Law and Disorder Radio – Michael Ratner on Jeremy Hammond, Bradley Manning and Julian Assange – Stop and Frisk Lawsuit Closing Arguments – Ray McGovern on Doubting Obama’s Resolve to Do Right – Hosts: Heidi Boghosian, Michael Steven Smith & Michael Ratner – Produced by Geoff Brady

Law and Disorder Radio

A Phone Call to Save Lynne Stewart’s Life:

Attorney General Eric Holder – 1 202 514 2001

White House President Obama – 1 202 456 1414

Federal Bureau of Prisons – Director Charles Samuels – 1 202 307 3198 ext 3






 Jeremy Hammond, Bradley Manning and Julian Assange: Michael Ratner

Michael Ratner discusses attending Jeremy Hammond’s guilty plea in open court last month, Bradley Manning’s trial that starts June 3, 2013 at Fort Meade, and how a Fox News reporter feels the same chilling effect of free speech by having his investigative work under suspicion as a co-conspirator or aiding and abetting.

From Jeremy Hammond’s statement released on Tuesday: “Now that I have pleaded guilty it is a relief to be able to say that I did work with Anonymous to hack Stratfor, among other websites…. Those others included military and police equipment suppliers, private intelligence and information security firms, and law enforcement agencies. I did this because I believe people have a right to know what governments and corporations are doing behind closed doors. I did what I believe is right.”

Jeremy Hammond pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to access a protected computer.

It’s under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

Jeremy Hammond was facing 32 years to life. He could be sentenced to up to 10 years.

Interestingly, Wikileaks doesn’t appear in what he pleaded to. He or the group uploaded some 5 million emails.

One of the emails is about a sealed indictment on my and CCR’s client Julian Assange.

Julian Assange: Jeremy is a political activist and whistle-blowing is one of the means he uses for political activism.

Bradley Manning pleaded guilty to 20 years in prison already. The key crime they’re trying to get Bradley for is aiding the enemy.

The government is sledgehammering any criticism from a military person.

Petition for Jeremy Hammond

Guest – Law and Disorder Co-host Michael Ratner, President Emeritus of the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and president of the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR), based in Berlin. Ratner and CCR are currently the attorneys in the United States for publishers Julian Assange and Wikileaks. He was co-counsel in representing Guantanamo Bay detainees in the United States Supreme Court, where, in June 2004, the court decided his clients have the right to test the legality of their detentions in court. Ratner is also a past president of the National Lawyers Guild (NLG) and the author of numerous books and articles, including the books The Trial of Donald Rumsfeld: A Prosecution by BookAgainst War with Iraq and Guantanamo: What the World Should Know, as well as a textbook on international human rights.


Stop and Frisk Lawsuit Closing Arguments

Closing arguments were heard on both sides last week on the Stop and Frisk case known as Floyd v. City of New York. This is a class-action lawsuit challenging the NYPD’s unconstitutional stop-and-frisk policy. The case charges the NYPD with a policy and practice of unreasonable, suspicion-less and racially discriminatory stops in violation of the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures and the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause barring racial discrimination.

Stop and Frisk has increased over 600 percent in New York City in recent years. In 2009, a record 576,394 people were stopped, 84 percent of whom were Black and Latino residents — although they comprise only about 26 percent and 27 percent of New York City’s total population respectively. Ten years of raw data obtained by court order from the New York City Police Department (NYPD) showed that stop-and-frisks result in a minimal yield of weapons and contraband.




Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) Senior Staff Attorney Darius Charney:

  • The closing was really interesting because the judge asked a lot of questions of both sides.
  • It was more like an oral argument as you would do in an Appeals Court.
  • This was a bench trial, there was a judge but no jury.
  • Because of that the judge herself took the role of asking a lot of questions of witnesses.
  • The police department’s claiming this is really a problem created by a bunch of left-wing lawyers and the media.
  • Our class action covers over 4.5 million recorded stops by the police department over the course of 8 years, but the actual number of stops is probably higher. For about 90 percent of that 4.5 million, there is no discovery of criminal activity – 90 percent are released and not given a ticket.
  • The police department claims the focus of this program is to get illegal guns off the street. About .13 percent results in the recovery of a gun.
  • You actually find a gun one or two times out of a thousand.
  • Reasonable, articulatable suspicion is something the Supreme Court set out about 45 years ago – Terry v. Ohio.
  • The NYPD were very frank about it and sincere when they said, “look, most reported crime is a Black or Latino suspect.”
  • If you’re talking about individualized suspicion, just because someone happens to be the same race as crime suspect doesn’t make them suspicious.
  • The two most common reasons these police officers are checking off on the forms for why they stop people is “furtive movements” and “high crime area.”
  • They’ll try to muddy the waters by trying to mischaracterize what it is we’re actually complaining about. “How can you criticize us for sending more police officers to high crime neighborhoods?”
  • What we’re complaining about is how officers behave there and how they treat the people who live there.
  • Opening statements: It’s difficult to try to synthesize that much evidence into an hour and a half.
  • This fight really goes back 14-15 years to the late ’90s and what happened after the murder of Amadou Diallo.
  • The first lawsuit that they did, the Daniels case, came about because of the work of grassroots organizations.
  • Communities United for Police Reform
  • We anticipate by July we will know what the judge will decide.
  • We learned the lesson that if you leave it up to the police department and this mayoral administration to change things on their own, they’re not going to do it, because they think what they’re doing is right.

Guest – Attorney Darius Charney, senior staff attorney in the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR)’s Racial Justice/Government Misconduct Docket. He is currently the lead counsel on Floyd v. City of New York, a federal civil rights class action lawsuit challenging the New York Police Department’s unconstitutional and racially discriminatory stop-and-frisk practices, and Vulcan Society Inc. v. the City of New York, a Title VII class action lawsuit on behalf of African-American applicants to the New York City Fire Department, which challenges the racially discriminatory hiring practices of the FDNY.

 Doubting Obama’s Resolve to Do Right: Ray McGovern

We continue our discussion on killing people using drone warfare with returning guest Ray McGovern. When President Obama delivered a major speech on counterterrorism, he announced a shift in his administration’s use of drones. The Obama administration has conducted hundreds of drone strikes in several countries, killing civilians and at least four US citizens. Critics point out that as the Obama administration assassinates its suspects, it also avoids the legal complications of detention. The London-based Bureau for Investigative Journalism estimates that about 830 civilians, including women and children, may have been killed by drone attacks in Pakistan, 138 in Yemen, and 57 in Somalia.

Former CIA Analyst Ray McGovern:

Obama’s speech was a masterpiece of oratory and rhetoric, but it was deceptive through and through.

Those of us who had been watching this know he lied through his teeth on many occasions.

He has the power as we all know to release 86 prisoners at Guantanamo in the next hour.

Why would he do all that? Why would he be afraid to take the drones away from the CIA?

Well, I’ve come to the conclusion that he’s afraid. He’s afraid of what happened Martin Luther King Jr.

At a small dinner with progressive supporters – after these progressive supporters were banging on Obama before the election . . . “Why don’t you do the things we thought you stood for?” Obama turned sharply and said, “Don’t you remember what happened to Martin Luther King Jr.?”

I’m convinced the President of the United States is afraid of the CIA.

Does he have any reason to fear the CIA? Well, he sure as heck does. For those of your listeners who have not read James Douglass’s JFK and the Unspeakable, you need to read that, because it’s coming up on 50 years.

John Kennedy signed 2 executive orders just a month or so before he was killed. One of them said we’re pulling out 1,000 troops from South Vietnam. The other said we’re pulling out the bulk of the troops by 1965; we’re finished in Vietnam.

I think he’s just afraid and he shouldn’t have run for president if he was going to be this much of a wuss.

