Law and Disorder Radio – Conference on the Prosecution of President Bush – New Guidelines Would Give FBI Broader Powers – Hosts: Dalia Hashad, Heidi Boghosian, Michael Steven Smith & Michael Ratner – Produced by Geoff Brady

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The Prosecution of President Bush and Other Administration Officials for War Crimes

This month, Larry Velvel, dean and co-founder of Massachusetts School of Law at Andover will hold a conference to plan the prosecution of President Bush and other administration officials for war crimes. The conference will take on the issues of both domestic and international crimes committed by high level Bush officials, including Federal judges and members of Congress. A coordinating committee of legal groups will also be created, among the legal groups are the Center for Constitutional Rights, ACLU, National Lawyers Guild.

“This is not intended to be a mere discussion of violations of law that have occurred,” says convener Lawrence Velvel, dean and cofounder of the school. “It is, rather, intended to be a planning conference at which plans will be laid and necessary organizational structures set up, to pursue the guilty as long as necessary and, if need be, to the ends of the Earth.” related article

Velvel Interview Notes:

  • Conference will be held in undisclosed location for the time being.
  • Until people have the fear they will be brought to book if they violate the law in a very serious ways that cause tens of thousands of deaths, what will stop them from doing it in the future?
  • Unless there is something to look back on, like the Germans and the Japanese apparently know, don’t do it again because people swung.
  • Who’s to say it won’t happen 20 or 30 years in the future again.

Guest – Lawrence R. Velvel, Dean of Massachusetts School of Law and a professor of law. Mr. Velvel is a 1960 graduate of the University of Michigan and a 1963 graduate of the University of Michigan Law School, where he served on the law review and was elected to the Order of the Coif. He was a law professor from 1966-1978, first at the University of Kansas and then at Catholic University. He has been a partner in major law firms in Washington, D.C., and was the first chief counsel of an organization established to write United States Supreme Court briefs in support of state and local governments.

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New Guidelines Would Give F.B.I. Broader Powers

A Justice Department proposal which could be made public in a month has given the government even broader license to open terrorism investigations, without any evidence of wrongdoing, relying instead on racial or ethnic profiling. Currently, FBI agents need specific reasons, such as evidence or allegations that a law probably has been violated, to investigate US citizens and legal residents. Last month, The Council on American Islamic Relations decried the forthcoming plan as “unconstitutional and un-American.”

This proposal is among other aggressive plans the Bush administration has put in place such as new wiretapping regulations and authorizing greater sharing of intelligence information with the local police. The Director of National Intelligence has set up the Information Sharing Environment where certain police authorities will have access to information produced by the FBI, by the intelligence community and also by police departments around the country.
It is “one stop shopping” for all these different police agencies and even private companies to have access to this highly speculative, accusatory, fragmented and often erroneous information.

Intelligence Fusion Centers are a real problem, particularly since there’s very little oversight of these centers and there’s no way to correct these watch files. This is a main problem with the closed system, where no one has an opportunity to go in and say “you got this piece wrong.”

Related Article: Colorado ‘fusion center’ to step up intelligence gathering during DNC

Mike German Quotes:

  • Giving the FBI more authority to collect more information isn’t helping the FBI be more effective.
  • Gathering information about innocent people won’t help find guilty people.
  • There is no terrorism profile, people are drawn to terrorism for all sorts of reasons.
  • Terrorism watch list: 1 million individual records – clearly nobody believes there’s a million terrorists out there.
  • The FBI don’t know to this day, how many national security letters they’ve issued.

Guest – Mike German, attorney with the ACLU and former FBI agent. Mike German is a recognized expert in terrorist group behavior, counter-terrorist operations, and right-wing extremism. He has appeared on Dateline NBC, Paula Zahn Now, CNN, and MSNBC and his commentary has been published in the National Law Journal and the Washington Post. Mike served for sixteen years as a Special Agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and is one of the few agents credited with actually having prevented acts of terrorism before it became the FBI’s number one priority.