FDL Book Salon Welcomes Steve Coll, Private Empire: ExxonMobil and American Power

By: Saturday July 28, 2012 1:59 pm

If you’ve ever wondered why all the angry political rhetoric about high gasoline prices has so little effect when you’re paying around $4 a gallon, give a read to Steve Coll’s incredibly well-researched book, Private Empire: ExxonMobil and American Power. At numerous points in the 685-page exposé of the largest U.S. energy company, Coll makes clear how ExxonMobil puts its interests behind no others, including those of the American public.

“I’m not a U.S. company and I don’t make decisions based on what’s good for the U.S.,” former ExxonMobil CEO Lee Raymond says.

 

FDL Movie Night: Prosecutor

By: Monday November 21, 2011 5:00 pm

Barry Steven’s documentary Prosecutor focuses on the efforts of Luis Moreno-Ocampo, the International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor, as he begins to try the ICC’s first case ever against Thomas Lubanga, the Congolese leader who stands accused of conscripting and enlisting children into his army. A warrant has also been issued for the arrest and trial of Sudan’s leader, Omar al-Bashir; but with no police force to enforce the warrant the ICC must rely on member states to cooperate. Today Reuters reports that:

Guantanamo Teen Was Tortured, Asked to Spy on Other Detainees

By: Friday April 8, 2011 1:56 pm

According to information at the Reprieve web site, “Chadian citizen, Mohammed el Gharani was the youngest prisoner in Guantánamo Bay, arrested when he was just 14. In January 2009, a federal judge ordered his release and he was returned to Chad in June 2009.”

After his release, Gharani told the Miami Herald that after Barack Obama became president, his treatment did not get any better, including being beaten by a rubber baton and tear-gassed. During the years of his detention, he was subjected to solitary confinement, sleep deprivation, stress positions, and suspension from his wrists at least 30 times.

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Ted Rall, The Anti-American Manifesto

By: Sunday October 24, 2010 1:58 pm

As a cartoonist, columnist, radio host, TV guest and graphic novelist, Ted Rall has always been hard to categorize. Rall is liberal and an environmentalist, to be sure, but he’s a peculiar brand of both. He’s not scared of guns or all gun owners and he’s got a strong law-and-order streak. He seems to dismiss popular “peak oil” theories that anticipate a rapid and disastrous fall-off in petroleum production. He’s equally critical of Democrats and Republicans.

Rall is most notorious for his U.S. political commentary. A 2004 cartoon criticizing football player-turned-soldier Pat Tillman, who was killed by “friendly” fire in Afghanistan, is easily Rall’s most famous work. But arguably Rall’s most unique and important work has grown out of his infrequent jaunts through foreign conflict zones, particularly in Central Asia. A trip to Afghanistan in 2001 produced the graphic novel To Afghanistan and Back, one of the best and most prescient books on the now decade-old war. For all that, Rall’s most eloquent work isn’t political at all. His memoir The Year of Loving Dangerously recounts his turbulent but passionate youth.

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