Law and Disorder Radio

Archive for the 'Impeachment' Category


Law and Disorder June 8, 2009


Host Updates:

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Segments This Week:

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A Look Into the Memorial Day Weekend Terror Plot

A few weeks ago we spoke with Shakeel Syed, executive director of the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California about how the FBI infiltrated Southern California mosques and intrusively monitored members of the Muslim community as if they were criminals. Similar news broke the Friday before Memorial Day weekend, prosecutors called it the latest in a string of homegrown terrorism plots hatched after Sept. 11.

Onta Williams, James Cromitie, David Williams, and Laguerre Payen were ex cons and drug addicts who were probably entrapped by an all too familiar FBI informant sting that lured them into plotting to commit political violence.

Columnist for the Nation, Robert Dreyfuss writes in his article titled, Yet Another Bogus ‘Terror’ Plot since 9/11 not a single American has even been punched in the nose by an angry Muslim, as far as I can tell. Plot after plot the destruction of the Brooklyn Bridge! bombing the New York Subways! taking down the Sears Tower! bombing the Prudential building in Newark! proved to be utter nonsense.

Mike German:

  • Typically what I do is completely ignore the news stories and go straight to the indictment.
  • There were a couple things in the indictment that were shocking. One, the indictment made clear that the informant was convicted in a fraud scheme. The FBI sent this criminal into a mosque. Sending a criminal into a house of worship seems like a misguided approach.
  • These hapless unemployed guys were not going to get their hands on heavy weaponry any time soon, the fact that FBI brought in the SAM (Surface To Air) missle is a problem. It makes these people more dangerous than they ever would have been.
  • Reading through the indictment, these guys weren’t able to find a gun in New York City, let alone a Stinger missile.
  • It was also the informant who introduced the terrorist organization into the discussion.
  • Bottomline is you don’t want the government inventing a crime than enticing innocent people into that crime.
  • The argument against that is that the people were pre-disposed to commit the crime and the government presented the opportunity. In this case the informant seemed to bringing all the important facts into the game.
  • Fits into pattern – you can turn to the Liberty 7 Case, The Ft. Dix Case, the California Lodi Case that involve informants.
  • I worked as an undercover agent and it surprises me why these aren’t long term projects with undercover agents. (instead using ex-con informants)
  • For the most part the undercover agents’ motives are pure, they’re better trained on how not to commit entrapment and document the planning of the crime instead of using enticements.
  • The indictment says that the informant was offering money in an impoverished community. 10 – 15 thousand dollars to join the team. If you’re out of work, it’s kind of hard to turn that down.
  • The facts will have to come out in the case as far as documented history of whether these people are involved.
  • They could have wrapped this up without making it seem like they’re saving New York City from this terrible destruction.

Guest – ACLU attorney and former FBI agent, Mike German, German develops policy positions and proactive strategies on pending legislation and executive branch actions concerning domestic surveillance, data mining, freedom to travel, medical and financial privacy, national ID cards, whistleblower protection, military commissions and law enforcement conduct. German currently serves as an adjunct professor for Law Enforcement and Terrorism at the National Defense University and is a Senior Fellow with GlobalSecurity.org. German graduated from the Northwestern University Law School , and graduated cum laude from Wake Forest University with a B.A. in Philosophy. A sixteen-year veteran of federal law enforcement, German served as a special agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, where he specialized in domestic terrorism and covert operations. As an undercover agent, German twice infiltrated extremist groups using constitutionally sound law enforcement techniques. These operations successfully prevented terrorist attacks by winning criminal convictions against terrorists.

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A Revolution Books Town Hall Meeting: TORTURE AND THE NEED FOR JUSTICE

We hear from Sister Dianna Ortiz, who was abducted in 1989 by right-wing forces in Guatemala and brutally tortured.  She wrote about her experiences and recovery in the book The Blindfold’s Eyes. My Journey From Torture to Truth.  Ortiz is the founder and director of Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition International (TASSC).  We listen also to Jeremy Scahill, investigative reporter and author of Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army. Jeremy is also a frequent contributor to the Nation.  Lastly we hear an excerpt from Michael Ratner’s speech.  Co-host Michael Ratner, is the president, Center for Constitutional Rights, and an international human rights lawyer who in 2006 filed a criminal complaint in the courts of Germany requesting the criminal prosecution of U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.

Speakers :

Organized by Revolution Books / Libros Revolucion

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For WBAI Listeners:

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Obama’s Animal Farm: Bigger, Bloodier Wars Equal Peace and Justice

Here on Law and Disorder we recently talked with several guests on the escalation of war in Afghanistan under the Obama Administration. Last week Obama appointed General Stanley McChrystal to head the US and NATO military command in Afghanistan, – another decision revealing how Obama has restored the most notorious Bush era policies according to James Petra, a former Professor of Sociology at Binghamton University, New York. In his article titled Obama’s Animal Farm: Bigger, Bloodier Wars, Petra outlines how McChrystal’s past brutal leadership is marked by systematic torture, bombing of civilian communities and extrajudicial assassinations. Between September 2003 and August 2008, Petra writes – McChrystal directed the Pentagon’s Joint Special Operations Command which operates special teams in overseas assassinations. Petra also mentions that McChrystal is one reason why Obama is fighting to prevent the release of graphic photos that document torture by US soldiers and interrogators. Related: Mysterious Chip-CIA’s Latest Weapon Against Taliban.


Jim Petras
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  • It’s very clear that Obama wants a bigger and more ferocious counterinsurgency program.
  • Obama is also concerned because the entire Pakistan and Afghanistan borders are supporting resistance. Indigenous, anti-colonial forces have taken over.
  • He’s going all out now, he’s pressured the puppet president of Pakistan to launch this humanitarian crime against the Pakistani people, creating 2 million Pakistani refugees, destruction and civil war.
  • The overall picture that we get is a tremendous boost in militarization. In the last couple of months it’s one attack after another on the Pakistan military.
  • McCrystal is gung-ho, he’s a greater asset to destroy the social networks among the resistance. Similar to Vietnam, to go into villages and assassinate local leaders.
  • General McCrystal is a proponent of direct action strictly involved in US terrrorist operations. Slitting throats and strangling anyone remotely connected with the armed resistance.
  • There was effort to distinguish between civilians and armed resistors. McCrystals approach is to empty the pond to catch the fish. There going in to drive out millions of people in Pakistan to catch a few thousand resistance fighters.
  • This is a monstrous humanitarian disaster compared to Rwanda.
  • Torture Photos: You can’t publicize the worst activities of the person you appoint to be the head honcho in this phase of the war.
  • Navy Seals, Delta Force, Special Operations Command. I was at Ft. Bragg, in a debate with military officers regarding death squads in Central America. These are killing operations, no surrender. The people that go into it are psycopaths.
  • That Obama appointed McCrystal to this position builds bridges back to the worst part of the Bush Administration. Obama has accepted the general paradigm of the past presidents, he has a vision of military empire building, rather than realizing that much more power is achieved in economic expansion and investment.
  • The US thought they could do both, economic and military empire building, but with the loss of manufacturing and rise of financial businesses there was no counterweight to the military side of empire. American power can only be realized through a massive military commitment.
  • This is a war against a people, it’s going to be a long dirty war. It’s already shaping up. It’s a cost for big oil and manufacturing, rather than a benefit.

