Law and Disorder Radio

Archives for January, 2007

Law and Disorder January 29, 2007

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“Servants of Wealth: The Right’s Assault on Economic Justice

“Freedom and democracy” are two words we’ve been hearing from the right wing in this country for 25 years. In their quest to shore up support for the politics of wealth and privilege, the Right has organized patiently and consistently by focusing on a core ideology to amass a formidable base. The Right’s commentary on world affairs, morality, the state, and the economy, though, has had an overarching focus, namely to eliminate social equality as a legitimate public policy goal. Its success has resulted in one of the most dramatic, undemocratic, and insidious transfers of wealth and power in recent American history.


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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Left Turn: Forging a New Political Future. by Stanley Aronowitz

America is in the midst of a crisis of democracy as we literally descend into an authoritarian state. On Law and Disorder we’ve seen firsthand the casualties of this crisis, from the growing militarization that pervades our lives to a dominant fundamentalism that cuts short critical thinking. Renowned social critic Stanley Aronowitz presents an alternative platform for our future in his recent book, “Left Turn: Forging a New Political Future. As we start the New Year, we can borrow from the historical traditions of the European left, as well as the more recent trends in Latin America that are challenging, head on, the death of socialism.


Guest – Stanley Aronowitz is professor of sociology, cultural studies, and urban education at the CUNY Graduate Center. He is also a veteran political activist and cultural critic and a passionate champion of organized labor. In addition to authoring numerous books, he is a founding editor of Social Text, a journal that is subtitled “Theory, Culture, Ideology.”

Law and Disorder January 22, 2007

Resisting War

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Civil War, Occupation, and Resistance: The Case for Immediate Withdrawal from Iraq

Anti-war activists and students crammed into a small fifth floor abandoned office to confront and discuss the recent escalation of troops and funding of Iraq War. Mostly standing, they listened to author Anthony Arnove speak. He is the author of Iraq:The Logic of Withdrawal recently published in paperback why continuing the occupation is a wildly unrealistic and reckless strategy that makes the world a more dangerous place.
His talk was followed by Michael Schwartz, professor of Sociology at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. In his talk Schwartz says the United States is fomenting the sectarian violence in Iraq. Both authors emphasize the need for citizens and soldiers to organize against the Iraq war, a strategy to deplete the human resources needed to sustain war.

“The underlying trend is clear: each day the occupation continues, life gets worse for most Iraqis. Rather than stemming civil war or sectarian conflict, the occupation is spurring it. Rather than being a source of stability, the occupation is the major source of instability and chaos.” – Anthony Arnove.

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On January 16th, a Fort Lewis military court ruled that Lieutenant Ehren Watada cannot present defense arguments relating to the legality of the Iraq War. The effect of this ruling is that the court martial proceedings scheduled for February 5th will be a mere formality, and Lt. Watada still faces up to six years in prison for his courageous stand against the Iraq War. Lieutenant Ehren Watada is the first commissioned officer to publicly refuse to deploy to what many believe a historic illegal war in Iraq. He is a First Lieutenant in the United States Army, a member of the 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division Stryker Brigade Combat Team, who in June 2006 publicly refused to deploy to Iraq, saying that he believed the war to be illegal and that it would make him party to war crimes. Watada is charged with one count of missing troop movement and two counts of speaking contemptuously of the president. The contempt charges were dropped in November. Meanwhile, a US military prosecutor is seeking testimony from Truthout reporters to prove that Watada engaged in conduct unbecoming an officer, directly related to disparaging statements the Army claims Watada made about the legality of the Iraq War during interviews with Truthout.

Law and Disorder caught up with Carolyn Ho, mother of Lt. Ehren Watada at the Church Center for the United Nations. She spoke out against her son’s upcoming court martial for refusing deployment to Iraq. Lt. Watada is quoted as saying – “As a commissioned officer of the U.S. Armed Forces my legal and moral obligation is to the constitution – not to those who would issue unlawful orders. It is my duty to refuse to fight this illegal war.”

