Michael Ratner: This Year Marks Three Years of Julian Assange in the Ecuadorian Embassy
Michael Ratner: Assange is in Embassy Pending Extradition to Sweden Regarding Allegations. No Charges. It’s Essentially Indefinite Detention.
Michael Ratner: Wikileaks Posts the BND Transcripts (Germany Holding Inquiry into NSA Spying) and Searchable Database of Sony Hacked Emails
Michael Ratner: Julian Assange Has Strong Proportionality Argument that Could Dismiss Allegations from Sweden
Michael Ratner: The British Have Said if Julian Leaves the Embassy He Will Be Arrested
- Michael Ratner: CIA’s Jeffrey Sterling Sentenced to 42 Months for Leaking to New York Times Journalist
May 8, 1945 – End of World War II
Our own Michael Ratner has been in Europe, specifically in Berlin in his capacity as the President of the European Center for Constitutional Human Rights (ECCHR). May 8 is an important day in Europe, because it’s the day the Nazis were defeated 70 years ago. Michael Ratner was at a celebration during this historic event. We also hear part of a famous poem titled September 1, 1939. That’s the day the Nazis invaded Poland. It’s the day that WWII started. The Nazis had vowed they were going to destroy Poland and destroy Russia. They threw everything they had into it. 150 divisions moving east toward Russia. W.H. Auden, the great poet, was sitting in bar on 52nd Street and he reflected on that historic day.
Today we can say with some surety that members of the torture team including Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, the lawyers and scores if not hundreds of CIA agents are unwilling and afraid to go to the European Union and countries in Europe. Why? Because they’re are afraid they’ll be subpoenaed and arrested or otherwise forced to testify about what they did when they were part of the torture team. That result is in a large part due to an organization in Europe called the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR). It, along with the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and others have brought numerous cases throughout Europe to make sure the torture team will be indicted and certainly at a minimum, some 12 years later, that they can’t travel to Europe. The ECCHR does other work as well. It litigates and brings cases against corporations involved in labor abuses throughout the world, particularly in Pakistan and Bangladesh where sweatshops have killed hundreds of workers.
Guest – Attorney Wolfgang Kaleck founded the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) together with other internationally renowned lawyers in Berlin in 2007. ECCHR is an independent organization that works with lawyers and groups around the world to take legal proceedings against state and non-state actors for their roles in crimes against international law. ECCHR also uses legal instruments to combat inhumane working conditions and other issues in the area of business and human rights. Wolfgang Kaleck has served as General Secretary of the organization since its foundation. Kaleck previously worked as a criminal law attorney at law firm Hummel.Kaleck.Rechtsanwälte, which he co-founded in 1991. Since 1998 he has been an advocate for the Koalition gegen Straflosigkeit (Coalition Against Impunity) which fights to hold Argentinian military officials accountable for the murder and disappearance of German citizens during the Argentinian dictatorship. Between 2004 and 2008 he worked with the New York Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) to pursue criminal proceedings against members of the US military, including former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.