Police Accountability / Global Women for Peace United Against NATO Conference

Featuring Taya Graham and Stephen Janis, and Ann Wright

by Project Censored
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Police Accountability / Global Women for Peace United Against NATO Conference
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On this week’s Project Censored Show: In the first half of the program, host Eleanor Goldfield speaks with investigative reporters Taya Graham and Stephen Janis. They talk about police accountability – or the lack thereof. From widespread corruption and theft to oppression and murder, police exist to sustain and protect inequality. Taya and Stephen share insights and stories from their investigations as well as tips on how to respond during an encounter with police. In the second segment of the program, activist and retired US Army Colonel Ann Wright discusses the recent Global Women for Peace United Against NATO conference in Brussels and all forms and iterations of Western imperialism. She outlines the stealthy manner in which war is promoted and the myriad ways that even military exercises cause irreversible damage to people and places.

Notes:

Taya Graham and Stephen Janis are on the staff of the Real News Network, and the co-hosts of its Police Accountability Report. Ann Wright had a 29-year career in the US Army, retiring at the rank of colonel. She then worked in the US diplomatic corps, but resigned in protest of the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Video of Interview with Taya Graham and Stephen Janis

Video of Interview with Ann Wright

Below is a Rough Transcript of the Interview with Taya Graham and Stephen Janis

Thanks everyone for joining us at the Project Censored radio show. We’re very glad right now to be joined by Taya Graham and Stephen Janis. Taya is an award winning investigative reporter who has written extensively for a variety of publications and is the host of the Real News Network’s Police Accountability Report and producer and co creator of the award winning podcast Truth and Reconciliation, as well as The Land of the Unsolved, which reveals the politics behind murder investigations.

Eleanor: Stephen is an award winning investigative reporter turned documentary filmmaker and the co host and creator of the police accountability report. He has co authored several books on policing corruption and the root causes of violence and prior to joining the real news Janis won three capital emmys for investigative series working as an investigative reporter Taya Stephen.

Thank you so much for joining us.

Stephen: Thanks for having us. We appreciate it.

Taya: It’s a pleasure to be here. Thank you

Eleanor: Awesome. So something that y’all point out on your show the police accountability report is that you’re not just out to cover the bad behavior of individual cops, but on the systems that make that kind of policing possible as a whole.

And I want to get into kind of some of the abuses that y’all cover in a minute, but first I want to start off with an accountability question. Namely, something that I just learned a couple of days ago, the police consent decree. And as defined by the city of Baltimore, it’s a court enforceable agreement to resolve DOJ’s findings that it believed the Baltimore City Police Department had engaged in a pattern and practice of conduct that violates the first, fourth, and fourteenth amendments to the U. S. Constitution and certain provisions of federal statutory law. End quote. Now, the DOJ has 13 consent decrees, as I understand it for various cities. Actions taken, for instance, in the case of Baltimore after the police murdered Freddie Gray in 2015. In my experience, the DOJ is really not in a position to comment or instruct people on their lack of humanity or the violation of rights.

But what is y’all’s read on these consent decrees?

Stephen: One thing that’s very interesting about consent decrees, I mean, we’re kind of jaded about it because what we found very interesting is when these consent decrees are implemented, as in the case of Baltimore, the police department just ends up getting more money.

Money for supposedly extra training in the case of this consent decree for improved technology, and then of course there’s a huge monitoring contract that comes with these where someone gets paid millions of dollars. to monitor and report, which to me seems kind of redundant because any government agency should be able to monitor and report to the people without Justice Department oversight.

And it’s also worth noting that when the DOJ was in Baltimore investigating the problems with the DOJ, that the Gun Trace Task Force, the notorious Gun Trace Task Force, who was robbing residents and stealing overtime, was operating fully without any sort of a sense of, What would you say?

Restraint?

Taya: Yes, I would definitely say a lack of restraint is something the country’s task force had definitely. I would say this. I just want to give you an idea of what this pattern and practice of policing look like. And so there’s a decade known as the zero tolerance years. Zero tolerance was enacted underneath our former Mayor Martin O’Malley and zero tolerance policing in Baltimore was based on the broken windows theory of policing, this time arresting people for essentially nuisance crimes or quality of life crimes in the hopes that this would lower more serious crime statistics. What it did in our city though, was cause hundreds of thousands of people a year, and I’m not exaggerating for at least two or three of the years of zero tolerance policing.

Over 100, 000 Baltimore City residents were arrested for crimes like expectorating in public having an open container of alcohol, not providing identification to an officer when asked or loitering in a high crime area. And I’m one of those residents that was accosted by police asked for my I. D. And told to prove or validate why I was in that high crime area.

Well, unfortunately, I just happened to live there. But that type of behavior, that’s the pattern in practice, or at least one small part of it that led to Baltimore City being placed under consent decree.

Eleanor: And so I basically what I’m gleaning here is that you’re not impressed with the D. O. J.

Stephen: I don’t want to be totally cynical about it because it’s certainly It was good that the DOJ came into Baltimore after the death of Freddie Gray, which is what prompted this in police custody.

But I think, you know, there’s sort of a police industrial complex around these kind of things that tends to get prioritized over, True accountability. And let’s remember after they entered the consent decree, there was the detective named Sean Souter who shot himself in the head.

Well, supposedly allegedly some people think he was murdered. And at the time police alleged he was murdered. So they blocked off like an entire community in Harlem Park in Baltimore while they’re under consent decree and and just wouldn’t let people come and go without without these little residential passes.

It was an extraordinary violation of the constitutional rights while they are under consent decree for constitutional rights. And the consent decree people just issued a report. It wasn’t like they went to court and said, well, look, we’ve got to stop this. You can’t prevent people from going into their own homes because you think a detective was shot.

You can’t indict the entire community without due process and nothing happened. And so to me it’s like everyone’s getting paid And so there’s sort of the semblance of change, but was the department held accountable? No, but I do think The police department has changed somewhat since then.

Taya: The only thing I would add to what Stephen said, I’m so glad that you brought up Harlem Park, where essentially the Constitution was suspended in Baltimore City for roughly six days. It was extraordinary. One of the things I want to mention is that when the consent decree was signed and put in play one of the very first acts that was done was to award the Baltimore City Police Department another 10 million dollars.

And you have to ask yourself what other agency, what other group of people, what other worker could possibly get such a bad grade on their performance and then be handed several million dollars.

Stephen: I think the total price tag is somewhere around 70 million dollars. And that all comes from Baltimore, the city that allegedly suffered you know, these violations of constitutional rights.

