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Archives for July, 2008


Law and Disorder July 28, 2008


Updates:

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House Judiciary Committee Hears Impeachment Resolution.

For nearly eight years, President Bush and Vice President Cheney have manipulated and lied to the U.S., and not without the help of Congress and the mainstream media. Here on Law and Disorder we’ve been with listeners during 4 of those 8 years, chronicling the injustices of the “global war on terror.” Now, in this late stage of the Bush/Cheney administration, Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich is pushing for impeachment. Last week the house voted 238 to 180 to send a single article of impeachment to the Judiciary Committee. The same committee that stopped Kucinich’s impeachment effort is allowing a hearing on Bush’s reasoning for taking the country to war in Iraq. In Kucinich’s words it is quote “deceiving Congress with fabricated threats of Iraq WMDs to fraudulently obtain support for an authorization of the use of military force against Iraq.” Kucinich: citizen petition.

If this article of impeachment is tabled, Kucinich says he would then begin to propose other articles. There are 35 articles of impeachment, among them are:

  • Misleading Congress and the American People About Threats from Iran, and Supporting Terrorist Organizations Within Iran, With the Goal of Overthrowing the Iranian Government
  • Falsifying Accounts of US Troop Deaths and Injuries for Political Purposes,
  • Illegal Detention: Detaining Indefinitely And Without Charge Persons Both U.S. Citizens and Foreign Captives, 4. Violation of the Posse Comitatus Act,
  • Rendition: Kidnapping People and Taking Them Against Their Will to “Black Sites” Located in Other Nations, Including Nations Known to Practice Torture

House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers Jr. told Congressional Quarterly, “We’re not doing impeachment, but he can talk about it.” Kucinich says holding George W. Bush and Dick Cheney accountable now, could prevent an attack on Iran.

  1. Conyers Tries To Kill Impeachment Hearings Before They Start.
  2. Impeachment Hearing? – Do Not Accuse, Do Not Name Names, Do Not Say Impeach.
  3. CSPAN Coverage: Watch Impeachment Hearings.

Guest – Ohio Congressman, Dennis J. Kucinich

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The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder.

Members of the Bush administration may soon be questioning if they will be prosecuted for war crimes. George W. Bush and other senior officials have enjoyed years of immunity from criminal lawsuits but, once out of office, they can be held accountable.

Bugliosi: Will U.S. State Attorney Generals and District Attorneys do the right thing?

In his latest book, The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder, Vincent Bugliosi lays out the legal framework of a meticulously researched case that puts George W. Bush on trial in an American courtroom for the murder of nearly 4,000 American soldiers fighting the war in Iraq.

One strategy in The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder is to establish jurisdiction in the cases for Attorney Generals in each state and also the approximately 900 district attorneys in the counties of those states. Bugliosi says it’s not unreasonable to believe that at least one prosecutor will be courageous enough to step up. Bugliois says, one of the key pieces of evidence to prosecute George W. Bush is the Manning Memo from January 31, 2003.

Manning Memo: In March 2003, Bush said that if Saddam Hussein did not give up his weapons of mass destruction, Iraq would face war. But earlier, in a January 31 closed-door meeting, Bush told his British buddy Tony Blair that the attack would take place even if no WMDs were found. Indeed, George and Tony candidly conceded that the discovery of such weapons was unlikely. This deliberate deception is revealed in a confidential five-page memo written by David Manning, Blair’s top foreign-policy advisor, who was at the meeting. Manning records that both Bush and Blair were uptight that the WMDs were not going to be found, so George W offered another fabrication to give them an excuse to attack. He suggested that the U.S. would paint one of our own surveillance planes in the colors of the United Nations and fly it over Iraq, hoping that Saddam would be provoked into shooting it down. Then the U.S. and Brits could invade, claiming that they were retaliating for Saddam’s attack on the UN.

Bugliosi: Points To Consider

  • While young soldiers age 18, 19, who never had a chance to live out their dreams, were getting blown to pieces in Iraq. Bush was having a lot of fun and enjoying life to the very fullest.
  • George Bush took 908 days off / about 36 percent of his presidency.
  • Juxtaposing Hussein with 9/11 – then saying later Hussein was involved in a terrorist relationship with Al-Qaeda. Al Qaeda was trained in Iraq in making bombs and poison.
  • You have troops over there in Iraq fighting thinking that its payback time … so you have this grotesque spectacle.
  • The white paper that congress saw never had the intelligences of the 16 US agencies, that Hussein was not an imminent threat. Opinons were changed into facts while dissenting opinions deleted.

