Law and Disorder Radio

Law and Disorder August 31, 2009

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Attorney General Eric Holder appoints special Justice Department prosecutor John Durham to conduct a preliminary investigation into whether federal laws were violated in connection with the interrogation of certain detainees in U.S. custody.  In this lively first half hour discussion, hosts Michael Ratner, Heidi Boghosian and Michael Smith discuss and detail why the investigation does not go after higher-ups within the US torture program, how tortured confessions are used to support war and that interrogators did not act alone.

  • CIA OIG Report (PDF): Released because of requests by the ACLU / CCR / Amnesty International / Physicans For Human Rights
  • Office of Legal Counsel Torture Memo Authors Should Be Prosecuted.
  • Sham and Diversions: Special Prosecutor not “independent”
  • 500 Year Setback: Doctors evaluating limits of torture
  • Doctors, lawyers, officials, CIA, government agents involved.
  • Torture report also reveal Cheney lies that intel was extracted from torture.
  • CIA OIG Report Press Release
  • Like a rat through a maze  trying to find their way around the language


Photo by Jake Ratner Photo by Jake Ratner

Jacob Ratner:  Bolivia Debrief (photos courtesy of Jake Ratner)

We are very pleased to have with us Jake Ratner, our own Michael Ratner’s son, that is fresh off the plane from Bolivia.  Jake is entering his final year at the University of Pennsylvania and shares with us some of his experiences from his three month stay with a Bolivian family.  Experiences include, the Aymara indigenous culture, economics and socialism among the  classes of people in Bolivia and comparisons to Cuban culture.

Jake Ratner:

  • Working at a Bolivian Womens Prison
  • Working with NGO helping women’s prison, teaching workshops, replacing faulty lighting etc
  • San Pedro’s Mens Prison in La Paz: The prison is self functioning, the prisoners run small businesses and pay rent for their cells.
  • That kind of autonomy was also in the women’s prison.
  • When you go into the prison it’s like a small Bolivian village, there’s a fountain, kids running around.
  • The spirit of rebellion is completely related to their culture, a culture of collective reasoning and resistance to the imposing power.
  • Many women in prisons acted as drug mules. Drug laws in Bolivia, similar to Rockefeller drug laws in New York.
  • El Alto, one of the poorest cities in Bolivia, extreme poverty. No plumbing. The eat a lot of freeze dried potatoes.
  • Former Bolivian president Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada Sánchez Bustamante made back room deals with Bolivia’s natural gas resources.  Bolivians took to the streets, many were killed. A lawsuit is pending.
  • El Alto, Bolivia is a “city” of roughly 800 thousand people that sits on a plateau above La Paz. It has been growing at an exponential rate and will soon supersede the population of La Paz
  • Bolivia Social Security system:  Bonos – payments to lower income families.

Guest – Jake Ratner, son of co-host Michael Ratner.  He is in his last year at the University of Pennsylvania. Jake has traveled to and studied in Cuba.  Check out Jake’s Flickr page here.


Lawyer in Bolivia working on case - photo by Jake bolivia photo by Jake Ratner


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