Law and Disorder Radio

Archives for May, 2016


Law and Disorder May 30, 2016


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Remembering Michael Ratner

Hosts Heidi Boghosian and Michael Smith remember Michael Ratner as cohost, activist, radical attorney, author and close friend. In this show, hosts reflect on Michael’s work and listen back to several monologue updates. They include his work as co-counsel for Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, the Dahiya Doctrine, SNAP- Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, NSA survelliance in the Bahamas and Guantanamo Bay prisoner exchange.

Michael Ratner (1943-2016) was president emeritus of the Center for Constitutional Rights and author of Guantanamo: What the World Should Know. Michael worked for decades, as a crusader for human rights both at home and abroad litigating many cases against international human rights violators resulting in millions of dollars in judgments for abuse victims and expanding the possibilities of international law. He acted as a principal counsel in the successful suit to close the camp for HIV-positive Haitian refugees on Guantanamo Base, Cuba. Michael Ratner has litigated a dozen cases challenging a President’s authority to go to war, without congressional approval. In the wake of the September 11 attacks, the Center has focused its efforts on the constitutionality of indefinite detention and the restrictions on civil liberties as defined by the unfolding terms of a permanent war. Among his many honors were: Trial Lawyer of the Year from the Trial lawyers for Public Justice, The Columbia Law School Public Interest Law Foundation Award, and the North Star Community Frederick Douglass Award.

 

Law and Disorder May 23, 2016


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A Full Life: James Connolly, The Irish Rebel

Executed by a British firing squad on May 12, 1916 for his role in organizing the Easter Rising, James Connolly was one of the most prominent radical organizers and agitators of his day. Born in Scotland in 1868 to Irish immigrant parents Connolly spent most of adult life organizing for labor unions and Socialist organizations in Ireland, Scotland and the United States. Despite attending school for only a few years, Connolly became a leading Socialist writer and theoretician, founding and editing newspapers including The Socialist Scotland, The Harp in the United States, and the Worker’s Republic in Ireland. As a labor organizer, Connolly stressed the importance of direct action, broad working class unity and a commitment to ending labor’s exploitation. As a Socialist agitator, Connolly saw economic and political independence as inextricably intertwined. The pamphlet, A Full Life: James Connolly, The Irish Rebel is the first graphic treatment on Connolly’s life. Its been issued on the centenary of the Easter Rising.

Guest – Paul Buhle, formerly a senior lecturer at Brown University, produces radical comics. He founded the SDS Journal Radical America and the archive Oral History of the American Left and, with Mari Jo Buhle, is coeditor of the Encyclopedia of the American Left. He lives in Madison.
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Songs of Freedom: The James Connolly Songs of Freedom Band

Songs of Freedom is the name of the songbook initially edited by James Connolly and reedited by Mat Calahan and republished by PM Press. Connolly’s introduction is better known than the collection for which it was written contained in his oft quoted maxim “Until the movement is marked the joyous defiant singing of revolutionary songs, it lacks one of the most distinctive marks of a popular revolutionary movement. It is the dogma of a few and not the faith of the multitude. Songs of Freedom is the celebration of the life and work of James Connolly, the Irish revolutionary Socialist martyred by the British government for his role in the Eastern Rising of 1916. Songs of Freedom the CD, makes contemporary music out of old revolutionary songs. The band turns the timeless lyrics of James Connolly into timeless manifestos of today.

Guest – Mat Calahan is a musician and author originally from San Francisco, where he founded Komotion International. He is the author of three books, Sex, Death & the Angry Young Man, Testimony, and The Trouble With Music. He currently resides in Bern, Switzerland. http://www.matcallahan.com

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Law and Disorder May 16, 2016


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Tomas Young’s War

At age 19 Tomas Young joined the Army two days after the 9/11 attacks. For patriotic reasons he wanted to fight in Afghanistan because of that country’s connection to the attack.

