Letters and Politics

A History of the Grand Jury Process and the Chelsea Manning Case. Then, The Aftermath of the New Zealand Massacre

As Chelsea Manning spends her second week in prison for her refusal to testify to a grand jury for a case that seems to be about Wikileaks Julian Assange over the release of top secret documents back in 2010. These cables were leaked by Chelsea manning when she was in the military. Manning was granted clemency after serving several years in a military prison by former president Obama.  It appears she has been subpoena to a grand jury to testify whether Assange assisted her in any way to obtain those documents. Manning has called the grand jury, morally objectionable that works in secret. A process that historically has been used to entrap and persecute activists for protected political speech. We talk to professor Marjorie Cohn about what a grand jury is, how it operates and its history.

Then, we are joined by Dr. Hatem Bazian to talk about the aftermath of the New Zealand massacre and also the debate on Ilhan Omar’s comments concerning U.S.-Israeli relations.


Marjorie Cohn is professor emerita at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, San Diego, California. She is a former president of the National Lawyers Guild.  Her articles can be found at marjoriecohn.com

Hatem Bazian is a co-founder and Professor of Islamic Law and Theology at Zaytuna College, the 1st Accredited Muslim Liberal Arts College in the United States. In addition, Prof. Bazian is a lecturer in the Departments of Near Eastern and Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies at the University of California, Berkeley.



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