The First 100 Days: Dismantling the Police State in a New Presidency – Part 1
This is the first of a three part special. Law and Disorder hosts bring a series of interviews with key attorneys, authors and activists from the front lines such as the Center For Constitutional Rights, Universities of Law and the National Lawyers Guild. Some of the police state policies are beginning to be reversed such as closing down secret CIA sites, a timeline to shut down Guantanamo, and mandating everyone CIA included follow US Army Field Manual Interrogation tactics.
We define the current laws in place that now constitute a police state. Then we look at the steps the Obama Administration must take to turn back the major breaches in civil liberties such as the Patriot Act One and Two, the Military Commissions Act, FBI Guidelines and legal provisions that allow for torture. As you’ll hear, some attorneys believe much of the dismantling can be done by executive order.
We begin with a description of what we have seen since September 11, 2001 and precursors such as the Effective Death Penalty Act, the earlier renditions under Clinton’s administration. Then, right after 9/11 came the overreaching of executive power in the form of signing statements that misuse the war powers resolution to detain, torture and try so_called enemy combatants. This includes racial profiling against Muslims here and abroad, massive surveillance capacities and warrant_less wiretapping.
The dismantling of police state blocks in the new presidency will take attention to detail to ensure a full restoration of democracy that will ultimately allow for social progress. In the next hour we look at some remedies and solutions to reverse laws that have created domestic enemy combatants, Guantanamo Bay prison, Renditions, Secret CIA sites, Torture, Kangaroo Courts: Special Trials, FISA, domestic surveillance, private military contractors.
Executive Director of the Center for Constitutional Rights, Vince Warren discusses the abuse of preventive detention, torture, rendition and states secrets. Hosts cite recent examples of deep surveillance on peaceful protesters and the unprecedented collusion between federal, state and local law enforcement. Warren points out the importance of rolling back the police state measures put in place by the Bush administration, in that No president has ever given back the power a previous president has given him.
- Torture/rendition/states secrets / right to dissent / the abuse of preventive detention.
- Torture top of list, the export of torture and CIA black sites.
- torture crimes at this time are unprosecutable adn its up to the president to
- Close Guantanamo prison – send prisoners back to countries they came from, repatriate.
- CCR and civil proceedings – hold accountable, the Bush administration to declare what they’ve done unconstitutional, damages to clients CCR represents and injunctive relief, future deterrents
- Universal jurisdiction stems from the Nuremberg principles that say a crime that is committed against a person anywhere is prosecutable anywhere.
- Countries such as Germany Spain and France have statutes for human rights abuse survivors to bring cases for prosecution.
- States secrets privilege, the privilige that the government has routinely invoked in a range of CCR cases, whenever the government says states secrets, the courts, including the supreme courts usually kick the case. The remedy?
- Congress can create a statute that limits the use of a states secrets power in order to make it consistent for truth telling and accountability.
- No president has ever given back the power a previous president has given him.
- The abuse of preventive detention, fusion centers – intelligence gathering and data mining – the concern is that no one can monitor and again its done in secrecy. no oversight, more preemptive law enforcement
- The irony here is that government usually acts as if one hand doesn’t know what the other hand is doing, unless they’re coming down on our constitutional rights, then they’re all on the same page.
Naomi Wolf : 10 Steps
We’re joined by author and activist Naomi Wolf. She is the author of seven books, and the groundbreaking book The End of America: A Letter of Warning To A Young Patriot. In the book, Naomi addresses ten steps that societies, dictators, and sometimes democracies use to close an open society to move it toward facsism. We want to re-visit those ten steps.
- A small group of people used the law to subvert the law. Reichstag Fire, then disembowel their own Constitution.
- Initial thinking inspired from my friend who is the daughter of holocaust survivors, she said the Bush strategies echo early 1930s Germany.
- Enabling Acts in Germany gave the power to the state to read a person’s mail, listen to their phone calls and read their telegrams. This, in the alleged interest of national security and the fight against terrorism.
- Nazis used to unload the coffins of the war dead at night.
- A would-be dictator sought to close an open society or crush a democracy movement. Mussolini in 1920, the great evil pioneer. Hitler studied Mussolini, Stalin studied Hitler.
- I looked at Russia, studied Czechoslovakia in the 60’s, Pinochet’s coup in 1973, the Chinese crackdown on democracy in the 80s.
- What I saw was there was a blueprint. The blueprint has 10 steps. The 10 steps have been codified, they teach them at the School of the Americas.
- To help would be Latin-American dictators to overthrow their own governments. What terrified me is that those ten steps are being put in place by the Bush Administration.
- The Ten Steps
- Invoke a terrifying internal and external enemy
- Create a gulag
- Develop a thug caste
- Set up an internal surveillance system
- Harass citizens’ groups
- Engage in arbitrary detention and release
- Target key individuals
- Control the press
- Dissent equals treason
- Suspend the rule of law