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Law and Disorder January 5, 2009

Israel Attacks: Discussion with Author Joel Kovel and Guild Attorney Audrey Bomse

Last week Israel launched what has been described as one of the bloodiest attacks on Palestinians in Gaza since 1948. Protesters demonstrated worldwide as Israeli air strikes continued. Nearly 400 Palestinians have been killed and thousands injured from the bombing campaign. Targets of the strike include a Hamas building and an Islamic university. Gaza is approximately 146 square miles with a population density of 1.5 million, 2/3 of whom are refugees.  Israel Lets Palestinians Flee; UN Warns of Crisis.

Guest – Author Joel Kovel, politician, academic, and eco-socialist. He has lectured in psychiatry, anthropology, political science and communication studies. He has published many books including the controversial Overcoming Zionism: Creating a Single Democratic State in Israel/Palestine.

Guest – Audrey Bomse, a Lawyers Guild attorney working with the Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group. Audrey has used her 25 years of civil rights legal experience to help establish training programs for attorneys representing prisoners in Israeli military courts and to produce ground_breaking public documents, such as a report published in conjunction with the Mandela Institute for Human Rights on the status of Palestinian prisoners. Audrey was also recently detained at Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport for 4 days.

Joel Kovel:

  • The Israeli invasion has been going on for 110 years.
  • People have been mystified because of the power of the propaganda system.
  • Zionism predates it Israel nearly 50 years, and is the driving force to remove non-Jewish from historic Palestine.
  • The logic of the force of Zionism, moves back to the early settlers who were not armed, and relied on devious means and foreign powers. = Terror Strategy
  • Balfour Declaration – To gather patrons for Israel. The US is the mega-patron.
  • In 1937 when there was a great Arab uprising, the Peel Commission decided on partitioning the state into Arab/Muslim and Jewish/Zionist.
  • There was consternation because the Zionists wanted the whole thing. Ben Gurion at the time, said don’t worry, once we get a state, we will continue the process of acquiring the whole thing.
  • Ilan Pappe, author of The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine
  • Unless you see it as a long range project, you’re going to be lost, with the notions of let’s have a cease fire or let the sides get together, negotiate.
  • You can’t conceive that the Israelis will negotiate in good faith once you realize how embedded this drive to eliminate everything non-jewish from Palestine.
  • So eventually, you have a concentration of a million and a half people in this very small part of southwestern Israel.
  • Then you have a democratically elected Hamas, elected because it was militant, it wouldn’t go along.
  • These 1.5 million people are now led by a group of people that can’t be bought off.
  • The U.S. not only provide Israel with the F16s, helicopters and cluster bombs, but also impunity.
  • This impunity includes the media, Hollywood, and universities.
  • A great conservative political philosopher said, “in a society, power consists of the capacity to give names and enforce definitions.”
  • Encouraging, boycott, divestment and sanction. Human Rights organizations release dependence on Israeli based funding. Human Rights groups do not condemn the occupation.
  • The apparatus is woven through the society, not that it can’t be dealt with, but it must be dealt with in the manner of which it exists.

Audrey Bomse:

  • Since the Hamas election in August 2007, there’s been a closure that’s getting tighter, first when Hamas took over,with the support of the quartet, the UN, the US, the EU and Russia.
  • They started cutting travel in and out of Gaza, and cutting the basic necessities out of Gaza.
  • This type of abuse was permitted by the world community.
  • Special Rappateur Richard Falk called the abuse a crime against humanity.
  • I see the cease fire as ending in November, not December. When Israel provoked a Hamas reaction.
  • Israel investigated tunnels out of Gaza during cease fire, killed 6 Hamas militants.
  • Hamas reacted with a flurry of rockets sent in to Israel. By the December 9 cease fire,
  • More rockets came from Gaza and Israel was able to portray itself as the victim.
  • I’m not supporting sending rockets into civilian areas, this is the inevitable situation Gaza is placed in.
  • They have to accept the circumstances or resist in anyway they can, which they do, and Israel uses that as an excuse to escalate, which they’re doing now.
  • I was involved with the Free Gaza Movement on the boat to Gaza, before the recent attacks. We brought in 5 tons of medical supplies and Palestinian doctors.
  • Very limited food, no milk available, there’s just enough food brought in to prevent massive starvation and widespread disease. I want to emphasize that this is a man-made catastrophe, its the consequence of a political policy.