So we, the taxpayers who suffered the constitutional violations then have to pay Baltimore City Police. More money. So that’s why we’re cynical. Not that we don’t think it’s a good idea to have the Justice Department come in and investigate, but why do we have to pay, why do we have to compensate the Police Department for bad behavior?

Taya: Exactly.

Eleanor: Yeah, and unfortunately that doesn’t seem to be a very uncommon practice, and I want to get into the types of abuses that y’all cover, particularly because what very often gets headlines are the abuses that end lives. But as you point out on your show, it doesn’t take a deadly encounter with police to ruin or greatly damage a life be it losing a job or sustaining physical, mental and or emotional injury and so I’m wondering if you could share a few examples and tie that back to, as you put it, not the individual behavior of cops, but the larger system of abuse that allows that to happen.

Taya: I’m so glad you asked because as our coverage began to expand and I’ll say this on a very personal note, I initially thought police misconduct and police brutality were primarily urban problems were primary problems for communities of color. I had to learn through reporting that police misconduct police brutality is something that is experienced in small towns.

It’s something that’s experienced in rural communities. Now, it may look a little different from what we see in Baltimore City, but I assure you, I have seen equally exploitative practices that extract wealth. from those small communities. I’d like to give you Milton, West Virginia.

Actually, as an example, we began reporting on Milton, West Virginia when a mother reached out to us and said, My son has been in jail for a month. I don’t know what to do. No one will give me any answers. And she said, And here’s the cell phone video from what happened to him. We took a look at the cell phone video and said, you know what this young man’s rights were violated. Let’s see what we can do. And that led us into a series of investigations that later showed that the Milton, West Virginia Police Department for a town of about 2500 people had their police department budget double from in 2016. It ended up doubling to 1. 2 million a year. And they tripled the amount of court fees and fines that they were extracting from the community via traffic tickets to around $630,000. They were extracting from a community of 2,500 people, and you may say, well, that’s not someone’s life being ended. But I assure you, those residents were feeling the boot on their neck.

They were dealing with wealth extraction.

Stephen: Yeah, and I think you’re seeing so we can talk about some individual examples, but the the larger thing is like the data provisioning of people and the process of turning us into data points for the benefit of capitalism, and in the case of, we just did a story on this man named Thomas, a firefighter, who was pulled over after he left work, and the police department that pulled him over, which was the Denton County Sheriff’s Office, went through this entire routine to bring a charge of DUI against him when he clearly wasn’t drunk.

He hadn’t taken anything except his own, his medication Adderall for ADD. So, you know, we dug into it, we found out that they’d never even filed the charges against him in, in the court system. We found out that the union had allowed him to be fired even though there was no evidence. But what we took away from it was that this is the result in some result of turning police into a monitoring system in terms of saying, we have made a hundred arrests this month. It used to be policing was not data driven. Now it’s data driven like everything else. So you gotta produce numbers and the numbers are supposed to represent, I think, a quantification of oppression in some ways. And those numbers end up translating into like what we saw in Thomas, the Firefighter who didn’t want us to use his last name, But his life was ruined. He had worked as a first responder for 40 years for 40 years, he had ran out and save people’s lives and his entire career was extinguished. In a second at sort of the whim of an officer who I believe perjured and lied. But no one’s gonna hold him accountable because he’s generating the data about us, the data of oppression, really, in many ways that this system that we talk about really desires and wants to and creates as an imperative to create, I think, and sustain inequality.

And we see these in very particular cases where people’s lives are suddenly turned upside down, transformed, ruined, like in his case, for nothing. And the only way that happens, I think, is if you have a sort of drive from the top, down to impose inequality or at least sustain it by intervening in people’s lives and ruining it.

Eleanor: Yeah, absolutely. I’m curious too, because for folks who want to check this out there it’s fantastic reporting and many of them, if not most have videos, right? There’s filming the cops, either it’s body cam footage or it’s somebody’s cell phone, things like that. And there seems to be, Honestly, like a new video online every day, like Tiktok or Instagram, this person getting the cops called on them for being black in a park or this person getting their house raided and then violently arrested because they pierced their son’s ear, which that actually happened.

And so some you’d think that there are all these cameras trained on the cops. Shouldn’t they respond by being less violent and shouldn’t we see that dip then? What is your feeling? Have cameras, either body cams or our own cell phones made a difference in police violence?

Taya: Oh, that’s an absolutely terrific question. I think initially and now this is this is just simply anecdotal as as someone who consumes a lot of body camera footage, a lot of cell phone footage as well as a lot of media. And also has people reach out to us on a regular basis about their incidents of police misconduct that they’ve experienced.

I think initially body worn cameras had a slight cooling effect on aggressive police actions. They knew that in essence, that it wasn’t simply their word against the person involved in the incident of misconduct that there was actually an impartial observer that couldn’t validate what that police officer was saying.

But now I would argue that police have gone back into their aggressive practices, that police are pushing back even harder. It doesn’t matter that there’s a CCTV camera, it doesn’t matter I’m wearing body camera, that they are becoming aggressive again. And I think some of the signs that we see of that are some of the extreme charges of domestic terrorism that we saw being levied against protesters and people attending a music festival in Cop City, as well as some of the laws that we’ve been seeing put on the books in Texas and in Oklahoma to actually limit the public’s ability to record.

Stephen: I think police have learned to adapt to the body camera and know how to cue the body camera and say certain things, like, stop resisting, stop resisting. I mean, I can’t tell you how many videos we’ve seen where the police are saying stop resisting, the guy’s just standing there.

Taya: Motionless, a person standing there motionless.

Stephen: Yeah, and I think cops understand that. If they’re on body camera saying stop resisting, it doesn’t matter what you’re seeing. And so they’ve learned how to cue these things to their favor. And like in the case I just mentioned about Thomas, the firefighter the police, you could tell they were, they were very conscious of the fact that they were on body camera.

And they were saying things that would protect them, even though they were really participating in an illegal… unconstitutional arrest, they knew how to sort of play for the camera. And I think there’s been some of that adaption in policing now.

Eleanor: Do you feel that it’s also a matter, cause I know that y’all have tried to get information from police departments and things like that, and I have as well, and in, in the past, like contacted people and said, Hey it looks like you didn’t release this body cam footage and I’m wondering why.

And could you please release it? I feel like there’s also this prevalence of police departments just aren’t releasing all of the body cam footage. Have you noticed that as well, that they just will hide it if they think that it’s-

Taya: Oh, yeah. Oh, my gosh. Yes. Police departments are burying body camera footage. It’s beyond a shadow of a doubt.

