Chelsea Green Publishing

Chelsea Green Blog

The buck stops with Bush/Cheney in January 2009

Author and constitutional rights activist Michael Ratner be honored this week as the seventh winner of the Nation Institute/ Puffin Foundation award for “creative citizenship.” “I like the description,” he told AlterNet in an interview from his New York home. “It’s for taking on the status quo in a socially responsible way and in a way that required taking a risk. For me it’s not the personal aspect, it’s the acknowledgment that you have to take risks in this very difficult country if you want to make any real progress.” Ratner is the author, along with Ellen Ray, of the book Guantanamo: What the World Should Know. He was interviewed also recently by Paul Jay at The Real News. Click here to see that chat on constitutional powers. In the AlterNet interview, Ratner argues that while Pres. George W. Bush and Vice Pres. Dick Cheney have been left off of court papers as defendants to any number of injustices enumerated by Ratner’s organization, the Center for Constitutional Rights, and other groups, when they leave office all bets are off. Here’s a snippet of the interview that has raised some eyebrows on the Internet(s):
Holland: Might this go as high as George W. Bush himself? Ratner: Well, we didn’t name Bush or Cheney in any of these cases because they, as current office holders—as essentially heads of state—have immunity from national courts. They wouldn’t be immune from a U.N. court, if there were ever a kind of Nuremberg Tribunal—but they are from national courts. So while we have them named as unindicted co-conspirators, we don’t list them as actual defendants. But we certainly will, afterwards, and … Holland: Wait, let me make sure I got that. You’re saying that after 2009—January of 2009—you will be adding them to the complaints? Ratner: Oh, absolutely. They’re on the hook then. And it’s going to be a hot world for them, because the world knows this—this is an emperor’s new clothes situation, because everyone in the world knows that the U.S. is running a torture program. You have to remember, this wasn’t kept secret. And in my view, it was purposely exposed either because there was a desire to get vengeance, or because of machismo, or just to say to the Muslim world: “If you fall into our hands, we’re going to take you to Guantanamo and we’re going to torture you” as a way of controlling that population. It’s been done intentionally and openly, and they’ve gotten the American public, somehow, to go along with it. They’ve convinced many people that they’re safer, or that these are just a bunch of Muslims, and we don’t give a damn what happens to them.
Another reason for those countdown clocks to January 20, 2009.


Enter to Win Your Copy of Nuclear Roulette

Seventy years ago, the city of Hiroshima was incinerated by an atomic bomb. Today, tens of thousands gather in Japan to mark the anniversary with silent ceremonies and somber reflections. In the United States, visitors to the National Air and Space Museum hear a narrative recounting that day as they view the Enola Gay, the […] Read More..

Bern Baby Bern!

Feel the Bern, now read the Bern. Chelsea Green is bringing out the first major book chronicling the issues being raised by US Senator Bernie Sanders in his campaign for president of the United States. The Essential Bernie Sanders and His Vision for America is the only book that outlines, in Sanders’ own words and […] Read More..

Economic Development is Broken. Here’s How to Fix It

Economic development today is completely broken. That’s the argument of author Michael Shuman in his new book, The Local Economy Solution. The singular focus on attracting global corporations is not just ineffective but counterproductive, Shuman argues, especially given the huge opportunity costs. Indeed, it’s not far-fetched to suggest that the best way most communities can […] Read More..

5 Shareable Strategies for Creating Climate Action

Frustrated about climate change? You’re not alone. Most people in our society find themselves somewhere on the spectrum of depressed about our climate situation to flat-out denying that it exists. In fact, the more information about global warming that piles up, the less we seem to do to combat it. What is the reason for this […] Read More..

A Mini-Festo for Earth Day – Rebuild the Foodshed

For the past month, author Philip Ackerman-Leist has been on a Twitter MiniFesto campaign – each day sending out a new tweet designed to spark conversation and pass along some lessons he learned whilst working on his last book, Rebuilding the Foodshed. You might also know Philip as the author of his memoir Up Tunket […] Read More..