Law and Disorder Radio

Archives for November, 2007

Law and Disorder November 26, 2007

Law and Disorder Updates


Guantanamo Update

Hosts deliver updates on a number of recent news stories about Guantanamo Bay Prison in Cuba, such as the “Camp Delta Standard Operating Procedures Manual” that was leaked recently. Download the manual here. (PDF) According to this manual the Red Cross was not allowed access to certain detainees at Guantanamo. Also among topics discussed, an Amicus Brief that was filed recently and the Supreme Court’s review of the military’s process on how prisoners are released from Guantanamo.

Guest – Shane Kadidal, senior attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights. Check out Shane’s Blog


Less Safe, Less Free: Why America Is Losing the War on Terror

Leading constitutional scholars David Cole and Jules Lobel have published a critique of the Bush administration’s post 9-11 policies. It’s called “Less Safe, Less Free: Why America is Losing the War on Terror.”

They point out how less than one-tenth of the detainees in Guantanamo Bay have been found to have links to Al Qaeda or the Taliban. Not one of the 80,000 Arab and Muslim men who underwent Special Registration has been convicted of terrorism-related crimes. Meanwhile, the department of homeland security continues to spend tens of millions installing surveillance camera systems in and throughout US cities.

One review of “Less Safe, Less Free: Why America is Losing the War on Terror.” writes – – “ At home and abroad, the administration has cut corners on fundamental commitments of the rule of law in the name of preventing future attacks—from “water-boarding” detainees, to disappearing suspects into secret CIA prisons, to attacking Iraq against the wishes of the UN Security Council and most of the world when it posed no imminent threat of attacking us.”

Guest – Jules Lobel, vice president of the Center for Constitutional Rights. He’s a law professor and constitutional lawyer teaching at the University of Pittsburgh. Jules Lobel is also expert on emergency powers and the laws governing war.


A Question of Impeachment

A Question of Impeachment is the title for the Culture Project’s ongoing event series this month and into December. Authors, actors and luminaries gather to explore and debate the case for impeachment of President Bush and Vice President Cheney.

Guests – Olivia Greer, Culture Project Producer and and Allan Buchman, Creative Director at the Culture Project.

Watch – A Question of Impeachment

Law and Disorder November 19, 2007


‘A Coup Has Occurred’ . . . Daniel Ellsberg

Law and Disorder hosts talk with Daniel Ellsberg about his recent speech. Ellsberg, former Defense Department analyst who leaked the secret Pentagon Papers in 1971, describes to listeners a dire scenario if the Bush administration attacks Iran.

Excerpt from his speech – “If there’s another 9/11 under this regime … it means that they switch on full extent all the apparatus of a police state that has been patiently constructed, largely secretly at first but eventually leaked out and known and accepted by the Democratic people in Congress, by the Republicans and so forth.

Guest – Daniel Ellsberg, served in the Pentagon in 1964 under Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara. He then served for two years in Vietnam working for General Edward Lansdale as a civilian in the State Department, and became aware that the Vietnam War was unwinnable.



The National Lawyers’ Guild Calls for Demonstrations in Solidarity with Lawyers in Pakistan

Co-hosts Heidi Boghosian and Michael Smith speak with lawyers and activists on the street. The National Lawyers Guild, NYC-NLG Chapter, Center for Constitutional Rights, SALT, Alliance for Justice, have called for demonstrations at Pakistani Consulates in New York City, Washington, D.C., Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles & Boston in solidarity with Lawyers in Pakistan.

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Speakers include NLG NYC Chapter President Daniel L. Meyers; Michael Heflin, Amnesty International USA; Jeannie Mirer, Secretary General, International Association of Democratic Lawyers.

The National Lawyers Guild demands that President Musharraf immediately withdraw the emergency declaration of November 3, 2007, the Provisional Constitutional Order No. 1 of 2007 (PCO), which suspends Pakistan’s Constitution. This declaration includes suspension of the right to life and liberty, freedom of speech, assembly and association, and equal protection of the law, all of which are guaranteed by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.



James P. Cannon and the Origins of the American Revolutionary Left, 1890-1928

James P. Cannon and the Origins of the American Revolutionary Left, 1890-1928 is meticulously and creatively researched. Palmer’s book situates American communism’s formative decade in the dynamics of a specific political and economic context, never losing sight of the mobilizations and militant strikes of the period. This study also locates this historical drama–to an unprecedented degree–alongside the personal life and particular experience of a native son of working-class radicalism. – University of Illinois Press

Guest – Bryan Palmer Canada Research Chair at Trent University and the editor of Labour/Le Travail. He is also the author of ten books, including Descent into Discourse and Cultures of Darkness.



November 13, 2001: Coup d’etat in America by Michael Ratner

I am writing this on November 13th. That day probably has little significance for most readers of this blog. But it is a day, as they say, that should live in infamy. On that date in 2001, two months after 9/11, President Bush issued Military Order Number 1. Read More . . . .