Stephen: Before Taya tells her story, which I want her to tell .One of the things for example, there was a police involved killing in Fletcher, North Carolina, and the police were were just totally using prone restraint, which killed George Floyd. But in North Carolina, body camera footage has to be authorized to be released by a judge.

My point is, the laws are different all over the country. It’s not uniform, and we were trying to get the body cam footage, and there’s no way we’ll ever get it. even though clearly, the police murdered, you know, this is a homicide and it eventually was ruled a homicide, but the police still haven’t been held accountable, but the point is you just don’t know.

Every jurisdiction you go to has different rules, and police always have a legal way to keep it secret if they want to.

Taya: You know, Stephen, I am so glad that you mentioned the death of Christopher Robert Hensley in Fletcher, North Carolina. Because, like you said black body camera footage can only be accessed by court order, by a judge’s approval.

We wouldn’t even know about that young man’s death if it wasn’t for his neighbor holding a cell phone. He yelled out, someone record this, someone record this. and his neighbor did. And if it wasn’t for that cell phone footage, we would have no idea that this was a homicide. But I do have a personal battle that I’m going through right now in an attempt to get body camera footage.

I’ve been asking very politely for the body camera footage for Sergeant Ethan 2020. I’m sorry, Baltimore City Police Officer Sergeant Ethan Newberg. He is the same police officer who was last making roughly $234,000 a year working for the Baltimore City Police Department and was also charged with 32 counts of misconduct in office.

Now I’m asking for the footage related to the nine counts to nine specific incidents that led to these 32 counts. He, at this point, has pled guilty, and yet I am still being denied access to the body camera footage. I have gone to an ombudsman and done mediation, and the ombudsman was… Kind enough to hypothesize for me what the issue might be.

And she said, well, you know, there, it could be that they’re concerned that you getting access to the body camera footage could be prejudicial. This was also something that was cited in, I believe it’s the 4351 exemption that was denying me access to the spotty camera footage. So she said it could be a prejudicial.

It could actually inflame people. Well, I would think that if this footage could inflame people and people have the right to see it. If you’re saying it’s prejudicial, prejudicial in what way the judge and I said this tour, how do you think my access to the body camera footage could prejudice the judge?

Her answer was “well, judges are people too”. My question was, “you’re telling me this judge hasn’t already seen the body camera footage”. If you’re talking about getting the runaround, I’m honestly at the point where I’m ready to file a lawsuit. I just don’t want the paperwork.

Stephen: I think literally she was saying, if they’re trying to get Ethan Newberg out of the court without assent, without doing any jail time, I think that’s what they’re, I think that’s what this is about.

They’re afraid if we release the body camera footage, people will say, why isn’t this man going to jail? And so therein lies the whole problem you were talking about before.

Eleanor: Yeah, it’s not surprising in the criminal justice or injustice system they take care of their own, but it’s like, what’s the point of body cam footage if it has to pass through a judge that whose job, it basically is, to protect cops.

Stephen: Yep.

Taya: Exactly.

Eleanor: And I want to also getting into police abuse I want to get to this point, which I feel like every time I do you know, like a training or something, and we talk about how police lie and they’re allowed to, i see people’s faces go, what? Really? Because that’s not what the Andy Griffith show talked about.

So, in one story you covered, for instance, recently, a man with early onset dementia was told repeatedly by the SWAT team that raided his home violently that his daughter could be in danger and they do this, like they did in that case, in order to get what they want, either to break into someone’s home and search it or false confession or, or what have you.

And there’s no legal recourse for it because they’re allowed to lie. But if you lie, It’s perjury and I’m curious if you could talk a little bit about that because I feel like that’s an aspect that a lot of times is not covered.

Stephen: Yeah. Well, you know there’s a micro issue here.

And obviously I think it’s important to know the macro issue, which is, I think to a certain extent, policing is supposed to be sort of the spearhead of the anti democratic impulse in our society. That is, the large portion of our society which doesn’t really like democracy, diversity, or the ability of people to advocate for themselves.

And rather, would like to participate in a more fascist style government. And I know it sounds kind of extreme, but I say that because the ability to, for example, lie the ability to seize property without due process. All these things are slowly chipping away. at the underlying ideals of the constitutional rights that were supposed to prevent this for this very reason, right?

So you wouldn’t have concentrated power that could act upon a property or a person without any sort of, process or any sort of oversight. So I think, in the raid, you see a guy who clearly has been diagnosed with early onset of dementia, you know. I think in this particular case, they were doing what we would call performative fascism, where they conduct a raid that is absolutely unnecessary.

One of the most dangerous police tactics that exists running into someone’s house with guns drawn, banging on their door and pointing a gun at someone. Can often end quite badly. So they do that under the pretext of the fact that his daughter was Facebook friends with someone that they were, that was friends with someone else–

Taya: with another person that was friends on Facebook with another person,

Stephen: Right.

So they use that all. So what you’re seeing here is performative fascism in some way, and I know that’s a tough word. I just feel like it’s anti democratic because eventually those things get worn down and it becomes part of the fabric of the community, police can do whatever they want. We saw that in Baltimore because the war on drugs allowed police to just…

run into people’s houses all the time. I can’t tell you many stories I covered personally as a reporter where people’s lives were just torn asunder by this tactic. And we used to joke about Baltimore being a constitution free zone, but it’s not a joke. The Department of Justice actually concluded that’s what it was.

So that’s why I think we see these absurd uses of police power that have nothing to do with public safety, right? Nothing to do with crime, but really all to do with projecting power.

Taya: The only thing that I would add to that is I was genuinely shocked that police do have the right to lie to you. And I have been watching interrogations.

I have been watching body camera footage. And although I am not a legal expert, I cannot help but draw the inevitable conclusion to keep your mouth shut around police officers. That is, if there’s anything that people will take from this conversation is to stand on your rights to stand on your fifth amendment rights to stand on your right to privacy.

Do not volunteer information. I cannot tell you how many innocent people have found themselves behind bars because they volunteered information. You can be wholly Innocent and still end up having it ruin your life by volunteering information. As a matter of fact, a very small example that is what happened to Thomas the firefighter that we were talking about.

If the police officers asked him, do you take any prescription medication? And the fact that he said, well, yes, I do have a prescription for Adderall. That was one of the things that was used to imply that he was perhaps intoxicated on a substance because His alcohol tests came back zeros. And I would just add to this, this person, this man, he was a driver engineer, which meant that he was tested your analysis for drugs and alcohol for over 30 years and for his union, not to support him on this for the police department to end his career like this is a disgrace.

