Tom Hayden is the author of 20 books and many articles in The Nation since 1980. His most recent book is Listen, Yankee! Why Cuba Matters (Seven Stories). He has lectured and taught at Harvard’s Institute of Politics, UCLA Labor Studies, and Scripps, Occidental, and Pitzer Colleges. During 18 years in the California Legislature, he chaired committees on labor, environment and higher education, and authored bills creating the first Central American Studies program (at Cal State LA), the largest national resources bond in US history, back wages for sweatshop workers, trigger locks on handguns, criminal penalties for domestic violence, college savings trusts, a ban on carcinogens reaching drinking water, tripling of tobacco taxes, requirements for renewable energy set-asides, tattoo removal, Holocaust survivors insurance claims, and World War II slave labor compensation. He authored anti-sweatshop ordinances for the cities of Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Hayden has spent over 50 years in social movements, beginning with the Freedom Rides of 1960, the founding of Students for a Democratic Society in 1962, community organizing in Newark 1964-68, leadership in the anti-war movement 1968-75, participation in the peace and justice movements, 2000-2015. He was Governor Jerry Brown’s first solar energy commissioner (1979) and continues in a leading role in forging a model green energy economy in California.
A federal judge last week abruptly postponed ruling on whether it was proper for prosecutors seeking wiretap permission to conceal their use of top members of the Mara Salvatrucha gang as informants. Meanwhile, the recent shooting of a Guatemalan day laborer by an LAPD officer has reignited a controversy over police reform that is at the root of the current courtroom drama.
Court records filed in the Alex Sanchez case and reviewed by The Nation show federal prosecutors have concealed their use of notorious gang leaders as informants while applying for surveillance permits.
While Congress is throwing another $33 billion into the Afghanistan sinkhole, WikiLeaks takes on the oversight duties the lawmakers ought to perform.
Rachel Maddow today is less bold on Afghanistan than Walter Cronkite was 32 years ago on Vietnam, even though the CBS anchor was the far more mainstream of the two.
Federal prosecutors will soon be forced to admit that their star witness in the gang conspiracy case against Alex Sanchez is a fugitive still on a crime spree somewhere in Central America.
Thursday's votes send a significant antiwar message to President Obama, leaving the White House dependent on Republicans for Afghanistan war support.
If tomorrow's vote shows an increased Congressional opposition, the president and his national security team will face a future in which the Afghanistan war is supported primarily by Republicans and opposed by Democrats and independents.
The war on gangs, now globalized, runs roughshod over the ordinary checks on the criminal justice system.