Law and Disorder Radio

Law and Disorder December 17, 2007

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The C.I.A. Destroys Tapes Showing Interrogation

Law and Disorder hosts discuss details of this story. Articles say the CIA has destroyed hundreds of hours of video tapes of the likely 2002 water torture of three men. Although the CIA has not acknowledged that the videos are of water torture. The Justice Department and the Central Intelligence Agency have launched a joint probe into the CIA’s destruction of at least two videotapes documenting prisoner interrogations at a secret CIA prison. House Votes to Outlaw Waterboarding.


Fear of Torture: Tape Destruction or Prosecution? – By Michael Ratner

As we all now know, the CIA has destroyed hundreds of hours of video tapes of the likely 2002 water torture of three men, allegedly involved with al-Qaida, by its agents. Although the CIA has not acknowledged that the videos are of water torture – often known euphemistically as “waterboarding” – a former CIA agent, John Kiriakou, has said that the waterboarding was authorised from the highest levels of the Bush administration. Read More at Just Left.


Excerpt From Michael Ratner’s Acceptance Speech During the Puffin/Nation Awards.

“In accepting this remarkable award I do not stand here alone. I stand with the generations that have gone before—those particularly at the Center for Constitutional Rights that have always been willing to upend the status quo and take personal and political risks. I stand especially on the shoulders of our founders of 40 years ago—William Kunstler, Morton Stavis, Arthur Kinoy, and Ben Smith. Read also Michael Ratner’s article in the Guardian UK

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The Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act

Hosts examine the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act with former National Lawyers Guild President Peter Erlinder. Peter says the legislation appears an effort to re-create the House Committee on Un-American Activities, which was a standing commission in the fifties and sixties to root out “un-American” ideas among political activists.

  • RADICALIZATION– The term ‘radicalization’ means the process of adopting or promoting an extremist belief system for the purpose of facilitating ideologically-based violence to advance political, religious, or social change.
  • IDEOLOGICALLY-BASED VIOLENCE– The term ‘ideologically-based violence’ means the use, planned use, or threatened use of force or violence by a group or individual to promote the group or individual’s political, religious, or social beliefs.

Guest –  Peter Erlinder, former National Lawyers Guild president. Hosts discuss with Erlinder, specifics in this “thought crime” legislation that may be interpreted in ways that breach our constitutional rights.


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Torture and the Twilight of Empire; From Algiers to Baghdad

Professor Marnia Lazreg’s new book, links the use of torture to the demise of empire using two examples. France in Algeria and the United States in Iraq. Lazreg also points out how occupying nations justify the use of torture as a regrettable but necessary means of saving Western civilization from those who challenge their rule. She traces back most of the brutal torture techniques as borrowed material from totalitarian movements throughout history. One review writes how Torture and the Twilight of Empire holds disturbing lessons as the War on Terror is carried out.

Guest – Marnia Lazreg is professor of sociology at Hunter College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Her books include The Eloquence of Silence: Algerian Women in Question.

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