Sunday, October 14, 2007

On October 14, ...

... 1906, Hannah Arendt, among "the most influential political philosophers of the twentieth century," was born in Hanover, Germany, to secular parents of Jewish ancestry. Forced by Nazism to flee in 1933, she lived in Paris until immigrating in 1941 to the United States, where she held academic positions till her death in 1975. Works of particular interest to international law include The Origins of Totalitarianism (1951), recently republished with a foreword by Samantha Power, as well as the New Yorker dispatches from the Jerusalem trial that served as the basis for her 1963 book Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil. (1950 photo of Arendt courtesy of Library of Congress)
... 1981, a call for independent inquiries was made by Amnesty International (logo at left) into a number of cases in which, it asserted, "the Federal Bureau of Investigation fabricated evidence and used other means to put leaders of black, Indian and other American minority groups behind bars" for life. Concern with the FBI's Counter-Intelligence Program (COINTELPRO) center on Elmer "Geronimo" Pratt, a Black Panther Party leader convicted of a California robbery-muder in 1972, and Richard Marshall, an American Indian Movement leader convicted of a South Dakota barroom killing in 1976. Proof of tainting of evidence would result in Pratt's release 12 years later.

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