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Archives for October, 2008


Law and Disorder October 27, 2008


Updates:

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Stay Issued In Case of Troy Davis

Monday, October 27 was the day set for the execution of Troy Davis. A third stay has been issued by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit. A 3 judge panel ordered attorneys to draft briefs that address whether Troy Davis can meet requirements for a next round of appeals. Attorneys have 15 days to file briefs.

Two weeks ago the Supreme Court refused to hear Troy Davis’ death penalty appeal, despite broad out pouring of support from former President Jimmy Carter, the European Parliament, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, to Jessie Jackson Jr. and this list goes on.

Lawyers Launch New Appeal Effort

Guest – Jessie Cohn with the Death Penalty Abolition Campaign Amnesty International USA

jon burge apollo beach exit florida Jon Burge - AP photo

Former Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge Arrested

Former Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge was arrested last week near Tampa Florida on charges of obstruction of justice and perjury. The sixty year old retiree was picked up in his Apollo Beach home for allegedly lying about whether he tortured suspects in Chicago decades ago. According to People’s Law Office Attorney Flint Taylor, torture techniques included electric shocks and dry submarino, (suffocating with bags)

Under Seventh Circuit law if there’s a conspiracy to cover up the evidence in a civil case to show fraud then you can bring the case again. The People’s Law Office brought the case in 2005 and the city of Chicago refused to settle the case while pumping hundreds of thousands of dollars in that case. Flint Taylor says the city has spent over the 10 million dollars in aiding the defense of Commander Jon Burge.

Guest – G. Flint Taylor, attorney at the Peoples Law Office.Taylor, a graduate of Brown University and Northwestern University School of Law and a founding partner of the People’s Law Office.

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Luis Posada Carriles: A Tribunal

We hear the last of the speeches from this tribunal. Brian Becker, Director, A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition.

From the New York Daily News: “It took years, but he is finally going to be charged in the U.S. for his crimes – even if only symbolically. It will occur here, in New York, when a tribunal composed of scholars and human rights activists take up the case of international terrorist Luis Posada Carriles, a man who is responsible for a long list of murderous attacks.

Posada, though, is a very lucky man. Despite his dark history, Posada remains free to roam Miami’s sunny streets and happily lives at home with his family. His rap sheet is long and deadly.  A convicted terrorist in two countries – he escaped Venezuela and was pardoned in Panama – Posada is considered the mastermind behind the 1976 bombing of Cubana Airlines Fight 455, which killed the 73 passengers on board, including the Cuban national fencing team. He is believed responsible for a string of hotel bombings in Cuba, resulting in the death of Italian tourist Fabio diCelmo. But these are only two examples of his treachery. Posada later boasted about the diCelmo killing in a New York Times interview, which should give everybody a clear idea of what kind of person this man is.

Inexplicably, the Justice Department has refused to classify the former CIA operative as a terrorist. The reason may have to be found in Posada’s long and extensive ties with the CIA and several other nation’s intelligence agencies.”

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Law and Disorder October 20, 2008


Updates:

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Federal Appeals Court Overturns Two Terrorist Convictions

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Sheik Mohammed Ali Al Moayad and Mohammed Mohsen Zayed, convicted of supporting terrorists, can have new trials. The men were convicted in federal court in Brooklyn after a six week trial in early 2005 on charges of conspiring to support Al Qaida and Hamas.

National Lawyers Guild Lawyer, Robert Boyle: This case involved an FBI sting operation where the FBI and the Dept of Justice lured Sheik Mohammed Ali Al Moayad and Mohammed Mohsen Zayed from their native Yemen to Germany.

  • They were lured on the promise (…and this was an FBI informant that told them this) that they would provide hundreds of thousands of dollars to Al Moayad’s charitable organizations. The issue was entrapment – set up by the FBI.
  • The Sheik went to Germany arrested there in 2003 after meetings with the informant -all recorded. He was brought to trial in Brooklyn but imprisoned in a Florence, Colorado supermax prison.
  • The trial judge allowed the government to introduce a host of prejudicial and irrelevant evidence.
  • Robert Boyle – “Its rare that they find the cumulative prejudicial evidence as grounds for reversal. This decision is gratifying and unique, its rare to get a reversal in a case where there is alleged terrorism.”
  • Extremely similar to Lynne Stewart’s case, if you don’t have direct evidence, prejudice the jury. Raise the spectre of Osama Bin Laden and you hope that the jury overlooks the weaknesses of the government’s case and convicts.

