We bring the voices of lawyers who are suing the government for keeping state secrets. What is a state secrets privilege and why should we be concerned? State secrets have been used by the Bush administration to dismiss public interest lawsuits, such as when in April of this year the Electronic Frontier Foundation challenged the legality of the NSA’s domestic spying program or the wrongfully-accused and tortured victim Maher Arar who sought to sue Attorney General John Ashcroft for his role in deporting him to Syria to face torture and extract false confessions.
Most recent, the Justice Department moved to preempt the Center for Constitutional Rights challenge to warrantless domestic surveillance by invoking the state secrets privilege. The Bush Administration is arguing that CCR’s case could reveal secrets regarding U.S. national security, and thus the presiding judge must dismiss it without reviewing the evidence. We go now and listen to a segment of the State Secrets panel.
We play excerpts from a speech by Bill Goodman, legal director with the Center for Constitutional Rights where he’s led a team of attorneys challenging the worst excesses of the Bush administration since 9/11 and representing Guantanamo detainees before the Supreme Court. Bill Goodman was one of the first to take on the Patriot act and having a portion of it ruled unconstitutional. He also sued against private military contractors at Abu Ghraib.
We also hear from Center for Constitutional Rights staff attorney Shayana Kadidal. He breaks down the history of the state secrets privilege and how the Bush administration is using it. Shane has worked on a number of cases since September 11th, including working on two cases of citizens detained as enemy combatants and a case on behalf of a class of hundreds of immigrants held in detention long after their final deportation. He’s also counsel on CCRs pending challenge to the NSA’s warrantless surveillance program in CCR versus Bush.
Amnesty International’s General Meeting – Audio Collage
During this year’s Amnesty International’s General Meeting in Portland, Oregon, Law and Disorder co-host Dalia Hashad and producer Geoff Brady collected audio from various interviews, panels and rallies being held at the 2006 General Meeting.
In this recording many Amnesty International staff members and activists gathered to speak out, listen and share their stories. This is an audio compilation from the anti-torture rally in Portland’s historic Pioneer Square mixed and produced by Geoff Brady.
Attorney Paul L. Mills on Tasers – Part III
In our last interview from the Law and Disorder Taser series, co-host Dalia Hashad talked with Paul L. Mills, attorney and co-director with L.A. Police Watch about how police misuse the Taser weapon, the case of a 33 year old man who while being handcuffed was stunned by police with a Taser and later died and the future of Taser include wireless implants into human beings.
Lynne Stewart – Part 2
Law and Disorder recently sat down with convicted civil rights attorney Lynne Stewart to talk about her health, her approaching sentencing this September and the details leading up to her indictment and conviction. We play the second part of that interview.