Our media coverage is often dominated by one big story that crowds out most everything else. As an antidote, every week, Nation interns try to cut through the echo chamber and choose one good article in their area of interest that they feel should receive more attention. Please check out their favorite stories below, watch for this feature each week, and please use the comments section below to alert us to any important articles you feel warrant broader attention.
— Angela Aiuto:
Angela focuses on money in politics.
“Financial Giants Put New York City Cops On Their Payroll,” Pam Martens. CounterPunch, October 10, 2011.
The New York City Police Department has made nearly 800 arrests since the Occupy Wall Street protests began a little over a month ago, and several videos have surfaced showing officers using violent tactics in their apprehension of demonstrators. If you’ve been down to Zuccotti Park, this chant might sound familiar to you: "Who do you protect? Who do you serve?" Pam Martens has taken up these questions in a stellar article on the NYPD’s Paid Detail Unit, which allows private entities—including the New York Stock Exchange, the World Financial Center and Goldman Sachs—to rent a city cop for an hourly rate.
— Cal Colgan:
Cal follows the drug war and human rights in Latin America.
“US Government Accused of Seeking to Conceal Deal Cut With Sinaloa ‘Cartel,’” by Bill Conroy. The Narcosphere, Oct. 1, 2011.
Zambada Niebla, the son of one of the leaders of the notorious Sinoloa cartel who is awaiting trial in federal court in Chicago after being extradited last year, has recently argued that he and other members of the cartel’s leadership were working with the U.S. government by providing intelligence on rival drug trafficking organizations. Niebla alleges that U.S. government officials granted him immunity from criminal charges — like that which he now faces — in exchange for the information. Although prosecutors issued a rebuttal days after the publication of this article, they did admit that they are seeking special court procedures under the Classified Information Procedures Act to ensure that certain information isn’t made public during the court proceedings. Still, the history of Colombian informant Baruch Vega’s relationship with the CIA and FBI in dealing with Colombian cartels and the fallout from the ATF’s "Fast and Furious" operation could lend credence to Niebla’s claims.