Guest – Vincent Bugliosi, former prosecutor and bestselling author of many books including The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder.

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Law and Disorder July 21, 2008


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Update: Canadian Rendition Victim Maher Arar

Last month, in the Maher Arar case, the Federal Court of Appeals ruled a 2-1 majority refusing to hold US authorities accountable for complicity in torture abroad. As Law and Disorder listeners may remember, Maher Arar, a Canadian citizen, traveling back to Canada, was picked up at JFK airport in 2002, detained in solitary confinement for 2 weeks by the US government then deported to Syria where he was interrogated and tortured. Cases involving diplomatic assurances in North America.

Last year, a Canadian commission of inquiry cleared Arar of any links to terrorism and he was given a 10.5 million dollar settlement. Since then, the United States refused to clear his name and now this majority decision rules that his constitutional claims can not be heard in federal court for two reasons. The first reason was based on national security, the second because Mr. Arar, a dual citizen of Canada and Syria, does not have constitutional, due process rights.

Guest – Maria LaHood, Attorney with the Center For Constitutional Rights.

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Deepening Economic Crisis: How Deep, Where Is It Headed, Who is Accountable?

To many, the recent economic downturn could be a rough patch to a full collapse as a financial crisis hits the nation’s markets; add in that the United States is nine months into a significant acceleration in expected energy and food price increases. The distressful interaction is known as a “scissors crisis” among economists. We’ll also discuss the economic sub-genres, such as Military Keynesianism, GWOT spending, and housing markets. This, while Californians made a run on IndymacBank, the biggest bank crisis since 1984. Indymac was started by three former high level people from Countrywide.

Quote: “Even though Iraq is a bad idea, the value of the US military to this country is rising not falling.”

Guests – Rick Wolff, Professor of Economics at University of Massachusetts at Amherst Rick teaches at the Brecht Forum and the New School in New York City. (Read Rick’s article, Economic Blues in the Monthly Review)

Max Fraad Wolff , freelance researcher, strategist, and writer in the areas of international finance and macroeconomics. Max’s work can be seen at the Huffington Post, The AsiaTimes, Prudent Bear, SeekingAlpha and many other outlets.

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Law and Disorder July 14, 2008


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Abu Ghraib Torture Lawsuits Target Military Contractors in US Courts.

Four former Abu Ghraib detainees are suing two U.S. military contractor corporations and three individual contractors. The four were wrongly imprisoned, tortured and later released without charge. According to the complaints, the defendants abused detainees physically and mentally and then destroyed documents, videos and photographs; prevented the reporting of the torture and abuse to the International Committee of the Red Cross. They actually hid detainees and other prisoners from the Red Cross; and misled non-conspiring military and government officials about the state of affairs at the Iraq prisons.

The defendants are CACI International Inc. and CACI Premier Technology, Inc., of Arlington, Va.; L-3 Services Inc., an Alexandria, Va.-based division of L-3 Communications Corp. and three individual contractors, Adel Nakhla, of Maryland, Timothy Dugan, of Ohio, and Daniel Johnson, of Seattle.

Guest – Attorney Susan Burke with Burke O’Neil LLC.

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ACLU To Prevent Deportation Of Egyptian To Torture

The American Civil Liberties Union and ACLU of Pennsylvania challenged the government’s efforts to deport an Egyptian torture victim of Sameh Khouzam. The government claims to be relying on unreviewable “diplomatic assurances” from Egypt that it will not torture him upon his return. Last January, in the first decision of its kind, a federal district court sided with the ACLU and ordered the government to stop the deportation of Sameh Khouzam based on such secret and unreliable promises and release him under conditions of supervision.

However, the Bush administration appealed this ruling, claiming that the executive branch has unfettered authority to deport Khouzam and to detain him indefinitely pending his legal proceedings. Khouzam, a Christian who came to the United States in 1998 fleeing religious persecution in Egypt and a charge of murder, was granted protection from deportation under the Convention Against Torture (CAT) in 2004. This after a federal appeals court found that he would likely be tortured if sent back to Egypt.

