Law and Disorder Radio

Archives for July, 2006

Law and Disorder July 31, 2006

State Secrets Panel – Center forState Secrets Panel – Center for Constitutional Rights

We bring the voices of lawyers who are suing the government for keeping state secrets. What is a state secrets privilege and why should we be concerned? State secrets have been used by the Bush administration to dismiss public interest lawsuits, such as when in April of this year the Electronic Frontier Foundation challenged the legality of the NSA’s domestic spying program or the wrongfully-accused and tortured victim Maher Arar who sought to sue Attorney General John Ashcroft for his role in deporting him to Syria to face torture and extract false confessions.

Most recent, the Justice Department moved to preempt the Center for Constitutional Rights challenge to warrantless domestic surveillance by invoking the state secrets privilege. The Bush Administration is arguing that CCR’s case could reveal secrets regarding U.S. national security, and thus the presiding judge must dismiss it without reviewing the evidence. We go now and listen to a segment of the State Secrets panel.

We play excerpts from a speech by Bill Goodman, legal director with the Center for Constitutional Rights where he’s led a team of attorneys challenging the worst excesses of the Bush administration since 9/11 and representing Guantanamo detainees before the Supreme Court. Bill Goodman was one of the first to take on the Patriot act and having a portion of it ruled unconstitutional. He also sued against private military contractors at Abu Garaib.

We also hear from Center for Constitutional Rights staff attorney Shane Kadidal. He breaks down the history of the state secrets privilege and how the Bush administration is using it. Shane has worked on a number of cases since September 11th, including working on two cases of citizens detained as enemy combatants and a case on behalf of a class of hundreds of immigrants held in detention long after their final deportation. He’s also counsel on CCRs pending challenge to the NSA’s warrantless surveillance program in CCR versus Bush.

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Amnesty International’s General Meeting – Audio Collage

During this year’s Amnesty International’s General Meeting in Portland, Oregon, Law and Disorder co-host Dalia Hashad and producer Geoff Brady collected audio from various interviews, panels and rallies being held at the 2006 General Meeting.

In this recording many Amnesty International staff members and activists gathered to speak out, listen and share their stories. This is an audio compilation from the anti-torture rally in Portland’s historic Pioneer Square mixed and produced by Geoff Brady

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Attorney Paul L. Mills on Tasers – Part III

In our last interview from the Law and Disorder Taser series, co-host Dalia Hashad talked with Paul L. Mills, attorney and co-director with L.A. Police Watch about how police misuse the Taser weapon, the case of a 33 year old man who while being handcuffed was stunned by police with a Taser and later died and the future of Taser include wireless implants into human beings.

Lynne Stewart – Part 2

Law and Disorder recently sat down with convicted civil rights attorney Lynne Stewart to talk about her health, her approaching sentencing this September and the details leading up to her indictment and conviction. We play the second part of that interview.

Law and Disorder July 24, 2006


  • Supreme Court Update – Hamden v. Rumsfeld.
  • Signing Statements


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Israel’s Massive Assault Targeting Lebanese Civilians

Israel has warned hundreds of thousands of Lebanese to leave Southern Lebanon as they continue to target Lebanon’s infrastructure and bomb civilian neighborhoods. Meanwhile, a ground invasion begins, and more than 340 Lebanese have been killed most of have been civilians. We talk with author Phyllis Bennis, a Middle East analyst for Foreign Policy In Focus. She is also a senior analyst at the Institute for Policy Studies and a member of the Iraq Speakers Bureau. Among the issues discussed in this interview are the US origins of Israel’s weaponry and fuel, the language of propaganda from Israel and the Geneva convention law in the context of “an occupying power.”  Links –



During the Law and Disorder panel, Ten Minutes To Midnight, at the Left Forum in New York, our hosts covered a range of issues, among them presidential signing statements. While many people may not have heard of signing statements, they represent a signifcant threat to the separation of powers. The President, literally attaches a statement when he signs newly enacted legislation. These statements lay out his interpretation of the law, which may unfairly influence how the judiciary perceive these laws in the future.

In a report to be released today, an American Bar Association task force will recommend that Congress pass legislation providing for some sort of judicial review of presidential signing statements. Some task force members want to give Congress the right to sue over the signing statements; other task force members will not characterize what sort of judicial review might ultimately emerge.