Professor Louie and Fast Eddie deliver another powerful spoken word performance called Be All You Can Be. These Brooklyn natives poets/musicians weave stream of consciousness style prose with conga. They performed live in the studio at WBAI. To order CDs by Professor Louie and Fast Eddie – call Free Brooklyn Now at 718-768-8728

Law and Disorder January 15, 2007

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Designer Taser

Taser International Unveils Newest Civilian Stun Device- Amnesty International USA Renews Call for Independent Safety ReviewUpdate from Co-host Dalia Hashad


New York Campaign for Telephone Justice- CCR victory

Families in New York with a loved one in prison won a long-awaited victory on January 8, 2007 when Governor Spitzer committed to end the burdensome, back door tax on collect calls to inmates’ families.

Since 1996, families of inmates have had no choice but to pay phone rates 630% the normal consumer rates to speak with their loved ones. And for the past 11 years, New York State has been collecting nearly 60 percent of the profits of these charges, $16 million in 2005. Family members have complained that the exorbitant phone rates forced them to choose between maintaining their relationship with a loved one and putting food on the table.

Governor Spitzer declared that instead of raising funds via a backdoor tax imposed on the family members of inmates, the state will pay for mandated services in prisons using the State’s General Fund. Families should begin realizing savings in early April, when the General Fund will assume costs for these mandates services, including health care and family-based programs.

Guest – Annette Dickerson – coordinator for the NY Campaign for Telephone Justice on behalf of the Center for Constitutional Rights

Guest – Rachel Meeropol – CCR staff attorney also working on the case.


Egyptian cleric kidnapped off the streets of Italy by the CIA. An Italian judge has indicted more than 20 CIA agents on the kidnapping and rendering of Egyptian cleric. Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr, also known as Abu Omar, set down on paper his version of his abduction in Italy and imprisonment in Egypt. The 6,300-word letter, written in Arabic script and smuggled out of Egypt’s Torah Prison by a visitor, is now in the hands of Italian prosecutors, who say they plan to offer it to the court as his testimony in absentia. Read letter here.

Guest – Jumana Musa – Amnesty International USA Advocacy Director for Human Rights and International Justice

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Judge Awad Hamed al-Bandar

Last Wednesday Iraqi President Jalal Talabani said that the government should delay the execution of Saddam Hussein’s half brother and former intelligence chief, Barzan Ibrahim, and Judge Awad Hamed al-Bandar, former head of Iraq’s Revolutionary Court. Both were sentenced to death with Saddam. Talabani said the delay would allow the government to quote ‘examine the situation,’ without further elaborating. The two were found guilty, along with the former Iraqi leader, of involvement in killing 148 Shiite Muslims after a 1982 assassination attempt on the former leader in the northern town of Dujail. Ibrahim and al-Bandar were originally scheduled to be executed with Saddam on Dec. 30. Their executions were postponed, however, until after the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, which ended a week ago.
Lawyers from the Partnership for Civil Justice, working with former Attorney General and attorney for Saddam Hussein, Ramsey Clark have been working feverishly since late December to halt the execution.

Guest – attorney Mara Verheyden-Hilliard with the Partnership for Civil Justice to Law and Disorder.

Law and Disorder January 8, 2007


Guantanamo – Five Years


January 11th marks five years of detainment for the more than 400 people at Guantanamo. For the full hour, Law and Disorder co-host and President of the Center for Constitutional Rights, Michael Ratner takes listeners through the history and chronology of the US involvement at the Guantanamo Bay detainment camp. Michael Ratner begins with the US acquiring the 4500 square mile base near a harbor at the southeastern end of Cuba.


Guantanamo – A Law Free Zone – Haitian Camps – Read more

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In the last quarter of the 20th century, the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base was used to house Cuban and Haitian refugees. In the early 1990s, it held refugees who fled Haiti after military forces overthrew democratically elected President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. These refugees were held in a detainment area called Camp Bulkeley until United States District Court

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Storming The Court – We hear a clip from an interview with attorney and author Brandt Goldstein. Before Guantanamo Bay, Cuba became notorious for its human rights violations against Muslims, it was the holding center for thousands of HIV-positive Haitian refugees. More than ten years ago a team of Yale law students and activists took up this cause. They worked victoriously to stop the US government from detaining these refugees indefinitely at Guant?namo, without charges or access to counsel.

