Law and Disorder Radio

Archives for December, 2008


Law and Disorder December 29, 2008


Host Updates:

  • Dick Cheney, Stalin and Hitler Torture Guidelines Traced Back to Chicago.

Naomi Wolf – Give Me Liberty: A Handbook for American Revolutionaries

Law and Disorder hosts welcome back Naomi Wolf to the studio. Naomi is the author of seven books, and the groundbreaking book The End of America: A Letter of Warning To A Young Patriot, which was also turned into a feature documentary now playing in theaters. In the book, Naomi addresses ten steps that societies, dictators, and sometimes democracies use to close an open society to move it toward facsism. Her new book is titled Give Me Liberty: A Handbook for American Revolutionaries which is a call to action for every person, activist or not. When you ask that question “What Can I Do?” The answers are outlined in Give Me Liberty.

Naomi Wolf:

  • A small group of people used the law to subvert the law. Reichstag Fire, then disembowel their own Constitution.
  • Initial thinking inspired from my friend who is the daughter of holocaust survivors, she said the Bush strategies echo early 1930s Germany.
  • Enabling Acts in Germany gave the power to the state to read a person’s mail, listen to their phone calls and read their telegrams. This, in the alleged interest of national security and the fight against terrorism.
  • Nazis used to unload the coffins of the war dead at night.
  • A would-be dictator sought to close an open society or crush a democracy movement. Mussolini in 1920, the great evil pioneer. Hitler studied Mussolini, Stalin studied Hitler.
  • I looked at Russia, studied Czechoslovakia in the 60′s, Pinochet’s coup in 1973, the Chinese crackdown on democracy in the 80s.
  • What I saw was there was a blueprint. The blueprint has 10 steps. The 10 steps have been codified, they teach them at the School of the Americas.
  • To help would be Latin-American dictators to overthrow their own governments. What terrified me is that those ten steps are being put in place by the Bush Administration.
  • The Ten Steps
  1. Invoke a terrifying internal and external enemy
  2. Create a gulag
  3. Develop a thug caste
  4. Set up an internal surveillance system
  5. Harass citizens’ groups
  6. Engage in arbitrary detention and release
  7. Target key individuals
  8. Control the press
  9. Dissent equals treason
  10. Suspend the rule of law

Give Me Liberty: A Handbook For American Revolutionaries

Naomi Wolf:

  • I like most Americans felt frustrated, helpless and powerless, I saw that they felt depressed and as if they had no authority. More depressed than in baby democracies like Sierra Leone
  • I went back, just as I studied closing societies, I looked at how people dismantled tyranny and win back a republic.
  • I drew on some remarkable historians who have established that this idea of liberty were brought forth by ordinary people. They meant to bequeath us with these core American values.
  • What I’ve learned is that we’ve (U.S) been brainwashed for the last 30 years, as part of a systematic effort from a vested interested to get us to forget our leadership role as citizens.
  • We’re really expected to lead the nation and have a whole arsenal of tools at our disposal.
  • There’s a section called fake patriotism, where I talk about the false ideology that leads you away from core texts such as the Bill of Rights that tells you how to overthrow the government to dismantle tyranny.
  • The message I categorically got from the founders was . . we were expected to totally take over the power and not leave it to the pundits to have the debates, not leave it to constitutional scholars, or politicians.
  • Just calling your congressperson isn’t enough, you conform yourself into democracy commando teams of 20 to 30 people.
  • Strategically intervene into the election cycle so you have more power, than lobbyists and special interests.
  • You can stop complaining about the media and become the media, write your own op eds.
  • Tools and information are deliberately kept out of people’s hands.
  • People think there’s a brick wall whenever they pick up these tools, but its a Potemkin village.
  • They don’t want us to engage.
  • A Constitutional amendment that would drive a national referendum to bypass corrupt Congress to make law such as capping Campaign Finance
  • Direct Action Activism. It always works to have thousands of people in the streets.
  • But the kind of protest that always works is illegal. The thing that broke up the Soviet Union, we’re not allowed to do in the United States.
  • Political Marches Today: I went from point A to point B but I feel like I didn’t do anything. You didn’t. The only protest that’s effective is protest that stops traffic. By definition, you can’t get a permit for stopping traffic.
  • These horrible laws in the ten steps are still on the books and its going to take a mass movement to reverse them because Obama is not powerful enough to dismantle them.
  • We need to legislate on the city council level and on the federal level, that our police can’t accept Homeland Security money, tasers, microwave technology and rubber bullets.
  • All the cold war weapons manufacturers have shifted into building surveillance and security technologies. Their lobbyists sit down with Homeland Security and write the laws. That pressure is not going away.
  • Barack Obama does not have the power to stop Boeing, Raytheon and AT&T. The population is the back bone for what the next president can do.

