Law and Disorder Radio

Archives for March, 2007

Law and Disorder March 26, 2007

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Combatant Status Review Tribunals

Co-hosts Michael Ratner and Dalia Hashad discuss the legal efficacy of these tribunals for Guantanamo Bay detainees. From the Amnesty International USA site – “In the “war on terror”, detainees in US custody have been treated as potential sources of information first and criminal suspects a distant second. However, this secondary aspect is now coming into focus. Plucked from years of secret or virtually incommunicado detention, a few people held in the US Naval Base at Guant?namo Bay in Cuba are facing trial by military commission.”

Combatant Status Review Tribunals Proceedings:

  • Detainees do not receive the presumption of innocence.
  • Detainees do not get access to legal advice.
  • Detainees are not entitled to access to the evidence against them, or in their favor.
  • Hear-say evidence is allowed to be used against the detainees.
  • The use of evidence acquired through coercive interrogation is allowed, there is no protection against self-incrimination.
  • Evidence acquired through the torture of other suspects was allowed.

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Architect of Torture

Co-host Michael Ratner adds perspective to the real reasons US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales should resign immediately.


Law and Disorder sit down with authors Giuliana Sgrena and Anthony Arnove.

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It’s two years since U.S. forces gunned down Italian intelligence agent Nicola Calipari in Iraq, and recently Washington is refuses to hand over the U.S. soldier charged in the case to be tried in Italy. Calipari the number two man in the Italian military intelligence was killed while escorting Italian reporter Giuliana Sgrena after securing her release from a month-long abduction in Iraq.

Giuliana Sgrena has written about her experience in, “Friendly Fire: The Remarkable Story of a Journalist Kidnapped in Iraq.” As a veteran foreign correspondent for the Italian newspaper Il Manifesto she has reported frequently from Afghanistan and Iraq. Sgrena joins Michael Ratner and Michael Smith today on Law and Disorder. We are also joined by editor and author Anthony Arnove who recently wrote the new book Iraq: The Logic of Withdrawal.


Left Forum 2007 – CCR Executive Director Vince Warren

We play part of a speech by the Center for Constitutional Rights Executive Director Vince Warren. He spoke at the Left Forum earlier this month on the state of current state civil liberties in this country. The panel, moderated by our own Michael Steven Smith examined the long term implications of eroding civil liberties and the laws that have allowed a surveillance police state. We will hear more speakers from this years Left Forum in the weeks to come.

Law and Disorder March 19, 2007

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FBI Lies And Patriot Act Abuse

Angry lawmakers are considering setting limits on the Patriot Act after the inspector general of the Justice Department had found the FBI abusing an administrative subpoena called “national security letters.” The FBI used this subpoena to gather phone, bank and credit information on thousands of citizens without court oversight. They also made quote unusual contracts with 3 major phone companies to provide records without any legal process.

Guest – Lisa Graves, Deputy Director of the Center for National Security Studies.

“The Chief Judge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) informed Congress that the court has no objection to sharing with the Senate Judiciary Committee (SJC) the orders authorizing wiretapping of people in the US who have been subject to warrantless wiretapping by the administration. Attorney General Gonzales initially refused to share that information with the Committee, stating during a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee that he needed to consult with his “principal,” President Bush. On January 31, 2007, the Attorney General announced that certain documents held by the FISC, such ? including investigators’ applications for permission to spy and court orders ? would be given to “some” lawmakers, such as Senator Patrick Leahy and Senator Arlen Specter, but not all Senators of the SJC or other concerned Members.” – – – Center for National Security Studies.



Australian Guantanamo Bay Detainee David Hicks Update

David Hicks was the Center for Constitutional Rights’ first client and in the first group of detainees taken to Guant?namo. He is Australian and is now the first person charged before the reconstituted Military Commissions Act. He was charged earlier but those commissions were held illegal by the Supreme Court in the Hamdan case. He has been charged with one count of material aid to terrorism, which is not usually viewed as a war crime. To the extent any crimes are triable by military commissions they must be war crimes. Unlike the UK, the Australia government has willingly gone along with this trial and has not insisted on Hicks’ return.

