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“We have a secret police, and no one is excited about it. We ought to all be terrified that there is a secret police in the United States and this is not on anyone’s radar.”
Since the passing of the Patriot Act, many things have changed in the U.S., and not necessarily for the better. On this edition, we take a look at Bush Administration policies that many contend undermine basic human rights and civil liberties. Has the War on Terror become a War on Freedom? How much should we give up for this war?
Michael Ratner, president, Center for Constitutional Rights; Joanne Mariner, director of counterterrorism, Human Rights Watch; Joshua Colangelo-Byran, attorney for Guantanamo Detainees from Bahrain; George Christian, executive director, The Library Connection, Inc.; Janet Nocek, executive committee, The Library Connection, Inc.; Deborah Caldwell-Stone, deputy director, American Library Association Office of Intellectual Freedom; Kevin O’Connor, U.S. attorney for Connecticut; Sharon Adams, National Lawyer’s Guild; Mark Schlosberg, ACLUNC; Ruth Robertson (Granny Ruth), Raging Grannies; Chris Bertelli, Office of Homeland Security; Nathan Beranken, Attorney General’s Office.
Senior Producer/Host: Tena Rubio
Contributing Producers: Martha Baskin, Melinda Tuhus, Joshua Emerson Smith.
Freelance Associate Producer: Emily Polk
Mixing Engineer: Phillip Babich
Intern: Alexis McCrimmon
For more information:
Center for Constitutional Rights – New York, NY
Human Rights Watch – New York, NY
The Library Connection, Inc. – Windsor, CT
American Library Association – Chicago, IL
National Lawers Guild (NLG) – San Francisco, CA
American Civil Liberties Union – New York, NY
National Lawyer’s Guild – Walnut Creek, CA
Reviews of this program on PRX (Public Radio Exchange):
Reviewer: David Swatling, Producer, Radio Netherlands
Another hard-hitting investigative program from the excellent series Making Contact. This one is as topical and timely as can be – especially in light of news this week about secret American flights in Europe. But it covers a broad spectrum of issues which surround the Patriot Act. With most of its speakers from organizations such as the Center for Constitutional Rights, Human Rights Watch, the ACLU and the American Library Association Office of Intellectual Freedom, the arguements may be somewhat one-sided – but the other side gets a lot more media attention in day-to-day news.
The first section takes on “enemy combatants” detained at Guantanamo and the “reinterpretation” of the Geneva Convention regarding the definition of torture. The second and strongest segment outlines a specific case in Connecticut involving government tracking of library records of computer use by private citizens. The last part deals with infiltrating peaceful war protests – including a brief appearance by one of the Raging Grannies whom I would’ve liked to have heard much more from than the more detatched “experts.”
There’s a lot of information but it’s well presented and important for people to hear. It could also set up actual discussion of the issues with your listeners after airing the piece.
Adjectives: Disturbing, Informational, Opinionated
Reviewer: Chris Chambers, documentary producer, Radio Netherlands
The issue of how one’s freedom is being eroded by governments reponse to the current geo-political scene is an essential debate. Today’s rushed laws to deal with the ‘terror’ threat are tomorrow’s ball and chain. And laws are a little like concrete, once laid down they’re tough to get rid off.
So, in that respect this programme is an important arm in that debate. So, you’d think this half an hour would be riveting. Well, I found it a little too indigestable. Too dry. Where’s the sound? This is radio not the editorial column of a national daily newspaper. If you’re making a big pumpkin pie don’t forget the seasoning. For re-broadcasting there would have to be some editing. Rumsfeld, praise
the Lord, is no longer Defence secretary. So, edit that bit with a big smile on your face.
Adjectives: Disturbing, Informational, Political