Amnesty International USA: Gaza By The Numbers

Zahir Janmohamed, Advocacy Director with Amnesty International USA of the Middle East has posted a powerful article on the Amnesty International USA blog, where he’s documented the tremendous humanitarian catastrophe that the Israeli blockade has caused for the people in Gaza.

Zahir Janomohamed:

  • Price of food: Palestinian families in Gaza spend 37 percent of their income on food in 2004, in 2007, households spent 62 percent on food.
  • Prices of wheat rose 34 percent in a period of 2 months in 2008.
  • Richard Falk called the Gaza occupation a crime against humanity before the bombings.
  • In my mind the assault on Gaza was going on all of 2007 and 2008. Hospitals don’t have electricity, students dropping out of school because there are no textbooks.
  • For Israel to commit these attacks on this population at this time, it’s like attacking New Orleans during Katrina’s aftermath.
  • Gaza is basically a prison. They eat and move based on factors outside of their control.
  • Amnesty Report of March 2008 – Gaza Strip: A Humanitarian Implosion.
  • International law stipulates that these attacks be done so that civilian targets are severely avoided.
  • This is not possible in Gaza. To my mind, Israel broke the cease fire agreement, in early December, there were tons of supplies headed to Gaza from Libya that were blocked.
  • Number of Israelis killed by rocket fire in 2008 . . 11 , Nearly 400 Palestinians killed in seconds.
  • Israel has sort of carte blanche by the international community. Israel: If you test us, we’ll engage in collective punishment.
  • US supplies bunker buster bombs, approved by Congress in September 2008
  • The US policy on Israel is whatever Israel wants to do it can do.

Guest – Zahir Janmohamed, Advocacy Director with Amnesty International USA of the Middle East. Zahir is also the associate editor of altmuslim since 2004, works as the advocacy director for Middle East Programs at Amnesty International USA, and is the co-founder of the Qunoot Foundation, a Washington DC non-profit that seeks to promote socio-political education within the Muslim community.



Law and Disorder November 24, 2008

Host Updates:

Watch: Michael Ratner – Should High Gov’t Officials Be Investigated and Prosecuted? – Quicktime

Related New:

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Mara Verheyden Hilliard: Inauguration 2009 and the Partnership For Civil Justice

Hosts talk with Mara about criminalizing dissent, surveillance, data mining, fusion centers and the ability to exercise first amendment rights. A recent example were the violations of free speech during the mass arrests of protesters at the 2008 Republican National Convention. The demonizing of protesters and their message in the media will usually allow for the use of military force by police. That combined with intelligence gathering and targeting of lead organizers squelched the voice of dissent in all age groups.

Mara Verheyden Hilliard:

  • A lot of our work is at the intersection of first and fourth amendment rights.
  • PCJ has a class action suit pending from the world bank IMF protest – 8 year drag out tactic.
  • “What they want to do is stage-manage democracy.”
  • Victory: After years of litigation the government has to lift regulations on number of people at the Great Lawn
  • Is it important to say that we don’t want to go back to Jan 19, 2001 just the day before Bush took office- or is there more that we have to do?
  • We think there has to be an audit of every agency’s databases to determine exactly what the databases are.
  • Identify what has been collected, where it has been put, who has access to that information,
  • Then to tell people in the United States individually, what has been collected on them and then to expunge it.
  • For people in their United States, their government collecting information, maintaining information, in these massive database files, that can be used by law enforcement, pulled up in a moment’s notice is really a very dangerous practice.
  • What they’ve done is misuse existing databases and data tools.