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Lynne Stewart – Part 1

Law and Disorder recently sat down with convicted civil rights attorney Lynne Stewart to talk about her health, her approaching sentencing this September and the details leading up to her indictment and conviction.

Law and Disorder July 10, 2006 – Rebroadcast from April 17

Download/Listen to this show [33 MB]


Key Ruling Ahead for Death Penalty as mentally ill death row inmate Willie Brown is scheduled for execution by lethal injection this Friday April 21st . Learn more about the issue here. U.S. District Judge Malcolm J. Howard will decide if prison officials have resolved issues concerning the amount of pain involved in lethal injection. However, anesthesiologists may not be willing to participate. The professional code of ethics for doctors simply states that doctors are healers, not executioners. If Howard rules that the state of North Carolina must use an anesthesiologist and none are willing, the use of the death penalty may re-examined. Co-host Dalia Hashad joins the Law and Disorder hosts from her DC office. Please Visit the Amnesty International Online Action Center to express your concern and call on the governor to commute Willie Brown’s death sentence.

Guest – Sue Gunawardena-Vaughn – Director of the Program to Abolish the Death Penalty – Amnesty International USA.


In the months since Puerto Rican Independista Filiberto Ojeda Ríos was assassinated by the FBI, protesters are demonstrating in the streets against the lingering FBI presence in San Juan and other regions of Puerto Rico. Last month, federal agents executing search warrants on the homes of independentistas were captured on video pepper-spraying journalists covering the story, with seemingly little or no provocation, further fueling anti-FBI sentiment. On February 10th, the FBI executed six search warrants on independence movement leaders to prevent ”a potential domestic terrorist attack” against ”privately owned interests in Puerto Rico,” according to an FBI statement. Law and Disorder hosts update listeners on this under-reported story.

Guest – Charlie Hay-Mestre – Civil Rights Attorney in Puerto Rico and board member of the Center for Constitutional Rights. He is also part of the investigating team looking into the murder of Filiberto Ojeda Rios.


NSA Spying on Attorneys – CCR attorney Shane Kadidal speaks with Law and Disorder hosts about the near certainty of the government eavesdropping on conversations with attorneys and clients at the Center for Constitutional Rights. Co-Host Michael Ratner updates listeners on the recent story of AT&T funneling all internet traffic through NSA. Read it here.

Guest – Shane Kadidal – Center for Constitutional Rights.

Co-host Michael Ratner references the Salon article Read the Salon article here.

Law and Disorder July 10, 2006

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Big surveillance plans in New York City

Wireless cameras over Brooklyn and a virtual “Ring of Steel” for Lower Manhattan – More than 500 surveillance cameras are planned to be installed in Brooklyn and Manhattan. Hundreds of cameras will follow if New York City secures an $81.5 million federal grant from Homeland Security. The grant would fund a London-style “Ring of Steel” around Manhattan’s financial district that includes metal walls, military style guard posts and another wave of hi-tech surveillance equipment. NYC subways will also be set up with more cameras.

Co-Host Heidi Boghosian caught up with Surveillance Camera Tour Guide Bill Brown in downtown Manhattan. They discuss the implications of Homeland Security funding a massive influx of hi-tech security surveillance systems in New York City. Brown points out how most media have not been informed of details surrounding this build up of cameras.

Jack Anderson Files

FBI desperately tries to obtain more than 180 boxes of notes and files from the late muckraking journalist Jack Anderson. Anderson who died last December from complications with Parkinson’s Disease, spent the last fifty years unearthing government misdeeds such as J.Edgar Hoover’s apparent ties to Mafia, the Savings and Loans scandal and the search for fugitive ex-Nazi officials in South America. Now, the Anderson family is in the process of transferring ownerships of the files to the George Washington University Library. The FBI would like to see them first however, the library and the Anderson family refuse.

The columnist’s son Kevin Anderson says the FBI expressed interest in documents that would aid the government’s case against two former lobbyists for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC, who have been charged with disclosing classified information. The FBI also told the family “they planned to remove from the columnist’s archive, which has yet to be catalogued, any document they come across that is stamped “secret” or “confidential.”