Guest – Naomi Wolf, American author, political consultant and intellectual. She is the author of The End of America: A Letter of Warning To A Young Patriot. It’s an impassioned call to return to the beliefs of the Founding Fathers. In the book, Wolf shows how events in the last six years echo those taken throughout history to build some of the worst dictatorships. A documentary film titled End of America was released this fall along with her follow up book Give Me Liberty: A Handbook For American Revolutionaries.

Naomi Wolf is the co-founder of the Woodhull Institute for Ethical Leadership.

————

Related News Stories:

—————————————————————————-

Share

Law and Disorder December 22, 2008


Host Updates:

Sit In Victory at Chicago’s Republic Windows and Doors Plant

Last wee, angry laid off workers from Republic Windows and Doors agreed to leave the closed Illinois plant they’ve occupied in protest for six days. The workers accepted a deal that will give each of them about 6 thousand dollars, accrued vacation time and two months of helathcare coverage. About 1.75 million will be put into an escrow account to be supervised by the worker’s union.

Paul Buhle:

  • Why stand outside where you slug it out with cops and scabs while you can be inside defending your job.
  • The sit down strike goes all the way back to the Wobblies in 1907
  • We have entered a new era, the nation has acquired more political oxygen than it has in a long time.
  • There’s a spirit of empowerment that people feel they have to change the situation immediately around them.
  • In the way of occupying universities, we can move things much better than those in charge with their foot upon us.
  • Now is the time to develop those abandoned factories into living spaces, so they don’t become targets of firebugs.

Guest- Paul Buhle, senior lecturer at Brown University, a historian of American radicalims., a former member of Students for a Democratic Society and author of many books including images of American Radicalism. Also, Che, A Graphic Biography, and Isordore Duncan, a graphic biography by Sabrina Jones.

Verdict Against Holy Land Charity Could Have a Chilling Effect on the Muslim Community

Last month, a jury in Dallas, Texas found five Palestinian men guilty of more than 100 charges in the nation’s largest terrorism financing trial since 9/11. We talk with Laila Al-Arian, a Washington based journalist, who recently wrote a powerful Alternet article about this case and its impact on Muslim charities.

As many listeners may know, Holy Land was the largest Muslim charity in the United States, the the Bush administration shut it down after the September 11th attacks, and arrested five officials from the charity. In her article Al-Arian describes how the prosecution use unrelated video of suicide bombers to emotionally sway the jury. We’re later joined by Linda Moreno, a defense attorney in the case.

Laila Al-Arian:

  • One of the witnesses (in this recent case) was an expert witness, he was a Shin Bet agent.
  • The way the US government is trying to prove that these Zakaat Committees are funding Hamas is through the testimony of this Israeli witness. The testimony can’t be authenticated.
  • The first time in a US court room that an expert witness, not a fact witness, testified under a pseudonym.
  • How do you detect perjury, or how does the defense cross-examine without background.
  • Expert witness lied to the jury about the Zakat committees being tied to Hamas
  • What you’re really doing is prosecuting an Israeli Palestinian conflict in an American courtroom.
  • For Muslims giving charity is a religious obligation.
  • There will be an appeal on the grounds of the expert witness Shin Bet agent.
  • Joe Lieberman and George Bush commented on the verdict of this case.
  • All this does is punish people who are suffering, and punishing those who want to help them.

