PCIM Events: Constitution Day (drones); 1971 (screening); Medsger on “Before Edward Snowden”; Silenced (Screening)

Mark your calendars!! From Maura Stephens:

Wed., Sept. 17, 7:30 pm, Emerson Suites (with Dept. of Politics and Provost’s Office)
Constitution Day: Targeted Killings, the Constitution, and You: U.S. Drone Policy and Citizens’ Rights” 

Discussion format, followed by Q&A and book signing, w/light refreshments

Jens David Ohlin, Cornell U professor of law, in an interview-style conversation with Carlos Figueroa, IC assistant professor of politics, touching on some of the moral, political, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of armed drones for national security purposes and the stripping of citizens’ constitutional protections.

Ohlin specializes in international and criminal law. He also researches the laws of war, particularly the impact of new technology such as drones and cyber-warfare. His books include Targeted Killings: Law and Morality in an Asymmetrical World(Oxford University Press 2012, with A. Altman & C. Finkelstein) and Defending Humanity: When Force is Justified and Why (Oxford University Press 2008, with George Fletcher).

Figueroa researches and teaches in the areas of American political development, religion and racial politics, U.S. citizenship, and historical/interpretive policy analysis. He joined the IC faculty in 2013.

Excellent resource/study guide prepared by IC librarians John Henderson and Cathy Michael.

Tues., Sept. 23, 7:00 p.m., Textor 103
Screening of documentary film 1971 (Before Watergate, WikiLeaks and Edward Snowden, there was Media, Pennsylvania) followed by Q&A with Jeff Cohen

Meet the brave “ordinary” Americans who dared to defy one of the most powerful man in the country, longtime FBI head J. Edgar Hoover — feared by U. S. senators and even presidents — to expose the bureau’s illegal political surveillance and squelching of peaceful dissent.

These activists became the most hunted people in the country during the intensive investigation that followed their 1971 burglary of the FBI offices in Media, Pennsylvania, in which they carted away documents proving the bureau’s spying. But they escaped detection, hiding their identities for more than four decades.

Learn of their story in the film 1971based on the book Burglary by Betty Medsger (see below). PCIM’s Jeff Cohen has written about FBI/NSA abuses and mainstream media failures to cover those abuses.

Tues., Sept. 30, 7:00 p.m., Williams 225

“Before Edward Snowden:” talk by journalist Betty Medsger, who reported on the “liberated” FBI documents in 1971 and wrote the 2014 book The Burglary: The Discovery of J. Edgar Hoover’s Secret FBI, with Q&A and book signing

Medsger played an important part in Media, PA FBI burglary story (see above). As a young Washington Post reporter in 1971, she received and reported on the purloined documents — the first files that pointed to the FBI’s vast surveillance of civil rights, student and antiwar activists.

Medsger’s page-turner book about them shows the power of non­violent activism and bold journalism — as relevant as ever today, given the ongoing debates over government secrecy, mass surveillance and whistleblowers who risk much to inform the public about official misconduct.

Wed., Oct. 7, 7:00 p.m., Park 285 (with Park School as part of Engage with News Day)
Documentary Screening and Talkback: Silenced (2014, 103 min.) 
followed by Q&A with Jeff Cohen. Refreshments provided.
Only 11 people have ever been charged under the Espionage Act of 1917 — 8 during the Obama administration. James Spione’s documentary Silenced (2014; 103 min.) tells the story of two of them, and examines why whistleblowers, and the journalists who bring their stories to light, are essential to a healthy democracy. A Q&A will follow with Park Center for Independent Media director, associate professor of journalism, and media critic Jeff Cohen. Light refreshments will be provided.