Links to today’s show transcripts:
Greg Grandin: George H.W. Bush’s 1989 Invasion of Panama Set the Stage for U.S. Wars to Come
The death of George H.W. Bush has dominated the U.S. news for days, but little attention has been paid to the defining event of Bush’s first year in office: the invasion of Panama. On December 19, 1989, Bush Sr. sent tens of thousands of troops into Panama, ostensibly to execute an arrest warrant against its leader, Manuel Noriega, on charges of drug trafficking. General Noriega was once a close ally to Washington and on the CIA payroll. In a nationally televised address, Bush claimed the invasion was needed to defend democracy in Panama. During the attack, the U.S. unleashed a force of 24,000 troops equipped with highly sophisticated weaponry and aircraft against a country with an army smaller than the New York City Police Department. An estimated 3,000 Panamanians died in the attack. Historian Greg Grandin is a prize-winning author and professor of Latin American history at New York University, and is interviewed on the lasting impact of the Panama invasion.
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights: U.S. Owes Reparations to Panama over Bush’s Invasion
Last month, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights called on Washington to pay reparations to Panama over George H.W. Bush’s illegal invasion there in 1989. International human rights attorney José Luis Morín, who has been working since 1990 to secure reparations for Panama is interviewed. He is a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and chairperson of the Latin American and Latina/o Studies Department.
How George H.W. Bush’s Pardons for Iran-Contra Conspirators Set the Stage for Trump’s Impunity
As the media lauds George H.W. Bush’s legacy, we look at his role in the Iran-Contra scandal. Bush Sr. was vice president when the Reagan administration conspired to deceive and defy Congress with its illegal arms sale to Iran in exchange for securing the release of American hostages in Lebanon. The proceeds from the sale were used to illegally fund the Nicaraguan Contras. In 1992, when Bush Sr. was president, he pardoned several Iran-Contra defendants, including Caspar Weinberger, Robert McFarlane and Elliott Abrams. Greg Grandin is a prize-winning author and professor of Latin American history at New York University.