Law and Disorder Radio

Archive for the 'Civil Liberties' Category


Law and Disorder February 20, 2017


 

The Deep State: The Fall Of The Constitution And The Rise Of The Shadow Government

A century ago, Ferdinand Lundberg wrote the classic book “America’s 60 Families” describing them, their interconnections and the powerful role they played in American governance.  This was in 1965 when the great sociologist C. Wright Mills wrote “The Power Elite” and then William Domhoff wrote “Who Rules America?” Now, Mike Lofgren has made a significant contribution in describing the workings of the American ruling elite with his book The Deep State: The Fall Of The Constitution And The Rise Of The Shadow Government.

Guest – Mike Lofgren worked in Congress for 28 years, 16 of them as a senior analyst at the House and Senate Budget Committees.  He held a top security clearance. He now represents no political party, no business interest, and no ideology. His previous book The Party Is Over was a New York Times bestseller.

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41s1YjDN5-L Sen. John F. Kennedy, (left), and Allen W. Dulles, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) director, walks towards newsmen on the lawn of the Democratic presidential candidates in Hyannis Port, MA., home on July 23, 1960. The two men held a news conference after Senator Kennedy was briefed by Dulles on international affairs. (AP Photo/WCC)

The Devil’s Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of America’s Secret Government

As director of the CIA, from 1952 until Kennedy fired him, Allen Dulles has been said to exemplify unbridled authority at the height of the Cold War. Under his leadership the CIA became a lawless force domestically and internationally that engaged, with impunity, in covert acts such as the assassination of foreign leaders including Patrice Lumubo in the Congo and overthrowing the government led by Jacobo Arbenz in Guatemala.

As an attorney for the law firm Sullivan and Cromwell in the 1930s, Dulles protected and promoted Nazi-controlled cartels. He wielded his influence in the Office of Strategic Services during World War II and then in the CIA to shield former Nazis from prosecution for war crimes in the ’40s and ’50s. David Talbot writes in book The Devil’s Chessboard, ” over the final months of the JFK presidency, a clear consensus took shape within the American “deep state” Kennedy was a national security threat. For the good of the country he must be removed and Dulles was the only man with the stature, connections and decisive will to make something of this enormity happen. so he could enlist them to fight communists. In addition to assisting with the assassination of Congo leader Patrice Lumumba, he organized the Bay of Pigs invasion and tried repeatedly to murder Fidel Castro.

Guest – David Talbot, the author of the New York Times bestseller Brothers: The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years and the acclaimed national bestseller Season of the Witch: Enchantment, Terror, and Deliverance in the City of Love. He is the founder and former editor in chief of Salon, and was a senior editor at Mother Jones and the features editor at the San Francisco Examiner. He has written for The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, Time, The Guardian, and other major publications. Talbot lives in San Francisco, California.

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Law and Disorder February 13, 2017


  • Updates: Oppressive Regimes Mask Misdeeds Under The Color Of Law

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Protection From Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry

Public backlash to Donald Trump’s executive order “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry” has been fast and furious. The order’s stated policy is to protect the country from foreign nationals who intend to commit terrorist attacks in the United States. It directs the Secretary of State and the Director of National Intelligence to determine what information is needed from any country to decide if one of its nationals seeking admission is who he claims to be and does not pose a security or public-safety threat. It gives them 30 days to report the results of that determination with a list of countries that do not hand over adequate information.

The Executive Order imposes a 90-day suspension of immigrant and non-immigrant admission of aliens from countries designated in section 217 (1) (12) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, which excludes aliens who have been present in a specified country from participating in the Visa Waiver program.

Guest – Trina Realmuto, Litigation Director at the National Immigration Project. Trina’s work focuses on litigation before the federal courts on issues related to removal defense and government accountability. Previously, she wrote amicus briefs and practice advisories for the American Immigration Council. She also has worked abroad representing non-citizens applying for visas at U.S. embassies and consulates.

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By Source (WP:NFCC#4), Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=52390444

Study : Social Media and Fake News in the 2016 Election

The 2016 presidential race was riddled with controversies, perhaps none more relentless than that of so-called “fake news.” A recent study reveals that fabricated news stories were viewed by only a small percentage of Americans and were likely not as influential in the election outcome as has been suggested.

This comes as Facebook and other social media sites have been criticized for permitting made-up stories to be shared on their platforms. Economists Hunt Allcott of New York University and Matthew Gentzkow of Stanford have released their findings in the report,”Social Media and Fake News in the 2016 Election.”

