Law and Disorder Radio

Archives for September, 2006

Law and Disorder September 25, 2006

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Freelance journalist Josh Wolf recently spent a month in jail for refusing to comply with a grand jury subpoena to turn over video footage he took at a rally this past July in opposition to the G8 economic summit in Gleneagles, Scotland. The grand jury is investigating a police car incident from the protest. Neither incident was shown in footage that local television stations purchased from Wolf for their broadcast. Wolf claimed a journalist’s right to withhold unpublished material and well as confidential sources. Although he offered to show the tape to the judge who held him in contempt, but the judge would not accept that offer.
Law and Disorder caught up with Josh Wolfe hours before he was to have turned himself in to the Federal Correctional Institution in Dublin. After we spoke to him he was given a two-day extension before he returns to prison for possibly nine months or more.

Attorneys for Wolf, hope to keep their client free while he appeals the case. They plan to ask the full Ninth Circuit appeals court in San Francisco next month to review the case and may also take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

In his argument for revoking bail, prosecutor Jeffrey Finigan wrote that Wolf must be jailed because the “coercive intent behind the recalcitrant witness statute is lessened with each passing day.” A journalist’s rights to withhold unpublished material and to defend his sources are protected by California’s shield law, but that law does not apply in federal court.



Law and Disorder also spoke with Tim Karr Campaign Director with Free Press about Josh Wolf’s case, shield laws for journalists and the first amendment implications of the case. Karr oversees Free Press campaigns and outreach efforts, including campaigns on public broadcasting and noncommercial media, fake news and propaganda, journalism in crisis, and the future of the Internet.

Co-host Michael Ratner tells how he argued the case in 1971 that ultimately help create journalist shield laws in New York City. It started when police arrested WBAI station manager Ed Goodman for refusing to turn over taped statements by rebelling prisoners at the “Tombs,” the New York City jail. Pacifica Timeline


On July 31 2006, Fidel Castro delegated his duties as President of the Council of state, first secretary of the Cuban Communist Party and the post of commander in chief of the armed forces to his brother Raúl Castro. Many say the transfer of power is temporary as Castro recovers from intestinal surgery. We look beyond the US media spin at the governmental institution of Cuba and the 46 year old war United States has waged against the communist island.
Guest – Peter Roman, professor and political scientist who teaches at Hostos Community College in New York and author of a number of books including People’s Power: Cuba’s Experience With Representative Government.

This multi-layer book examines the historical and political origins of the theory of People’s Power that underpins the Cuban experience.

Law and Disorder September 18, 2006

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Guantanamo/War on Terror/9/11 – Update

Co-host Michael Ratner begins the update in the context of the Supreme Court’s Hamden decision – which essentially says that Geneva conventions apply to people picked up during the “war on terror,” meaning fair trials and being treated humanely. This decision also means that the military commissions set up by the US president are no longer lawful and the actions of torturers, such as the CIA and military personnel at Guantanamo and CIA secret sites could now be charged with war crimes. Today, the president is asking Congress to amend Geneva Conventions and allow illegal military commissions to continue.

To find out more and take action please visit the Center for Constitutional Rights and help stop the fast tracking military commissions bill in Congress that would sink the United States into a police state.

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Law and Disorder Exclusive NSA Spying Lawsuit Oral Arguments

A few weeks ago oral arguments were heard in federal court in a lawsuit brought by the Center for Constitutional Rights. The suit seeks to stop Bush and government agencies from conducting warrantless surveillance of international communications made from the United States, such phone calls and emails. Arguing the case were CCR attorney Shane Kadidal (read Shane’s blog here) and cooperating attorney Michael Avery, president of the National Lawyers Guild. One issue is whether CCR and several of its lawyers has standing to bring the suit. CCR lawyers and Avery have to basically demonstrate a concrete injury from the spying program. CCR lawyers say that their ability to conduct their work has been affected by the chance that their attorney/client communications may be monitored. Meanwhile, government attorneys urged that Judge Gerald Lynch dismiss the case because allowing it to proceed would jeopardize “national security.” It also argued that the government has inherent constitutional power to override national enactments like the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

Co-hosts Michael Smith and Heidi Boghosian caught up with Shane Kadidal and Michael Avery right after their three hour argument.

Mexico Election Protests and the Forming Of A Shadow Government

Post election street protests and tent cities come to a close in Mexico two months after the razor thing results. An election too close to call had both front running presidential candidates Felipe Calderon and Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador declaring themselves winners, based on their speeches and a number of private exit-polls. In the initial election count that ended July 3, Calderon had an advantage of more than 400 thousand votes or 1.04 percentage points over Lopez Obrador. For the past six weeks sprawling encampments filled the center of Mexico City. Obrador warned he will never acknowledge defeat and is forming a “shadow government.”

Guest – Jim Cockcroft – bilingual award winning author of more than 30 books and countless articles on Latin America, Mexico globalization, labor migration and public policy. Read Jim’s blog here.

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No More Deaths – Border Activists Shanti Sellz/Daniel Strauss Case Dismissed.

Here at Law and Disorder we’ve been following the cases of Daniel Strauss and Shanti Sellz, two humanitarian aid activists who work at the Mexican border. More information here at No More Deaths. They provide food and water and if necessary medical assistance to people who are in need crossing the border. In July 2005, they were arrested for transporting three undocumented migrants to a hospital for emergency medical care – for a full background on the case listen to the Law and Disorder interview with Shanti and Daniel here. The case was set to go to trial this October but the judge has recently dropped the case. Co-host Dalia Hashad and WBAI’s Wake Up Call host Deepa Fernandes caught up with Shanti Sellz at the Arizona border.

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September 23: Free the Cuban 5: Protest at the White House, DC

Join Law and Disorder hosts in Washington DC to protest the U.S. government releasing terrorist Luis Posada Carriles.

Law and Disorder September 11, 2006

Today on Law and Disorder, hosts take a look back at US governments’ domestic and international reaction to the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, where an estimated 3000 perished. Stay with us as we begin with the targeting of Muslims and Arab/Americans then discuss the use of secret prisons, NSA spying, Guantanamo and war powers, the Authorization for Use of Military Force.

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FBI Roundups, Profiling, Secret Sites, Presidential Powers

Roundup of Muslims – FBI to question 5000–immediate – Special Registration

Ashcroft lifting of FBI Guidelines

Detainee Treatment Actmore info on McCain amendment

Decision justifying torture

Brandon Mayfield

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FBI Informant

Spying, NSA, Criminalizing Dissent, Patriot Act

2006 NSA spying—cases and victory

CCR case

EFF case

Broadening of wiretap provisions

Patriot Act – No sunset

Criminal cases—Lynne Stewart

We hear a preview from an interview with Shane Kadidal, attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights and cooperating attorney Michael Avery, president of the National Lawyers Guild, right after arguing the case brought by the Center for Constitutional Rights seeking to stop Bush and government agencies from conducting warrantless surveillance of international communications of people in the United States.


Guantanamo, Torture, Indefinite Detention, Renditions, Criminal Prosecutions

INS —secret hearings

Abu Gharib photos – Warning – graphic images on this link

Guantanamo – Amnesty Link

CCR link

Torture is not torture – 2004 Truthout story – Marjorie Cohn

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Iraq/Afghanistan/ – War

AUMF — Authorization to Use Military Force – translation: Attack anything anywhere if president says it’s related to 9/11.

Attack Afghanistan 2002

Attack Iraq – 2003

Attack Lebanon – 2006

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