Thursday, March 13, 1997

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  • New Trial of Geronimo Pratt?

    Former Black Panther Party leader Geronimo Pratt has been fighting
    for 26 years to get a new trial. He was convicted in 1972 of
    shooting teacher Caroline Olsen to death and critically wounding
    her husband during a 1968 robbery that netted $18 on a Santa Monica
    tennis court. Supporters and attorneys of Pratt say that he is
    innocent of the charge and that he was at a top-level Panther
    meeting in Oakland at the time. And they insist that Pratt was the
    victim of an FBI operation that targeted leaders of the Black
    Panther Party. Indeed, the key prosecution witness at his trial —-
    Julius Butler -— was an FBI informant.

    Today in California, a hearing continues as to whether to grant
    Geronimo Pratt a new trial. Here to update us on the situation is
    Edward Boyer, a Los Angeles Times reporter who has been covering
    the case of Geronimo Pratt extensively.

    GUEST: EDWARD J. BOYER, a Los Angeles Times reporter who has been
    covering the case of Geronimo Pratt extensively.

  • CIA Confirmation Hearing of Anthony Lake

    Today is the third day of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s
    confirmation hearings on President Clinton’s nominee for director
    of Central Intelligence — Anthony Lake.

    Led by Alabama Republican Richard Shelby who chairs the Senate
    Intelligence Committee, Senators have fired questions at Lake about
    everything from the baseball team he supports to Iranian arms
    shipments to Bosnia. Notably absent from the discussion, however,
    has been any mention about the CIA role in international narcotics
    trafficking or the CIA’s support for anti-democratic and repressive
    military regimes.

    Still, conservative Republicans on the committee have repeatedly
    attacked Lake about his managerial experience, integrity and
    political beliefs. Indeed, at times the hearing had the aura of a
    McCarthyite "loyalty hearing" from the 1950s. Among the issues that
    came up in yesterday was Lake’s resignation — along with four
    colleagues — from Henry Kissinger’s National Security Council
    staff in the early 1970s in protest at the invasion of Cambodia.
    Sen. James M. Inhofe of Oklahoma also fired questions about Lake’s
    views on communism and the release of the so-called Pentagon Papers
    in the early 1970s.

    In a minute we’ll be joined by Daniel Ellsberg, a former State
    Department and Pentagon official who worked with Anthony Lake
    during the Vietnam War era. It was Daniel Ellsberg who released to
    politicians and the press the Pentagon Papers — 7,000 pages of top
    secret documents on the history of decision-making during the
    Vietnam War.

    But first let’s hear an excerpt from yesterday’s hearings between
    Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma and nominee Anthony Lake. Here Sen.
    Inhofe asks Anthony Lake about his resignation in the early 1970s
    from Henry Kissinger’s National Security Council staff in protest
    at the U.S. invasion of Cambodia.

    TAPE: CIA HEARING FROM MARCH 12, 1997. SEN. JAMES M. INHOFE OF OKLAHOMA AND ANTHONY LAKE.

    GUEST: DANIEL ELLSBERG, a former State Department and Pentagon
    official who worked with Anthony Lake in the late 1960s and early
    1970s during the Vietnam War era. Daniel Ellsberg made public the
    Pentagon Papers, 7,000 pages of top secret documents — 47 volumes
    in all — on the history of decision-making during the Vietnam War.

  • CIA Involvement in Guatemala

    Among the questions asked of Anthony Lake at yesterday’s CIA
    hearings were his views about the CIA’s so-called "scrubbing" from
    its ranks of agents known for their human rights abuses.

    Reeling from criticism that the CIA regularly hires known killers
    and death squad leaders, former CIA director John Deutch last year
    ordered a review of who the agency works with. As a result, the CIA
    reported that some 1,000 informants and agents were released from
    their employ, including 100 human rights abusers most of them from
    Central and South America.

    Jennifer Harbury, an attorney based in Texas has had a lot of
    experience with Guatemala, the CIA and the Clinton administration
    over the last several years. She launched an international campaign
    five years ago in search of the truth about the death of her
    husband, Guatemalan guerilla leader Commandante Everardo. He was
    captured, tortured and killed by Guatemalan military officers,
    including those on the payroll of the CIA.

    TAPE: JENNIFER HARBURY, an attorney based in Texas who has launched an international campaign in search of the truth about the death of her husband, Guatemalan guerilla leader Commandante Everardo, who was captured, tortured and killed by the Guatemalan military some
    five years ago.