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David Hicks – Australian prisoner held at Guant?namo Bay, Cuba. He’s been detained for more than five years as an “unlawful combatant” and thus, it was claimed, outside the normal protections of U.S. law and those provisions of the Geneva Conventions which are specific to soldiers of an official military organization. His trial before a U.S. military commission was due to begin in November 2005. However, proceedings were cancelled following the Supreme Court Hamdan v. Rumsfeld ruling invalidating the constitutionality of the commission process.

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Bounty Hunter – U.S. PSYOPS distributed flyers and leaflets

How did prisoners get to Guantanamo?

Many Guantanamo prisoners were rounded up by bounty hunters and sold to the U.S. It’s unknown how many were victims of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. In the days during and following the Afghan invasion, the U.S. military blanketed parts of Afghanistan and Pakistan with flyers encouraging people to turn in suspects, in return for large sums of money. “Get wealth and power beyond your dreams,” read one flyer. “You can receive millions of dollars helping the anti-Taliban forces catch al-Qaeda and Taliban murderers.”

See more PSYOPS leaflets/flyers here


How other prisoners arrived at GTMO

Uiger Muslims Transferred From Guantanamo To Albania – Recently, the Uiger Muslims were quietly sent to Albania to a larger compound. It was explained to Law and Disorder that in Albania, the Uigers can move about freely within the compound and cannot leave. We play a clip from the January 2006 interview with attorney Sabin Willet.

We play a clip from a Law and Disorder interview with Tausif Paracha. His Uncle, Saifullah Paracha, 58 was “kidnapped” and is detained in Guantanamo and Tausif’s cousin Uzair Paracha, 24 is detained in one of New York’s worst prisons. You can read more about this case at

Mark P. Denbeaux – Seton Hall Report – One of most comprehensive reports of who is at Guantanamo.


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Describe Guantanamo Bay, Cuba

Gita Guitierezz – attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights defending Guantanamo Bay detainees gives listeners a first hand description of the camp.



Co-host Michael Ratner describes his experience of first learning that the US military was involved with torturing detainees. Torture, including waterboarding and sleep deprivation.

Tipton Three is the name given to three young men from Tipton, United Kingdom, who were held in extrajudicial detention for 2 years in Guant?namo Bay detainment camps

Evidence of Torture – Gita Guitierezz – in an interview last November we listen to a clip where Gita describes how her client Mohamed Mani Ahmad al-Kahtani. was sleep deprived and tortured.

Torture and Waterboarding; ancient practice – Henri Alleg, Author of The Question – We listen to a clip of Henri Alleg describing waterboarding. He was revived then brought to the brink of death, then revived again. An similar brutality and sadism often described by prisoners in Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib. Hosts Michael Ratner and Michael Steven Smith interview Henri Alleg a French journalist living in Paris. He supported Algerian independence during the French Algerian War (1954-1962). He was arrested by French paratroppers during the Battle of Algiers in June 1957 and interrogated.

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Fighting back in the Courts, Congress and in the Streets

The effort to get Guantanamo closed down and to get prisoners the rights they’re entitled under International Law and the Constitution. It’s a difficult fight explains co-host Michael Ratner but the opposition is growing.

We hear clips from a demonstration against the Guantanamo Prison Camp in Herald Square and also from Amnesty International’s anti-torture rally in Portland, Oregon, recorded from interviews by co-host Dalia Hashad. Amnesty International staff members and activists who gathered to speak out, listen and share their stories.


Take Action Now Fight Back – Thursday January 11, 2007

Witness Against Torture Fight Back – January 11, 2007 Thursday: The 5 year anniversary of the first prisoners being brought to Guant?namo. March, Press Conference and Nonviolent Direct Action in Washington, DC. Endorsed by Center for Constitutional Rights, CodePink, Network of Spiritual Progressives, Pax Christi USA, School of Americas Watch, United for Peace and Justice and other groups such as FIDH and Reprieve.



















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