Guest – George Washington University Librarian – Jack Siggins. Siggins also tells Law and Disorder hosts Heidi Boghosian and Michael Ratner that the FBI had asked to obtain library records and emails from faculty, staff and students of George Washington Library. Hosts suspect this type of inquiry has occurred at libraries across the country.



Blackwater USA Law Suit

The private security firm Blackwater USA, a North Carolina-based private security company is being sued by four families of the private American security contractors who were ambushed by Sunni resistance in Falluja on March of 2004. Law and Disorder hosts speak with independent journalist Jeremy Scahill and attorney Marc Miles about the lawsuit. Read Jeremy Scahill’s investigative report in the Nation here.

From Jeremy Scahill’s article – “This is a precedent-setting case,” says Marc Miles, an attorney for the families. “Just like with tobacco litigation or gun litigation, once they lose that first case, they’d be fearful there would be other lawsuits to follow.”
Guest – Jeremy Scahill – Independent journalist who reports frequently for the national radio and TV program Democracy Now!, has spent extensive time reporting from Iraq and Yugoslavia. He is currently at The Nation Institute on fellowship. He can be reached at

Guest – Marc Miles – attorney for the families.


We listen to a short segment of senior attorney Donald Goldberg with the Center for Environmental Justice describe how 40 percent of the Arctic Polar ice cap has melted in the last few years and subsequent warming has destroyed Inuit habitat. Human rights litigation is underway to protect the Inuit. Other speakers included Dr. James Hansen, director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies. Hansen makes the case that global climate change is at the tipping point and emissions from power plants and vehicles are mainly to blame. Law and Disorder will air more from this forum in the programs to come.

Law and Disorder July 3, 2006

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NYCLU Demands Investigation Into NSA Spying

Verizon, AT&T and other large phone companies are suspected of providing the NSA with the personal emails and phone calling details of millions of customers. Aside from the lawsuits filed by the EFF, the ACLU and the Center for Constitutional Rights, the NYCLU is demanding from the top three New York protection agencies, thd Attorney General’s Office, the Public Services Commission, and the Consumer Protection Board to investigate this very serious invasion of our privacy and order the telephone companies to end this practice.

Guest – Cory Stoughton, NYCLU Staff attorney.

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Turkmen V. Ashcroft Case Update

A recent decision by a federal judge in Brooklyn, New York has essentially ruled that immigrants can be indefinitely detained on the basis of religion, race or national origin. This decision paves the way for internment camp style prisons similar to those after World War II as long as the internment is limited to foreign nationals charged with visa violations (a group that at last count numbered about 11 million people).

Guests – Attorney Rachel Meeropol with the Center for Constitutional Rights.

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Green Scare Panel – What is the Green Scare? – How the Government is Targeting Eco-Activists.

Here on Law and Disorder we’ve discussed at length about how police and FBI have spied and infiltrated activist groups. On December 26 of last year, Law and Disorder brought Eileen Clancy from Eye Witness video on to the program to talk about how her video coverage had exposed the NYPD covertly joining in with vigils and rallies of activists. We now take a deeper look at how the “conspiracy law” is being used to take down individuals within environmental protest groups in the United States and given harsh prison sentences. The National Lawyers Guild recently sponsored the event “What is the Green Scare” – How the Government is Targeting Eco-Activists. Listen to the entire panel here.

We’ll hear from three attorneys, first Daniel Meyers, a New York City criminal defense attorney, practicing since 1967, Secondly, attorney Andrew Erba who specializes in State and Federal criminal defense and civil rights actions and lastly Lauren Regan, a public interest attorney specializing in environmental law, civil rights and criminal defense. Daniel Meyers describes how political activists are targeted through the use of federal conspiracy statutes. He explains that once a charge of conspiracy is accepted by the judge, here-say is admissible, making conspiracy “the easiest charge to prove in court.”

Andrew Erba, lead counsel for the SHAC 7 – The Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty Seven deepened the analysis with a discussion of the plight of defendants facing federal conspiracy charges such as accused drug dealers.

Lastly we hear an excerpt from Oregon attorney Lauren Regan, Regan is a public interest attorney specializing in environmental law, civil rights and criminal defense. During her talk, Regan illustrated the arbitrary nature of criminalizing dissent by listing numerous civil disobedience cases that were dismissed by judges as honorable actions.



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