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Archives for October, 2007


Law and Disorder October 29, 2007


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US Attorney General Nominee Mukasey DIRECT ACTION PAGE

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Is Water Boarding Torture? Judge Michael Mukasey’s Nomination for Attorney General

Co-hosts Michael Ratner and Michael Smith discuss how Judge Michael Mukasey claims he’s unfamiliar with “water boarding” as a form of torture.

Echoing Michael Mukasey, his friend and associate who likely will soon be the next attorney general, Republican presidential front-runner Rudolph Giuliani claimed Wednesday that he doesn’t know whether waterboarding is torture. Read more by Joe Conason

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Beyond Guantanamo: Rescue the Constitution

Michael Smith and Heidi Boghosian speak with CCR attorney Jen Nessel about the launch of Beyond Guantanamo Rescue the Constitution Campaign. Find out more here – CCRJustice.org

CCR UPDATES:

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Law and Disorder Re-Broadcast from June 11th, 2007

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Maze of Injustice – The failure to protect Indigenous Women from sexual violence in the USA

A recent Amnesty International study on the sexual violence against indigenous women in the United States exposes a disturbing trend in human rights abuse. The reasons why indigenous women are at particular risk of sexual violence are complex. According to the report, more than one in three Native American and Alaska Native women are survivors of rape. Most of the abused women have not followed through in their cases to seek justice because of a general inaction within the tribal government authority and its chronic under-resourced law enforcement agencies which should protect indigenous women. As one support worker said, “Women don’t report because it doesn’t make a difference. Why report when you are just going to be re-victimized?” Too many times, as the Amnesty Report identifies, those responsible for the violence are able to get away with it.


Guest – Michael Heflin, the Amnesty International USA Campaign Director.

Guest – Juskwa Burnett, counselor for the Otoe-Missouria Tribe in Oklahoma. Juskwa Burnett has a long history of working on domestic abuse and sexual assault of Native women.


Listen to or download Maze of Injustice Segment

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Conscientious Objectors from Vietnam to Iraq

Here on Law and Disorder we continue to look at the issue of Iraq war resisters and conscientious objectors. We’ve interviewed war resistors – their families and discussed conscientious objection. We also look at how legislation has changed for soldiers applying for CO status.

Since the Vietnam War more than 170,000 men were officially recognized as conscientious objectors. But, in 1971 the Supreme Court refused to allow objection to a particular war, a decision affecting thousands of objectors to the Vietnam War. Some 50,000–100,000 men are estimated to have left the United States to avoid being drafted. Now, the US military is all-volunteer. We talk with Citizen Soldiers’ Tod Ensign about what’s changed for Conscientious Objectors since the Vietnam War and compare what it means to be a CO in today’s United States military.

Joining us in this discussion is Tod Ensign, lawyer and the director of Citizen Soldier, a support organization for Gis.

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Check out – The Different Drummer Cafe

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Law and Disorder October 22, 2007


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Co-hosts Michael Ratner and Heidi Boghosian begin with updates, the Armenian Genocide legislation, the recent passing of American Indian Movement’s lead spokesman Vernon Bellecourt. Bellecourt a member of the White Earth Band of Ojibwe (located in Minnesota) and the Center for Constitutional Rights lawsuit against Blackwater USA.

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A legal team including the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) sued the “Shadow Army” Blackwater USA, the private military contractor whose heavily armed personnel allegedly opened fire on innocent Iraqi civilians in Nisoor Square in Baghdad on Sept. 16. The suit was filed on behalf of an injured survivor and three families of men killed in the incident, according to the legal team representing the civilians. The case was brought be the Center for Constitutional Rights and the firms of Burke O’Neil LLC and Akeel & Valentine, P.C.

Jeremy Scahill talks about how Erik Prince started Blackwater

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Naomi Wolf – The End of America: A Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot

During WBAI’s fall fund raiser for the Pacifica station 99.5 FM in New York City, Law and Disorder hosts were live in the studio with Naomi Wolf. Naomi Wolf is a feminist, social critic and political activist. The New York Times called her book, The Beauty Myth, one of the most important books of the 20th century. Wolf is the co-founder of The Woodhull Institute for Ethical Leadership, teaching young women to become leaders and agents of change. Naomi Wolf blog in the Huffington Post

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Her latest book The End of America: A Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot is a call to return to the beliefs of our founding fathers. Wolf’s new book illustrates ten steps historically taken by leaders who are attempting to dismantle a democracy. Wolf jokingly called it the The Greatest Hits of Facism.

In The End of America, Wolf gives voice to the cause of every American patriot: the preservation of the Constitution and the liberties it embodies and protects.

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“Recent history has profound lessons for us in the U.S. today about how fascist, totalitarian, and other repressive leaders seize and maintain power, especially in what were once democracies. The secret is that these leaders all tend to take very similar, parallel steps. The Founders of this nation were so deeply familiar with tyranny and the habits and practices of tyrants that they set up our checks and balances precisely out of fear of what is unfolding today. We are seeing these same kinds of tactics now closing down freedoms in America, turning our nation into something that in the near future could be quite other than the open society in which we grew up and learned to love liberty,” stated Wolf.

Thank you for your pledges to WBAI!

