Wednesday, February 20, 2013

  • Prisoner X: Doubts Grow on Jailhouse Suicide Claims for Australian Israeli Linked to Mossad

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    An international scandal is growing after an Australian-Israeli man with ties to Israel’s spy agency, the Mossad, died inside a maximum security prison in Israel. For more than two years, the Israeli government imposed a strict gag order on his 2010 death, but now the secret is leaking out. Israel has called his death a suicide, but new information could emerge now that the Australian Broadcasting Corporation has revealed his name: Ben Zygier. We’re joined by Dan Yakir, chief legal counsel for the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, which has led the effort in Israel to uncover information about Prisoner X and has successfully challenged a gag order on its role. We also speak to Antony Loewenstein, an independent journalist, author and co-founder of Independent Australian Jewish Voices. [includes rush transcript]

  • Throwaways: Recruited by Police & Thrown into Danger, Young Informants are Drug War’s Latest Victims

    Sarah_stillmann-throwaways_2

    New Yorker staff writer Sarah Stillman has just been awarded a George Polk Award for her article, "The Throwaways," which investigates law enforcement’s unregulated use of young confidential informants in drug cases. Stillman details how police broker deals with young, untrained informants to perform high-risk operations with few legal protections in exchange for leniency — and sometimes fatal results. Stillman joins us to discuss her eight-month investigation, which has spurred calls for reform in several states. We’re also joined by Margie Weiss, the mother of Rachel Hoffman. After police found drugs in her apartment, Hoffman agreed to assist Florida officers in a major undercover deal involving meeting two convicted felons alone to buy two-and-a-half ounces of cocaine, 1,500 ecstasy pills, and a semi-automatic handgun. Within days, her body was found shot five times with the gun that the police had sent her to buy. We also speak with Alexandra Natapoff, professor of law at Loyola Law School and author of "Snitching: Criminal Informants and the Erosion of American Justice." [includes rush transcript]