He was instead deployed to Iraq, a country that had zero connection to the attacks on September 11, 2001. He was in Iraq but a few days when he was shot in an insurgent ambush while sitting in the back of an open truck driving through an area of unrest in Baghdad.

The first shot severed his spinal cord paralyzing him from the nipples on down. The second shot shattered his knee. He never felt it. Tomas Young lived for nine years with his catastrophic injury. He became a forceful and eloquent spokesman against the war in Iraq.

The movie “body of war” was made about him.  Tomas died of his injuries in 2014 at the age of 34.

Guest – Cathy Smith, a single mother who had cared for her son Tomas and advocated for him.

Guest – Mark Wilkerson spent eight years in the U.S. Army as an AH-1 Cobra & UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter crew chief with the 3rd Infantry & 101st Airborne Divisions. He was deployed with the 101st to Mogadishu, Somalia, for six months in 1993. Mark has three children, Alex, Nick and Sam. He lives in Louisville, Kentucky with his wife Melissa. This is his third book. Phil Donahue and the DONAHUE show have been honored with 20 Daytime Emmy Awards, including nine for Outstanding Host and a George Foster Peabody Broadcasting Journalism Award.

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Surveillance State and Tor

As computer technology has evolved and communications providers have profited, law enforcement and government intelligence organizations increasingly lobby to mandate that data services be engineered to allow them “back door” access to encrypted data.

Even as expansive anti-terrorism legislation provides more ways for the government to harvest our personal data, calls still continue for regulation of technology to ensure extra access channels. With each high-profile criminal attack, on U.S. soil or elsewhere across the world, government efforts to access personal communications gain momentum.

Years ago, many considered TOR, software that enables anonymous communication, to be equivalent to the Dark Net, the nefarious sites and services accessible on the Tor network that promote/enable illegal activity such as drug and gun marketplaces. After Edward Snowden’s massive data release, however, TOR use in the last year has grown quickly.

Guest – Shari Steele, Executive Director of the Tor Project. As the former director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Shari built it into the nation’s preeminent digital rights organization.

 

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Law and Disorder May 9, 2016


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We at Law and Disorder mourn the passing of our friend, co-host and co-producer Michael Ratner on May 11, 2016. Michael’s radical legal and political analysis, and his enormous compassion, was a rarity in the field of legal affairs broadcasting.

We shall miss him dearly.

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Updates:

  • Co-host Michael Steven Smith Remembers Kent State Shootings May 4, 1970 and Jackson State University Shootings May 15, 1970.

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Discrediting the Red Scare: The Cold War Trials of James Kutcher, The Legless Veteran

Historian Robert Goldstein has just come out with the book “Discrediting the Red Scare: The Cold War Trials of James Kutcher, The Legless Veteran”. James Kutcher exposed some of the worst abuses of the red scare. His cases got massive publicity and contributed to the red scare’s demise and the discrediting of The Federal Employee Loyalty Program. Kutcher was a socialist in the 1930s and joined a small socialist organization. He was drafted shortly before American entry into World War II. He fought in north Africa and then Italy, where both of his legs were blown to pieces by a German mortar shell in 1943. After having both legs amputated and learning to walk with artificial limbs and two canes. In 1946,  Kutcher was hired in a menial position at the veterans administration as a file clerk with no access to national security information.

However, as a result of President Truman’s March 1947 Federal Employee Loyalty Program, and more specifically due to  the listing of Kutcher’s organization, the Socialist workers party, and the attorney generals list of subversive organizations mischaracterizing it as seeking to violently overthrow the government Kutcher was fired from his VA position. The government then sought to take away his World War II disability pension and then to evict him and his aged parents from there public housing project in Newark, New Jersey.

Goldstein’s book tells a dramatic story about a shy and timid person with true fortitude who fought for 10 years to establish his and all Americans’ constitutional rights to due process,freedom of speech and association.  Robert Goldstein tells the story of a true American hero.