Linda Moreno:

  • The government began its exhibit with a photograph of a bombed out bus, which had nothing to do with the accused in the Holy Land case.
  • They also showed video of children doing skits, an art form that is a result of culture under occupation.
  • Children in the US get to play violent video games, but they get to turn that off and go back to the safety of their home, go into your bedroom and shut the door. When you’re a Palestinian child, you don’t have that luxury.
  • We know because we proved in both trials, that the US Government through USAID and other organizations was giving to the exact same Zakat Committees that were at issue in the indictment of this case.
  • And the notion that you have to vet the recipient of charitiable donations, I believe is un-American.
  • There’s just something wrong about criminalizing humanitarian aid. Charities under fire.

Guests – Laila Al-Arian, a Washington DC based journalist. Linda Moreno, high profile defense attorney.

—-

Harpers Magazine Panel: Justice After Bush: Prosecuting an Outlaw Administration

We hear from our own Michael Ratner President, Center for Constitutional Rights. The event discussed methods available to a democracy to prosecute high officials in the Bush Administration and responded to Scott Horton’s Harper’s Magazine cover story called “Justice After Bush: Prosecuting an Outlaw Administration.” We will hear more from the other speakers in the coming weeks.

  • Elizabeth Holtzman, Author, The Impeachment of George W. Bush
  • Scott Horton, Contributing Editor, Harper’s Magazine
  • Jerrold Nadler, Chairman, House Subcommittee on the Constitution
  • Antonio Taguba, Major General (U.S. Army Ret.)
Share

Law and Disorder December 15, 2008


Host Updates:


Related News Stories:

————–

Verdict Against Holy Land Charity Could Have a Chilling Effect on the Muslim Community

Last month, a jury in Dallas, Texas found five Palestinian men guilty of more than 100 charges in the nation’s largest terrorism financing trial since 9/11. We talk with Laila Al-Arian, a Washington based journalist, who recently wrote a powerful Alternet article about this case and its impact on Muslim charities.

As many listeners may know, Holy Land was the largest Muslim charity in the United States, the the Bush administration shut it down after the September 11th attacks, and arrested five officials from the charity. In her article Al-Arian describes how the prosecution use unrelated video of suicide bombers to emotionally sway the jury. We’re later joined by Linda Moreno, a defense attorney in the case.

Laila Al-Arian:

  • One of the witnesses (in this recent case) was an expert witness, he was a Shin Bet agent.
  • The way the US government is trying to prove that these Zakaat Committees are funding Hamas is through the testimony of this Israeli witness. The testimony can’t be authenticated.
  • The first time in a US court room that an expert witness, not a fact witness, testified under a pseudonym.
  • How do you detect perjury, or how does the defense cross-examine without background.
  • Expert witness lied to the jury about the Zakat committees being tied to Hamas
  • What you’re really doing is prosecuting an Israeli Palestinian conflict in an American courtroom.
  • For Muslims giving charity is a religious obligation.
  • There will be an appeal on the grounds of the expert witness Shin Bet agent.
  • Joe Lieberman and George Bush commented on the verdict of this case.
  • All this does is punish people who are suffering, and punishing those who want to help them.

Linda Moreno:

  • The government began its exhibit with a photograph of a bombed out bus, which had nothing to do with the accused in the Holy Land case.
  • They also showed video of children doing skits, an art form that is a result of culture under occupation.
  • Children in the US get to play violent video games, but they get to turn that off and go back to the safety of their home, go into your bedroom and shut the door. When you’re a Palestinian child, you don’t have that luxury.
  • We know because we proved in both trials, that the US Government through USAID and other organizations was giving to the exact same Zakat Committees that were at issue in the indictment of this case.
  • And the notion that you have to vet the recipient of charitiable donations, I believe is un-American.
  • There’s just something wrong about criminalizing humanitarian aid. Charities under fire.

Guests – Laila Al-Arian, a Washington DC based journalist. Linda Moreno, high profile defense attorney.