Guest – James Petras, a former Professor of Sociology at Binghamton University, New York, owns a 50_year membership in the class struggle, is an adviser to the landless and jobless in Brazil and Argentina, and is co_author of Globalization Unmasked (Zed Books). His latest books are The Power of Israel in the United States (Clarity Press, 2006); Rulers and Ruled in the US Empire: Bankers, Zionists, Militants (Clarity Press, 2007) and Zionism, Militarism and the Decline of US Power (Clarity Press 2008)

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Law and Disorder May 18, 2009


[Law and Disorder Radio:  Encore Interviews on Prosecution]

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The Trial of Donald Rumsfeld: A Prosecution by BookMichael Ratner

We are very pleased to talk with our own Michael Ratner, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights about his recent book The Trial of Donald Rumsfeld: A Prosecution by Book. Michael’s book exposes how hundreds of individuals were victims of gruesome crimes inside the secret prisons in Iraq, Afghanistan and Cuba while under International and American law. Michael Ratner not only levels the charge against former US secretary of defense Donald Rumsfeld but lists others to be guilty of the US War Crimes Act of 1996 such as David Addington, George Tenet, Alberto Gonzales, and John Yoo.

The case is presented in shocking detail, it’s a blueprint for prosecuting war criminals and a powerful reference tool for holding the Bush administration’s rogue leadership accountable. One review states that it quote represents a case that a prosecutor could bring against Donald Rumsfeld were he not shielded by dubious immunity doctrines crafted by the Bush administration and the judges it has appointed.

Guest – Michael Ratner – president of the Center for Constitutional Rights and author of many books including, Guantanamo: What the World Should Know. Michael has 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. Over the years, he 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 are: 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.

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David Swanson: Why We’re Planning to Prosecute Cheney and Bush

In an article published on the website – AfterDowningStreet, author David Swanson lays out another powerful case as to why it is critical to hold leadership accountable for war crimes. He explains that if much needed change is made in the United States such as a transparent electoral process, eliminating secret government and constitutional amendments, it would still not be enough to “chain the dogs of war.”  Hosts discuss with David Swanson about why it’s critical to hold a conference to plan the prosecution of Bush and Cheney.

War Crimes Conference Archive

Guest - David Swanson, creator of many media-based websites including MeetWithCindy.org and KatrinaMarch.org, he has worked as a newspaper reporter and as a communications director, with jobs including press secretary for Dennis Kucinich’s 2004 presidential and three years as communications coordinator for ACORN (the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now)

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Legislation To Stop Preemptive Pardons

So far George W Bush has issued nearly 170 pardons, they include a Missouri farmer who unintentionally poisoned three bald eagles. Pardons give the recipients greater leeway to find jobs, live in public housing and vote. Many expect that President Bush will pardon himself and other high officials as a shelter from criminal charges and that’s what New York Congressman Jerrold Nadler is trying to prevent. Nadler is the Chair of the Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties, and he’s recently introduced House Resolution 1531 demanding that Bush refrain from issuing pre_emptive pardons of senior officials in his Administration during the final 90 days of office.

New York Congressman Jerrold Nadler:

  • No pre-emptive pardons, the president should not do it, it’s a dangerous abuse of pardon power.
  • HR 1531 also says that we believe an attorney general should appoint an independent counsel to investigate alleged various crimes, such as warrantless wiretapping, torture, renditions and so forth committed during the Bush administration.
  • Premptive Pardons: President Ford pardoned Nixon, for any crimes that he might have committed.
  • President H W Bush pardoned Casper Weinberger and various other people for any crimes they might have made. President Carter pardoned anyone who violated the draft laws in evading the draft during the Vietnam War.
  • My feeling is the reason for pardons or give the pardon power in the first place is you want to temper justice with mercy.
  • It would be an abuse of power before they get convicted of a crime. If he pardoned all the people well, then how do you develop a case.
  • I think there should be a commission with supoena power, that can get at the facts, that can have people testify, that can develop more information for prosecutors to use.
  • Right now the narrative will be: Nobody did anything wrong, we protected the American people from terrorism.
  • We need to educate the American people about why these prosecutions must be done.
  • It’s very important for the people in a democratic country to know what was done in their name.
  • One of the problems we have in this country today is that everything is secret.
  • The resolution will not be passed in this Congress. If Bush exercises pardons, then there’s very little we can do about those pardons. I’m going to introduce a constitutional amendment to restrict the pardon power in the future.

Guest – Congressman Jerrold NadlerHe represents New York’s Eighth Congressional district. The Eighth, one of the most diverse districts in the nation, includes Manhattan’s West Side below 89th Street, Lower Manhattan, and areas of Brooklyn including Borough Park, Coney Island, Brighton Beach, Sea Gate, Bay Ridge, and Bensonhurst.

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Harpers Magazine Panel: Justice After Bush: Prosecuting an Outlaw Administration

We hear from our own Michael Ratner President, Center for Constitutional Rights. The event discussed methods available to a democracy to prosecute high officials in the Bush Administration and responded to Scott Horton’s Harper’s Magazine cover story called “Justice After Bush: Prosecuting an Outlaw Administration.”

  • Elizabeth Holtzman, Author, The Impeachment of George W. Bush
  • Scott Horton, Contributing Editor, Harper’s Magazine
  • Jerrold Nadler, Chairman, House Subcommittee on the Constitution
  • Antonio Taguba, Major General (U.S. Army Ret.)

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Law and Disorder May 4, 2009


Host Updates:

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Unreasonable Intrusions Report

Last month, the Muslim Advocates released a report titled Unreasonable Intrusions: Investigating the Politics, Faith & Finances of Americans Returning Home. The report documents the systematic and widespread practice of federal agents interrogating Americans returning home after overseas travel at our nation’s borders and international airports. Muslim Advocates, a sister group with the National Association of Muslim Lawyers (NAML), which is a group of approximately 500 Muslim lawyers, law students and other legal professionals.

