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Archives for August, 2012


Law and Disorder August 27, 2012


Updates:

  • Michael Ratner: Update on Julian Assange

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Attorney Martin Garbus and the Cuban Five

Earlier this summer we talked with renowned First Amendment and civil rights attorney Martin Garbus about joining the Cuban Five’s legal defense team. He recently filed an affidavit in the Miami Federal District Court based on US government misconduct of paying Miami journalists during the Cuban Five’s prosecution 14 years ago. As many listeners may know, these paid reporters covered the Cuban Five case in an almost hysterical fashion. The affidavit supports Cuban Five defendant Gerardo Hernández’ habeas corpus appeal and seeks the overturning of his wrongful conviction.

Attorney Martin Garbus:

  • We’re saying that every person involved in the payments, the government, Radio Marti, the persons who received the payments. The journalists also violated the law.
  • I think it is jury tampering. We’re saying that every dollar that was paid is a violation of the integrity of a jury trial. There were many millions of dollars.
  • We’re saying that the jury trial was destroyed by a propaganda machine.
  • The government then says, well you have to prove that. There are several different allegations.
  • There is Radio Marti. In 1996, just about the time of the shoot down Radio Marti moves from Washington to Miami.
  • It’s the only Voice of America station if you will that doesn’t operate out of Washington.
  • It shows that the government was willing to give the Cuban exiles control over Radio Marti.
  • In 1996, its recognized that Radio Marti is totally internal to effect the Cuban exile population in Miami.
  • They then go to the newspapers, the Miami Herald, the Nuevo Herald and they (Radio Marti) start to give those journalists money.
  • We filed an 80 page affidavit with hundreds of pages of exhibits.
  • We’ve gone through relentlessly of payments made by Radio Marti by the government to journalists. We’ve come up with 11 journalists who have received close to a million dollars.
  • The articles that they wrote should be read fairly carefully.
  • They make the argument that the people who are being tried in the case were the early landing force for a Cuban invasion.
  • American money is being given to writers who are then attacking America which has prosecuted people who have killed Americans.  We’re trying to vacate the conviction.

Guest – Attorney Martin Garbus, one of the country’s leading trial lawyers. He has appeared before the United States Supreme Court and the highest state and federal courts in the nation. Time Magazine has named him “legendary . . . one of the best trial lawyers in the country.” He’s also known as the most prominent First Amendment lawyer.

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Washington DC Court Ruling on CO2

In April 2007, the US Supreme Court handed down its first decision related to climate change issues. The case was Massachusetts v. EPA and the high Court held that the Clean Air Act authorized the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate greenhouse gas emissions IF the agency determined that these emissions posed a danger to human health and welfare.  The EPA did in fact make such an “endangerment” finding, and then proceeded to begin the process of adopting regulations to limit greenhouse gas emissions.

The initial lawsuit was brought by the Coalition for Responsible Regulation, which includes a range of petroleum-based industries, and supported by several states, including Texas, Alabama, Georgia, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Carolina, and Virginia.  The EPA, on the other hand, was joined by California, New York, Delaware, Iowa, Maryland, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Oregon, Vermont, Rhode Island, Washington and New York City.  These three rules were challenged on various grounds – in the end the Court upheld the EPA’s action and resoundingly affirmed the agency’s authority and obligation to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.

Law Professor Eleanor Stein:

  • Rolling Stone: The New Math of Green House Gas and Warming.
  • Greenhouse gases are chemical substances, usually referred to a basket of six which contribute to the warming of the Earth because as they accumulate in the atmosphere they prevent the refraction of the Sun’s energy away from the Earth and back into space.
  • Of these six substances the one often discussed is carbon dioxide which is the most plentiful, methane is among the most potent.  Recent court case – The Coalition For Responsible Regulation Against the EPA - it was decided in the D.C. circuit a month ago.
  • The Massachusetts case at the Supreme Court was about specifically regulation of emissions from new motor vehicles.
  • Once the court ordered the EPA to do its endangerment investigation, it did so and made an endangerment finding in 2009. It found that greenhouse gas emissions were a danger to human health and welfare.
  • The EPA was then required to regulate emissions of new motor vehicles. They did that adopting a set of rules known as the Tailpipe Rules.
  • The EPA went on to adopt a set of rules for stationary sources ie, coal powerplants, those rules are known as the Timing and Tailoring Rules.
  • Endangerment Finding / Tailpipe Rule / Timing and Tailoring Rule
  • The current ruling of the D.C. court upholding the three rules – is a tremendous affirmation of current climate science, its a rejection of a lot of climate denial and other industry.
  • The most extensive discussion is their analysis of the Endangerment Finding, which is the EPA’s analysis of the climate science.
  • The Tailpipe Rule went into effect January 1, 2011. This will make a contribution to reducing emissions.