Something really stood out to me. He said, It felt like I lost my family. The department is my family. He says, I know I still have friends there. I didn’t want my career to end like this. Police interactions aren’t necessarily always brutal violence, but it really can be absolutely completely and utterly destructive.

So don’t volunteer information to the police.

Eleanor: Yeah. Thank you. And I, and I’m glad that you highlighted that because police are trained in how to try to finagle you to talk I’ve had cops ask me questions, like, well, this is just going to get a whole lot worse.

If you don’t talk, you know that, right? Do you want that? And, and then like your whole body’s like, no, I don’t want that. And if you do that for hours a lot of people will be worn down by it. And so I wanted to kind of pivot to that because I know that you’ve written about know your rights and and how to be around police.

So I was wondering if you could share some other tips of how to interact with cops if and when that arises.

Taya: Well, sure. I’ll be happy to give a few. And then, of course, Stephen, if you want to jump in, you can. So, the first thing I would say, and I say this as a person whose goal is for people to go home safely and not go to jail.

One of the things is to stay calm and respectful when you’re talking to the police officer, even if you’re not receiving that same respect and that same calmness. You have to provide it. Sometimes you have to be the adult in the encounter. And so, maintain that calm and respect. Don’t volunteer any information.

If you’re asked, where are you going or where you’ve been, say Sir, respectfully, I decline to answer questions. I prefer to have any question and answer to occur in the presence of an attorney. Just keep on mentioning that you want the presence of an attorney. Also make sure to ask, are you being detained?

Are you being detained? Sometimes there’s just investigative stops and they ask questions. But if you’re not being detained, they say no, you are free to go. There are so many times I’ve watched body camera footage where there’s a passenger in a car and the driver is being harangued. The passenger still had the right to get up and go before they were searched, before they ended up having their lives turned upside down as well.

So whenever possible ask, am I free to go? If you are, get the heck out of there. Don’t volunteer information.

Stephen: And if they do say they’re detaining, you try to get the probable cause or the reasonable articulable suspicion on the record, preferably on the phone. Record, get them to tell you.

Taya: Record the encounter.

Stephen: In that situation, put the phones on them because they’ve got body camera footage, put your phone on and say, why am I being detained? Or, what is your reasonable, articulable suspicion? Get them to state up front because that can be used to your favor.

So you’re basically trying to turn the tables. They want you to talk and say things and incriminate yourself. Well, let them incriminate themselves. By giving you, at that moment, what their legal justification is for detaining or stopping you. And that can be used in your favor later on.

Because a lot of times these cops don’t truly understand the law and really are unable to articulate what they’re doing.

And by, getting that on camera, you have something in court to help you if later on it gets worse.

Taya: Also, do not ever consent to a search. Do not consent to a search. If it’s a car, you say your glove compartment is locked and your trunk is locked, and you’re unable to unlock them at this time.

Do not consent to a search, and that doesn’t mean a canine dog won’t be brought around, or that will suddenly… hit on your card and they’ll find a way an excuse to search your car.

Stephen: But make them work for it.

Taya: Exactly. Make them work for it. And Stephen brought up one of the most important things, which is record.

I’ve seen police officers say to people, don’t worry, my body worn cameras on. Well, you know what? We’ve seen footage like that disappear. So make sure your phone is on and if necessary, even live stream it because we’ve seen people, officers force people to give them access to their phone. So you may want to upload it to a platform live, like a Facebook live, Instagram live, et cetera.

Because unfortunately police officers can try to force their way into your phone. The other thing I would say is, and this may sound a little bit paranoid, but use a number, not a fingerprint or your face to get access to your phone because they can take your thumbprint while your hands are in cuffs or hold your phone up to your face, but you can forget that number.

So that’s another thing I would just suggest as well, you can forget the number.

Stephen: Well, you need a warrant to search your phone, it doesn’t matter.

Taya: Yes, but we also know that they don’t always follow that practice.

Eleanor: Yeah, it’s like these are the best practices, but don’t be surprised if they all go out the window because…

Like you’ve said several times, well, we know that they don’t really follow that and they could find a reason to search your car, this is the best practices to try to avoid that. And I wanted to ask as well, because this is something that has come up in the past where you see a cop on camera saying, stop filming, stop filming.

But as to your knowledge, is it still legal across the United States to film the police?

Stephen: Yes.

Taya: Yes.

Stephen: Yes. I mean, it’s been tested. There was just a case in the 10th circuit that we followed of one of the cop watchers report on that just won his case. But almost, I can’t remember, it’s almost most of the circuits now.

And when I say circuits, I mean, federal circuits have some sort of case law that, make sure that’s right. Because as you know, with qualified immunity, which is what allows cops to get out a lot of lawsuits cops will say, I didn’t know that they had a right to record. But I think in most.

Circuits in the federal court. It’s been established, right? There’s no federal law. But most circuits have established it, it was like 1, 3, 5, it was almost like prime number circuits.

Taya: Right, I think you’re right about that.

Stephen: But you should check case law in your community because there could be a case where a police officer could argue qualified immunity.

In other words, just so people understand, qualified immunity is a law that allows police to evade responsibility in lawsuits for violating your civil rights. If they say the right is not established, how on earth? First Amendment is not established, but judges tend to be very favorable towards cops, especially in places like the 5th District in Texas.

So you know, you just have to be careful, but most states, I think the precedent already exists where it is an established right. And so, yes, I think you can film the police pretty much.

Taya: The only thing I would add to that is I’ve been absolutely amazed by folks that are cop watchers or citizen journalists, people who spend their time recording the police for the benefit of others.

They’ll give a person who’s at a traffic stop, they’ll give them access to that body camera. Footage. They’ll record the incident to make sure that the encounter goes smoothly for both parties. And some of these cop watchers, they’re the ones that have actually established this case law. The Battousai also known as Philip Turner, he established case law down on the fifth district in Texas.

So now there’s Turner v. Driver where you have the right to record police in public.

Stephen: And I think he was funny cause he was what? Recording a police station, right?

Taya: He was literally recording the outside of a police station when they chose to arrest this young man.

And then the the case that you were referencing is Yahia versus Irizarry, which is the cop watcher, Liberty Freak, and he established case law up in the 10th Circuit in Colorado that you have the right to record police without interference.

So, these cop watchers are doing some interesting work out there.