Guest – Attorney Mara Verheyden Hilliard co-founder of The Partnership for Civil Justice Legal Defense & Education Fund.


Labor Law for the Rank and Filer: Building Solidarity While Staying Clear of the Law Heidi Boghosian Daniel Gross - Labor Law for the Rank and Filer: Building Solidarity While Staying Clear of the Law

Labor Law for the Rank and Filer: Building Solidarity While Staying Clear of the Law

Law and Disorder hosts welcome back attorney, author and union activist Daniel Gross who has co-written with author, lawyer and historian Staughton Lynd the recently published, Labor Law for the Rank and Filer: Building Solidarity While Staying Clear of the Law.

Daniel Gross:

  • Led movement to unionize baristas at Starbucks
  • Subtitle of the book -“building solidarity while staying clear of the law”
  • We try to show in the book how the law represses and co-ops solidarity amongst rank and file workers.
  • It is the rank and file that transform both work and society.
  • A union is a group of workers standing together to take direct action.
  • We shouldn’t let the government or employer define whether we are a labor union or not.
  • Book chapter – No One Is Illegal - practicing solidarity unionism.
  • The risks are so high for immigrants to come to this country, often you’ll see a tremendous willingness to fight back.
  • In the current economic crisis, I think there’s a lot of opportunity for rank and file upsurges.
  • We will also see repression at this time to avoid a fundamental transformation of society
  • Organize for transformational demands – demands that spark more collective activity and also question the fundamental role of corporations in our lives.
  • In the union solidarity model, workers themselves operate and control there own campaigns.
  • A handful of shop workers on the floor who are challenging the boss, speaking out publically and a resource that other co-workers can go to. That’s a real power on the shop floor.

Guest – Daniel Gross, attorney, author and union activist. Daniel works with Brandworkers International, a New York-based not-for-profit organization powered by a global network of committed individuals, advocates, lawyers, and organizers who believe in holding corporations accountable to workers and communities.



Law and Disorder October 27, 2008


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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

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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.”


Law and Disorder September 8, 2008


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Law and Disorder RNC Street Coverage: Audio Document

Heidi Boghosian, Law and Disorder co-host and Executive Director of the National Lawyers Guild took to the streets of St. Paul Minnesota with producer Geoff Brady during the Republican National Convention. We bring you the voices and sounds of protesters, demonstrations, and interviews with legal observers, lead activists and lawyers. We begin this audio document with attorney Bruce Nestor, president of the Minnesota Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild. Amid this heavily militarized area of St. Paul, Bruce Nestor describes how riot police use minivans as quick, efficient transport and the trapping of protesters on a bridge.

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Just blocks from the Xcel Center, Heidi catches up with local activists and independent journalists who describe first hand accounts of police confrontations. A local journalist named Nick tells of the launching of paint and flash-bang grenades, the arrests and detainment of journalists and unwarranted use of pepper spray and tasers. On 4pm on Tuesday, marchers rally at Mears Park for the scheduled Poor Peoples March. There we spoke with a New York videographer named Dan, he described the pre-convention raids on I-Witness Video and more accounts of excessive police force. Below is a photo of the pre-convention raids from their website.

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National Lawyers Guild attorney Bruce Nestor provides a chronology of events beginning with legal details involving the pre-convention raids on convergence centers. He also analyzes the overall impact of free speech when various factors come together. 1) Demonizing protesters and their message. 2) This allows use of military force by police. 3) Intelligence gathering and targeting lead organizers of alternative press. Combined, these tactics squelch the voice of dissent in all age groups and keep people from exercising their first amendment rights.

Below: Scenes gathered from the streets of St. Paul during the Republican National Convention 2008


Law and Disorder August 11, 2008


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Jet Propulsion Engineers Win Injunction Over “Unconstitutional” Background Checks

Last year, twenty-eight senior scientists and engineers at Jet Propulsion Laboratory challenged the United States government and the California Institute of Technology in a lawsuit claiming that NASA’s new background investigations were unconstitutional. The scientists include members of the Mars Rover program are fighting Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 or (HSPD-12). This directive requires all federal employees and contractors to “voluntarily” sign a form allowing the government the right to investigate them “without limit” for two years- even if they leave government work during that time. NASA and Caltech employees were told, non-compliance will result in immediate termination.