Guest – Hunt Allcott, Associate Professor of Economics at NYU and a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. He is a Scientific Director of ideas42, a think tank that applies insights from psychology and economics to business and policy design problems, an Affiliate of Poverty Action Lab, a network of researchers who use randomized evaluations to answer critical policy questions in the fight against poverty, and a Faculty Affiliate of E2e, a group of economists, engineers, and behavioral scientists focused on evaluating and improving energy efficiency policy.

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Law and Disorder February 6, 2017


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National Lawyers Guild Mass Defense In Action

As confusion quickly spread last week over President Trump’s executive order to temporarily block refugees and deny entry to citizens from seven majority-Muslim countries, protesters converged on airports across the nation. Leaders from tech industries in Silicon Valley came out in opposition to the ban as did recipients at the Screen Actors Guild awards ceremony. Politicians and others called it a dark path for our country, unjust and Anti-American. Defense attorneys set up shop in airport waiting areas, as Customs and Border Protection officials detailed legal permanent residents and visa holders, while denying them access to counsel. Attorneys general from 16 states condemned the order. And National Lawyers Guild Legal Observers and defense attorneys were on full alert, rushing to monitor police activity at airports in cities across the United States.

Guest – King Downing, National Lawyers Guild Mass Defense Attorney. Previously, King directed the Healing Justice Program of the American Friends Service Committee, where he worked on mass incarceration, including solitary confinement, prisoner advocacy and conflict resolution. He is also the former national coordinator of the ACLU’s Campaign Against Racial Profiling, which worked to identify and end “stop and frisk,” including the school-to-prison pipeline and other police abuse.

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Nobody Wanted to Take Us In: The Story of Jared Kushner’s Family, and Mine

Last week President Trump barred entrance to citizens from the predominantly Muslim countries of Iraq, Iran,Syria,Somalia, Yemen, and Libya,  inspiring outrage and acts of solidarity. The conservative Cato Institute showed in a recent study that there were exactly 0 terrorist acts committed by people from these countries from the years 1975 to 2015. Last year alone, some 700 people died falling out of bed. Open immigration to United States was cut off in 1920 by de facto religious quotas excluding people from eastern and southern Europe, that is, Jews and Catholics. At that time Half of the world’s Jews, some 3 million persons, lived in Poland and millions more in the surrounding areas.  Those who did not escape were soon to perish n facist death camps. Rae Kushner, Jared Kushner’s grandmother, lost half her family when most of the 30,000 Jews in her town in Belarus were killed.  She escaped, hiding for a year in the woods, then she was kept in a displaced persons camp, finally in 1948 being allowed into the USA.

Guest – Lizzy Ratner, senior editor at the Nation Magazine. Her family escaped from Bialystok, Poland and came to Cleveland in 1920 before the quotas could exclude them. She recently wrote an article for the Nation Magazine titled Nobody Wanted to Take Us In: The Story of Jared Kushner’s Family, and Mine examingin  the fate of her family and that of the Kushner’s.  Jared Kushner is Donald Trump’s son-in-law and an advisor.  Lizzy Ratner is Michael Ratner’s niece.

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Law and Disorder January 30, 2017


Attorney Jim Lafferty, Los Angeles Protests

Last week president trump the reception of the Dakota Area Pipeline and the Keystone XL pipeline, which will bring dirty tar sand oil from Canada through the USA to the Gulf of Mexico for export. According to James Hansen, the former climate expert for NASA, if this happens it will be “game over for the planet. ” We just learned that Trump is about to sign a package of executive orders threatening Muslims, Arabs, refugees, and immigrants. The women’s march last week after Trump had been in office for two days brought out some for million people across the country voted one half million in Washington DC and 750,000 in Los Angeles. We speak with Los Angeles National Lawyers Guild leader Jim Lafferty, who helped organize the demonstration.