My father was professor of law at Fordham University for about 35 years. My daughter, my brother, they’re all lawyers. I have this notion that when someone comes in after building a record against torture and kidnapping, and black sites, and they come in and say we think this is bad but nobody should be prosecuted for it, it’s not a dichotomy here; it’s deliberate duplicity with a rhetorical flourish.

Guest – Raymond L. McGovern, retired CIA officer turned political activist. McGovern was a federal employee under seven U.S. presidents in the past 27 years. Ray’s opinion pieces have appeared in many leading newspapers here and abroad. He has debated at the Oxford Forum and appeared on Charlie Rose, The News Hour, CNN, and numerous other TV and radio programs and documentaries. Ray has lectured to a wide variety of audiences here and abroad. Ray studied theology and philosophy (as well as his major, Russian) at Fordham University, from which he holds two degrees. He also holds a Certificate in Theological Studies from Georgetown University. A Catholic, Mr. McGovern has been worshipping for over a decade with the ecumenical Church of the Savior and teaching at its Servant Leadership School. He was co-director of the school from 1998 to 2004. Ray came from his native New York to Washington in the early ’60s as an Army infantry/intelligence officer and then served as a CIA analyst from the administration of John F. Kennedy to that of George H. W. Bush. Ray’s duties included chairing National Intelligence Estimates and preparing the President’s Daily Brief, which he briefed one-on-one to President Ronald Reagan’s most senior national security advisers from 1981 to 1985.

Law and Disorder March 15, 2010

JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters by Jim Douglass

Jim Douglass:

  • John F. Kennedy’s experience in WWII: He was in the South Pacific, he volunteered. He was on that PT boat.
  • What happened on that PT boat, is that it got split into two by a Japanese destroyer. He lost brothers and friends at that time. An extraordinary experience being adrift on the ocean warning other PT boats. The experience create a distrust in military authority.
  • He said that he wanted to splinter the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter to the winds.
  • As Kennedy said to his friends, “they figured me all wrong.”
  • The Unspeakable: the kind of evil and deceit that seems to go beyond the capacity of words to describe. The midst of war and nuclear arms race, the assassinations of Kennedy, Martin Luther King and Malcom X that the term was used.
  • JFK’s vision is articulated in the address June 10, 1963, arising from the turnaround of the missile crisis and Bay of Pigs.
  • He wanted to move step by step into a disarmed world. Nikita Khrushchev put that speech all over the Soviet Union. The Cuban Missile Crisis is a deeply misunderstood part of our history, because it’s usually portrayed as Kennedy going to war with Nikita Khrushchev and beating him.
  • The truth was that Kennedy and Nikita Khrushchev were in over their heads; the US generals wanted nuclear war, because they had more warheads than the Soviets.
  • Nikita Khrushchev: We now have a common enemy from those pushing us toward war.
  • At that point the Cold War turned upside down because Kennedy and Khruschev became closer to each other than either was toward their own military power system.
  • Vietnam: Kennedy’s military people would not give him an exit policy. He signed the withdrawal order from Vietnam before he was assassinated.
  • His friends said that he had an obsession with death. It was not an obsession but a real assessment that he was going to die. If you try to turn around a national security state that is dominating the world, and you do so as president of the United States, of course you’re going to die. Kennedy knew that.
  • The book is a story on the deliberate destruction of hope, the vision of change, a turning of this country all of which was happening and had to be stopped. US Agencies killed Dr. Martin Luther King – 1999 Verdict
  • We’re in the same scene right now with Petraeus and McChrystal setting up Obama. They were dictating terms to Obama, unlike Kennedy, he did not face them down.
  • We need to get out ahead of Obama so that he can do something.

Guest – author James W. Douglass. He’s a longtime peace activist and writer. James and his wife Shelley are co-founders of the Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action in Poulsbo, Washington, and Mary’s House, a Catholic Worker house of hospitality in Birmingham, Alabama.