Guest – Lynne Stewart, has also helped set up the Muslim Innocence Project for Muslims caught in similar entrapment.

Guest – Robert Boyle, a national lawyers guild attorney who represented Sheik Mohammed Ali Al Moayad and former civil rights lawyer Lynne Stewart who tells us why this brings other issues to light in her case.

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Luis Posada Carriles: A Tribunal

We hear a speech from Wayne Smith, Senior Fellow, Center for International Policy, he was among three speakers. We e will hear Brian Becker, Director of the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition in the weeks to come.

Wayne Smith addressed the failure of the United States, specifically the Bush family to prosecute Luis Posada Carriles on charges of terrorism. The failure to charge Posada with terrorism is an open violation of the Resolution 1373 of the UN Security Council. A resolution George Bush pushed through on the days following the attacks on 9/11.

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Collateral Damage : Chris Hedges

Author, journalist Chris Hedges exposes the dark violence deep within the ranks of the Iraq War. The type of violence and eyewitness accounts you don’t hear about in the media. His book pulls together the 50 stories from by combat veterans as they describe the day to day carnage.

Chris Hedges:

  • We wanted to give people a window into the sheer terror that has been visited on Iraqi civilians.
  • Convoys have to keep moving: Running over children. If an IED goes off, soldiers lay down withering suppressive fire.
  • The Sunnis are building a powerful force and will soon unleash a civil war
  • Barack Obama speaks in the same toxic language of war bequeathed to us by the Bush Administration. He wants to expand the war in Afghanistan, he talks about leaving behind troops in the green zone and the super bases and fighting terrorism.
  • We have no rights as citizens of this country to debate the terms of this occupation, in post Nuremberg terms this war is a criminal war of aggression.
  • Resistance. We find our spiritual worth in our ability to resist and to take moral stance n0 matter how lonely.

Guest – Chris Hedges, author of many books specializing in American and Middle Eastern politics and society. He spent nearly two decades as a foreign correspondent in Central America, the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans and right now, he’s a senior fellow at The Nation Institue in New York City and a lecturer in the Council of the Humanities.

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Law and Disorder October 13, 2008


Updates:

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(Encore Interview) Economics Professor Rick Wolff: The Capitalist Crisis

In this interview Professor Rick Wolff focuses on the larger issues beyond finance such as banking, money lending and credit, he says it was a problem in the making for the last 30 years. He describes historic underlying causes such as the end of the wage increase back in 1970. From 1820-1970 the American economy delivered a rising standard of living, wages went up every decade in that time and they used that money to buy more things.

In the last 30 years the wages in the United States did not go up. In order to keep buying things, people worked more hours and borrowed money, exhausting themselves in additional work and taking on more debt. From the workers point of view, there is increased anxiety and exhaustion, their lives are strained, pressurized. Meanwhile financial markets and banks compete with each other to profit from the workers’ massive debt.

Bail outs and extreme right anti-immigration moves will not solve underlying problem. A fundamental reorganization of the American economic system will not be done by the people who run the corporations, yet the change has to begin at the Board of Directors, the small groups of people heading corporations who have been making decisions in a classical way for 150 years.

Rick Wolff – Possible Solutions:

  • Reorganize the way business works so that the people become there own board of directors.
  • Corporations reorganized so that workers collectively become there own boss.
  • Mon-Thurs – You come to work and do your job as you always did, less hours, wage increase.
  • Friday – Attend meetings all day to assess the impact of the product on the community, what products to make, what to do with profits. Cultivating the community.

“This, instead of a handful of people, “the bosses” set against the employees in a conflicted situation that periodically makes each group behave in antagonistic ways in turn destroying the community – which is where we are now.”

Guest – 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)

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Luis Posada Carriles: A Tribunal

We hear a speech from Historian, Jane Franklin, she was among three speakers. Jane is a contributing editor to the Cuba Update, the journal of th eCenter Cuban Studies in New York City, since 1979. She is the author of two books: Cuban Foreign Relations 1959-1982 and Cuba and the United States: A Chronological History (Ocean Press, Melbourne, Australia) Jane has published numerous articles, poems and film reviews and has lectured extensively about Cuba, Vietnam, Nicaragua El Slavador and Panama.