Chopper photo By Woodkern on Flickr

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Law and Disorder October 15, 2007


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Imperialism in the American Century.

Recently recorded at the Brecht Forum, Viveck Chibbers, professor of sociology at NYU and the author of Locked in Place: State-Building and Late Industrialization in India.

His speech is titled Imperialism in the American Century. Viveck describes what “progressives can expect in the near future in terms of basic principles of justice. Viveck also references how the (PNAC) Project for the New American Century draft is shaping foreign policy.

  • Co-hosts Heidi Boghosian and Michael Smith discuss the recent news – The military is accusing two attorneys for Guantanamo detainees of smuggling underwear to their clients. Michael and Heidi also read the two letters detailing the dispute. Read Shane Kadidal’s blog post here: Underwear Gnomes Infest Guantanamo

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Michael Ratner’s letter published in the New York Times Oct. 10, 2007 – Torture and the Shame of a Nation. Responding to this New York Times Editorial: On Torture and American Values.To the Editor:“On Torture and American Values” lets Congress off the hook too easily regarding the torture and secret detention program. As with the Iraq war, many Republicans and Democrats were and still are willing to be misled (or claim to have been so) rather than appear to be perceived as weak on terrorism. Sadly, Congress by its actions and inactions is the handmaiden of the torture program. Despite the publicly revealed memos authorizing torture and the testimony of its widespread use, Congress, even under the Democrats, has yet to hold even one hearing regarding the responsibility of high administration officials. Perhaps had it done so, the administration would not have felt emboldened to continue the program.Instead, Congress affirmatively aided the torture program. Examples abound: removing habeas corpus from detainees and failing in its restoration (habeas is key to protecting against torture — lawyers and courts have access to detainees); granting amnesty to officials who may have violated the torture and war crimes provisions of our law; allowing a defense for future abusers if they relied upon legal advice; authorizing the president to redefine cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment; and permitting the use of evidence derived from torture and coercion.Now with the nomination of a new attorney general, Congress again has an opportunity to make its voice heard: no attorney general who does not clearly and unequivocally repudiate the new torture memos and the secret sites at which torture is carried out should even be considered for the job. Michael Ratner, President of the Center for Constitutional Rights

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Read Michael Ratner’s Recent Blog Here

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Law and Disorder October 8, 2007


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US Attorney General Nominee Judge Michael Mukasey

Are we the only ones who are ready to retch at the constant stream of praise for the president’s choice for attorney general? asks attorney Shane Kadidal in his latest Huffington Post blog Mukasey Will Suck (And He Hates Us) Shane goes on to list how US attorney general nominee Judge Michael Mukasey wrongly describes the role of the Center for Constitutional Rights defending Guantanamo detainees and other mis-characterizations.

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Guest – Shane Kadidal, staff attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights and has been at CCR since 2001. He works on the Center’s major case on the illegal NSA domestic spying program, CCR v. Bush, as well as the Center’s Patriot Act case, and testified before Congress this past spring on the material witness statute. He also works on Turkmen v. Ashcroft, representing people swept up on immigration charges after 9/11 and unlawfully detained and abused; with the Vulcan Society of Black Firefighters challenging discriminatory hiring policies of the New York City Fire Department; and with the Sikh Coalition against religious discrimination by New York’s Transit Authority, among other cases.

Guest – attorney Jesse Berman. Berman was an attorney for Osama Awadallah, a US citizen, Palestinian and Muslim. Awadallah was a student at a San Diego college when he was arrested as a material witness shortly after 9/11. Berman describes how federal Judge Mukasey responded to an attorney claiming Awadallah had been beaten while in jail. Mukasey says “he looks fine to me.”

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Center For Constitutional Rights Caterpillar Case Dismissed

Recently the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed the Center for Constitutional Rights’ case charging Caterpillar, Inc with aiding and abetting war crimes. Caterpillar is the company that provided bulldozers to Israel knowing that would be used to demolish homes and endanger civilians in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

The case, Corrie, et al. v. Caterpillar Inc. was brought by the parents of Rachel Corrie and four Palestinian families whose family members were killed or injured when Caterpillar bulldozers demolished their homes. Corrie, a 23-year-old American peace activist and student at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, was killed March 2003, in the Gaza Strip by a Caterpillar D9 bulldozer while protecting a home from illegal demolition. [Click here to download the Decision] from a three-judge panel of the Court of Appeals found that it did not have jurisdiction to decide the case because Caterpillar’s bulldozers were ultimately paid for with money from the United States. For years, Caterpillar has had notice that the IDF was using its D9 bulldozers for human rights violations; despite this, the company has continued to provide them to the Israeli government.

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Guest – Maria LaHood, senior attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights.

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The Sugar Law Center for Economic and Social Justice

Today on Law and Disorder we talk with the Executive Director and Legal Director of the Sugar Law Center for Economic and Social Justice. They’re a national, non-profit organization, that provides legal support and advocacy for working people and their communities.

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Basically holding corporations and goverments accountable to their legal and moral responsibilities regarding illegal and abusive working conditions. Recently the Sugar Law Center has handled cases involving Wal-Mart and Wackenhut, the private prison corporation.
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Guest – Tova Perlmutter, Executive Director of the Sugar Law Center.

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