Guest – Jim Lafferty is the former Executive Director of the National Lawyers Guild and a leader of the chapter.  His radio show on KPFK inspired Law and Disorder.   Attorney Jim Lafferty has been active since the civil rights movement in the south in the 60s and was a leader of the  movement against the war in Vietnam. In 2015, Jim Lafferty concluded 25-years as the Executive Director of the National Lawyers Guild in Los Angeles, and is now that organization’s Executive Director Emeritus. For the past 26-years he has hosted a weekly public affairs radio show on Pacifica Radio, The Lawyers Guild Show. He is the Chair of the Board of the Office of the Americas; an elected fellow in the Institute for the Humanities at the University of Southern California; was the co-founder and director of the National Peace Action Coalition during the U.S. war in Vietnam, the group that organized the largest antiwar protests during that war; was the founder and Chair of the Oakland County Branch of the American Civil Liberties Union in Oakland County, Michigan; has been featured in several documentary films, including The Corporation; was the national director of the National Lawyers Guild from 1963-1967; is the author of the afterword in Lawyers You’ll Like; and is the recipient of numerous awards, such as the National Lawyers Guild’s “Law for the People Award”, the Southern California ACLU’s “Defender of Civil Liberties Award”, and the first award from the Los Angeles Coalition to Stop LAPD Spying. As a founding partner of Lafferty, Reosti, Jabara, Papakian, James, Stickgold, Soble and Smith, Mr. Lafferty practiced civil rights, civil liberties, criminal defense, workers’ rights, and military law in Detroit, Michigan.

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Israel And The Palestinian State 2017

The colonial settler state of Israel was formed in 1948 pursuant to a declaration of the United Nations. The declaration  also envisioned a Palestinian state which has so far been prevented by Israel with the support of the United States.  In 1967 the Israeli Army captured the West Bank territory meant to be part of the Palestinian state and has in the last 50 years illegally ruled over a half million settlers who have been placed on the territory. Is it still possible to have a two state solution in the Middle East?  Is it too late?  Have the number of settlers reached a critical mass so that the two state solution is dead? Can the settlers be evacuated? If not, how can there be a Palestinian state?

Guest – Phil Weiss, founder of Mondoweiss, the well read and influential blog. In the past Weiss worked as a mainstream journalist for the Minneapolis Star and the New York Observer, the newspaper owned by Jared Kushner, Donald Trump’s son-in-law who when told that Phil Weiss was not a Zionist, fired him.

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U.S. Drug Policy 2017

With the election of Donald Trump and his selection of  the deeply reactionary former prosecutor and Senator from Alabama Jeffrey Beauregard Sessions as the new Attorney General and chief law-enforcement officer in America the progress in drug policy reform we have had over the last several decades is likely to be reversed. 28 states have legalized some form of medical marijuana and  a number states including Washington, Colorado, and most recently California and Massachusetts have legalized it’s recreational use. But an aggressive attorney general could reverse this.  “Good people don’t smoke marijuana.” said Sessions last year.  He also said that he thought that the KKK was “OK until I found out that they smoke pot.”  Federal law puts marijuana in the same schedule one category as heroin. At his Senate confirmation hearing Sessions would not promise to defer to the states the decision to prosecute people using medical marijuana sanctioned by state law.  He also supports mandatory minimum sentences which fuels mass incarceration and disproportionately targets people of color.

Guest – Ethan Nadelmann the founder and Executive Director of the drug policy alliance joins us today. It is a national advocacy organization for drug law reform that is grounded in science, compassion, and health and human rights.

Ethan was described by Rolling Stone as “the point man” for drug policy reform efforts and “the real drug czar,” Ethan Nadelmann is widely regarded as the outstanding proponent of drug policy reform both in the United States and abroad.Ethan is the founder and executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, the leading organization in the United States promoting alternatives to the war on drugs.

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Law and Disorder January 23, 2017


Update:

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Pardons, Reduction of Mass Incarceration And Judy Clark’s Clemency

The United States of America has more prisoners behind bars given it its population than any other country in the world. This policy of mass incarceration is now under challenge. On December 30 of last year New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a broad and bold commitment to grant conditional pardons, clemency, and full pardons to New York state prisoners. Judy Clark, age 67, was one of the recipients and is now being allowed to go before the parole board. Clark has been in prison for 35 years, sentenced to 75 years to life for her role as the getaway driver in the infamous Brinks robbery in RocklandCounty, New York, where two policeman and one guard were shot and killed.

Changing Minds The Impact of College In A Maximum Security Prison Film: What I Want My Words To Do To You.