We will be hearing from speakers Wayne Smith, Senior Fellow, Center for International Policy and Brian Becker, Director, A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition in the weeks to come.

From the New York Daily News: “It took years, but he is finally going to be charged in the U.S. for his crimes – even if only symbolically. It will occur here, in New York, when a tribunal composed of scholars and human rights activists take up the case of international terrorist Luis Posada Carriles, a man who is responsible for a long list of murderous attacks.
Posada, though, is a very lucky man. Despite his dark history, Posada remains free to roam Miami’s sunny streets and happily lives at home with his family. His rap sheet is long and deadly. A convicted terrorist in two countries – he escaped Venezuela and was pardoned in Panama – Posada is considered the mastermind behind the 1976 bombing of Cubana Airlines Fight 455, which killed the 73 passengers on board, including the Cuban national fencing team. He is believed responsible for a string of hotel bombings in Cuba, resulting in the death of Italian tourist Fabio diCelmo. But these are only two examples of his treachery. Posada later boasted about the diCelmo killing in a New York Times interview, which should give everybody a clear idea of what kind of person this man is. Inexplicably, the Justice Department has refused to classify the former CIA operative as a terrorist. The reason may have to be found in Posada’s long and extensive ties with the CIA and several other nation’s intelligence agencies.”

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Law and Disorder October 6, 2008


Updates:

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Economics Professor Rick Wolff: The Capitalist Crisis

In this interview Professor Rick Wolff focuses on the larger issues beyond finance such as banking, money lending and credit, he says it was a problem in the making for the last 30 years. He describes historic underlying causes such as the end of the wage increase back in 1970. From 1820-1970 the American economy delivered a rising standard of living, wages went up every decade in that time and they used that money to buy more things.

In the last 30 years the wages in the United States did not go up. In order to keep buying things, people worked more hours and borrowed money, exhausting themselves in additional work and taking on more debt. From the workers point of view, there is increased anxiety and exhaustion, their lives are strained, pressurized. Meanwhile financial markets and banks compete with each other to profit from the workers’ massive debt.

Bail outs and extreme right anti-immigration moves will not solve underlying problem. A fundamental reorganization of the American economic system will not be done by the people who run the corporations, yet the change has to begin at the Board of Directors, the small groups of people heading corporations who have been making decisions in a classical way for 150 years.

Rick Wolff – Possible Solutions:

  • Reorganize the way business works so that the people become there own board of directors.
  • Corporations reorganized so that workers collectively become there own boss.
  • Mon-Thurs – You come to work and do your job as you always did, less hours, wage increase.
  • Friday – Attend meetings all day to assess the impact of the product on the community, what products to make, what to do with profits. Cultivating the community.

“This, instead of a handful of people, “the bosses” set against the employees in a conflicted situation that periodically makes each group behave in antagonistic ways in turn destroying the community – which is where we are now.”

Guest – 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 Wolff , Michael Smith Michael Ratner, John Ehrenberg

Economic and Political Analysis: Historic Financial Crisis and Bailout

Michael Smith and Michael Ratner host a lively discussion with economist Max Wolff and political science professor and author John Ehrenberg. Max Wolff begins with an anatomy of the financial collapses – “Low wage growth for majority of Americans, meanwhile global capacity for productive enterprise has skyrocketed and the way to make money is to find something to produce for very low wages. This creates a classic problem of insufficient aggregate demand. We can make it cheap, we can find this 11 year old in the rain forest to work in the factory for 39 cents an hour. Not successful if you can’t find a buyer. So, your success breeds a nightmare, the nightmare is resolved by international financial markets and growing debt.”

In the last half hour John Ehrenberg joins in. He says the US needs a new New Deal, and though this is a dangerous time, it could be an opportunity for strong social movements. The Republican vetting of Palin is a major concern – “The sneering contemptuous disdain for serious thought or consideration for deliberation.” Faux populism that rewards capital and punishes labor and yet coming forward as a party for the common man.

Guest – 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.

Guest – John Ehrenberg, author of the book “Servants of Wealth: The Right’s Assault on Economic Justice.” A professor of political science at Long Island University, in this, his third book, critically analyzes the rise of an ideologically coherent Right. He dissects their themes of military weakness, moral decay, racial anxiety, and hostility to social welfare to reveal their central organizing objective of protecting wealth and assaulting equality.

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