Guest – Josh Dratel, civilian attorney for David Hicks.


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ACLU Sues Department of Homeland Security For Detaining Children in Prison-Like Conditions.

The Department of Homeland Security and the T. Don Hutto Immigration Detention Facility is facing a federal lawsuit filed by the The American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of children confined at the facility in Tyler, Texas. The ACLU claims adults and children at the center, which used to be a prison, live in jail-like conditions and that the children are not given adequate schooling or medical care.
Read more

Guest – Lisa Graybill, legal director for the ACLU of Texas.



Guantanamo Bay Lawyers Attacked and Misquoted.

Newspapers run op eds that heavily criticized lawyers representing Guantanamo detainees. Criticism such as they’re quote “keeping the US military from doing its job and repatriating detainees back into action fighting the United States.

Guest – Scott Horton, Chair of International Law Committee at the New York City Bar Association and adjunct Professor of Law at Columbia University

Law and Disorder March 12, 2007

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Conscientious Objection and Habeas Corpus

Here on Law and Disorder we’ve covered war resistors such as Lt Watada and Jonathan Hutto. Today we look at the case of Augustin Aguayo. A combat medic in the US Army who had filed for conscientious objector status in February 2004 before being deployed to Iraq. Combat Medics are in high demand in Iraq. After filing for conscientious objector. status the Army told Aguayo, quote – ” You didn’t prove your case.”

We talk with attorney Peter Goldberger who filed the Habeas Corpus petition for Augustin Aguayo. He explains why it is increasingly difficult for Conscientious objectors to be honorably discharged from the military. We also hear from Augustin’s wife Helga and their twin 11 year old daughters in a recent speech. They have the support of a number of anti-war groups including anti-war organizations, including Courage to Resist, Military Families Speak Out and Military Counseling Network of Germany.


UPDATE – Agustín Aguayo, was convicted of desertion and missing movement March 6, 2007 in a U.S. military court in Germany. Although faced with a maximum of seven years in prison, Agustín was sentenced to eight months in the brig for following his conscience and refusing to participate in war.

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Canada Rejects Indefinite Detentions

Last month, Canada’s highest court rejected a detention measure called the security certificate system, that would allow Canadian authorities to detain foreign-born terrorism suspects indefinitely without charges while their deportation is being reviewed. Canadian Chief Justice Beverly McLaclin wrote quote – “The overarching principle of fundamental justice that applies here is this: before the state can detain people for significant periods of time, it must accord them a fair judicial process.” This decision strikes a powerful contrast to the Military Commissions Act passed last year in this country, basically stripping federal courts of authority to hear challenges through petitions for writs of habeas corpus.

Amnesty International Canada has long campaigned against the detention measure, and we are pleased to welcome Alex Neve – Secretary General of Amnesty International Canada.


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Left Forum 2007

Cornel West, Professor of Religion and African-American Studies at Princeton University from this weekend’s Left Forum opening plenary. Entitled Forging A Radical Political Future.

Law and Disorder March 5, 2007


Illusions of Security: Global Surveillance and Democracy in the Post-9/11 World

Here on Law and Disorder we’ve covered in depth the scope of surveillance bearing down on the lives of people in a post 9/11 society. From intrusive RFID technology to phone companies and airlines handing over private consumer data to the FBI.

Guest – Maureen Webb, Canadian human rights lawyer and author of “Illusions of Security: Global Surveillance and Democracy in the Post-9/11 World” Webb examines how governments worldwide follow the lead of the Bush administration in using quote terrorism as an excuse for public surveillance and information gathering.

“Webb focuses her criticism on the governments of Canada and the United States, but persuasively documents international cooperation on illegal, or at least immoral, high-tech information gathering. Webb devotes substantial space to the National Security Agency of the U.S and its monitoring of international telephone traffic despite apparent lawlessness and ethical violations. Webb also writes in detail about how governments, following the lead of the Bush administration, use “terrorism” as an excuse to “serve agendas that go far beyond security from terrorism–namely the suppression of dissent, harsh immigration and refugee policies, increased law enforcement power.”


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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.”


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