Guest – Lee Gelernt, senior staff attorney with ACLU who is working on Sameh’s case.

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US Soldiers Lose Haven in Canada

Last week, Courage to Resist, Veterans for Peace, and Project Safe Haven took to the streets of major US cities in a national day of action. Recently, the Canadian Federal Court sided for the first time with a US war resister, disagreeing with the Immigration and Refugee Board decision and ordering a re-hearing for military deserter Joshua Key, his wife Brandi, and their four children.

Josh Key moved to Canada during a 2 week leave from the Army. On July 4th, 2008, Joshua Key won a Federal Court appeal thus forcing the Refugee board to re-examine his asylum claim of conscientious objector and Iraq war veteran. The court ruled that Key had been forced to systematically violate the Geneva Conventions as part of his military service in Iraq and that such misconduct amounts to a legitimate refugee claim.

In another case, former National Guard soldier Corey Glass of Fairmount Indiana is facing deportation from Canada. He was recently told that his application to stay in Canada for “humanitarian and compassionate” reasons has been rejected. This, as Pentagon officials suggest he has been discharged and the U.S. Army is not seeking to persecute Glass. But Glass’ lawyer, Alyssa Manning of Parkdale Legal Community Services, says the reports are untrue. Manning says quote “He would be a felon, he’d be criminally inadmissible to Canada; he’d potentially be imprisoned as well as subjected to non-traditional punishment such as ‘hazing’ (within the military)

Canada: Abide by resolution – Let U.S. war resisters stay!


Guest – Matthis Chiroux with Iraq Veterans Against the War.

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Law and Disorder July 7, 2008


Updates:

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Green Scare: The Case of Briana Waters Update

Briana Waters, 32 was sentenced to six years in federal prison and ordered to pay $6 million in restitution by U.S. District Court Judge Franklin Burgess, who also declined her lawyer’s request that Waters be released on her own recognizance pending appeal. Here on Law and Disorder we’ve discussed how (since December 2005) environmental activists in the United States have been targeted and handed unusually harsh prison sentences. It’s been called Green Scare.

Briana was accused of acting as a lookout in the conspiracy 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. How the Government Targets Eco-Activists. Listen to NLG event.

Federal “conspiracy law” is often used by prosecutors to take down drug dealers, the same legal approach is used to charge environmental protesters. Once the judge accepts the charge of conspiracy, here-say is admissible making conspiracy and very easy to prove in court.

Last year the NLG established a hotline 1-888-NLG-ECOL for activists who had been targeted by the FBI for environmental activism.

Guest: Ben Rosenfeld, California Civil Rights attorney

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Taking Back The Right To Dissent: The Case of the Bangor Six

Recently, jurors in the Case of the ‘Bangor Six’ brought back a decisive verdict of ‘not guilty.’ The six veterans for peace, anti war protesters were arrested in March of last year after refusing to leave the federal building where their senator, Republican Susan Collins has her office. The six activists were among 12 that say they were protesting Bush’s proposal to increase troops in Iraq to support a military strategy known s the surge and also urged Collins to vote against continued funding for the war. Collins did not vote against funding for the war and did not meet with activists. Six of the activists were later arrested. (Collins Watch)

During this trial, the jury was allowed by the judge to decide whether the defendants believed that they were not guilty in making a conscious choice to break Maine law because they thought international law was being violated. The jurors decided unanimously that the protesters did believe they had the ‘license and privilege’ to act as they did, in rendering the ‘not guilty’ verdict.

Guest – Bar Harbor attorney Lynne Williams, also with Maine Lawyers for Democracy a group of 65 Maine lawyers, calling for the impeachment of President Bush and Vice President Cheney.

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Amnesty International USA: Guantanamo Cell Replica

This past week, Amnesty International USA hauled a life size Guantanamo cell replica to the National mall in Washington DC.  Activists and tourists gathered to experience the bleakness of being held in such confinement without hope. The cell replica visited the nation’s capital as a U.S. House Judiciary Subcommittee heard testimony on harsh interrogation techniques from Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff David Addington and former U.S. Justice Department lawyer John Yoo.

We listen to voices of tourists, activists and James Yee, former US Army chaplain, who ministered to Muslim detainees held at Guantánamo Bay Naval base. Yee as listeners may know, was the subject to an intense investigation by the United States. A special thank you to Karen Miller for gathering the audio for this segment.

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