Ending The War In Iraq: Tom Hayden
Long time political and social activist Tom Hayden joins Law and Disorder hosts for a lively interview and discussion on specific ways to end the illegal war in Iraq. Tom Hayden is a former California state senator, a passionate anti-war activist and has published an anthology titled “Writings For A Democratic Society” , in it he chronicles key civil rights movements and potent sixties activism. The book is a collection of essays, pamphlets, op-ed pieces from the Port Huron Statement – a manifesto for sixties radicals, to reports on the riots at Chicagoâ€™s 1968 Democratic National Convention.
Here on Law and Disorder weâ€™ve discussed how since December 2005, environmental activists in the United States have been targeted and handed unusually harsh prison sentences. Itâ€™s called Green Scare and more than a year ago the National Lawyerâ€™s Guild sponsored an event titled Green Scare – How the Government Is Targeting Eco-Activists. Listen to it here.
Last year the NLG established a hotline 1-888-NLG-ECOL for activists who had been targeted by the FBI for environmental activism.
We bring this up in context of the case involving Briana Waters. Acting as a lookout, she was accused of conspiring to set fire to the University of Washington’s Center for Urban Horticulture in 2001. This, despite evidence presented by the defense that she was 60 miles away at the time of the arson. Others claimed responsibility for the fire, but Ms. Waters, a 32 year old mother and violin teacher may face a mandatory minimum of 35 years in prison.
Federal â€œconspiracy lawâ€ is used often to prosecute drug dealers and is being used by prosecutors to take down individual environmental protesters. Once the judge accepts the charge of conspiracy, here-say is admissible making conspiracy very easy to prove in court.
Today we hear excerpts from the third part of the event An Innocent Man In Guantanamo: Five Years of My Life. Thatâ€™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. Former US Army Muslim Chaplain of Guantanamo Bay, James Yee voices his concern about other secret prisons in Afghanistan and systematic abuse to prisoners involving IRF teams.
The event presented by Friends of the Library, brought together a panel of lawyers from the U.S. and Germany who fought for Muratâ€™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 â€œwar on terrorâ€ 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 â€œDr. Heinrich Hannover und Partnerâ€ 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 â€œThe Green Light,â€ 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: Rumsfeldâ€™s Memo and the Betrayal of American Values.