Guest – Law professor Eleanor Stein teaches a course called the Law of Climate Change: Domestic and Transnational at Albany Law School and SUNY Albany, in conjunction with the Environmental  and Atmospheric Sciences Department at SUNY.

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Pan African Solidarity Hague Committee Serves The ICC

In June of this year, the Pan-African Solidarity Hague Committee delivered a petition to the International Criminal Court at the Hague, Netherlands demanding they prosecute the United States, Great Britain, France, Italy, Canada, and NATO for war crimes and crimes against humanity in Libya, Cote d’lvoire, Haiti and the US. This campaign began in May of last year when thousands gathered to protest the US/NATO bombing of Libya, attacks on Zimbabwe and the racist assault against African-Americans in the United States. The evidence presented made a prima facie case of crimes committed and was the basis of the petition served this year.

Attorney Roger Wareham:

  • The United States was very involved in the process of setting up the ICC.
  • There are approximately 116 countries that have signed on at this point. Which means there are about one third of the countries in world who have not signed on.
  • After 10 years the court came forward with its first conviction. It was a citizen of the Democratic Republic of Congo convicted of crimes against humanity.
  • It’s record has been really a court to prosecute Africans.
  • Of the cases that are in front of it now, all of them are Africans.
  • It’s as if people who’ve violated human rights don’t exist outside the African continent.
  • As one observer had said this is really an African criminal court and not an international criminal court.
  • With the international criminal court, non governmental organizations can bring charges, bring communications saying we think there’s enough evidence to begin an investigation and prosecute.
  • The ICC had taken out a warrant against Khaddafi saying he was a human rights violator, committed crimes against humanity, war crimes.
  • In May 2011 when it was clear they were trying to effect regime change and assassinate Colonel Khadaffi we began a campaign to expose that.  We saw the same pattern in terms of what happened to President Aristides in 2004.
  • After the August 2011 rally we had the people’s tribunal in January 2012.
  • In June 2012 we hand delivered the petition to the ICC. We asked to speak to the chief prosecutor. She declined to meet with us for some reason.
  • They don’t want to deal with prosecuting anybody from the West.
  • A communication was brought to the ICC for the war crimes from Operation Cast Lead. Two years later the ICC declined the petition. I think their technicality was Gaza wasn’t a state.
  • There is a campaign by the West to re-colonize the African continent for its resources, to remove those heads of state that are obstacles Western re-penetration.

Guest – Attorney Roger Wareham, a member of the December 12th Movement, an organization of African people which organizes in the Black and Latino community around human rights violations, particularly police terror. Wareham is also the International Secretary-General of the International Association Against Torture (AICT), a non-governmental organization that has consultative status before the United Nations.

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Law and Disorder August 20, 2012


Updates:

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A Challenge to a Brutal Anti-Latino Law

Sheriff Joe Arpaio recently went on trial in Arizona for discriminating against Latinos and for usurping federal authority with roundups of undocumented immigrants. In a related action, a coalition of groups is asking a federal court to block enforcement of Section 2(B) of SB 1070, the Arizona law that compels all law enforcement agencies in that state to enforce the Arpaio model.

In June the Supreme Court rejected the premise of SB 1070 on grounds that making foreign policy – of which immigration law is a part – is a federal government’s domain. However, the Court upheld the law’s “show me your papers” section that requires officers to check the immigration status of anyone they stop, arrest or detain on another basis if the officer has a “reasonable suspicion” the person is in the country illegally.