Stephen: One thing you should try to make sure when you’re recording police is if you can get to a sidewalk or a public piece of land that really helps, because if you’re on private property, people can. But it’s not the cop–

Taya: but if you’re on private property and the police officer will talk to the person who has the private property and get them to trespass, right? So make sure you’re on a public piece of property.

Stephen: And the other thing police will do is set these absurd boundaries for a traffic stop or a crime scene.

Taya: You have to be 200 feet away.

Stephen: There’s been cop watchers who have been recording and the police will take the tape around them to wall them off. But that also is illegal in some states but you just have to watch those kind of things.

But if you’re in a public, if you’re on a sidewalk you’re really on sacred ground when it comes to the First Amendment, no one has an expectation of privacy, let alone a police officer, and police officers have a much lower expectation of privacy when they’re in their official capacity, and that should always be remembered.

Eleanor: Yeah, absolutely. I will say the sidewalks do get janky down in D. C. because I remember I was filming police, and then somebody said, well, that’s park police territory that you’re standing on, and I’m standing on a sidewalk, and I’m like, well, who are you? And they said, well, we’re a secret service and I’m like, this is just a mess, y’all.

That’s 42 law enforcement agencies. So it gets sticky down there, but most other places,

Stephen: No doubt. There’s more police in DC than any place in the world. So it is very tricky there.

Eleanor: But so finally kind of wrapping up here and this is more of a philosophical question, because what you work on is so much about holding police accountable and the incredible lack in the system of holding police accountable, what in your experience would police accountability look like?

Taya: Oh, that’s a nice question.

Stephen: Well, I think it would start with civilian control of police because although our elected officials are supposed to do that, I think they get often in-league with police for a variety of reasons that are kind of self evident. And what you really need, and what we’ve never had, is true civilian control.

In other words, in Toronto they have a civilian board that appoints a police commissioner. I think in tandem with the council, but that’s what we… The only thing that will really work is– and when I say civilian control, I mean like people from each district, each neighborhood, represented and having a voice.

It has to be somehow detangled from the political economy, a political establishment, because politicians, as we’ve seen, you know, when Taya talked about zero tolerance, that was under a democratic administration in this city. And there was only one politician, State Senator Jill Carter, who spoke out against it, but everybody else was just lockstep.

With that horrible policy, including African American politicians whose neighborhoods were under siege. So unless you actually get true civilian control of police. I think you’re going to see these kind of things continue. I don’t know, Taya if you…

Taya: I agree with you wholeheartedly. And, of course, I have to say transparency.

Without trans… Transparency, transparency, transparency. If you don’t allow the public to see what’s going on, you can’t hold police accountable. So, transparency, I think, would be an absolutely essential to be able to reform the police department in any meaningful way, as well as to restore community trust.

I think also truly, as Steve was talking about, like a truly independent review of issues of police misconduct I think would be necessary. So often these review boards, if they even exist, end up being completely toothless, having no effect. They can only make recommendations of what will happen to the police officer, what type of discipline, disciplinary actions could be taken against the police officer.

So, to actually have a meaningful, independent oversight and a process where the civilians have some say over what happens to officers who commit crimes, essentially.

Stephen: I mean, we’ve had a civilian review board since the early (unintelligible). It initially had subpoena power, but then that was allowed to sunset two or three years later and never reauthorized.

But it has no power whatsoever to recommend anything. It can make recommendations, but they’re completely ignored. And our civilian review board has been a joke. I think Taya’s right. You need to give them real ability to punish police officers and and police departments have fought that and especially police unions have fought that tooth and nail because they don’t want the people that they purport to serve judging them.

And I find that even more absurd, go ahead Taya.

Taya: The other thing I would ask, and this may sound sort of strange, but to have some sort of mediation or restorative justice with people who have been wrongfully arrested, I think police officers, because arrests are just this tool they have in their toolbox, and they don’t realize how utterly destructive it can be, how it can cost people money, cost them their jobs, cost them relationships.

There’s so many different ways that being arrested can impact you, and I don’t think police officers sometimes realize that sort of domino effect it can have in someone’s life. So maybe it would actually be helpful for a police officer to sit across the table from someone who’s experienced one of these arrests and let them know.

“Listen, when you arrested me my family didn’t trust me and, and I became somewhat socially isolated. I missed days at work and therefore I lost my job. It cost me this much to get a lawyer and to get this all cleared up. This really sent me into a dark place. It was very difficult for me to process.”

And just to have the opportunity to look them in the eye and know that an arrest… Is is a really potent tool and it shouldn’t just be used without discretion. It can have terrible impacts on someone’s life.

Stephen: I’d like to add I think the media should be able to observe those mediations because that would be great to report on.

Taya: You know what? Put us in the room. We’ll keep an eye on things.

Eleanor: Absolutely. Media should be everywhere where power is exerted. So Taya, Stephen, thank you so much for taking the time to sit down. Where is the best place for folks to follow your work?

Taya: Oh, that’s a good question.

Well, you can find us on YouTube at the Real News Network. Our show is the Police Accountability Report. And of course you can follow the Police Accountability Report on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram or wherever you like to go to get your social media fun. What would you suggest Stephen?

Stephen: Well and also you can look up our podcast like the land of the unsolved It’s on Spotify and all those places.

Taya: I’m I’m Taya Graham So if you look up that pretty much unusual name, you’ll find our work and that’s Stephen Janis.

Stephen: Yeah

Eleanor: Sometimes it is really nice to have an unusual name So, thanks y’all so much for taking your time really appreciate it.

Taya: Our pleasure our pleasure.

Stephen: Thank you for having us.

Taya: We really appreciate it

Below is a Rough Transcript of the Interview with Ann Wright

Eleanor: Thanks everyone for joining us back at the Project Censored Radio Show. We’re very glad right now to be joined by Anne Wright, who served 29 years in the U.S. Army and Army Reserves and retired as a colonel.

She was also in the U. S. Diplomatic Corps for 16 years and served in U. S. embassies in Nicaragua, Granada, Somalia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Sierra Leone, Micronesia, Afghanistan, and Mongolia. She resigned from the U. S. government in March 2003 in opposition to the U. S. war in Iraq. Since then, she has worked for peace with Veterans for Peace, Code Pink, Women for Peace, and many other peace organizations around the world.

She’s the co author of Dissent, Voices of Conscience. Ann, thanks so much for joining us.

Ann: Thank you, Eleanor. It’s a pleasure to be with you.

