Law and Disorder Radio

Archives for April, 2008


Law and Disorder April 28, 2008


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“Lawyers You’ll Like” Series: Ramsey Clark

Ramsey Clark, former Attorney General of the United States, under President Lyndon B. Johnson. The first Attorney General at the Justice Department to call for the elimination of the death penalty and all electronic surveillance. After he left the Johnson administration, he became a vociferous critic of the Vietnam War and continued on a radical path, defending the underdog, defending the rights of people worldwide, from Palestinians to Iraqis, to anyone who found themselves at the repressive end of government action.

During his years at the Justice Department:

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An Innocent Man In Guantanamo: Five Years of My Life, Part II

Today we hear excerpts from the second part of the event An Innocent Man In Guantanamo: Five Years of My Life. That’s the title of the memoirs recently released by Murat Kurnaz who was detained at Guantanamo for five years. Kurnaz is a Turkish citizen and legal resident of Germany, he traveled to Pakistan to learn more about his Muslim faith and was later arrested at a checkpoint, handed to the United States and eventually taken to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. We hear part 1 of a 3 part series from this discussion.

The event presented by Friends of the Library, brought together a panel of lawyers from the U.S. and Germany who fought for Murat’s release and a Guantanamo chaplain who was accused of espionage and imprisoned. The panel was moderated by our own Michael Ratner. Speakers include:

 

  • Baher Azmy – Professor at Seton Hall Law School, where he directs a civil rights clinic and teaches constitutional law. His litigation work on national security and human rights cases emerging from the “war on terror” include lawfulness of extraordinary rendition, torture and indefinite executive detention. In July 2004, Azmy began representation of Murat Kurnaz imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay until his release in August 2006.
  • Bernhard Docke – a lawyer since 1983, specializes in criminal law, since 1989 partner of the law firm “Dr. Heinrich Hannover und Partner” in Bremen, Germany. He has been a lawyer for Mr. Kurnaz since 2002.
  • Wallace Shawn – an Obie-winning playwright and a stage and screen actor. His plays include The Designated Mourner, Marie and Bruce, The Fever, and Aunt Dan and Lemon. He co-wrote and starred in the art-house classic My Dinner with Andre and he also performed in numerous Woody Allen films including Manhattan and Radio Days. Our Late Night and a Thought in Three Parts: Two Plays will be published in Spring 2008.
  • James Yee - the former US Army Muslim Chaplain of Guantanamo Bay. His book, For God And Country, Faith and Patriotism Under Fire, tells the story about being wrongly accused of espionage and imprisoned by the U.S. military. In 2004, the government dropped all charges against him and he received an honorable discharge from the U.S. Army.
  • Phillipe Sands – an international lawyer and a professor of law at University College London. He is the author of Lawless World and is frequently a commentator on news and current affairs programs including CNN, MSNBC and BBC World Service. Sands has been involved in many international cases, including the World Court trial of Slobodan Milosevic and the treatment of British detainees at Guantanamo Bay. His article in Vanity Fair “The Green Light,” looks at how high level members of the Bush administration pressured underlings to use torture tactics at Guantanamo. He is also the author of Torture Team: Rumsfeld’s Memo and the Betrayal of American Values.
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Law and Disorder April 21, 2008


Hosts Update:

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Less Lethal Weapons

Here on Law and Disorder we’ve discussed and examined the effects of taser stun guns and related deaths. Late last year, the United Nations panel on torture proclaimed the Taser shock to be torture. We want to look at other “non-lethal” munitions such as acoustic weapons and heat rays known as Active Denial Systems. What are they? What injuries could demonstrators sustain as the military, government agencies and contractors roll out the next generation of weapon category and put them into the hands of local law enforcement.

Guest: Jurgen Altmann. He’s studied physics at the University of Hamburg, Germany. Less-lethal weapons and acoustic weapons have been his primary focus lately. Altmann also examines the interactions between civilian and military technologies in aviation research and development. In recent years, he has studied military uses of, first, microsystems technologies and then nanotechnology, with a view towards preventive arms control. He is a co- founder of the German Research Association Science, Disarmament and International Security FONAS, and currently is a deputy speaker of the Committee Physics and Disarmament of the German Physical Society.

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Colorado ACLU: Early Legal Preparation For August Democratic National Convention, Submits FOIA Request On Denver DNC Budget.

We’ve talked with Jurgen Altman about the types of less lethal weaponry that could be used against protestors. We look now at the context in which these weapons could be deployed. In this election year, St. Paul, Minneapolis and Denver, Colorado will be hosting the Republican National Convention and the Democratic National Convention respectively. In New York during the 2004 Republican National Convention, police violated the rights of thousands of protestors. The violations include roundups of demonstrators spying on non-violent political activists, the use of agent provacateurs and the faking of police video evidence. Sonic weapons were also present in the streets of New York City. For this election year of 2008, lawyers in both cities are working to prevent similar tactics.

Guest: Mark Silverstein Legal Director of the ACLU in Colorado about preparations to protect the rights of demonstrators including protections against less lethal weapons such as Long Range Acoustic weapons and heat rays, known as the Active Denial System.

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Administration Set to Use New Spy Program in U.S. – Local Law Enforcement To Access Military Grade Spy Technology

Civil liberties and privacy concerns are raised as Homeland Security director Michael Chertoff announced the activation of a new domestic satellite surveillance program. Though the department says the program will not intercept communications, these powerful, high resolution satellites can now be used to view and track individuals, homes and vehicles domestically.