———–

Legislation To Stop Preemptive Pardons

So far George W Bush has issued nearly 170 pardons, they include a Missouri farmer who unintentionally poisoned three bald eagles. Pardons give the recipients greater leeway to find jobs, live in public housing and vote. Many expect that President Bush will pardon himself and other high officials as a shelter from criminal charges and that’s what New York Congressman Jerrold Nadler is trying to prevent. Nadler is the Chair of the Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties, and he’s recently introduced House Resolution 1531 demanding that Bush refrain from issuing pre_emptive pardons of senior officials in his Administration during the final 90 days of office.

New York Congressman Jerrold Nadler:

  • No pre-emptive pardons, the president should not do it, it’s a dangerous abuse of pardon power.
  • HR 1531 also says that we believe an attorney general should appoint an independent counsel to investigate alleged various crimes, such as warrantless wiretapping, torture, renditions and so forth committed during the Bush administration.
  • Premptive Pardons: President Ford pardoned Nixon, for any crimes that he might have committed.
  • President H W Bush pardoned Casper Weinberger and various other people for any crimes they might have made. President Carter pardoned anyone who violated the draft laws in evading the draft during the Vietnam War.
  • My feeling is the reason for pardons or give the pardon power in the first place is you want to temper justice with mercy.
  • It would be an abuse of power before they get convicted of a crime. If he pardoned all the people well, then how do you develop a case.
  • I think there should be a commission with supoena power, that can get at the facts, that can have people testify, that can develop more information for prosecutors to use.
  • Right now the narrative will be: Nobody did anything wrong, we protected the American people from terrorism.
  • We need to educate the American people about why these prosecutions must be done.
  • It’s very important for the people in a democratic country to know what was done in their name.
  • One of the problems we have in this country today is that everything is secret.
  • The resolution will not be passed in this Congress. If Bush exercises pardons, then there’s very little we can do about those pardons. I’m going to introduce a constitutional amendment to restrict the pardon power in the future.

Guest – Congressman Jerrold NadlerHe represents New York’s Eighth Congressional district. The Eighth, one of the most diverse districts in the nation, includes Manhattan’s West Side below 89th Street, Lower Manhattan, and areas of Brooklyn including Borough Park, Coney Island, Brighton Beach, Sea Gate, Bay Ridge, and Bensonhurst.

Harpers Magazine Panel: Justice After Bush: Prosecuting an Outlaw Administration

We hears excerpts from 2 speakers in the panel. Our own Michael Ratner President, Center for Constitutional Rights and Burt Neuborne, Legal Director, Brennan Center for Justice, New York University. The event discussed methods available to a democracy to prosecute high officials in the Bush Administration and responded to Scott Horton’s Harper’s Magazine cover story called “Justice After Bush: Prosecuting an Outlaw Administration.” We will hear more from the other speakers in the coming weeks.

  • Elizabeth Holtzman, Author, The Impeachment of George W. Bush
  • Scott Horton, Contributing Editor, Harper’s Magazine
  • Jerrold Nadler, Chairman, House Subcommittee on the Constitution
  • Antonio Taguba, Major General (U.S. Army Ret.)

—————————————————————————-

Share

Law and Disorder December 8, 2008


Updates – News:

—-

vermont1.jpg=Vincent Bugliosi and Charlotte Dennett
Debrief: Vermont Attorney General Candidate Charlotte Dennett

Attorney Charlotte Dennett of Vermont ran for the state attorney general on the platform that if elected she would immediately undertake the prosecution of George W. Bush for the unnecessary deaths of Vermont soldiers in Iraq. Vermont has paid the highest price in deaths per capita in the nation. This strategy is based and outlined in the book, The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder, written by Vincent Bugliosi, former prosecutor and bestselling author. The strategy is to establish jurisdiction in the cases for Attorneys General in each state and also the approximately 900 district attorneys in the counties of those states.