Farhana Khera:

  • These are folks who are returning home from travel and they’re being stopped at borders, land crossings.
  • After showing valid US passports, federal agents are engaging in very invasive questioning and searches of these Americans.
  • Muslim or those Americans who may look Muslim.
  • The questions (from border agents) go into first amendment protected areas. What mosque do you attend? How often do you pray?
  • We want to educate federal policy makers, members of Congress, Homeland Security and the Obama Administration about this practice.
  • Laptops, cameras and phones searched, in some cases asking about people in images, and how they particular individuals.
  • Again, all of this without any evidence or suspicion.
  • Ninth Circuit Decision US v Arnold, pretty much gives blanket authority to federal agents at the border to search laptops and electronic devices of law abiding Americans.
  • We really need some standards in place that address the need of probable cause and reasonable suspicion before seizing personal data.
  • We believe that Americans have the right to enter the country and not be compelled to answer questions, particularly about first amendment protected beliefs.
  • We are giving practical advice in saying that you think this line of questioning is inappropriate. Get badge #’s of officers who have your stuff, then file a complaint.
  • Traveler’s Privacy Protection Act – Proposed Legislation, to be re-introduced.

Guest – Farhana Khera, first Executive Director of Muslim Advocates and the National Association of Muslim Lawyers (NAML). Prior to joining Muslim Advocates and NAML in 2005, Ms. Khera was Counsel to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Property Rights. In the Senate, she worked for six years directly for Senator Russell D. Feingold (D_WI), the Chairman of the Constitution Subcommittee. Ms. Khera focused substantially on the USA PATRIOT Act, racial and religious profiling, and other civil liberties issues raised by the government’s anti_terrorism policies since September 11, 2001. She was the Senator’s lead staff member in developing anti_racial profiling legislation and organizing subcommittee hearings on racial profiling.

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FBI Exposed: Federal Judge Orders FBI to Provide Full Muslim Surveillance Records

Last week a federal judge ordered the FBI to submit 100 documents detailing the bureau’s surveillance of Muslim leaders and organizations in Southern California and specifically, documents relating to the Council on American_Islamic Relations of Greater Los Angeles and its executive director. The court’s decision came in response to a 2007 lawsuit filed by the ACLU of Southern California that claimed the government’s incomplete and long_delayed response violated the Freedom of Information Act.

An attorney with the ACLU of Southern California says the surveillance records will show how the FBI infiltrated Southern California mosques and invasively monitored members of the Muslim community as if they were criminals.

“Truth can never be redacted. Only full disclosure will satisfy us and alleviate the pervasive fear in our communities and congregations,” said Shakeel Syed, executive director of the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California, who joins us today.

Shakeel Syed:

Guest – Shakeel Syed, executive director of the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California.

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Law and Disorder April 27, 2009


Host Updates:

Hear more of the Jim Lehrer Newshour interview with Michael Ratner and Jeffrey Smith

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US To Escalate War in Afghanistan

Nearly 15 thousand US troops have been recently committed to Afghanistan, and progressive think tanks are pushing the Obama Administration to send an additional 17 thousand which would bring the total to 70 thousand troops. Expansions are being built onto the Bagram prison, as mass incarceration is expected. Progressive Think Tank Tells Obama to Escalate

Tom Hayden:

  • Global Phoenix Program - in testimony last week, 10 – 12 years overall to win the Afghanistan War. Two years of hard fighting, a couple extra billion dollars a month. I think they plan to send the troops into Southern Afghanistan and to take on the Taliban or who ever the local resistance forces are.
  • I think people need to buckle their seat belts for a war. We’re going to have a war in Afghanistan that’s soft on torture. Where are the human rights groups, we’re sending US troops into a dirty war that incarcerates without evidence, tens of thousands of people.
  • Center for American Progress – I’m disappointed in them, they’re usually good liberal democrats. Now they’ve come out for a military surge in Afghanistan.
  • Obama has narrowed it down to one goal. Can we prevent Al-Quaeda from getting a base area from which they can attack Europe or the United States. The more we go into Pakistan with the predators and drones, the more Pakistan turns against us. It becomes a recruiting tool for more militants.
  • The other way to go would be to address the grievances of the Muslim world that give al-queda some support base.
  • 1. The US unconditional support for Israel
  • 2. 150 thousand troops still in Iraq
  • 3. US troops in countries where Muslims control their own oil.
  • It’s all laid out in a book by Michael Scheuer -Imperial Hubris: Why the West is Losing the War on Terror
  • I work very closely with Robert Greenwald at Brave New Foundation. Getting Afghanistan Right. There’s a huge sectarian problem in the anti-war movement. Nonetheless there’s always a peace and justice community in every city I go to.
  • One wonders what it will take for someone in the House or Senate to stand up and say I want to lead the anti-war movement.

Guest – Political and social activist Tom Hayden joins us today to fill in the detail and time line in this escalation of war. Tom is also the author of Ending The War In Iraq.

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US War in Afghanistan and Pakistan - Follow Up

As tensions rise between Pakistan and the United States, President Obama recently mentioned that stability in Afghanistan depends on what will happen in Pakistan. The United States and Pakistan have been allies in their interest to purge Islamist extremism, however the two countries are now embroiled in miscommunication, drone wars and mistrust that is centered around a 10 billion dollar military aid fund. Analysts say the Obama administration is asking a lot from a fragile Pakistani government that has been in power for now only a year.

Michael Schwartz:

  • President Obama’s speech - on Pakistan, tells the whole story. You have to unpack it.
  • Not a lot of people have read the speech, Obama starts by saying a campaign against extremism will not succeed by bullets and bombs alone then he launches into the peaceful side of American policy.
  • The US is planning to make Pakistan another outpost of globalization creating an opportunity for multinational corporations to invest into a local economy and basically take it over.
  • What they’re saying is they’re trying to execute a policy to bring Pakistan into full economic domination of American capitalism. – a globalized version of American capitalism. The military aspect of this is only a part to secure the farthest reaches of the middle east, the part of instability.
  • Obama’s speech is filled with being “adminstratively involved with Afghanistan and Pakistan.
  • The delivery is profound American presence. American enterprises, adminstrators, experts, trainers, a kind of colonial presence, then on the other side of this, an integration into the global system.
  • Private multinational enterprises will build schools, infrastructure.
  • This same neo-liberal process has ocurred in Africa, South America and what we know about this process is that there is an extraction of large profits by these multinational corporations. The Taliban would set up a social organization that is incompatible with the globalized agenda, so you can see this as a counter-insurgency maneuver.
  • The military part of this is that they’re not going to be able to do this in a peaceful way, they’re going to have to conquer the area.
  • In a period of two years with more than 90 drone attacks have killed 5000 innocent Pakistanis. They want to kill civilians
  • The sense that people are waiting to see whether Obama and Congress move to escalate the war is a big part of the lack of energy in the anti-war movement.
  • These are colonial wars, because the United States seeks to have a real administrative hold over these countries.
  • The United States can’t withdraw from Afghanistan because it borders on the three Caspian Sea oil companies. Those oil companies are gravitating toward China and Russia in the grand scheme of things.
  • Regarding the Poppy agriculture in Afghanistan, the Taliban had gotten rid of the poppies, since the US had invaded Afghanistan, the poppy agriculture has come backWe talk today with Michael Schwartz about the current relations amid Pakistan, the United States and the war in Afghanistan.
  • $1.5 billion in direct support to the Pakistani people every year over the next five years – resources that will build schools, roads, and hospitals, and strengthen Pakistan’s democracy. I’m also calling on Congress to pass a bipartisan bill co-sponsored by Maria Cantwell, Chris Van Hollen and Peter Hoekstra that creates opportunity zones in the border region to develop the economy and bring hope to places plagued by violence. And we will ask our friends and allies to do their part – including at the donors conference in Tokyo next month.

