Background Briefing: April 4, 2022


Prosecuting Putin For Going to War and Then Committing War Crimes

We begin with revelations of atrocities committed by retreating Russian troops in Ukraine with 300 civilians found on the outskirts of Kyiv murdered, many bound and tied shot execution style. Joining us is Rebecca Hamilton, a Professor of Law at American University’s Washington College of Law where she teaches criminal law, national security law, and international law. She previously was a legal correspondent for Reuters and covered the civil war in Sudan, served as a lawyer in the prosecutorial division of the International Criminal Court, working on cases in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, Uganda and Sudan, and recently served in the Office of Special Operations/Low-Intensity Conflict in the Department of Defense. Her latest book is Fighting for Darfur: Public Action and the Struggle to Stop Genocide and she we discuss her article at The Washington Post, “How the world can prosecute Putin for going to war.


The U.S. Has Tools to Stop Russian Propaganda Which We Are Not Using

Then we look into tools the U.S. government has but is not using to stop the spread of Russian disinformation contained in a 1937 law, the Foreign Agents Registration Act, FARA. Originally created to counter Nazi propaganda and later Soviet propaganda, it’s provisions to label propaganda such at RT and Sputnik as propaganda remain to be enforced while giant Silicon Valley platforms like Google up until the Ukraine war have been “useful idiots” for the Kremlin. Joining us is L. Gordon Crovitz, a former publisher, editorial board member and opinion columnist for The Wall Street Journal and the co-CEO of NewsGuard, which rates news websites based on their journalistic reliability. We discuss his article at Politico, “U.S. Law Holds a Tool to Counter Putin’s Propaganda. But Officials Aren’t Using It.”


The David Versus Goliath Victory Over Amazon to Unionize a Warehouse

Then finally, with two fired workers from an Amazon warehouse in Staten Island creating a pop-up union then winning a David versus Goliath fight to unionize their former workplace, we speak with Harold Meyerson, one of the nation’s best-known progressive columnists and editor-at-large of The American Prospect. He also writes regularly about California politics for the Los Angeles Times and other national publications, and he joins us to discuss his latest article at The American Prospect, “A Generational Worker Revolt Hits Its Stride.”