didn’t you?

COHEN: It wasn’t a written memo. It was an oral order that was repeated to us 10 to 15 times, and it was repeated in roomfulls of dozens of people. Again, there’s no one who can deny it. Everyone knows it was the policy. When I convinced a lower producer, I said, look, we’re journalists; have a debate one-on-one, someone who is for invading Iraq and someone who thinks invading Iraq is a bad idea; I watched the next day that young producer get chewed out by a management person for having a balanced panel. Now, the people that ran MSNBC then, still run MSNBC now. The people that paid the checks to me then–General Electric–are still paying the checks now. And it’s why I’m arguing that while I often admire Olbermann and I often admire Maddow, people have to understand that it is just the left wing of the corporate spectrum. It’s not reflecting America whole. It’s not reflecting the whole American spectrum. There is a bipartisan consensus about the Afghanistan War, and on MSNBC you almost never hear it questioned. There’s a bipartisan consensus in Washington around Israel, and you rarely hear that questioned on MSNBC. There are other issues that almost never come up on MSNBC that come up a lot if you watch The Real News Network. When the Obama administration sat on its hands, when a military coup happened in Honduras and every regime in the region was saying the United States has got to denounce this, this coup government should not stand, we know from WikiLeaks this last week that the US Embassy understood that it was a military coup, the State Department said, yes, this is a military coup, and the US Government basically lied about it. And I don’t think MSNBC did more than one segment on it, if one. So my point is that it’s a very narrow spectrum, even with Olbermann and Maddow there. And if you want to have the basic fundamentals of US foreign policy questioned, you need The Real News Network. That’s why people should donate. If you want to have the military budget questioned–by the way, General Electric is a major beneficiary of our bloated military budget–if you want to have that questioned, it almost never happens on MSNBC. And I would argue that the military budget in our country, which is equal to basically the rest of the world combined, I would argue that is in the top one, two, or three issues facing our country and the world, and it gets discussed on Real News Network month after month, and gets discussed on MSNBC almost never.

JAY: Thanks very much, Jeff.

COHEN: Thank you, Paul. Keep up the great work at The Real News Network. Bye-bye.

JAY: Thank you. And thank you for joining us on The Real News Network. Once again, if you want to donate, the donate button’s on the webpage here. And to donate the most easily, do it online. But if you’d like to phone or you’re having a little trouble for any reason on the website, you call 888-449-6772. That’s 888-449-6772. And you can–one of our colleagues will help you with a donation there. If you donate $75 or more you get a free gift. We have films that we’re giving to donors. Includes Machine Gun: History down the Barrel of a Gun, which is essentially the story of the rise of the American Empire. It’s a three one-hour series that starts with the invention of the machine gun, and partly the role technology played, and the technical industrial revolution in the United States, and how it helped the United States achieve such a dominant position in the 20th century. We also have Return to Kandahar, which is the story of a Afghan-Canadian woman that goes back to Afghanistan looking for her lost friend, and in the course of that tries to understand what happened to her country. She grew up–this is Nelofer Pazira–grew up in Kabul, and when she went to school in Kabul in the early 1980s, when she would go to high school, if you wore a burka at school in Kabul you would be laughed out of the class, thinking that this was some rural person that had come to just wander through the city. They wore blue jeans. They were reading and involved in media. Nelofer actually had a job in a radio station in Kabul when she was growing up. It demystifies much of Afghanistan’s history and talks a lot about how US foreign policy led to the civil war that helped create the conditions for the rise of the Taliban. And I think even though I had–I shouldn’t say I had a lot to do with that film: I was codirector of that film. But it’s a fascinating way to understand more of Afghanistan’s history. And the other film we’re giving is not a film but a collection of stories that The Real News did at the Toronto G-20, which I think a lot of people have said is some of the best coverage of the G-20 that took place in Toronto. So, essentially, we’re trying to reach $200,000 by the end of tomorrow night, and that covers just about four months of our work. And we would like to do much more than we’re doing now, So $200,000 is kind of a minimum objective. We hope over the next couple of days we really surpass $200,000. So we’re going to take a short break, and after the break, joining us will be Michael Ratner, who’s the president of the Center for Constitutional Rights. And Michael and the center have been very involved in some of the most important legal battles for civil rights in the United States, both dealing with Guantanamo. Michael Ratner’s been involved in some of the cases in Europe where there have been attempts to prosecute Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld. And Michael is a fountain of knowledge, and also a board member of The Real News Network. So please join us in just a few minutes for the continuation of the Real News Webathon.

End of Transcript

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