Guest – Michael Schwartz is a professor of Sociology and Faculty Director of the Undergraduate College of Global Studies at Stony Brook University, has written extensively on popular protest and insurgency as well as on American business and government dynamics. His books include the recently published War Without End.
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Cuba, South America and the Summit of the Americas

Earlier this year we spoke with film maker and Cuban scholar Saul Landau about the Cuban 50th anniversary and its significance. Now Saul describes the changes we can expect with regard to Cuban / US relations from the Obama Administration. The discussion also covers some detail of the recent talks at the Summit of the Americas in Trinidad.

Saul Landau:

  • Obama has allowed Cuban Americans to travel freely to Cuba and allowing more loose travel regulations as well.
  • What can Cuba really do except to promise to stop hitting the US in the fist with its face.
  • What did Cuba do to the United States to merit 50 years of punishment?
  • I don’t think Cubans are prepared to have 100 thousand Spring Breakers descend upon Havana.
  • Nor are they prepared for American investors with big wads of cash, trying to buy up everybody and everything that they see.
  • I think Obama is one of the cleverist, winsome, brightest people I can ever imagine, he’s a hard man to resist. But you have to get behind his optimistic rhetoric, his humility, his smile and his handshake and remember that prize fighters also shake hands before the first round.
  • Cuba will have a lower profile in the future, we’ve seen the most publicity we’re going to see for quite a while now.
  • I think things are little better, they’re a little quieter and less hostile. I think Cuba has its own problems that it really has to deal with

Guest – Saul Landau is an internationally known author, commentator, and film maker on foreign and domestic policy issues. Landau’s most widely praised achievements are the over forty films he has produced on social, political and historical issues, and worldwide human rights, for which he won the Letelier-Moffitt Human Rights Award, the George Polk Award for Investigative Reporting, and the First Amendment Award, as well as an Emmy for “Paul Jacobs and the Nuclear Gang.” In 2008, the Chilean government presented him withthe Bernardo O’Higgins Award for his human rights work. Landau has written fourteen books including a book of poems, “My Dad Was Not Hamlet.” He received an Edgar Allen Poe Award for Assassination on Embassy Row, a report on the 1976 murders of Chilean Ambassador Orlando Letelier and his colleague, Ronni Moffitt.

He is Professor Emeritus at California State University, Pomona. He is a senior Fellow at and Vice Chair of the Institute for Policy Studies.

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Law and Disorder January 12, 2009


Updates:

Saul Landau – Cuba 50th Anniversary

Then and now, Venezuela and Cuba, 1960_2008

Hosts talk with author and internationally known scholar Saul Landau about his recent article titled Then and Now, Venezuela and Cuba, 1960-2008 and the Cuban 50th Anniversary.
Saul Landau:

  • It’s almost a miracle the revolution in Cuba survived 50 years, considering the United States was determined to destroy it.
  • In light of all that the Cuban revolution emerges as something miraculous.
  • One looks at Cuba today, one finds lots of despair, especially after 3 brutal hurricanes.
  • You see Cubans hanging out in the street in the middle of the work day, drinking beer, not exactly a sign of high spirited socialist morality.
  • Some are plotting to go to Florida, where they still think there’s some paradise waiting for them. Some do succeed, cleaning the toilets at the Miami airport.
  • I kept saying to myself, if someone came over from Europe to the United States in 1862, they would say “Oh, this place had so much promise.”
  • I see the Cuban Revolution as a total success, in the sense it achieved all of its goals and then some.
  • When I first went to Cuba, I was 24 at the time, the kids were running ministries and it was creative anarchy.
  • Pre – Bay of Pigs: Cuba survived so many US based sabotages, terrorist attacks were launched from the United States.
  • Some were assassination attempts on Fidel Castro, some were attempts to burn down Cuban installations.
  • Fidel set out the goals of the Cuban Revolution that were established in the 1860s with the first war of Cuban Independence against Spain.
  • Which meant not taking crap from the United States. However, anyone who defied the United States was removed from office by the Marines, or overthrown by a coup backed by the US.
  • Removed from office in Domican Republican in 1965, Removed from office in Brasil in 1964, Ghiannah, the coup in Chile.
  • Here Fidel stands for Cuban sovereignty which means disobedience.
  • Today Cuba has 70 thousand doctors. 20 thousand in Venezuela, plus Cubans were actors on the world stage.
  • Cuban soldiers helping stop apartheid in Southern Angola in 1986-87, and paved the way for independence in Angola and the release of Nelson Mandela.
  • The Cuban Revolution WAS successful. Now, there are many professionals, such as engineers and doctors working as cab drivers or making pizza. The salary and wage structure are not just.
  • When the Soviet Union collapsed, the Cuban economy tanked and Cubans were on their own. They’ve buying and selling illegally, which in the last 18 years, has had a corrosive effect. Each Cuban has had to have some sort of hustle in order to get along. Cuba must begin to make reforms now.
  • Upsides: They can’t get evicted or homes foreclosed on them/ Access to the best medical care.
  • A gerontocracy has been running Cuba for security reasons and they have to hand the car keys over to their middle aged kids.
  • You have no right to practice opposition politics. Which is a minus. When you have highly educated people without access to the internet, creativity and productivity suffers.
  • Ironically, the US and Cuba military have had good relations.
  • Once the travel ban and embargo is dropped, and a million Americans come pouring in with fat wallets, the state has basically lost control of the economy.
  • If they can’t trust the citizens to back up the system that has given them these rights, the right to housing, jobs, education, medical care etc.
  • The counter-revolution was exported to Florida, (Republican Cubans – Miami) that’s where they are.
  • Obama Administration – look for travel ban lifted for Cuban Americans. For the first time the President of the United States will owe nothing to the Cubans in Miami.
  • Raul Castro has offered a swap of prisoners with new president
  • Monroe Doctrine Funeral : Established 1823, written by John Quincy Adams, essentially saying that European colonial powers should stay out of Latin America