Guest – University of New York Distinguished Professor Michelle Fine. For 20 years she taught and conducted research with women and men in prison, most significantly at Bedford Hills Correctional Facility where Judy Clark is behind bars. Professor Fine participated in writing the influential report “changing minds: The impact of college in a maximum security prison for women.  She worked closely with Judy Clark. Judy Clark Facebook.
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Reflections from A Southern People’s Lawyer You’ll Like: David Gespass

This year Martin Luther King Day had a special resonance for many given its lead-up to the Trump inauguration. That the president-elect engaged in social media attacks on civil rights icon John Lewis prompted a flurry of reactions of Twitter, especially emotional given that the timing coincided with MLK day. As we prepare for a changing of the guard, we talk to longtime civil liberties attorney David Gespass, from Birmingham Alabama. Read articles by David Gespass

Guest – Attorney David Gespass began his law practice in Washington, DC in 1971. A past president of the National Lawyers Guild, he also served as editor-in-chief of the Guild’s scholarly journal, the NLG Review, and was a founder and steering committee member of the Military Law Task Force. His practice includes police misconduct and prisoner rights’ litigation, Social Security disability and personal injury.  He has been a member of the National Police Accountability Project since its founding in 1999. David has been practicing law in Birmingham, Alabama since 1978.

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Law and Disorder January 16, 2017


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Hacktivist Advocate

Long before news reports of Russians hacking, the Democratic National Convention dominated the news, a handful of lawyers across the nation were defending socially-minded hackers, or hacktivists, against harsh computer-related prosecutions. The term hactivism refers to persons who use computers to advance political agendas, often related to freedom of information, free speech and human rights.

Guest – Attorney Jay Leiderman, the Atlantic Magazine has called attorney Jay Leiderman the “Hacktivist’s Advocate” for his work defending individuals accused of computer-related crimes, especially those associated with Anonymous. An experienced defense attorney, Leiderman lectures nationally on a range of criminal defense issues. He is a founding member of the Whistleblower’s Defense League, formed to combat FBI and Justice Department tactics of harassment and over-prosecution to chill and silence those who engage in journalism, Internet activism or dissent.

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Attacks On Journalists, Hackers And Information Activists

In the past decade we have seen an unprecedented attack on hackers, journalists, whistleblowers, and other “information activists” who dare to let the public know what goes on within the corridors of corporate and governmental power structures.

Both sectors have launched an all-ought war on the ability of the public to access newsworthy information. Yet as this takes place, the public is being told that we no longer have a right to privacy, especially online privacy. Here to discuss trends in the laws and the often lawless acts that are used to suppress the public’s right to information and ultimately the possibility of democracy is attorney Abi Hassen.

Guest – Attorney Abi Hassen, is a consultant and cofounder of the Black Movement-Law Project. He was formerly the mass defense coordinator at the National Lawyers Guild. He has a J.D. from New York University School of Law, and an undergraduate degree in computer science from The Evergreen State College. With his extensive background in labor, political and community organizing, Abi has been active at the intersection of law, technology and organizing for social justice for more than a decade.

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Law and Disorder January 9, 2017


 

Wildlife Preservation And The Trump Administration

The protection of endangered species and wildlife trafficking have not traditionally been big ticket campaign issues for presidential candidates.  However, national security, the economy, trade and the environment are all impacted by wildlife preservation. Illegal wildlife trade–animal smuggling–is a multibillion-dollar business that is fueled on corruption and terrorism and that destabilizes developing countries.

Trafficking of rhinoceros horn, elephant ivory and other products is increasingly becoming organized crime. Despite recent headlines of animals being added to the endangers list, the Trump administration may change how the United States seeks to protect wildlife domestically and internationally. Animals protected by the U.S. Endangered Species Act, which could be weakened by the new president and a Republican-controlled Congress, may be increasingly imperiled.

Guest – Erika Mansourian, Executive Director of Elephant Family-USA, the American arm of the UK-based Elephant Family. Elephant Family’s mission is to save the Asian elephant—massive habitat loss has caused their numbers to plummet, and 90% of wild Asian elephants have been wiped out in the last century. Erika is also on the board of Veterinarians International and Tanzania’s PAMs Foundation, as well as the advisory board of the Humane Society of New York. She’s worked with Animal Defenders International and the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.

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Lawyers Committee for Nuclear Policy and the Trump Administration

What are the prospects for nuclear arms control with the Trump administration?  The United States is the only country to have used nuclear bombs. It dropped them on two Japanese cities, Hiroshima and several days later on Nagasaki in 1945, in order to intimidate the Russians at the end of World War II. Presently, the United States has 4500 nuclear warheads, 400 of them situated in intercontinental ballistic missiles  and placed on a hair trigger alert. The U.S. also has weapons placed on submarines and on aircraft. Obama has started a process by which one trillion dollars will be spent in the next decade on modernizing Americas nuclear capacity.