The motion to block Section 2(B) “involves additional claims, evidence, and irreparable injuries beyond what the Supreme Court had before it.” The challenge explains harms so obvious and unconstitutional that the judge does not need extensive proof of the section’s impact to enjoin it. The Legislature “explicitly intended Section 2(B) to codify the practices” of Arpaio, the motion says, even after his powers had been restricted by earlier investigations into and challenges to his racial profiling. The practices include prolonged stops and detentions of Latinos to check their status or for other immigration-related purposes.

The plaintiffs are also asking the court to enjoin another Arizona law, which turns alleged violations of a federal anti-harboring law into a state crime. Courts have enjoined similar laws in Georgia, Alabama and South Carolina since, like Arizona’s, they were clearly pre-empted by federal law.

Lena Graber:

  • The law enforcement in Joe Arpaio’s district have been really outspoken about their intention to stop Latinos and fight immigration.
  • The issues around racial profiling are really huge. I think it’s worth separating out the different lawsuits that are going on.
  • Sheriff Joe Arpaio runs this incredibly punitive jail where they barely feed people enough it’s a 120 degrees, and he’s been sued literally thousands of times for the conditions of his jail.
  • Thats been going on since he was elected in the early nineties.
  • In the last several years he’s really gotten on this tough on immigration, let’s do sweeps through the Latino neighborhood.
  • The ACLU and other civil rights groups filed a lawsuit against him for racial discrimination, violation of equal protection, and violation of civil rights.
  • They filed that 2007, about six months later the Department of Justice initiated a civil rights investigation into Joe Arpaio and his operations in Arizona.
  • In the meantime the state of Arizona passed SB 1070.
  • There are both civil rights groups and non profits filing one lawsuit and the federal government filing a parallel.
  • The Arizona Supreme Court recently ruled on the Arizona law, not on Joe Arpaio, where they struck down most of the law and upheld “show me your papers.”
  • The federal government did not argue that the law was unconstitutional because of racial discrimination.
  • Litigation tends to effect the way law enforcement operate pretty dramatically.
  • Joe Arpaio has been elected five times.
  • The federal government has been very slow on the game to chastise Joe Arpaio.
  • The Department of Homeland Security formed their largest 287G agreement with Sheriff Joe for his deputies to be trained to enforce federal immigration law. At that point the violations really started to go through the roof.

Guest – Lena Graber, a Soros Criminal Justice Fellow who focuses on detention and deportation and state and local enforcement.  Lena Graber’s work seeks to reduce the government’s abuse of immigration detainers–a tool used to maintain custody of potentially deportable individuals in local jails or prisons nationwide.  Lena previously worked at the National Immigration Forum in Washington, D.C.
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Mondoweiss: Israel Trip and the Future of Palestine

We welcome back returning guest Philip Weiss, the founder and co-editor of Mondoweiss.net, a news website devoted to covering American foreign policy in the Middle East. Philip has recently returned from a trip to Israel and was struck by the ongoing apartheid against Palestinians. During his trip, he traveled an Israeli’s only road. He saw the massive barrier in the West Bank. He toured many Israeli settlements, such as Ma’ale Adumim, the first settlement to be declared a city. Interestingly Philip also saw some of the fund raiser entourage of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney while in Jerusalem.  We talk with him about his trip and the future of the Palestinian state.

Philip Weiss:

  • The last few times I’ve come back I felt a real sense of bleakness.
  • When you’re there and you see just how much force is arrayed on one side and the status quo is of complete inequality.
  • The sense of martial law is overwhelming. Spiritually, it’s awful.
  • When you’re over there you see there is very little left in terms of contiguous territory in the West Bank to create a viable state.
  • You see the settlements all around you, giant swimming pools next to villages with walls around them, to separate themselves from Palestine villages in occupied land.
  • Jeff Halper says the 2 state solution is dead.
  • Area C is ours they say.
  • I saw one ad on my commute here today that read – It’s Not Islamaphobia to Blame Islam for Terrorism.
  • This is extremism, it’s intolerance, it’s racism.
  • It’s statements that we would not accept, that have become off limits in American discourse in almost any other context.
  • One thing I saw there was the separation, the complete separation of two societies.
  • You really get a sense of ethnic purity at work.
  • The denial of that humanity is so profound and offensive.
  • I’ve been struck by the famous Arab hospitality in that region.
  • The sense of sovereignty and domination is profound.
  • It’s hard sometimes to meet people’s eyes, because you know that you’re an author of their humiliation and this human being with a lot of dignity has suddenly become humiliated before your eyes and it’s upsetting.
  • John Brown said the idea that all people are created equal is the exact same idea as do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
  • It’s kinda scary to think that a bunch of Americans to send a signal to Obama would have to go raise a million dollars at the King David hotel in Jerusalem and have Romney talk about Iran and he’s with Netanyahu on Iran. These were powerful political signals being sent while I was there.
  • I think Romney is behaving in an irresponsible manner. It seems like he’s being used in this situation.  Within the Israeli security establishment there is some sense it does not want this attack.
  • They don’t care about Iran, they care about cleansing the West Bank of Palestinians.
  • If there is a war with Iran it’s a perfect opportunity and a crisis to push more Palestinians out of area C into the cities.
  • I’m for BDS. Every time I go there I’m upset by what I see. The question is that whether the South African connection is kicking in. (BDS Collective)
  • I get a lot of criticism from Jews for exposing my people to danger.
  • Jeff Halper studies the occupation and knows it in a granular way.

Guest – Philip Weiss founder of Mondoweiss, longtime journalist and regular contributor to the Nation and a fellow at the Nation Institute.  Philip is the author of two books a political novel, Cock-A-Doodle-Doo, and American Taboo, an investigative account of a 1976 murder in the Peace Corps in the Kingdom of Tonga.  Weiss is one of the editors of The Goldstone Report: The Legacy of the Landmark Investigation of the Gaza Conflict.

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Law and Disorder August 13, 2012


Updates:

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The Passion of Bradley Manning: The Story of the Suspect Behind the Largest Security Breach in U.S. History.

We continue to look into the the Bradley Manning story, the biggest whistle-blower case in US history. Attorney Chase Madar joins us in the studio, he’s the author of The Passion of Bradley Manning: The Story of the Suspect Behind the Largest Security Breach in U.S. History. The book moves through Manning’s childhood and up to what led him to allegedly upload volumes of classified secret information to Wikileaks. Madar highlights the value of publicly exposing the endless criminal and immoral actions while government secrecy spins out of control, classifying 77 million documents a year. He also asks what can be done to protect Bradley Manning as a whistle-blower. Since his arrest 2 years ago, Manning’s formal court martial proceedings are not scheduled to begin until February 2013, and as many listeners know the most lethal charge is aiding the enemy.

Attorney Chase Madar:

  • I worked as a staff attorney for many years at a great non-profit in Bushwick section of Brooklyn doing all kinds of low tech services for Spanish speaking immigrants.
  • I quit that and have been writing about foreign affairs. I got put on the sight of Bradley Manning by Tom Englehart, who edits the great TomDispatch web project.
  • So many important issues collide in this case, whether its the comparative risk to our security of secrecy versus leaks. How we judge threats, how we misassess threats. How we use solitary confinement as punishment, is it an acceptable punishment?
  • What power does information have anyway? A lot of intellectuals think that information has an incredible catalytic effect.
  • Bradley Manning enlisted in the Army in October 2007. He’s deployed to Iraq after all kinds of training in Army intelligence in 2009.
  • He allegedly begins leaking things in early 2010 and he’s arrested in late May 2010 over 2 years ago now. He was held in solitary confinement, very strict punitive isolation in Quantico Marine Corp base in Virginia, from July 2010 to April 2011.
  • We’re looking at 2.5 years of pretrial confinement.
  • You can divide up the Wikileaks leaks allegedly supplied by Bradley Manning in 3 categories. Iraq material, thousands of war logs: raw reports file by soldiers, Afghan war logs, it’s a composite of a war that’s weirdly aimless.
  • Obama did campaign as the whistle-blower’s best friend, and he has prosecuted twice as many as all previous administrations.
  • Here’s one theory I find persuasive. It’s important for Obama to have the intelligence services on his side. This was a way for him to show the CIA that he would go along them.
  • I would like to see a serious change in foreign policy which has gone off the rails.
  • We haven’t the kind of course correction with Obama that many had hoped for.
  • I hope Wikileaks do disrupt foreign policy more. There’s been all kinds of smack talked about Bradley Manning, he’s a weirdo, a malcontent, he did what he did because he’s screwed up, he did because he’s gay.
  • His motives are very plain to see in the chat logs between him and the informant.
  • The Manning chat logs – they read like a tragic novella.
  • So much of our secrecy law is designed to keep the American public in the dark.
  • I think we have badly confused being clueless with being safe.
  • He comes across as an immensely thoughtful, courageous and very principled young man. In some ways he’s an extreme version of the millennial generation who have a lot of education and potential but find themselves not doing too well.
  • His father was in Naval Intelligence and he’d grown up with a sense of patriotic responsibilities.
  • What makes him turn on the inside and leak these things?
  • He’s asked to look into the arrest and capture by the Iraqi authorities a group of non-violent Iraqi protesters who were handing out pamphlets that were all about corruption in Iraqi government.
  • We are light years away from total transparency.
  • The main thing is to make records of the court proceedings publicly available.
  • I think a guilty conviction and a heavy sentence of at least 50 years is a foregone conclusion.
  • The wages of government secrecy, not security but disaster.
  • It looks like the court martial won’t begin until January or February.
  • Go to the Bradley Manning support network website. Send him a postcard.
  • It’s your patriotic duty to browse the leaks.
  • Legal Atrocities – by Chase Madar