In the interview Bob Nelson describes the drama in a Ninth Circuit Court decision: the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a temporary injunction at 4:40pm. The same day around 5pm, JPL managers were approaching the several hundred JPL employees who were non-compliant and reading them an order saying if you don’t comply by Monday, we will advertise your job. You have until 5pm today to decide.

A few minutes before 5pm Bob Nelson brought in a faxed copy of the order by the Ninth Circuit Court judge and told JPL managers that what they’ve done may be illegal, if you have a problem, consult your lawyer. The Ninth Circuit ruled that NASA and the DOJ were out of order and that Caltech was in the wrong for serving as an enforcer.

The lawsuit caused a lot of interest within Caltech alumni who then wrote to the board of trustees and later began to fund the lawsuit. Nelson says, “You can fight the system of a completely entrenched bureacracy that constantly rewrites the rule in their favor.”

Guest - Robert Nelson, Senior Research Scientist at Jet Propulsion Laboratories and lead plaintiff in the JPL case.

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H.Bruce Franklin – War Stars: The Super Weapon and The American Imagination

Today we welcome cultural historian H Bruce Franklin, author of many books including The Most Important Fish In The Sea and one we will talk with him today titled War Stars: The Superweapon and The American Imagination. One review writes “this book reveals how and why the American quest for the ultimate defensive weapon, guaranteed to end all war and bring universal triumph to American ideals has led to the creation of forces increasingly capable of automated global annihilation.”

H.B. Franklin Interview Notes:

Franklin explores the influences of the collective imagination in movies, novels and stories from obscure pre-World War I fiction to modern classics such as Slaughterhouse Five and Dr. Strangelove. War Stars interweaves culture, science, technology and history to demonstrate how the American consciousness shapes ingenious new superweapons while creating its antithesis in art.

Guest – Bruce Franklin,  American cultural historian who has authored or edited nineteen books on a range of subjects. As of 2008, he is the John Cotton Dana Professor of English and American Studies at Rutgers University in Newark, New Jersey. He first attained prominence as a Melville scholar and has served as president of the Melville Society. His award-winning books and teaching on science fiction played a major role in establishing academic study of the genre. His books on American prison literature have been said to open an entirely new field of study. His most recent work has focused on relations between the marine environment and American cultural history.



Law and Disorder June 23, 2008



Brecht ForumCitizen Soldier and Anti War GI’s

We hear excerpts from speeches at the Brecht Forum by our own Michael Smith and Citizen Soldier’s Tod Ensign. The anti-war soldier panel started with Michael Smith describing his work defending anti-war GI’s at Ft. Jackson, South Carolina and the formation of the GI Civil Liberties Defense Committee.

Anti-war GI’s were pivotal to the movement’s success. The growing protests from within the U.S. military today echo the Vietnam War soldiers experience. The panel discusses the role of anti-war GI organizing in the anti-war movements from 1917 to 1968 and to the present.

Tod Ensign is also the co-coordinator of the Different Drummer Café at Fort Drum. A meeting place for soldiers who get immediately deployed to battle after training at Fort Drum. The cafe promotes the free and uncensored exchange of ideas and information among active duty and reserve military personnel and civilians. This includes, issues of war and peace, foreign policy, the military mission of our soldiers both at home and abroad, and the proper balance between the rights of citizen soldiers and military authority in a democratic society.

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World Day in Support of Victims of Torture: Left Forum 2008 – Torture and the Decline of the American Empire. Professor Alfred McCoy Part I

There are several significant events surrounding the US policy on torture taking place this week. Already last week, the US Senate Committee on Armed Services held hearings on the origins of aggressive interrogation techniques. Among the events this week is the fifth session of the United Nations Committee against Torture, Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment in Geneva.