Law and Disorder November 12, 2007

Co-hosts Michael Ratner and Michael Smith deliver updates:


Kahlil Gibran International Academy

Ousted Arabic School Principal Debbie Almontaser plans to sue the city for violating her freedom of speech after reapplying for her position last month as principal of Kahlil Gibran International Academy. The ousted principal of the city’s first public Arabic-language school was forced to resign after she was quoted explaining that the word “intifada” literally means “shaking off” in Arabic. This was in reference to a controversy arising over a t-shirt that read “intifada NYC” created and worn by a group called Arab Women Active in the Arts and Media.

Debbie Almontaser says she was forced out under pressure from Mayor Bloomberg and calls the offense a serious injustice to Arab and Muslim communities of New York City. Communities in Support of KGIA

Guests – Donna Nevel and Mona Eldahry who are involved in organizing Debbie Almontaser’s defense.

Kahlil Gibran International Academy Curriculum PDF / Kahlil Gibran International Academy Curriculum html



The Slave Ship – A Human History

“This has been a painful book to write,” he said, “and if I have done any justice to the subject, it will be a painful book to read. There is no way around this, nor should there be.” says Marcus Rediker author and history professor at the University of Pittsburgh.

Rediker has scoured through letters, diaries, memoirs, captain’s logbooks, shipping company records to piece together the intimate realities of these 18th-century sailing vessel carrying enslaved Africans. Rediker draws startling parallels to global economy structures then and now, tracing back as New England timber was used to build Slave Ships yet nails and ropes were purchased from Liverpool at discounts, ship captain stock options and more. In his book, Marcus also documents revolts among underpaid sailors and the solidarity that evolves amid slaves and servants.

One review describes Slave Ship as “ a tale of tragedy and terror, but also an epic of resilience, survival, and the creation of something entirely new. Marcus Rediker restores the slave ship to its rightful place alongside the plantation as a formative institution of slavery, a place where a profound and still haunting history of race, class, and modern economy was made.”


Guest – Author and Professor Marcus Rediker.


Co-host Michael Smith notes the 90th anniversary of the Russian Revolution from a listener’s letter who highlights excerpts of famous speeches.


Music Out – Banjo performed by musician and host of Downhome Radio Eli Smith

Law and Disorder November 5, 2007


Vote down the Attorney General Nomination of Judge Michael Mukasey.

“Michael Mukasey professes ignorance as to whether water-boarding is a form of torture unless he knows “the actual facts and circumstances” of its use. The “facts and circumstances” of water-boarding are quite straightforward. When a person is water-boarded, their head is held under water until the person begins to involuntarily “inhale” water. At that point, the victim is certain they will drown if not allowed to get air. It is a technique from the Spanish Inquisition and illegal under international and domestic law. Instilling fear of imminent death as an interrogation technique is the very essence of torture, and no amount of legal analysis can come to any other conclusion.” Read full CCR Press Release.

Torture Complaint Against Donald Rumsfeld in France



Armenian Genocide Denial

Recently, the Foreign Affairs Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives took a major step toward ending U.S. complicity in Turkey’s denial of the Armenian Genocide. Despite an intense campaign of threats and intimidation by the Turkish government and its lobbyists in Washington, DC the Committee adopted HR 106, the Armenian Genocide Resolution.

Introduced on January 30, the resolution calls on the President to ensure that the foreign policy of the United States reflects appropriate understanding and sensitivity concerning issues related to human rights, ethnic cleansing, and genocide documented in the United States record relating to the Armenian Genocide.

One day after the House Foreign Affairs Committee approved the resolution, 27-21, Turkey withdrew its ambassador for consultations, and Turkish legislators on October 17 authorized the use of military force against Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq, a step that may further destabilize Iraq and disrupt oil supplies. Despite overwhelming evidence documenting the Genocide, the Republic of Turkey continues to pursue a well-funded campaign – in Washington, DC and throughout the world – to deny and ultimately erase from world history the 1.5 million victims of Ottoman Turkey’s and later the Republic of Turkey’s systematic and deliberate massacres and deportations of Armenians between 1915 and 1923. According to the International Association of Genocide Scholars, the historical record on the Armenian genocide is quote – unambiguous.

Since 1982, successive U.S. Administrations, fearful of offending Turkey, have effectively supported the Turkish government’s revisionism by opposing passage of Congressional Armenian Genocide resolutions and objecting to the use of the word “genocide” to describe the systematic destruction of the Armenian people.

Guest – Aram Sarafian with the National Armenian Committee of America.

the-question henrialleg

Henri Alleg, Author of the The Question

Hosts Michael Ratner and Michael Steven Smith interview Henri Alleg for the first half hour. Alleg, a French journalist living in Paris, supported Algerian independence during the French Algerian War (1954-1962). He was arrested by French paratroopers during the Battle of Algiers in June 1957 and interrogated.

Henri Alleg describes to Law and Disorder hosts in this exclusive interview how he was questioned hung from his feet and tortured with a similar brutality and sadism often described by prisoners in Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib. Alleg’s republished book The Question is a moving account of that month of interrogation and his triumpj over his torturers. Jean-Paul Sartre has written the preface that remains a relevant commentary on the moral and political effects of torture on the both the victim and perpetrator.

Guest – Henri Alleg,  a French-Algerian journalist, director of the “Alger républicain” newspaper, and a member of the French Communist Party. After Editions de Minuit, a French publishing house, released his memoir La Question in 1958, Alleg gained international recognition for his stance against torture, specifically within the context of the Algerian War.


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