Guest – Attorney John Burroughs, Executive Director of the Lawyers Committee for Nuclear Policy. John Burroughs represents LCNP and IALANA in Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty review proceedings, the United Nations, and other international forums. Dr. Burroughs is contributor, Unspeakable suffering – the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons (2013) (available here); contributor, Assuring Destruction Forever: Nuclear Weapon Modernization Around the World (2012) (available here); co-editor and contributor, Nuclear Disorder or Cooperative Security? U.S. Weapons of Terror, the Global Proliferation Crisis, and Paths to Peace (2007) (available here); co-editor and contributor, Rule of Power or Rule of Law? An Assessment of U.S. Policies and Actions Regarding Security-Related Treaties (2003); and author of The Legality of Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons: A Guide to the Historic Opinion of the International Court of Justice (1998). He has additionally published articles and op-eds in journals and newspapers including the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, the World Policy Journal, and Newsday. Dr. Burroughs has taught international law as an adjunct professor at Rutgers Law School, Newark. He has a J.D. and Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley and a B.A. from Harvard University.

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Law and Disorder January 2, 2017


Trumpocalypse

Donald Trump will be sworn into office on January 20 as the 45th President of United States. He will begin his term with a Republican Congress. What can he do? What powers does he possess that would victimize immigrants, women, minorities, the infirmed, political activists, and journalists?  We speak today with journalist Max Rivlin- Nadler.  He’s the author of the recent article which appeared in The Gothamist called Trumpocalypse Now: What’s The Worst That Could Happen In NYC?

Guest – Max Rivlin-Nadler is an independent journalist based in New York City focused on urban affairs and criminal justice issues. He’s reported on the abuse of civil forfeiture laws by the NYPD, financial mismanagement and environmental neglect by the Port Authority, and the 2016 presidential election. His reporting has appeared in the New York Times, Gothamist, and the Village Voice.

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DAPL Aerial Chemical Attack Report: Oceti Sakowin Encampment

Water Protectors numbering in the thousands including members of more than 100 Native American tribes at Standing Rock, North Dakota have been brutally and continually attacked since they began their encampment months ago.  They’re stationed in the freezing North Dakota weather and have succeeded in halting the construction of a 1200 mile oil pipeline that is scheduled to go through sacred Indian lands and beneath the Missouri River and then through South Dakota, Iowa, and into Illinois. Pipelines frequently break and if and when this one does it will contaminate the water supply of some 15 million people.  Water from the river was sprayed on the protesters in 26° weather causing many of them to get life threatening hypothermia.  Recently there have been reports of low flying aircraft releasing poison on the tents where the people are encamped. There have also been reports of snipers training their rifles on the people in the camp. President Obama has temporarily stopped the construction of the pipeline. Its a 3.8 billion-dollar project owned by the Energy Transfer Partners, an outfit in which  Donald Trump has a large investment.

DONATE TO WATER PROTECTORS

Guest – Angela Bibens, an attorney from Denver, Colorado, Angela practices criminal, juvenile and family law with a specialty in the Indian Child Welfare Act.  She earned her law degree from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law in 2006.  She is a wife and mother of three.  Angela has been the ground coordinator for the Water Protector Legal Collective at Oceti Sakowin Camp near the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe for the past three months.

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Zachary Sklar: Snowden

National Security Director James Clapper was questioned by Congress. The media was there. He looked at the camera, right in our eyes. The question was: Does the NSA spy on Americans?  He Answered “not wittingly”. This was a lie. The NSA was spying on every computer keystroke and telephone conversation made by every American. Edward Snowden blew the whistle on this totalitarian practice that turned democracy upside down. Instead of the government serving the people the government was spying on the people it should serve.  He has been indicted under the 1917 Espionage Act and is presently living in Russia, stripped of his passport, unable to come home where he faces decades in prison or worse. Oscar-winning film director Oliver Stone’s just released movie tells Edward Snowden’s story.