Amnesty International releases a report on torture and unfair trials in Tunisia’s war on terror, Amnesty International’s Guantanamo prison cell replica opens to the public in Washington, DC, through Sunday, June 29 and there is also the World Day in Support of Victims of Torture.

Professor Al McCoy, author of A Question of Torture, delivers a powerful speech on the history of torture in the United States. This is from this year’s Left Forum on a panel titled, Torture and the Decline of the American Empire. Moderated by our own Michael Steven Smith.


Law and Disorder June 9, 2008


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The Day Freedom Died: The Colfax Massacre, the Supreme Court, and the Betrayal of Reconstruction

It was April 13, 1873 in Louisiana when a small army of white ex-Confederate soldiers enraged by freedmen asserting their new rights killed more than 60 African Americans who had occupied a courthouse. Today we talk with author and journalist Charles Lane. His recent book is titled The Day Freedom Died: The Colfax Massacre, the Supreme Court, and the Betrayal of Reconstruction. In the book, Lane uncovers a nearly forgotten historic post civil war massacre of African American men in Colfax, Louisiana and a white lawyer’s epic battle to bring the perpetrators to justice. Reviews call Lane’s book an electrifying piece of historical detective work that captures a gallery of characters from presidents to townspeople and re-creates the bloody days of Reconstruction. Lane discovered the Colfax Massacre case while covering the Supreme Court for The Washington Post.

Guest – Charles Lane, member of the editorial page staff, is the author of “The Day Freedom Died: The Colfax Massacre, the Supreme Court and the Betrayal of Reconstruction.”


Ann Ginger : Meiklejohn Civil Liberties

Today we’re delighted to have Ann Ginger on the program, she’s a lawyer, teacher, writer, and political activist. She is the founder and the executive director of the Meiklejohn Civil Liberties, a think tank for human rights in Berkeley California. Here on Law and Disorder we’ve examine the practices and laws that have crippled civil and human rights in this country and now we take a look at ways law students and legal workers can bring them back.

Ann Ginger at Meiklejohn Civil Liberties has published Four Little Orange Books. The first is titled: Landmark Cases left Out of your Textbooks, the second is The Living Constitution, the third, Undoing The Bush/Cheney Legacy – Restoring Lost Liberties: A Tool Kit For Congress and fourth, Making the Universal Declaration the Supreme Law of the Land. Ann writes – the roles of successful lawyers and legal workers in the future will not be the same as the roles of successful lawyers before the Bush-Cheney “war on terrorism. “


Guest – Ann Ginger. Ann is Executive Director of Meiklejohn Civil Liberties Institute, a center for peace law and human rights, with archives of historic cases. Founded in 1965, the Institute answers queries of clients and lawyers and trains interns to prepare reports on U.S. compliance with human rights treaties for submission to U.N. committees.

Ann learned early to use the law and history to work for peace and human rights, coming from an Irish Catholic, English Quaker, Russian Jewish, Midwestern newspaper family. As a lawyer, she won a civil liberties case in the U.S. Supreme Court. After her testimony as an expert witness on international law that applies in the U.S., a jury acquitted nuclear weapons protesters in Utah. She is now teaching Peace Law and Human Rights at San Francisco State University and long served on the Peace and Justice Commission that administers the Nuclear Free Zone Ordinance in Berkeley.


Law and Disorder November 26, 2007

Law and Disorder Updates


Guantanamo Update

Hosts deliver updates on a number of recent news stories about Guantanamo Bay Prison in Cuba, such as the “Camp Delta Standard Operating Procedures Manual” that was leaked recently. Download the manual here. (PDF) According to this manual the Red Cross was not allowed access to certain detainees at Guantanamo. Also among topics discussed, an Amicus Brief that was filed recently and the Supreme Court’s review of the military’s process on how prisoners are released from Guantanamo.