GuestSaul Landau, an internationally known scholar, author, commentator, and filmmaker on foreign and domestic policy issues. Landau’s most widely praised achievements are the over forty films he has produced on social, political and historical issues, and worldwide human rights. Landau has written over ten books, short stories and poems. His films include: Fidel, 1968 /Cuba and Fidel 1974, / The Uncompromising Revolution, 1990. To order films send email to RoundWorldProductions at gmail.com

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RNC 8: Terrorism Charges Filed, Free Speech Chilled

Eight alleged leaders of the Republican National Convention protest organization called the RNC Welcoming Committee have been charged under the 2002 Minnesota Patriot Act with Conspiracy to Riot in Furtherance of Terrorism. The RNC 8, may each face up to 7 and a half years in prison for their alleged roles in the RNC protest activities. The charges against the RNC 8 follow a year’s worth of investigation by the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Department with coordination of state and federal agencies that had infiltrated and collected information on the group.

The RNC 8 are Monica Bicking, Eryn Trimmer, Luce Guillen Givins, Erik Oseland, Nathanael Secor, Robert Czernik, Garrett Fitzgerald, and Max Spector

According to Bruce Nestor, Minnesota Chapter president of the National Lawyers Guild, police did not find evidence of bomb making materials during the raids only common household items such as paint and computers. The National Lawyers Guild also mentions that police used paid informants that alleged the protesters intended to sabotage airports.

  • RNC Welcoming Committee: anti-authoritarian anarchist group. It is an open, public organization with a website and press releases.
  • Originally charged with conspiracy to riot in furtherance of terrorism.
  • Now, the Ramsey County attorney Susan Gertner in St. Paul Minnesota has added 3 more charges.
  1. Conspiracy to riot in furtherance of terrorism, second degree.
  2. Conspiracy to damage property in furtherance of terrorism.
  3. Conspiracy to damage property criminal charge.
  • With these charges the RNC 8 could get 20 years each under Minnesota patriot act style statute.
  • Includes property damage as an act of terrorism /some plate glass windows broken, some police cars damaged.
  • No property damaged occurred before the RNC 8 were arrested. Evidence Project – National Lawyers Guild

Guest – Gena Berglund with the Minnesota chapter of the National Lawyers Guild.

Harpers Magazine Panel: Justice After Bush: Prosecuting an Outlaw Administration

We hear from Elizabeth Holtzman, Author of The Impeachment of George W. Bush. The panelists at the event discussed methods available to a democracy to prosecute high officials in the Bush Administration and responded to Scott Horton’s Harper’s Magazine cover story called “Justice After Bush: Prosecuting an Outlaw Administration.”

Elizabeth Holtzman:

  • When the president takes the oath of office, treaties are the law of the land.
  • The president is responsible for carrying out the Geneva conventions.
  • The idea to torture in order to get information is not accurate. As a prosecutor, we handle murders, rapes, robberies, everyday in New York City and around this country.
  • We don’t get the information to solve these crimes by beating it out of people, we do it through smart detective work and we do it through careful investigation.
  • The idea that we can handle local crimes without torture or crimes of war is nonsensical .
  • It’s important for us not to get into this trap of the ticking clock. When you’re dealing with a serial rapists or murderer you got a ticking clock too.
  • We manage to deal with that everyday without torturing people in this country.
  • Impeachment: A person can be impeached after he or she has left office.
  • Statute: The Anti-Torture Act, it is a convention against torture making it a US crime. Which makes torture a felony prosecutable in the USA.
  • If death results from torture, there’s a death penalty, which means there is not statute of limitations.
  • Which means that somewhere down the line as long as these people are alive, they can be prosecuted and brought to justice.
  • The War Crimes Act of 1996, which makes it a federal crime to deal in a cruel and inhuman way with detainees. This can be prosecuted in federal courts.
  • So, whether “water boarding” is torture or not, is irrelevant under the War Crimes Act.
  • That’s why Alberto Gonzales, wanted to opt out of the Geneva Conventions with respect to the members of Al-Quaeda.
  • A little problem: The Supreme Court in the summer of 2006 ruled: the Geneva Convention applies to all US detainees. War Crimes Act liability.
  • While passing the Military Commissions Act, they also slipped in that the War Crimes Act would be in effect retroactively.
  • We need to restore the War Crimes Act because it has no statute of limitations. Restore as it was before October 2006, That will allow us no matter what to bring the prosecutions that need to be brought.

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Law and Disorder December 22, 2008


Host Updates:

Sit In Victory at Chicago’s Republic Windows and Doors Plant

Last wee, angry laid off workers from Republic Windows and Doors agreed to leave the closed Illinois plant they’ve occupied in protest for six days. The workers accepted a deal that will give each of them about 6 thousand dollars, accrued vacation time and two months of helathcare coverage. About 1.75 million will be put into an escrow account to be supervised by the worker’s union.

Paul Buhle:

  • Why stand outside where you slug it out with cops and scabs while you can be inside defending your job.
  • The sit down strike goes all the way back to the Wobblies in 1907
  • We have entered a new era, the nation has acquired more political oxygen than it has in a long time.
  • There’s a spirit of empowerment that people feel they have to change the situation immediately around them.
  • In the way of occupying universities, we can move things much better than those in charge with their foot upon us.
  • Now is the time to develop those abandoned factories into living spaces, so they don’t become targets of firebugs.

Guest- Paul Buhle, senior lecturer at Brown University, a historian of American radicalims., a former member of Students for a Democratic Society and author of many books including images of American Radicalism. Also, Che, A Graphic Biography, and Isordore Duncan, a graphic biography by Sabrina Jones.

Verdict Against Holy Land Charity Could Have a Chilling Effect on the Muslim Community

Last month, a jury in Dallas, Texas found five Palestinian men guilty of more than 100 charges in the nation’s largest terrorism financing trial since 9/11. We talk with Laila Al-Arian, a Washington based journalist, who recently wrote a powerful Alternet article about this case and its impact on Muslim charities.

As many listeners may know, Holy Land was the largest Muslim charity in the United States, the the Bush administration shut it down after the September 11th attacks, and arrested five officials from the charity. In her article Al-Arian describes how the prosecution use unrelated video of suicide bombers to emotionally sway the jury. We’re later joined by Linda Moreno, a defense attorney in the case.