Guest – Zachary Sklar is a screenwriter, journalist, author, and editor. He is best known as co-writer (with Oliver Stone) of the Academy Award-nominated screenplay for the film JFK. Sklar has edited numerous non-fiction books about U.S. intelligence, including the number-one-bestselling On the Trail of the Assassins by Jim Garrison, from which the film JFK was adapted; Profits of War: Inside the Secret U.S.-Israeli Arms Network by former Israeli intelligence operative Ari Ben-Menashe; and Deadly Deceits: My 25 Years in the CIA by former CIA case officer Ralph McGehee.

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Law and Disorder December 26, 2016


Eleanor Roosevelt: The War Years and After, 1939 to 1962

Eleanor Roosevelt was a modest self deprecating forceful and effective advocate for human rights. She was married to the four term Democratic President Franklin Delano Roosevelt who was in office throughout the Great Depression and World War II.  During this time Eleanor Roosevelt grew into her own as an influential world figure. She helped in the drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in the founding the United Nations.   She fought for racially quality, economic security and world peace.

Guest – Blanche Wiesen Cook who is a distinguished Professor of History at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.  Professor Cook has just published the third volume of her monumental biography of Eleanor Roosevelt titled, Eleanor Roosevelt: The War Years and After, 1939 to 1962.  She has worked with the Center for Constitutional Rights and Michael Ratner in getting public access to government documents through freedom of information act  requests. Cook is also a contributor to the book “Imagine: Living In A Socialist USA.”

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One People’s Project: Daryle Lamont Jenkins

This past summer an ambitious volunteer-run organization has taken on clandestine Klan rallies, wives of prominent neo-Nazis running for judgeships, and rock bands with neo-Nazi connections. The One People’s Project has been called a “scrappier version of the Southern Poverty Law Center.”

Its timely mission is to research and report on right/far right/racist individuals and organizations in an effort to eradicate hate. Its members do not shy away from outing individuals associated with white supremacist groups, especially if that person holds a position of responsibility or prominence in a community. They are the first to admit that they are not polite in their pursuit. The Project’s website features a “Rogues Gallery,” an alphabetical list—with photos—of persons they claim to know to be white nationalists.

Guest – Daryl Lamont Jenkins, activist, founder and spokesman for One People’s Project.

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Law and Disorder Hosts Acknowledge List of Affiliate Stations

A big thank you to all of the affiliate radio and internet stations broadcasting Law and Disorder each week. Thank you again for support and feedback.

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Law and Disorder December 19, 2016


US Intelligence Vets Dispute Russia Hacking Claims

The major media has been filled daily with stories about how Russia and its Chief of State Vladimir Putin sought to and did influence the American election in favor of Donald Trump.  It is alleged by the CIA and other American intelligence agencies, the Russians hacked into the computer systems of the Democratic National Committee and of Hillary Rodham Clinton.  This conclusion, it is reported, is based on “overwhelming circumstantial evidence.”  American public opinion is been shaped to support aggression against Russia. Despite a promise made to Russia that they would not do it, the promise was broken and NATO now has troops and weapons on the Russian border where military exercises have been carried out. Tensions have been a ratcheted up to an extreme level not known since the heights of the Cold War.

Guest – Ray McGovern, former CIA analyst who briefed President George Bush daily. He broke with the government under George W. Bush over the cooked intelligence used to rationalize America’s illegal war of aggression against Iraq and  helped form the organization Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.  Last week his group issued a memorandum to President Obama which demonstrated that the Russians did not hack into the computers of the Democratic Party or Hillary Clinton and did not therefore influence the American election. They asserted that information that came out about the corruption of Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party was leaked by an insider, not hacked.

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Civil Justice And The Trump Administration

Donald Trump has been critical of the U.S. intelligence community, both as a presidential candidate and as president-elect. He recently said he does not need to receive the presidential intelligence briefing every day, suggesting that such briefings are repetitive and that he is content to rely on those around him on matters of intelligence and national security. Trump’s infrequent briefings to-date are a departure from every modern president except Richard Nixon, who was so skeptical of intelligence agencies that he refused to accept briefings offered by President Johnson, even returning unopened envelopes containing classified material to the CIA.

In Washington DC, the public interest organization the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund has a new message on its website. It reads, in part: “At the PCJF, we stand with all those who are taking those steps forward – steps together – to face down what is coming, to protect those who are most vulnerable, and to make it clear that the people themselves are the force to be reckoned with.”

The PCJF has litigated First Amendment and other cases of constitutional import that have helped preserve and even expand the protections afforded individuals in different jurisdictions.