Guest – Attorney Chase Madar , a TomDispatch regular and author of a new book, The Passion of Bradley Manning (OR Books).  Madar tweets @ChMadar. He’s  a contributor to the London Review of Books and Le Monde diplomatique and the author of a new book, The Passion of Bradley Manning (OR Books).

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Law and Disorder August 6, 2012


Updates:

  • Maryland Law Allows Police To Collect DNA During Arrests
  • Heidi Boghosian: National Lawyers Guild Monitoring RNC / DNC Demonstrations
  • In Memory: Michael Nash
  • In Memory: Alexander Cockburn
  • In Memory: Professor John (Tito) Gerassi
  • You Have The Right To Remain Silent Booklet

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Unrepentant Radical Educator: The Writings of John Gerassi

Professor John (Tito) Gerassi, once an editor at Time magazine, then at Newsweek. He obtained his PhD at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He was a long time civil rights and anti-war militant and author / editor of ten books plus scores of articles and pamphlets published on both sides of the Atlantic. He was Professor of Political Science at the City University of New York.  Professor Gerassi discussed his book, Unrepentant Radical Educator: The writings of John Gerassi, edited and with interviews by Tony Monchinski (Transgressions: Cultural Studies and Education) Indypendent Book Review

The book joins personal narratives from Gerassi’s days of journalism and activism, featuring Che Guevara, Fidel Castro, Jerry Rubin, Eldridge Cleaver and others of the era, with  essays on figures such as Sartre, Camus, and Julius and Ethel Rosenberg.  One review writes, (Especially fascinating are the tales of deliberate misreporting by the major media outlets for which he worked, epitomized by the words of owner Henry Luce when Gerassi was hired: “We here at Time believe that objectivity is neither feasible nor desirable.”)

John “Tito” Gerassi:

  • Time Magazine: I hear you’re coming aboard Mr. Gerassi. In the long run, it was great that I got kicked out
  • Met Che Guevara in Uruguay, as a journalist for the New York Times, there was a fight with anti-Castro students, the police were scared, one man fired his gun in the air, it ricocheted and hit and killed a USIS Cuban.
  • Che told me I don’t talk to the imperialist press. At the hotel, they had reserved a large table where all the left-wing characters sat around with Che.  Argentines say chez vous, that’s how Che got his nickname Che.
  • The Great Fear in Latin America – John Gerassi
  • Che Where Are You? Eventually there will be many Che’s.

Guest – Professor John Gerassi, once an editor at Time magazine, then at Newsweek, who obtained his PhD at LSE, is a long time civil rights and anti-war militant. He is the author or editor of ten books and scores of articles and pamphlets published on both sides of the Atlantic. He is currently Professor of Political Science at the City University of New York.

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