Laila Al-Arian:

  • One of the witnesses (in this recent case) was an expert witness, he was a Shin Bet agent.
  • The way the US government is trying to prove that these Zakaat Committees are funding Hamas is through the testimony of this Israeli witness. The testimony can’t be authenticated.
  • The first time in a US court room that an expert witness, not a fact witness, testified under a pseudonym.
  • How do you detect perjury, or how does the defense cross-examine without background.
  • Expert witness lied to the jury about the Zakat committees being tied to Hamas
  • What you’re really doing is prosecuting an Israeli Palestinian conflict in an American courtroom.
  • For Muslims giving charity is a religious obligation.
  • There will be an appeal on the grounds of the expert witness Shin Bet agent.
  • Joe Lieberman and George Bush commented on the verdict of this case.
  • All this does is punish people who are suffering, and punishing those who want to help them.

Linda Moreno:

  • The government began its exhibit with a photograph of a bombed out bus, which had nothing to do with the accused in the Holy Land case.
  • They also showed video of children doing skits, an art form that is a result of culture under occupation.
  • Children in the US get to play violent video games, but they get to turn that off and go back to the safety of their home, go into your bedroom and shut the door. When you’re a Palestinian child, you don’t have that luxury.
  • We know because we proved in both trials, that the US Government through USAID and other organizations was giving to the exact same Zakat Committees that were at issue in the indictment of this case.
  • And the notion that you have to vet the recipient of charitiable donations, I believe is un-American.
  • There’s just something wrong about criminalizing humanitarian aid. Charities under fire.

Guests – Laila Al-Arian, a Washington DC based journalist. Linda Moreno, high profile defense attorney.

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Harpers Magazine Panel: Justice After Bush: Prosecuting an Outlaw Administration

We hear from our own Michael Ratner President, Center for Constitutional Rights. The event discussed methods available to a democracy to prosecute high officials in the Bush Administration and responded to Scott Horton’s Harper’s Magazine cover story called “Justice After Bush: Prosecuting an Outlaw Administration.” We will hear more from the other speakers in the coming weeks.

  • Elizabeth Holtzman, Author, The Impeachment of George W. Bush
  • Scott Horton, Contributing Editor, Harper’s Magazine
  • Jerrold Nadler, Chairman, House Subcommittee on the Constitution
  • Antonio Taguba, Major General (U.S. Army Ret.)
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Law and Disorder December 15, 2008


Host Updates:


Related News Stories:

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Verdict Against Holy Land Charity Could Have a Chilling Effect on the Muslim Community

Last month, a jury in Dallas, Texas found five Palestinian men guilty of more than 100 charges in the nation’s largest terrorism financing trial since 9/11. We talk with Laila Al-Arian, a Washington based journalist, who recently wrote a powerful Alternet article about this case and its impact on Muslim charities.

As many listeners may know, Holy Land was the largest Muslim charity in the United States, the the Bush administration shut it down after the September 11th attacks, and arrested five officials from the charity. In her article Al-Arian describes how the prosecution use unrelated video of suicide bombers to emotionally sway the jury. We’re later joined by Linda Moreno, a defense attorney in the case.

Laila Al-Arian:

  • One of the witnesses (in this recent case) was an expert witness, he was a Shin Bet agent.
  • The way the US government is trying to prove that these Zakaat Committees are funding Hamas is through the testimony of this Israeli witness. The testimony can’t be authenticated.
  • The first time in a US court room that an expert witness, not a fact witness, testified under a pseudonym.
  • How do you detect perjury, or how does the defense cross-examine without background.
  • Expert witness lied to the jury about the Zakat committees being tied to Hamas
  • What you’re really doing is prosecuting an Israeli Palestinian conflict in an American courtroom.
  • For Muslims giving charity is a religious obligation.
  • There will be an appeal on the grounds of the expert witness Shin Bet agent.
  • Joe Lieberman and George Bush commented on the verdict of this case.
  • All this does is punish people who are suffering, and punishing those who want to help them.

Linda Moreno:

  • The government began its exhibit with a photograph of a bombed out bus, which had nothing to do with the accused in the Holy Land case.
  • They also showed video of children doing skits, an art form that is a result of culture under occupation.
  • Children in the US get to play violent video games, but they get to turn that off and go back to the safety of their home, go into your bedroom and shut the door. When you’re a Palestinian child, you don’t have that luxury.
  • We know because we proved in both trials, that the US Government through USAID and other organizations was giving to the exact same Zakat Committees that were at issue in the indictment of this case.
  • And the notion that you have to vet the recipient of charitiable donations, I believe is un-American.
  • There’s just something wrong about criminalizing humanitarian aid. Charities under fire.

Guests – Laila Al-Arian, a Washington DC based journalist. Linda Moreno, high profile defense attorney.

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Legislation To Stop Preemptive Pardons

So far George W Bush has issued nearly 170 pardons, they include a Missouri farmer who unintentionally poisoned three bald eagles. Pardons give the recipients greater leeway to find jobs, live in public housing and vote. Many expect that President Bush will pardon himself and other high officials as a shelter from criminal charges and that’s what New York Congressman Jerrold Nadler is trying to prevent. Nadler is the Chair of the Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties, and he’s recently introduced House Resolution 1531 demanding that Bush refrain from issuing pre_emptive pardons of senior officials in his Administration during the final 90 days of office.

New York Congressman Jerrold Nadler:

  • No pre-emptive pardons, the president should not do it, it’s a dangerous abuse of pardon power.
  • HR 1531 also says that we believe an attorney general should appoint an independent counsel to investigate alleged various crimes, such as warrantless wiretapping, torture, renditions and so forth committed during the Bush administration.
  • Premptive Pardons: President Ford pardoned Nixon, for any crimes that he might have committed.
  • President H W Bush pardoned Casper Weinberger and various other people for any crimes they might have made. President Carter pardoned anyone who violated the draft laws in evading the draft during the Vietnam War.
  • My feeling is the reason for pardons or give the pardon power in the first place is you want to temper justice with mercy.
  • It would be an abuse of power before they get convicted of a crime. If he pardoned all the people well, then how do you develop a case.
  • I think there should be a commission with supoena power, that can get at the facts, that can have people testify, that can develop more information for prosecutors to use.
  • Right now the narrative will be: Nobody did anything wrong, we protected the American people from terrorism.
  • We need to educate the American people about why these prosecutions must be done.
  • It’s very important for the people in a democratic country to know what was done in their name.
  • One of the problems we have in this country today is that everything is secret.
  • The resolution will not be passed in this Congress. If Bush exercises pardons, then there’s very little we can do about those pardons. I’m going to introduce a constitutional amendment to restrict the pardon power in the future.