Guest – Shane Kadidal, senior attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights. Check out Shane’s Blog


Less Safe, Less Free: Why America Is Losing the War on Terror

Leading constitutional scholars David Cole and Jules Lobel have published a critique of the Bush administration’s post 9-11 policies. It’s called “Less Safe, Less Free: Why America is Losing the War on Terror.”

They point out how less than one-tenth of the detainees in Guantanamo Bay have been found to have links to Al Qaeda or the Taliban. Not one of the 80,000 Arab and Muslim men who underwent Special Registration has been convicted of terrorism-related crimes. Meanwhile, the department of homeland security continues to spend tens of millions installing surveillance camera systems in and throughout US cities.

One review of “Less Safe, Less Free: Why America is Losing the War on Terror.” writes – - “ At home and abroad, the administration has cut corners on fundamental commitments of the rule of law in the name of preventing future attacks—from “water-boarding” detainees, to disappearing suspects into secret CIA prisons, to attacking Iraq against the wishes of the UN Security Council and most of the world when it posed no imminent threat of attacking us.”

Guest – Jules Lobel, vice president of the Center for Constitutional Rights. He’s a law professor and constitutional lawyer teaching at the University of Pittsburgh. Jules Lobel is also expert on emergency powers and the laws governing war.


A Question of Impeachment

A Question of Impeachment is the title for the Culture Project’s ongoing event series this month and into December. Authors, actors and luminaries gather to explore and debate the case for impeachment of President Bush and Vice President Cheney.

Guests – Olivia Greer, Culture Project Producer and and Allan Buchman, Creative Director at the Culture Project.

Watch – A Question of Impeachment


Law and Disorder October 29, 2007


US Attorney General Nominee Mukasey DIRECT ACTION PAGE


Is Water Boarding Torture? Judge Michael Mukasey’s Nomination for Attorney General

Co-hosts Michael Ratner and Michael Smith discuss how Judge Michael Mukasey claims he’s unfamiliar with “water boarding” as a form of torture.

Echoing Michael Mukasey, his friend and associate who likely will soon be the next attorney general, Republican presidential front-runner Rudolph Giuliani claimed Wednesday that he doesn’t know whether waterboarding is torture. Read more by Joe Conason


Beyond Guantanamo: Rescue the Constitution

Michael Smith and Heidi Boghosian speak with CCR attorney Jen Nessel about the launch of Beyond Guantanamo Rescue the Constitution Campaign. Find out more here –



Law and Disorder Re-Broadcast from June 11th, 2007


Maze of Injustice – The failure to protect Indigenous Women from sexual violence in the USA

A recent Amnesty International study on the sexual violence against indigenous women in the United States exposes a disturbing trend in human rights abuse. The reasons why indigenous women are at particular risk of sexual violence are complex. According to the report, more than one in three Native American and Alaska Native women are survivors of rape. Most of the abused women have not followed through in their cases to seek justice because of a general inaction within the tribal government authority and its chronic under-resourced law enforcement agencies which should protect indigenous women. As one support worker said, “Women don’t report because it doesn’t make a difference. Why report when you are just going to be re-victimized?” Too many times, as the Amnesty Report identifies, those responsible for the violence are able to get away with it.

Guest – Michael Heflin, the Amnesty International USA Campaign Director.

Guest – Juskwa Burnett, counselor for the Otoe-Missouria Tribe in Oklahoma. Juskwa Burnett has a long history of working on domestic abuse and sexual assault of Native women.

Listen to or download Maze of Injustice Segment


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Conscientious Objectors from Vietnam to Iraq

Here on Law and Disorder we continue to look at the issue of Iraq war resisters and conscientious objectors. We’ve interviewed war resistors – their families and discussed conscientious objection. We also look at how legislation has changed for soldiers applying for CO status.

