BTS 9/18/06: Habeas Corpus Over?; Medical Complicity in Torture; Ford Motors and American Decline

Listen: Michael Ratner - Steven Miles - Jerry Tucker

First, a tragic note: on August 28, less than a month ago, Mark Krasnoff, the brilliant young activist and actor from Ville Platte and New Orleans was my guest on BTS, marking the one year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Mark Krasnoff died on Saturday September 16. Despite his compassion, talent and beauty, his struggle with depression got the best of him and he committed suicide. Our condolences to his companion Monique Verdin, his family, and the community of activists grieving his loss.

On tonight’s Beneath The Surface we take a look at the shredding of the US Constitution and perhaps parts of the Geneva Convention in the wake of the fifth anniversary of 9/11 and President Bush’s press conference on Friday, ostensibly asking for clarification of article 3 of the Geneva convention, leaving room for the CIA program of torture to go forward legally. President Bush was responding to the division within the Republican party on this issue, in particular, the Warner-Graham-McCain bill. We begin by talking to the Center of Constitutional Rights’ President Michael Ratner, who thinks the McCain et al bill guts habeas corpus. Then, we talk to Dr. Steven Miles about medical complicity in torture and the war on terror.

And finally we continue our investigation of American decline: last week Ford Motor Company announced massive layoffs in the wake of news that Toyota is now number one, with America’s big three trailing behind. While citing the cost of healthcare and the failure to raise profits, the big 3 refuse -- presumably for ideological reasons -- to call for the state to provide universal healthcare so they can be competitive. We talk to Jerry Tucker, a founder of New Directions in Auto and former International UAW Executive Board Member.

Read More for info on tonight's guests:

1. Michael Ratner is President of the Center for Constitutional Rights. He is the author of Guantanamo: What the World Should Know and his writings appear in a new book by Seven Stories press titled America's Disappeared: Secret Imprisonment, Detainees, and the "War on Terror."

2. Dr. Steven Miles is a professor of medicine and bioethics at the University of Minnesota. His book, Oath Betrayed, stemmed from his attempt to learn why the U.S. medical staff in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay did not report or intervene to stop the abuse of prisoners for the two years preceding the public release of the Abu Ghraib photographs. He is a past president of the American Association of Bioethics and served on President Clintons Bioethics Working Group on Health Care Reform. Earlier, he served as chief medical officer for a Cambodian refugee camp; worked on AIDS prevention in Sudan, tsunami relief in Indonesia, and is the recipient of the Distinguished Service Award of the American society of Bioethics and Humanities.

3. Jerry Tucker is a former International UAW Executive Board Member, a founder of the New Directions Movement, and currently a co-convener of the new Center for Labor Renewal and coordinator of the national Solidarity Education Center.