Guest – Congressman Jerrold NadlerHe represents New York’s Eighth Congressional district. The Eighth, one of the most diverse districts in the nation, includes Manhattan’s West Side below 89th Street, Lower Manhattan, and areas of Brooklyn including Borough Park, Coney Island, Brighton Beach, Sea Gate, Bay Ridge, and Bensonhurst.

Harpers Magazine Panel: Justice After Bush: Prosecuting an Outlaw Administration

We hears excerpts from 2 speakers in the panel. Our own Michael Ratner President, Center for Constitutional Rights and Burt Neuborne, Legal Director, Brennan Center for Justice, New York University. The event discussed methods available to a democracy to prosecute high officials in the Bush Administration and responded to Scott Horton’s Harper’s Magazine cover story called “Justice After Bush: Prosecuting an Outlaw Administration.” We will hear more from the other speakers in the coming weeks.

  • Elizabeth Holtzman, Author, The Impeachment of George W. Bush
  • Scott Horton, Contributing Editor, Harper’s Magazine
  • Jerrold Nadler, Chairman, House Subcommittee on the Constitution
  • Antonio Taguba, Major General (U.S. Army Ret.)

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Law and Disorder December 1, 2008


Host Updates:

Michael Ratner and Michael Steven Smith update on the media discussions of whether to prosecute the “torture conspirators”, the details of Attorney General Michael Mukasey’s collapse, and a preventive detention scheme that could replace Guantanamo prison.

  • No truth commission. Insist on criminal investigations and prosecutions of torture conspirators.
  • Power concedes nothing without demand, it never did and it never will.
  • Mukasey gives speech about not prosecuting people during Federalist Society speech, then collapses on the stage.
  • A Seattle state court judge in the federalist society audience started yelling, Tyrant! Tyrant! Tyrant!
  • This was about law itself, unless you have prosecutions going forward it will happen again.
  • How will Guantanamo be closed? CCR general position: Repatriate 95 percent, try the rest in federal court.

Related Articles:

ali al-marri riot-police.JPG Jonathan Hafetz

Ali Al-Marri Case Update: Key Police State Building Block At Stake

In June of this year, an en banc Federal Appeals Court in Virginia ruled 5-4 that the Bush Administration could subject Ali Al-Marri to indefinite detention even though he was a resident of the United States. The court in the fourth circuit ruled that US residents could be locked up indefinitely as enemy combatants even though they were never charged with a crime. Al-Marri is the only enemy combatant currently in detention and without charges in the United States.

Jonathan Hafetz:

  • Can the president declare legal residents including American citizens, enemy combatants, deprive them a right to a trial and hold them indefinitely.
  • This, based on the idea that there is a global and never ending war on terror.
  • Though on sovereign soil, no right to habeas corpus. He was declared an enemy combatant, the case was lost in an embank in the fourth circuit
  • Why is this case so critical to liberty in the United States . . . ?
  • The five judges who ruled against the case, said essentially that there must be this power to effectively detain people in the United States to prevent terrorist attacks.
  • Ruling: the president can label legal residents including American citizens an enemy combatant in the United States, without a trial, no habeas, hold them indefinitely.
  • It’s the idea of the president to use the military to seize people including citizens from their home or places of work.
  • A very dangerous power to allow any president to have, it corrupts the justice system, it can be used as a weapon,
  • Seven years of these cases of assertion of executive power, and the courts have not answered this fundamental basic question, who can be detained by the military, who is a soldier and who is a civilian?
  • All that is stated is that if someone picks up a weapon on the battlefield, that person can be a soldier, but in the most extreme cases in the war on terror – - such as being picked up in the United States as a soldier in the extended geographic concept of the war on terror – - the courts have not grappled with whether there is habeas in those cases.
  • Even the judges who ruled against us did say that it included American citizens.

Guest – Jonathan Hafetz, Staff Attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union, National Security Project.

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Jeremy Scahill: This Is Change? 20 Hawks, Clintonites and Neocons to Watch for in Obama’s White House

As President-elect Barack Obama starts building his administration, many are watching who he selects and how these choices will be consistent with the rhetoric of change. Hosts talk with investigative journalist and author Jeremy Scahill about his recent article calling to question the list of recent appointees to the Obama team. Some have a history of supporting torture, despite Obama calling for the shutting down of Guantanamo, and others have associations with the neo-conservative Project For The New American Century.

Jeremy Scahill:

  • Clinton’s policies laid the groundwork for some of the most repressive and violent policies of the Bush era, on Iraq, civil liberties, on economic policy.
  • He (Clinton) rained missles down on Iraq, bombed Yugoslavia in 1999 without UN authorization. He pushed through NAFTA and GAT, he launched airstrikes against Sudan and Afghanistan, he militarized the war on drugs, particularly the counterinsurgency war in Latin America. CIA renditions began.
  • Obama is taking these same individuals who were part of that bi-partisan war machine and putting them back in prominent positions.
  • Obama’s defense secretary – Robert Gates, George HW Bush’s former director of the CIA.
  • What message does that send not only to the anti-war people who were a large part of Obama’s base but to those which heard Obama say we’re going to change the way Washington’s foreign policy is run?
  • Henry Kissenger says it’s (Obama administration) outstanding.
  • The fact that these people are praising Obama, gives us a sense of what to expect from the economic team.
  • The message is clear that corporate interests are going to reign supreme, over the interests of ordinary working folks in this country.
  • A total contradiction in Obama’s campaign pledge to speak up for the middle class. The reality is is that he is putting together a team with the people who are part of the problem.
  • Naomi Klein: Obama represents the status quo, which is not good for people who roll up their sleeves everyday and go to work, or suffering poor
  • Eric Holder, attorney general, though better than any AG the Bush Administration has appointed, Holder has worked the Chiquita Banana Co., the most vicious violators of human rights in Latin America.
  • I think its incredibly important that we put tremendous pressure on the Justice Department, on the Obama Administration to actually seek out justice.
  • Obama Adminstration may not prosecute “torture conspirators.” because they open themselves up to Democratic complicity. Complicity such as voting for the Patriot Act, supporting the illegal, unlawful prison in Guantanamo.
  • Former Chief Assistant of the CIA, Brennen steps down from CIA director nomination, a passionate supporter of torture techniques.
  • The idea that Obama even keeps him on board as one of the people who is going to decide who runs the intelligence apparatus in this country is shameful.
  • It’s Orwellian, you vote for change, and you get torture and skewed intelligence.
  • The reality is that Obama is not going to end the occupation in Iraq, he is going to escalate the war in Afghanistan.
  • He’s not going to be great at all in holding the Bush officials accountable.
  • We need to start building a movement in this country that is independent of electoral politics.
  • Ultimately the premier issue of our time – Radical Privatization.
  • Yes, its good that John McCain and Sarah Palin are not in power in this country but Obama is not a saint, he is a center democrat, closely tied to the democratic policy elite.