Charlotte Dennett:

  • We weren’t trying Bush on war crimes. What we were proposing was to prosecute Bush under state murder statutes, criminal statutes.
  • William Sorrell, current Vermont Attorney General, in his campaign, claimed that it (prosecution) couldn’t happen in Vermont, if you want to prosecute war crimes you have to do it in the Hague.
  • Sorrell repeated this message constantly, making it (prosecution) seem impossible to do in Vermont.
  • Sorrell would not acknowledge that, if he did acknowledge then we could establish jurisdiction and moved forward.
  • Because he refused to acknowledge it made it look hopeless and ridiculous. I’m afraid a lot of Vermonters got that message.
  • A friend of mine told me that when asked if the Obama administration will prosecute Bush, our own senator Patrick Leahy, head of the senate judiciary committee said No it can’t be done. Dont’ roll over on thisIf we keep letting this happen then what kind of society are we going to encourage.

Guest – Charlotte Dennett, attorney, and former investigative reporter for 30 years and has been practicing law in Vermont for 11 years. She helped sue one of the worst polluters of the country, including Du Pont.

——-

michael ratner g-town.jpg stuart taylor

On War Crimes and Torture: Should High Government Officials Be Investigated and Prosecuted?

We hear an excerpt from a debate between our own Michael Ratner and Stuart Taylor at Georgetown University, moderated by David Vladeck, Professor, Georgetown University Law Center. Stuart Taylor is a senior fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institute, he’s a columnist for the National Jornal and contributing editor for Newsweek magazine. The event was titled On War Crimes and Torture: Should High Government Officials Be Investigated and Prosecuted? These issues are moving to the forefront in some media as the Bush Administration comes to a close.

Internet Message Forum On The Debate

Michael Tigar michael tigar cordozo law school photo Michael Tigar

Research Professor of Law, Michael Tigar

Michael Tigar is an expert in Constitutional Law and the Supreme Court. He has represented Terry Nichols of the Oklahoma City Bombing, Angela Davis, and Lynne Stewart. Tigar outlines several steps the Obama Administration must do to turn back the major breaches in U.S. civil liberties.

Michael Tigar:

  • There is now a systematic breaking down of all barriers against government intrusion into the private lives of people.
  • Alien Enemy Combatants: A creation of a new class of people who are thought to be utterly right-less, both as to whether they can be detained, the conditions of their detention, and the manner in which they can be held and interrogated.
  • Meanwhile, we have legal fictions such as the Vice President saying he’s neither a member of the executive or legislative branch, and therefore being subject to the rules of both is subject to the rules of neither.
  • We have justice system staffed with people whose only qualification is their asserted ideological purity.
  • We have two aggressive wars, all done to the tune of the most massive federal debts in history.
  • This, accompanied by the largest transfer of wealth from the poor, and working class to the already wealthy, coupled with the dismantling of regulatory barriers of how greed and avarice operate.
  • It is the lack of any significant organized resistance from legislators, and with some few bright exceptions, judges and lawyers that define for us the task that lies ahead.
  • Eric Holder, a good lawyer, was among the group of people in the Clinton administration that even though they had all the evidence, that they would not prosecute Pinochet.
  • National State Secrets: the case of journalist Quentin Reynolds who took a ride on an Air Force jet and it crashed, his widow sued under the federal tort claims act saying that she thought there was negligence. The United States convinced the Supreme Court that to disclose the reasons why that plane crashed might involve state secrets, and that she should not be able to sue.
  • Sixty years later the maintenance file on that plane was on unsealed. It turned out that it was a routine maintenance error that caused the crash. Behind the curtain of states secrets is illegality and mendacity.
  • How many years did it take to get Pinochet for any kind of proposed criminal accountability, almost 20, because of states secrets.
  • The tort system, that is the way we enforce rules about safe products, it’s the way that we enforce the rules about the toxic substances that poison people, it’s the way that we deal with the kleptocracy that rules wall street.
  • It’s so well tested – Marbury v Madison 1803 – Chief Justice Marshall said that he could decide a case was unconstitutional.

Guest – Michael Tigar, a criminal defense attorney who has represented some of the country’s most controversial clients. He is also a member of the Duke University Law School faculty.

————————————————————–

Share
Home Page | Stations | Hosts | Listening Library | Contact Us     © 2014 Law and Disorder

Powered by WordPress.
Website design by Canton Becker.
Header Photo: Jim Snapper
Entries (RSS) and Comments (RSS).