Eleanor: So, I wanted to start with ahead of the recent NATO summit in Vilnius, you were a part of the Global Women for Peace United Against NATO conference in Brussels and as noted in a recent report back, organized in less than four months through Zoom calls with women in 35 countries.

The conference attendees got their message of no to NATO and the European Parliament. And there’s so much content there to share and discuss. Folks can check out the report back, which I read on popularresistance. org. And it’s also at womenagainstnato. org. But I want to start off here by discussing one of the NATO meeting goals that seems to align perfectly with, with y’all’s conference to advance a new gender approach.

So as to promote women in top roles in NATO and we’ve seen this in the past, you know, the CEO of Lockheed Martin was a woman Gina Haspel, who was head of the CIA, Hillary Clinton. So putting women in top roles in a warmongering military organization. As I’m reading now from the Global Women for Peace Declaration, we’ll do nothing to promote the principles of equality, justice, and peace that underlie women’s struggles for freedom.

But this is a very popular ploy, right, that we see in the war industry. And I imagine that you yourself got a lot of props for being a colonel in the U. S. Army. So I’m wondering if you could talk a little bit about this neoliberal push to make war seem hip and cool and progressive by putting women into these places of power.

Ann: Indeed, it’s one of the things we have to watch out for, and it’s not just NATO, but you look at the United Nations, they have a big, strong women peace and security program, which on the surface, you know, it sounds really good, because women should be a part of peace and security and all, but then when you look at what the policies are of, particularly NATO, they’re not women, women centered Policies, I mean, one would think that most women would not want to kill anybody, that they would want to have policies of dialogue, of cooperation, of you know, trying to resolve problems without harming any other people, and yet that’s not the way NATO does things.

So, one of the great speakers that we had during that conference in Brussels was at the European Parliament. And it was the Irish member of the European Parliament Claire Daly, who just, I mean, she ripped NATO a new one. She was just fearless in you know, taking NATO to task and other organizations.

And as she said, you know, we’ve got to watch out everywhere. And the use of terms, for example.

Feminist foreign policy, that’s one that’s being thrown around a lot. And I’ve been a part of organizations that have been rallying, you know, we need to get a feminist foreign policy, which we interpret as a policy that really is humane, that looks out for human security instead of human death.

But when you look at how it gets turned around by organizations, and as you mentioned, some of the people that some of the women that then get involved in these organizations at the most senior level, you could also add to the list that you had, you know, Madeline Albright, who is notorious for saying, Oh, well, the half a million Iraqi kids that died during the 10 year sanction program that the U.S. had after Gulf War I, you know, that’s just one of the things that happens. You look at Jean Kirkpatrick, who was one of, I think, the first woman UN ambassador the U. S. had, and her role in the covert and overt wars in Central America. That killed so many thousands of people in, Nicaragua and El Salvador and Honduras.

So just because it’s a woman that is in charge of a policy does not mean it’s going to be humane and that the issues of dialogue and compromise are put there. You can also expand this into the military industrial complex and you start looking at the numbers of women that are the heads of the war machines, the war manufacturers.

In 2018, I think the heads of the five major war machines were women. And they were brought in purposely to kind of womanwash what these companies were doing. That if a woman is the head of it, then you can’t gripe at them, you can’t yell at them about their horrific weapons that they use to kill people.

Eleanor: Yeah, absolutely. And it’s it is very sad that it works on a lot of folks. But I also wanted to highlight another thing that, that your conference discussed, because I think a lot of people Unfortunately, look at these issues like this is just the war silo and this is the environmental silo and this is the you know, feminism silo.

But of course, these are all interconnected and something that I saw, which was discussed at the conference was the ecological cost of joining NATO. And this is something that I’ve expressed concern over recently. With Sweden joining NATO the potential wrecking of beautiful nature, for instance, Gotland, which is an island off the eastern coast of Sweden.

And that could be completely destroyed by a NATO base. And so I’m curious, what are we looking at in terms of the ecological cost of ramping up military exercises in Europe with regards to ecology and climate chaos?

Ann: Well, every time NATO has a military exercise, it has you know, tanks that are rolling over the ground.

They’ve got a bombing range that they practice artillery and they practice aerial bombing. You have you know, pollution on every, every level. You have a large number of military people that are moving into an area. For example, now the United States is moving another whole brigade of, and that would be about 3, 000 people that are be moving into various places in Poland expanding the military bases that countries in that are already NATO countries and are already supplying weaponry and things.

Well, the U. S. comes in and adds even more people on, onto that. The major military exercises, the defender exercises, they’ll have 30 to 40, 000 Military that’ll be in trucks, in jeeps, in tanks, in aircraft, all of this pollutes our environment, our atmosphere, the numbers of loss of fuel, of oil as you know, vehicles break, they break down, they turn over, they wreck themselves. And then, you know, all the stuff that’s inside them is loose on the environment. So it’s anytime the military moves, you can be guaranteed it is. It’s going to leave a toxic trail behind it. We in Hawaii, that’s where I live we’ve been dealing for the last year and a half with a major spill of fuel into the drinking waters, the aquifer of Hawaii.

You look at the, PFAS the forever chemicals that are on all the military bases and bases in Europe and particularly in Okinawa where they’re finding huge amounts of PFAS that have been put there over over the decades. So the military leaves a bad trail in its wake. And the only way you can prevent it is just to stop.

These military war maneuvers that are on steroids right now, the U.S. military, of course, now has two new military bases one in Poland and one in Romania. It’s expanding its presence and other bases that are not designated as U. S. bases, but they’re being used by by the U. S. and other NATO forces.

So right now with you know, the war in Ukraine. The huge amount of military weaponry that’s being funneled in there and it has to come from somewhere, and it has to come through somewhere, and now we’re just hearing about the CIA flights aerial flights that have been bringing in a lot of the material.

So, Wherever those flights land, whether it’s at Shannon Air Base in Ireland, and then on into Poland, and then finally into some air base in Ukraine to offload all that stuff, the amount of pollution that’s in our atmosphere from all of these flights should be monitored. And we know what it will be.

It’ll be a huge increase in the pollution that we have in those areas of the world.

Eleanor: Yeah, absolutely. And I remember this was several years ago, maybe like 2018, where a report came out that showed that the U. S. military alone is the single largest greenhouse gas emitter in the world and is equal to 140 nations.

I imagine that might even be more today. But that’s, you know, those are remarkable and staggering numbers that really show the size and the destruction that is caused by the U. S. military outside of just, you know, boots on the ground.