Guest – Jeremy Scahill, investigative journalist and author of Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army. He is also a Puffin Foundation Writing Fellow at The Nation Institute and a frequent contributor to The Nation. Scahill and colleague Amy Goodman were co-recipients of the 1998 Polk Award for their radio documentary “Drilling and Killing: Chevron and Nigeria’s Oil Dictatorship”, which investigated the Chevron Corporation‘s role in the killing of two Nigerian environmental activists.

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Law and Disorder September 22, 2008


Updates:

Vincent Bugliosi and Charlotte Dennett vermont1.jpg

David Swanson: Vermont AG Candidate Backs Prosecution of President Bush for Murder

Hosts Michael Ratner and Michael Smith check back with journalist David Swanson about the War Crimes Conference. David was at the conference, there was a great turnout at the event and thousands viewed online. One strategy in The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder is to establish jurisdiction in the cases for Attorney Generals in each state and also the approximately 900 district attorneys in the counties of those states.

Bugliosi says it’s not unreasonable to believe that at least one prosecutor will be courageous enough to step up. She did, her name is Charlotte Dennett, Progressive Party candidate for Vermont attorney general. Dennett says if elected she would prosecute Bush for murder, appoint Bugliosi as a special prosecutor to hold Bush accountable for deaths stemming for the Iraq war.

How to make a citizen’s arrest of a war criminal.

Guest - David Swanson, creator of many media-based websites including ConvictBushCheney.org he has worked as a newspaper reporter and as a communications director, with jobs including press secretary for Dennis Kucinich’s 2004 presidential campaign.

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Max Wolff , Michael Smith Michael Ratner, John Ehrenberg

Economic and Political Analysis: Historic Financial Crisis and Bailout

Michael Smith and Michael Ratner host a lively discussion with economist Max Wolff and political science professor and author John Ehrenberg. Max Wolff begins with an anatomy of the financial collapses – “Low wage growth for majority of Americans, meanwhile global capacity for productive enterprise has skyrocketed and the way to make money is to find something to produce for very low wages. This creates a classic problem of insufficient aggregate demand. We can make it cheap, we can find this 11 year old in the rain forest to work in the factory for 39 cents an hour. Not successful if you can’t find a buyer. So, your success breeds a nightmare, the nightmare is resolved by international financial markets and growing debt.”

In the last half hour John Ehrenberg joins in. He says the US needs a new New Deal, and though this is a dangerous time, it could be an opportunity for strong social movements. The Republican vetting of Palin is a major concern – “The sneering contemptuous disdain for serious thought or consideration for deliberation.” Faux populism that rewards capital and punishes labor and yet coming forward as a party for the common man.

Guest – Max Fraad Wolff , freelance researcher, strategist, and writer in the areas of international finance and macroeconomics. Max’s work can be seen at the Huffington Post, The AsiaTimes, Prudent Bear, SeekingAlpha and many other outlets.

Guest – John Ehrenberg, author of the book “Servants of Wealth: The Right’s Assault on Economic Justice.” A professor of political science at Long Island University, in this, his third book, critically analyzes the rise of an ideologically coherent Right. He dissects their themes of military weakness, moral decay, racial anxiety, and hostility to social welfare to reveal their central organizing objective of protecting wealth and assaulting equality.

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Law and Disorder September 15, 2008


Updates:

rncdemos2.JPG riotpolice1a.JPG riotpolice22.JPG

Police Tactics Used During The RNC: Legal Analysis

Law and Disorder hosts debrief activist Laurie Arbieter who was among the demonstrators protesting during the Republican National Convention. Laurie was among a group of activists pulled over in St. Paul, held at gunpoint and let go. We later talk with Bruce Nestor, president of the Minnesota chapter of the National Lawyers Guild. Bruce gives us the background on the terrorism charges brought against 8 members of a prominent activist group. Most of the 8 defendants were arrested during the pre-emptive house raids and face up to seven years in prison. Ramsey County authorities have described the charges as “ in furtherance of terrorism,” based on the 2002 Minnesota version of the Patriot Act.

Guest – Laurie Arbieter, artist/activist and creator of the “We Will Not Be Silent” T-shirt series.

Guest – Bruce Nestor, president of the Minnesota chapter of the National Lawyers Guild

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David Swanson: Why We’re Planning to Prosecute Cheney and Bush

In an article published on the website – AfterDowningStreet, author David Swanson lays out another powerful case as to why it is critical to hold leadership accountable for war crimes. He explains that if much needed change is made in the United States such as a transparent electoral process, eliminating secret government and constitutional amendments, it would still not be enough to “chain the dogs of war.”  Hosts discuss with David Swanson about why it’s critical to hold a conference to plan the prosecution of Bush and Cheney.

War Crimes Conference Archive

Guest - David Swanson, creator of many media-based websites including MeetWithCindy.org and KatrinaMarch.org, he has worked as a newspaper reporter and as a communications director, with jobs including press secretary for Dennis Kucinich’s 2004 presidential and three years as communications coordinator for ACORN (the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now)

The Trial of Donald Rumsfeld: A Prosecution by Book michael_ratner2.JPG prison1.jpg

The Trial of Donald Rumsfeld: A Prosecution by BookMichael Ratner

We are very pleased to talk with our own Michael Ratner, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights about his recent book The Trial of Donald Rumsfeld: A Prosecution by Book. Michael’s book exposes how hundreds of individuals were victims of gruesome crimes inside the secret prisons in Iraq, Afghanistan and Cuba while under International and American law. Michael Ratner not only levels the charge against former US secretary of defense Donald Rumsfeld but lists others to be guilty of the US War Crimes Act of 1996 such as David Addington, George Tenet, Alberto Gonzales, and John Yoo.

The case is presented in shocking detail, it’s a blueprint for prosecuting war criminals and a powerful reference tool for holding the Bush administration’s rogue leadership accountable. One review states that it quote “presents a case that a prosecutor could bring against Donald Rumsfeld were he not shielded by dubious immunity doctrines crafted by the Bush administration and the judges it has appointed.”

Guest – Michael Ratner – president of the Center for Constitutional Rights and author of many books including, Guantanamo: What the World Should Know. Michael has 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. Over the years, he 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 are: 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.

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