Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, John Helmer, Dan Kovalik, Janine Bandcroft October 5, 2016

Last week, the Joint Investigation Team, an internationally composed body looking into the downing over Ukraine of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 more than two years ago released some of their findings, enough to implicate, they say, Russia in the crime. The western press immediately repeated the findings, and its accusations fully, while doing little digging of its own into either the rigor of the JIT’s methods, or resilience of its facts.

The media’s curious incuriousness surrounding the Dutch-led panel’s probity, considering the scope of the story and its possible ramifications for international relations between Russia and the west at this most sensitive historical moment, may be the most telling part of the tragic mystery behind flight MH17.

John Helmer is a long-time, Moscow-based journalist, author, and essayist; the only one, his site, Dances with Bears informs “to direct his own bureau independent of single national or commercial ties” since 1989. He’s a former political science professor who’s served as an advisor to the governments of Greece, the United States, and in Asia who regularly lectures on Russian topics in China, Europe, and the US. His book titles include: ‘Uncovering Russia,’ ‘Urbanman: The Psychology of Urban Survival,’ ‘Bringing the War Home: The American Soldier in Vietnam and After,’ and ‘Drugs and Minority Oppression’ among others.

John Helmer in the first half.

And; there was dancing in the streets last week when a long-sought peace deal between the Colombian government and the FARC, (the leftists guerrilla organization engaged in a multi-generational insurgency) was announced, but Sunday the music stopped as it became apparent the national referendum called to ratify the deal failed to pass. Why the vote failed, and what happens next are the questions burning the wires across Colombia now.

Daniel Kovalik teaches international human rights law at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, and is Senior Associate General Counsel for the United Steel Workers union. Kovalik is just back from Colombia where he witnessed the peace plebiscite. Dan’s also a long-time peace and justice activist, specializing in that in Colombia and Central America, where he serves as an attorney for Colombian plaintiffs in cases alleging corporate human rights violations. Kovalik is also co-recipient of a Project Censored Award for chronicling the murder of trade unionists in Colombia.

Dan Kovalik and failing peace in Colombia in the second half.

And; Victoria Street Newz publisher emeritus and CFUV Radio broadcaster, Janine Bandcroft will join us at the bottom of the hour to bring us news of some of the good things going on in and around our town in the coming week. But first, John Helmer and MH17, a prejudiced verdict verified and delivered two years after the fact.

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Chris Cook

Author: Chris Cook

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