So another issue that’s often glossed over is what NATO membership means in terms of GDP spending on military. And again, I’m pulling from the declaration that y’all wrote here, quote, While many face a severe cost of living crisis, governments are required by NATO to raise military spending even beyond 2% of GDP.

To meet the ongoing frenzied rearmament, this is often accompanied by increasing authoritarianism and the reemergence of neo fascist, nationalist, xenophobic, and sexist ideologies, encouraged by an increasingly militarized culture. End quote. And the last I checked Sweden, for instance, spends about 1.3% of GDP on military in most recent years, and that will have to increase. Right? So what are we, what are we looking at in terms of the military spending? And what does that mean in places in Europe where we already feel austerity measures? What is, what is going to be further removed from people in order to fund this NATO membership?

Ann: Well, the increase well, first, the basic 2% people ought to be on the streets yelling about that for sure right now, because it, every penny that goes toward NATO and the military is a penny that’s taken away from education, it’s taken away from health, it’s taken away from infrastructure development, so the fact that there aren’t riots on the streets, baffles me because it’s a direct correlation.

The more you put into the military and the more is required by NATO then the less the people of the country are going to have for their basic human needs and trying to get it across to people as we do with the priorities project here in the U. S., the national priorities project that does a really good job of looking at how much is expended by state here in the United States when you break down the massive U. S. military budget, which this year or for the next fiscal year, is estimated to be at 880 billion dollars and it was 800 billion last year and now it’s going up another 100 billion and when we look at here in the U. S. all the places that we really need to have expenditures for keeping people alive it doesn’t make a bit of sense and when we cannot get out Americans to hit the streets to say, are you congress people just crazier than loons for doing this trying to get, you know, letters to the editor, trying to get town hall meetings. And we do have an opportunity with the next election coming up, that citizens should be going to all these town hall meetings and raising cane with Congress people about their continuing to vote for these outrageous, outrageous military budgets.

Eleanor: Yeah, they truly are outrageous. And I also want to to highlight kind of like the, a very succinct statement in the report back that that you shared that really highlights the reason and the theme for me for the conference that y’all had. Quote, “from Ukraine to Syria and from Africa to the South China Sea, NATO forces are performing the tasks of the armed wing of Western imperialism,” end quote.

And I think that oftentimes gets lost, this idea that it is, NATO is just, I call it the arm of of US imperialism, but I think it’s the same idea. That this is not about safety, it’s not about security, it’s not about defense, it is absolutely about offense and one thing that you mentioned in the report back is the new strategic concept which is another one of those projects that has, that is totally evil and has a totally banal name.

And I think that a lot of people might not be familiar with with this project. Could you talk a little bit more could you talk about what the new strategic concept is and how insidious that is in terms of that armed wing of Western imperialism?

Ann: Well, the strategic concept is that NATO is not North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

It’s a worldwide organization. And we can see where out in the Pacific Ocean, where I live, where NATO over the past three years has been sending more and more NATO countries to participate in military war maneuvers. In fact, right now, in Australia they’ve just started the Talisman Sabre, which is the largest ground exercise that will be held in Asia this year, and it’ll have over 30,000 military, primarily U. S. and Australian, but they’re also going to be having German, French Dutch military that’ll be a part of that. When we have the Rim of the Pacific Naval Exercises, which are held every other year. One year it’ll be RIMPAC, Rim of the Pacific Naval. The next year will be Talisman Sabre in Australia, and an increase in military operations in the Philippines now.

But the Rim of the Pacific which will be coming up in 2024 it will have over 25,000 people on ships. It’ll have 44 ships. It’ll have probably six submarines. They’ll bomb ships that they’ll drag out from the mothball fleet out of Pearl Harbor. They’ll take it out into the Pacific and then they’ll bomb it until it sinks.

And NATO countries will be a part of that. The last RIMPAC that we had British, French, German Dutch let’s see who else, Belgian. I mean, all sorts of ships that were coming all the way around the world to be out there to join up with. With the rest of the RIMPAC countries from that region.

Of course, you know, it’s nice to go to Hawaii and have beach time and things like that, so the sailors love it. For us that live there, we always try to remind them what it’s all about and have demonstrations and really try to go after them on this. But the bottom line is that we are a small number of people compared to the massive, massive military operations that these take place.

And then you start talking about the interoperability of ships and air, aircraft and ground forces. Even at the most senior level they’re starting to integrate U.S. military forces with other forces. For example, the deputy, one of the deputy commanders of the U.S. Army Pacific is now from Australia.

And one of the deputies in the U. S. Air Force is from Australia. So there’s a purposeful move to integrate as much as possible, as many countries as possible in all of these operations. And it doesn’t matter whether it’s in Europe or whether it’s in the Pacific. They’re trying to bring as many countries and into the NATO structure as possible as a worldwide offensive mechanism of world domination and capitalist interventions.

Eleanor: Particularly, with the, Pacific the goal is to to poke China, right? Like the, to irritate China and to try to foment war with China. Is that correct?

Ann: Well, it has been for, since the Obama administration and Hillary Clinton being the one that…

Claims credit for the pivot to Asia after the U. S. was getting out of Iraq, then they needed some other enemy. So, it was less pivot to Asian and go after China. Well, we’ve been going after China for now going on 10 years and it’s backfired. As we can see that the Chinese you know, aren’t taking this lightly, and they are challenging the massive increase in the numbers of armadas that the U. S. sends out to Western the Western Pacific, they’re challenging the aircraft that go into well, aircraft, and the Chinese are challenging U.S. Political people that are going into Taiwan and the Chinese send over armadas of aircraft that go right to the air defense zone of Taiwan saying, listen, there’s a one China policy that you guys signed onto 40 years ago.

Right now, just this last week the, you can see that the U.S. has kind of seen that maybe they’ve gone a little bit too far when you send 100 year old Henry Kissinger, probably in a medevac flight to China to try to calm things down a little bit. And you see Xi welcoming Henry Kissinger in a way that no other U. S. citizen will probably ever be welcomed again. And that, I think, is the overture from Xi saying, okay, I accept, if you send Henry Kissinger, that means that you probably are going to back off some of the shit, pardon my French, sorry about the radio, about this stuff that you guys have been doing. And, you know, the senior level people Of the U.S. government that are now going to China, including the Secretary of State, who has, from the beginning of the Biden administration, has been terrible on China. You have John Kerry as the environmental guru who’s been sent over there. You’ve had the Secretary of the Treasury that’s gone over.

I think the U. S. is saying now to China perhaps we went a little overboard in this thing and let’s be friends and because, if we aren’t then we’re not going to get any computers, we’re not going to get cell phones, and we’re not going to get any clothes, so probably better back off on all of this.

