Communication Lockdown – Communication Management Units
The Justice department has quietly opened a new section of a prison that detains mostly Arab muslims with a strict lock down on communication to the outside world. The Communications Management Unit or CMU is located in Terre Haute, Indiana. All communication with the outside is strictly monitored at the medium-security facility.
In April of last year, the US Federal Bureau of Prisons, part of the Department of Justice, proposed a set of strict new regulations and, as required, there was a period of public comment. Human rights and civil liberties groups voiced strong concerns about the constitutionality of the proposed program.
The program originally proposed was said to be applicable only to terrorists and terrorist-related criminals. The American Civil Liberties Union, however, along with a coalition of other civil liberties groups, objected to the language of the regulation as too broad, and potentially applicable to non-terrorists and even to those not convicted of a crime but merely being held as “witnesses, detainees, or otherwise.”
Guest: Howard Kieffer, a defense lawyer and Executive Director of the Federal Defense Associates
Co-Host Dalia Hashad Speaks about the CMU at the Left Forum 2007
The panel was titled Bush and Company’s War on Civil Liberties and What It Means for Our Future. Here Dalia describes aspects of the communication lockdowns at the CMU. The CMU is a secretive new prison program segregating “high-security-risk” Muslim and Middle Eastern prisoners, tightly restricting communications with the outside world.
Newark Public School District Holds Graduation at Baptist Church – NJACLU Sues
The ACLU of NJ is suing the Newark public school district for holding graduation ceremonies in a Baptist church. One plaintiff in the case, he’s a Muslim student, says he’s not going to enter into the building because of the religious images. Forced to choose between entering the Baptist church or missing graduation, he missed his graduation. When the ACLU of NJ threatened to sue the Newark school district previously for this same issue, they promised to move the graduation ceremony. The New Jersey ACLU says the case is a living example of why the New Jersey Constitution makes it clear that the government should neither favor nor discriminate against religious practice.
Guest – Ed Barocas, Legal Director of the New Jersey ACLU and lead attorney on the case
Guest – Rob Boston, Assistant Director of Communications for Americans United for Separation of Church and State
Hi-Tech Surveillance, Eroding Civil Liberties and Dissent – Michael Steven Smith
We hear an excerpt from a speech delivered by co-host Michael Smith at the Left Forum 2007. The panel was titled, Bush and Company’s War on Civil Liberties and What It Means for Our Future. In his speech, Michael Smith describes the wider picture of how hi-tech surveillance together with eroding civil liberties and police spying has seriously affected dissent.