Guest – Robert Justin Goldstein is emeritus professor of political science at Oakland University. His many books include Flag Burning and Free Speech: The Case of Texas v. Johnson and American Blacklist: The Attorney Generals List of Subversive Organizations, both from Kansas.
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Saudi Arabia Threatens To Dump US Assets If Blamed For 911

Phyllis Bennis is a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington DC and has written several books on the Middle East. She joins us to to talk about the alleged Saudi Arabian connection to 911 and Obama’s impending meeting with the Saudi Arabian king. The United States Congress is presently considering a bill to lift the sovereign immunity Saudi Arabia enjoys which protects their government from the pending wrongful death lawsuits brought by the families of the September 11, 2001 attack victims . Legislation to do this is backed by both Republicans and Democrats and opposed by the Obama administration.

The Saudi Arabian government has threatened, some have called it black mail, to dispose of the $750 billion in American assets, including treasury bonds, that it owns to protect itself if it’s sovereign immunity is lifted. Saudi Arabia along with Israel is America’s key ally in the Middle East.

Guest – Phyllis Bennis, directs the New Internationalism Project at IPS. She is also a fellow of the Transnational Institute in Amsterdam. She has been a writer, analyst, and activist on Middle East and UN issues for many years. In 2001 she helped found and remains on the steering committee of the U.S. Campaign to End Israeli Occupation. She works closely with the United for Peace and Justice anti-war coalition, co-chairs the UN-based International Coordinating Network on Palestine, and since 2002 has played an active role in the growing global peace movement. She continues to serve as an adviser to several top UN officials on Middle East and UN democratization issues.

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Law and Disorder May 2, 2016


Updates:

  • Co-hosts Heidi Boghosian and Michael Smith Discuss Raza v. City of New York and Handschu v. Special Services Division Settlements.
  • Renaming Law School After Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia

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Miko Peled: The General’s Son, Journey of an Israeli in Palestine – Second Edition

Miko Peled comes from a distinguished Zionist family.  His grandfather signed in 1948 the Israeli declaration of independence. His father General Matti Peled, was a hero in Israel’s victorious 1967 war against 3 of it’s Arab neighbors. Miko Peled wrote the book “The General’s Son, Journey of an Israeli in Palestine” in 2012. It is an account of his family history and his own personal political and moral evolution. He served in the Israeli Air Force. His sister’s young daughter was killed by a Palestinian in a terrorist attack. His book is considered so important that it has been republished in a new updated second edition. Peled moved from Israel and now lives in San Diego. He believes the only just solution in Israel – Palestine is for the creation of a bi-national state with equal rights for the Palestinian people.  He is in New York on tour to promote the second edition of this book.

Guest – Miko Peled is an Israeli writer and activist living in the US. He was born and raised in Jerusalem. His father was the late Israeli General Matti Peled. Driven by a personal family tragedy to explore Palestine, its people and their narrative. He has written a book about his journey from the sphere of the privileged Israeli to that of the oppressed Palestinians. Peled speaks nationally and internationally on the issue of Palestine. He supports the creation of a single democratic state in all of Palestine, and a firm supporter of BDS

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Racism Within Chicago’s Police Department

Chicago Attorney Flint Taylor is a founding partner in the People’s Law Office. He’s been engaged in police abuse litigation since the 1960s when he and his partner Jeff Haas represented the Fred Hampton family after Chairman Hampton, the head of the Black Panther Party was assassinated by the Chicago Police and the FBI. Flint then for 30 years represented the victims of the Jon Burge torture machine. Burge, through the use of torture got false confessions from more than 100 African American men, sending them to prison. Recently, under court order a video was released showing the execution by the Chicago Police of a young black man named Shaquan McDonald. In the wake of the release of the video, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel was forced to fire his police chief and appoint a commission to investigate the lack of accountability and widespread racism in the Chicago Police Department.

Guest – Attorney G.Flint Taylor, a graduate of Brown University and Northwestern Law School, is a  founding partner of the People’s Law Office in Chicago, an office which has been dedicated to litigating civil rights, police violence, government misconduct, and death penalty cases for more than 40 years.

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