And I would say that, you know, that there are reasons that countries are concerned about China and theft of international property and all of this sort of stuff. But I would just like to wish that the United States would steal a little intellectual property from the Chinese for once, for God’s sakes, if they could help us build some infrastructure, like some high speed trains that the Chinese have that would really be helpful. You know, we have this high– they don’t even call it a high speed rail in Hawaii. It’s just an above ground little train that’s taken 15 years to build. It went from 2 billion to 10 billion. It’s still not finished. And if we had just hired the Chinese, it would have been done in two years.

So I’m all for working with the Chinese.

Eleanor: Yeah, I mean, could we share some good ideas? I feel like the U. S. just tries to export terrible ideas. Maybe we could import some good ones. Well, and I kind of wanted to wrap up and ask this question because I feel like the US feels a bit uncertain about a lot of decisions it’s made recently with in terms of foreign policy, because in Vilnius the recent NATO meeting that was there, you know, a lot of people in there, you know, the propagandist machines and corporate media called it a huge success.

But there are some critics that were saying, oh, there were cracks in the facade with disagreement, particularly about Ukraine joining, which would of course automatically facilitate world war. But one diplomat told CNN that there was a need to quote, “fix and double down on a communication strategy to explain all the good things that we’re doing”, end quote.

And I’m not sure if he meant sending cluster bombs or like the UK sending depleted uranium shells. I don’t know if that’s what he means by good thing. But there were several diplomats that were talking to press and saying, well, we didn’t come across as a united front and even Biden, you know, basically going up and be like, Ukraine is not joining NATO.

There did seem to be some questions about what the U.S. ‘s role was, like, oh, did we go too far? And now, like, should we try to backpedal? Do you see any kind of fractures happening there? And do you feel that the U.S. is trying to step away from Ukraine?

Ann: No, I don’t. I think the Ukraine or the U.S. Is in Ukraine up to its neck and it will continue to provide lots of horrible weapons in the latest, as you mentioned, being these cluster bombs, which today they’re announcing, the Ukrainians are already using them.

Tragically, the level of killing the level of infrastructure destruction that’s happened. It’s just horrific. And one can only hope that the global south comes to the rescue with the various presidents of countries that have really been reaching out to try to get President Putin and President Zelensky to start talking about ceasefire, about stopping the killing and back in one of the, I gave a keynote talk and at the Peace in Ukraine conference we had in Vienna and my subject was ceasefires and the history of ceasefires.

That even if you try to get a ceasefire in effect right now, I mean, it’s going to take, it’s going to take a while to get it in effect. The Korean War that only lasted three years and was the most brutal wars of all. They started negotiations for some sort of an agreement to end the killing, two– one year into the war.

The war went on for two more years, 575 meetings before they finally came to the armistice that’s still in effect today, not even a peace agreement. If you look in the Vietnam War, they started the discussions about how to end it 1968. It didn’t end until 1975. Millions of Vietnamese were killed, millions of Koreans were killed.

So the bottom line is, we’ve got to really keep pushing, pushing, pushing for this, for an end to this, because it’s going to take a long time to finally get the dialogue and the decisions on how each country has to do a little compromising on this thing to stop the killing of people. So it’s a tough situation, but I think the U. S. is not really helping much. Maybe on track to diplomacy that we’ve been hearing a little bit about. Some of the retired diplomats may be working on some things, but I think it’s really going to take, you know, President Erdogan of Turkey is reaching out right now to President Putin about the grain deal and in Ukraine, we’ve got President Lula.

We’ve got all sorts of folks that are trying to work it, and I think if Joe Biden keeps out of it, they may have a chance. Some others may have a chance to get the killing stopped.

Eleanor: I mean, what a topsy turvy world where you’ve got Henry Kissinger and Erdogan pushing for peace. I mean, I feel like I’m in some kind of very alternate reality.

Ann: It’s true. But we’ll take whatever we can get right now.

Eleanor: Right. That’s very true. And final question here, because you have such a long history in direct in direct contact with the U.S. military, do you feel that from the start of your time there versus now and looking into the future, do you feel that there is a trajectory for a peace movement?

Do you feel like the U.S. military is reaching some kind of edge where beyond this edge there will be a significant blowback, or what do you feel about about the prospects for some kind of peace movement to combat the U. S. military?

Ann: Well, it’s up to us as civilians and not rely on the military itself to go AWOL and come into our ranks because that just is not going to happen.

There will be, thank God, a few people of conscience that are in the military that will say, I can’t do this anymore. And I’ve got to step out. Some of them will go to jail for it. But there’s people of conscience, but it’s up to us as civilians to create the movement that will.

highlight to people in the military what what really is going on to counter the propaganda that they get every single day about why it’s so important that whatever administration it is gets to do whatever they want, which is go out and kill other people. So it’s really up to us to get our movement much stronger and more visible you know, years before we’ve had GI coffee houses that have been right outside a lot of military bases.

We had some in during the Iraq war at Fort Hood and then up at up around Seattle for McCord the McCord airfield and base there. But it’s that sort of outreach that we need around military bases. I think that would really help a lot. But it takes a lot of effort, a lot of dedication of peace groups that live in the area of these military bases.

And those of us that may not well, although I do, I live on Oahu and there are four major military bases on that island. So there’s always work for all of us to be done to encourage military folks to, really look at what’s going on. We’ve had some good successes with that, though, in Hawaii with the tragic pollution of our water aquifer.

It has the very stupid and terrible response of the U. S. Navy opened the door wide for us to talk about not only the toxic contamination there, of that water, but other toxic contamination that the militaries were doing in the Hawaiian Islands. And so we’ve, we’ve been able to educate a lot of military families to what’s going on and they appreciate it.

Eleanor: Yeah, well, absolutely. Education is key, which is why we’re also so glad that you took the time to sit down. Ann, thank you so much. I really appreciate it. Is there a good place where people can follow more of your report backs and more of what you’re up to?

Ann: Well, I do have a website that’s connected to a book that I wrote years ago called Dissent Voices of Conscience, and if you go voicesofconscience.com, I’ve got a list of articles and various events.

So that’s, I guess that’s the main thing.

Eleanor: And what was the URL again?

Ann: Voicesofconscience. com.

Thank you.

Eleanor: All right. Thank you so much Ann, I really appreciate it.

Ann: Well, it’s a pleasure to talk with you, Eleanor, and look forward to seeing you in DC or someplace the next time.