Critics cite that Chertoff’s statements mark a determination to coordinate military assets with domestic law enforcement, turning new or undeveloped technologies against Americans without public debate or consent.

Guest: Melissa Ngo, Senior Counsel and Director of EPIC’s Identification and Surveillance Project. EPIC is the Electronic Privacy Information Center. Melissa has focused on federal and state surveillance programs and their costs to civil liberties. She is also the author of a chapter entitled You Are Being Watched But Not Protected: The Myth of Security Under Camera Surveillance in the book “Intersection: Sidewalks & Public Space”

Related stories: Bin Brother is Watching You – Trash Cans With RFID Readers / Concerns raised as government demands universal wiretapping.

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Law and Disorder April 14, 2008


Hosts Update

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An Innocent Man In Guantanamo: Five Years of My Life

Today we hear excerpts from the event An Innocent Man In Guantanamo: Five Years of My Life. That’s the title of the memoirs recently released by Murat Kurnaz who was detained at Guantanamo for five years. Kurnaz is a Turkish citizen and legal resident of Germany, he traveled to Pakistan to learn more about his Muslim faith and was later arrested at a checkpoint, handed to the United States and eventually taken to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. We hear part 1 of a 3 part series from this discussion.

The event presented by Friends of the Library, brought together a panel of lawyers from the U.S. and Germany who fought for Murat’s release and a Guantanamo chaplain who was accused of espionage and imprisoned. The panel was moderated by our own Michael Ratner. Speakers include:

 

  • Baher Azmy – Professor at Seton Hall Law School, where he directs a civil rights clinic and teaches constitutional law. His litigation work on national security and human rights cases emerging from the “war on terror” include lawfulness of extraordinary rendition, torture and indefinite executive detention. In July 2004, Azmy began representation of Murat Kurnaz imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay until his release in August 2006.
  • Bernhard Docke – a lawyer since 1983, specializes in criminal law, since 1989 partner of the law firm “Dr. Heinrich Hannover und Partner” in Bremen, Germany. He has been a lawyer for Mr. Kurnaz since 2002.
  • Wallace Shawn – an Obie-winning playwright and a stage and screen actor. His plays include The Designated Mourner, Marie and Bruce, The Fever, and Aunt Dan and Lemon. He co-wrote and starred in the art-house classic My Dinner with Andre and he also performed in numerous Woody Allen films including Manhattan and Radio Days. Our Late Night and a Thought in Three Parts: Two Plays will be published in Spring 2008.
  • James Yee - the former US Army Muslim Chaplain of Guantanamo Bay. His book, For God And Country, Faith and Patriotism Under Fire, tells the story about being wrongly accused of espionage and imprisoned by the U.S. military. In 2004, the government dropped all charges against him and he received an honorable discharge from the U.S. Army.
  • Phillipe Sands – an international lawyer and a professor of law at University College London. He is the author of Lawless World and is frequently a commentator on news and current affairs programs including CNN, MSNBC and BBC World Service. Sands has been involved in many international cases, including the World Court trial of Slobodan Milosevic and the treatment of British detainees at Guantanamo Bay. His article in Vanity Fair “The Green Light,” looks at how high level members of the Bush administration pressured underlings to use torture tactics at Guantanamo. He is also the author of Torture Team: Rumsfeld’s Memo and the Betrayal of American Values.

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Music at Break: Patti Smith – Without Chains

 

 

 

 

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Law and Disorder April 7, 2008


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Please Help Stop the Execution of Troy Anthony Davis

Today on Law and Disorder we update listeners on the death row case of Troy Anthony Davis. Since our last July report on the case, Davis had a 90 day stay of execution and now on March 17, this year, the Georgia Supreme Court decided 4-3 to deny a new trial for Troy Anthony Davis, despite significant concerns regarding his innocence. Troy Davis was initially sentenced to death in Georgia, for the murder of a police officer. The case against him was built almost entirely of witness testimonies that were full of inconsistencies, even at the time of trial.

Amnesty International Report: Where is the Justice for Me (pdf)

Again, there is no physical evidence linking Troy Davis to the crime and no murder weapon has ever been found. Troy Davis was convicted of murder solely on the basis of witness testimony, and seven of the nine non-police witnesses have since recanted or changed their testimony, several citing police coercion. Others have signed affidavits implicating one of the remaining two witnesses as the actual killer.

Guest : Martina Corriea, Troy’s sister, who has been very active in fighting for justice in her brother’s case.

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The Arrival of the American Police State – Left Forum 2008

“However narrow and restricitive American bourgeois democracy was before 9/11, it’s jridical and institutional underpinnings have been transformed by the Bush Administration (with the complicity of the Democratic Party) intor what can now most accurately be described as a police state.”

We hear from C. Clark Kissenger, long time activist, creator of the Not In Our Name project.

Watch and listen to entire Left Forum panel here

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Deepening Economic Crisis: What Laws Are In Place To Protect Against Economic Fleecing of the United States?

Two million families are on the brink of foreclosure, tent cities pop up along US city outskirts, and as UK press declare “depression” in the United States, we talk with Max Fraad Wolff , instructor at the Graduate Program in International Affairs, New School University. The media has reported that millions of US families took out loans to big for their incomes and were foreclosed, but hosts look at The Glass Steagall Act, mortgage sharking and banking predators.

Max is a freelance researcher, strategist, and writer in the areas of international finance and macroeconomics. His work can be seen at the Huffington Post, TheAsia Times, Prudent Bear, and many other outlets.

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