FROM Andre Birotte, Jr.
FBI Arrests 17, Indicts 18 from LA County Sheriff's Department Illegal behavior has become institutionalized in the LA County Sheriff's Department, where some deputies "consider themselves to be above the law." That's according to US Attorney André Birotte, Jr. Today, he unsealed indictments alleging unjustified beatings of both jail inmates and visitors and conspiracies to cover up those actions. Eighteen deputies have been indicted and 16 are under arrest . Late this afternoon, Sheriff Lee Baca held a news conference to respond to the charges. Baca denied that abuse has become "institutionalized" but said he sadly accepted the US Attorney's investigation "whatever the findings are." (Both Sheriff Baca and former Undersheriff Paul Tanaka declined our invitation to participate in this discussion.)
The Crackdown on Medical Marijuana: Prohibition Revisited? Sixteen states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana, but it's still an illegal, "Schedule 1" drug under federal law. Now the Obama Administration is cracking down , insisting that medical marijuana is a front for recreational use, and generating huge, illicit profits. The poster child is California, which started the movement in 1996 and where medical marijuana reportedly is a multi-billion-dollar business. Is the federal government blind to “compassionate use" by needy patients? Is medical marijuana a scam? What are the parallels to the era of Prohibition?
"Tough on crime" rhetoric sees a revival at Sessions' DOJ The pendulum swings between treatment-focused approaches to drug abuse and tough law enforcement. Now, after years of Obama-era "reforms," President Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions wants local police freed from federal restrictions to fight another "war on drugs."
Truth and Lies in Trumpland Donald Trump is using mis-information like no President has before him. It's an unprecedented challenge to the news media, and a potential threat to democracy. We hear how the "leader of all the people" is dividing Americans and confusing the rest of the world.
White House flip flops: NATO, Syria and China In less than 100 days, President Trump has contradicted himself on a host of foreign policy issues — Syria, NATO, China and Vladimir Putin’s Russia. Is it a strength — or a weakness — for the United States when the world of power politics never knows what to expect?