Since the Vietnam War more than 170,000 men were officially recognized as conscientious objectors. But, in 1971 the Supreme Court refused to allow objection to a particular war, a decision affecting thousands of objectors to the Vietnam War. Some 50,000–100,000 men are estimated to have left the United States to avoid being drafted. Now, the US military is all-volunteer. We talk with Citizen Soldiers’ Tod Ensign about what’s changed for Conscientious Objectors since the Vietnam War and compare what it means to be a CO in today’s United States military.

Joining us in this discussion is Tod Ensign, lawyer and the director of Citizen Soldier, a support organization for Gis.


Check out – The Different Drummer Cafe


Law and Disorder September 17, 2007

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Lawyer’s Committee on Nuclear Policy

After the 2001 attacks on the United States, attention has been drawn to marginalize nuclear weapons and increase global cooperation on the control and non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and nuclear material. As of 2006, there are estimated to be at least 25,000 nuclear weapons held by at least eight countries, 96 percent of them in the possession of the United States and Russia

Rather than intensifying such efforts, the U.S. has adopted a policy of elevating the role of nuclear weapons in its overall military strategy. John Burroughs, Executive Director of the Lawyers’ Committee on Nuclear Policy, claims that this will reduce U.S. and global security, not increase it.


Guest – Dr. John Burroughs, adjunct professor of law at Rutgers Law School and serves as Executive Director for the Lawyer’s Committee on Nuclear Policy. The LCNP was instrumental in bringing the landmark case before the International Court of Justice in 1995 that resulted in the advisory opinion of 1996, which stated that the threat or use of nuclear weapons is illegal.


He is co-editor of Rule of Power or Rule of Law? An Assessment of U.S. Policies and Actions Regarding Security-Related Treaties, Apex Press, 2003. He has published articles in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists and the World Policy Journal, most recently co-authoring “Arms Control Abandoned: The Case of Biological Weapons.”


University of Michigan Press Halts Distribution of Joel Kovel’s book: Overcoming Zionism, Then Later Resumes Distribution.

Co-hosts Michael Smith and Michael Ratner talk with Joel Kovel about the efforts of the University of Michigan Press to halt and then resume distribution of his book. Read article here: Michigan Resumes Distribution of Anti-Israel Book.

Excerpt from: A Book On Hold

Late last month, the blog, Dissident Veteran for Peace — printed what it says is an e-mail from Pochoda, the press director, to Kovel, explaining why distribution was halted. Pochoda declined to comment on the e-mail, but Kovel said it was accurate. The e-mail reads: “Because it is a distributed title for Pluto Press, no one at UMP had read Overcoming Zionism prior to the Stand/With/Us diatribe. I and others read it after that assault, and had fully expected to gear up for, at least, a free speech defense. Though I had no trouble with the one-state solution your book proposes nor with a Zionist critique, per se … I (and faculty members I asked to read the book, as well) were apalled [sic] by your reckless, viscious [sic], and unmodulated attack on Zionism and all Zionists.”

Related reading – Campus Watch


Excerpt from Michael Smith’s review of Overcoming Zionism.

How did Kovel, a Jew from Brooklyn, the oldest son of Ukrainian immigrants who did well – moving with Joel to “the purgatory of Baldwin, Long Island” – come to this radical critique and equally radical solution? Joel graduated from Yale and became a successful psychiatrist. He taught at medical school before switching careers and taking a social science professorship at Bard, where for a time he held the Alger Hiss chair. He is still there, the only Marxist on the faculty. This book is not going to further his career.
“What kind of Jew am I?” he asks, and answers “a very bad one.” More accurately, he defines himself as what Isaac Deutscher called “a non-Jewish Jew.” Not that he is not spiritual; he writes of reaching for the infinite. But he is not religious. Being part of a sect is too narrowing and confining. He identifies with the Jewish heretics who transcended Jewry, but who are nonetheless part of the Jewish tradition – he lists Spinoza, Marx, Freud, Proust, Einstein, Kafka, Wittgenstein, and Luxemburg – and for whom “the true glory” of being Jewish is to live “on the margin and across boundaries.”

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