Guest – Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, co-chair of the Guild’s National Mass Defense Committee. co-founder of the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund in Washington, DC, she secured $13.7 million for about 700 of the 2000 IMF/World Bank protesters in Becker, et al. v. District of Columbia, et al., while also winning pledges from the District to improve police training about First Amendment issues. She won $8.25 million for approximately 400 class members in Barham, et al. v. Ramsey, et al. (alleging false arrest at the 2002 IMF/World Bank protests). She served as lead counsel in Mills, et al v. District of Columbia (obtaining a ruling that D.C.’s seizure and interrogation police checkpoint program was unconstitutional); in Bolger, et al. v. District of Columbia (involving targeting of political activists and false arrest by law enforcement based on political affiliation); and in National Council of Arab Americans, et al. v. City of New York, et al. (successfully challenging the city’s efforts to discriminatorily restrict mass assembly in Central Park’s Great Lawn stemming from the 2004 RNC protests.)

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2016 Political Prisoner Pardons 

President of United States under the constitution has the authority to pardon or grant clemency to people after their conviction or even before. This does not include people convicted in state courts, only federal court.  Although the United States denies it, it holds many people as political prisoners.

1. Leonard Peltier – We urge President Obama to grant clemency to Leonard Peltier on humanitarian grounds and in the interest of justice. Peltier was a leader of the American Indian movement in the 1970s. At a confrontation at wounded knee South Dakota between AIM and the FBI two FBI agents were killed.  The FBI had worked with a corrupt tribal leadership to suppress the American Indian movement. At his trial, the prosecution withheld evidence including potential key ballistic evidence. Leonard has served 40 years in prison and is not eligible for hid parole hearing until 2024. His son recently died and he was not allowed to go to the funeral. He is in very poor shape and his health is deteriorating.  Please sign a petition to President Obama at this site.

2. Ethel Rosenberg was electrocuted at Sing Sing prison in 1953 after being convicted of being an atomic bomb spy and part of a ring that gave the secret of the atomic bomb to the Soviet Union.  At that time the government knew she was not a spy. She left two boys ages six and 10.  There was no secret to the atomic bomb, it was a matter of industrial capacity. The famous Rosenberg case was used to stir up the stereo against Russia. A huge body of evidence demonstrates that Ethel Rosenberg was innocent.   Donald Trumps mentor, friend, and attorney Roy Cohn was one of the prosecutors who ruthlessly attacked Ethel and colluded with the judge to have her executed. Listeners can call the Whitehouse at 202-456-1111 or visit this website – Exonerate Ethel, Our Mother

3. Army Sergeant Chelsea Manning has been in Fort Leavenworth prison for six years now, a record for whistleblowers. He was convicted of leaking what has become known as the Iraqi war logs to WikiLeaks, which published them showing the truth about US war crimes in Iraq. Chelsea is a transgendered person whose confinement in an all male prison at Fort Leavenworth has been unusually harsh. This included 11 months of solitary confinement. She has twice attempted suicide. Her sentence is 35 years, the longest ever given to a whistleblower. She has already served more time in prison that any individual in US history who has disclosed information in the public interest. Write or call the Whitehouse.

4. Oscar Lopez, a Puerto Rican political prisoner has served 30 years in prison, convicted of seditious conspiracy – a thought crime involving no actual act – because of his commitment to the independence of Puerto Rico. He was not accused or convicted of causing harm or taking a life. He was sentenced to 70 years and is one of the longest held political prisoners in the world.  Oscar served in Vietnam, Was a wooded a bronze star, and came home to Chicago where he became a talented community organizer. He served 12 years in isolation in a Supermax prison. He comes up for parole when he will be 83 years old. A petition asking President Obama to commute Oscar’s sentence can be found at: Oscar’s Story Here  boricuahumanrights.org

5. Edward Snowden blew the whistle about the USA’s illegal global master valence system. This scandalized the American government and caused it to partially rein in its surveillance for the first time in four decades. This would not have happened but for Snowdens courageous act,  a public service as former Attorney General Eric Holder has admitted. Snowden is facing charges under the espionage act, a world war one law that put another great American hero Eugene Debs in prison for making a speech in opposition to the war.  Snowden should be honored for his action, not forced into exile in Russia. The entire establishment favors prosecuting him. President Obama has wrongly stated that he can’t do anything to help Snowden until he has returned to this country and gone on trial.  A petition urging the president to pardon Snowden can be found here:  pardonsnowden.org

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