Santa Cruz, CA (PRWEB) May 21, 2012
Nationally known, Harvard trained, civil rights Attorney Daniel P. Sheehan will present a four part lecture and discussion series telling the inside story of the Iran Contra scandal, the history of United States covert operations since World War ll, and what it means for us today. These four presentations are part of his UC Santa Cruz course, Cowell 126: Eight Cases that Changed the United States.
While chief counsel at the non-profit Christic Institute, Mr. Sheehan was the first to challenge the Reagan-Bush administration’s illegal covert sale of arms to Iran to fund a criminal, unconstitutional Contra war against the Sandinista government in Nicaragua. Representing an injured journalist, he and the Christic Institute filed a RICO (racketeering) lawsuit (Avirgan v. Hull; Civil Case No. 87-1146-CIV-KING; United States District Court Southern District of Florida), against 26 people who were working first with Vice President George Bush, Sr., and then with Oliver North. The historic lawsuit led to the national Iran Contra scandal, and exposed forty years of illegal United States covert operations though out the world. To sign up for the online version of the lectures, coming this fall, please visit http://www.romeroinstitute.org or call 831-459-6135.
For Santa Cruz residents who organized and led one of the many Christic action teams in the 80s and 90s, Iran Contra was a burning issue. The local action team organized speaking events, broadcast videos on cable TV documenting drug trafficking in the United Stated to fund illegal covert operations abroad, recruited fellow residents to write letters and lobby government officials advocating policy changes to reign in covert operations, and raised money to fund the investigation of the lawsuit. In the late 80s the City Council gave Mr. Sheehan a key to the City of Santa Cruz in appreciation for his work.
A graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, Mr. Sheehan has spent over 40 years as a high impact cause lawyer. From the Pentagon Papers and the Watergate Scandal to the Karen Silkwood Case and the Iran Contra Affair, Mr. Sheehan has a deep insider’s view as a major participant in these cases. Conversations in chambers with judges and the various twists and turns of legal and political machinations are a few of the elements in the story behind the story of these events that have shaped our lives and politics today. Most importantly, Mr. Sheehan now has unique insight and exceptional knowledge to share regarding the development of covert operations and the growing national security state. Mr. Sheehan believes that, “This information is indispensable to an understanding of how we got to where we are today, facing the National Defense Authorization Act and the open ended War on Terror which are together eroding our most fundamental Constitutional rights. With this knowledge we can act locally, nationally, and globally to protect Constitutional democracy.”
Today Mr. Sheehan carries on his work as the President of the non-profit Romero Institute. Based in Santa Cruz, California, the Institute engages nationwide in legal consulting, litigation, and public education to dismantle the structures of injustice and threats to the survival of the human family.