Chelsea Green Publishing

To Hell with the Constitution: Obama Goes To War

How is it that Congress isn't screaming at President Obama for usurping its power to take this nation to war against Libya? (Even Bushes #41 and #43 had their wars in Afghanistan and Iraq authorized.) And if Congress isn't screaming, then why aren't we? We should be. The power to make war impacts us all: it kills, it costs our dwindling treasury, and it has serious consequences. Those are just some of the reasons why the Constitution doesn't allow the president to make the decision to go to war unilaterally -- a fact that Obama, himself a former constitutional law professor, knows full well. If fact, when candidate Obama was asked if the president could bomb Iran without authority from Congress, he categorically responded: "The president does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation." Candidate Obama's letter perfect response reveals precisely how well
Read More


Why there should be a case against George W. Bush under torture law

Editor’s note: Michael Ratner is president of the Center for Constitutional Rights, a nonprofit legal and educational organization based in New York. New York (CNN) — There was widespread support among scores of human rights groups and many others for recent efforts to have Switzerland open a preliminary investigation for torture against former President George […]
Read More

Bringing the ‘Bush Six’ to Justice: Spain Cases Moving Along

If those responsible for the Bush administration’s torture policy will not face charges in the US, then in Spain it must be. Today, the Centre for Constitutional Rights filed papers encouraging Judge Eloy Velasco and the Spanish national court to do what the United States will not: prosecute the “Bush Six”. These are the former […]
Read More

A New Stage In The War On Dissent

Michael Ratner is the president of the Center for Constitutional Rights [1], a leading organization in opposing the dismantling of civil liberties under the Bush, and now Obama, administrations. He spoke with Nicole Colson about the recent raids on the homes and offices of antiwar and socialist activists in Chicago, Minneapolis and North Carolina–and why […]
Read More

On What Should Have Been John Lennon’s 70th

I spent time with John Lennon only once. It was at his and Yoko’s apartment on Bank Street in the West Village of NYC sometime in the early 70’s. I went to see him and Yoko with my law partner Margie Ratner. We had been asked to discuss with them the case of Michael X, […]
Read More

Ma’ale Adummin: Annexation and the Architecture of Apartheid

Today we came away stunned, shocked and almost numb from our trip to East Jerusalem with Jeff Halper of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions. And when I say we, I mean my family—my wife and two children, 19 and 21. We have spent the last 10 days trying to get into Gaza from Egypt; […]
Read More

Why I Am Going To Gaza for New Years: Actions Need to Follow Words

Almost a year ago, on the celebration of Martin Luther King’s birth and just as the Israeli military assault on Gaza was coming to a close, I wrote a piece titled, Israel in Gaza: A Time Comes When Silence is Betrayal.[1] In that piece I spoke of the role of American Jews and of Americans […]
Read More

Muting Our Criticism of Obama: If We Don’t Speak Out Who Will?

At a reception I attended the other day a progressive acquaintance came up to me and said the left “must stop bashing Obama. Keep doing it and he will lose the election. We should be thankful for what we have.” I am not sure he thought that I was one who bashed Obama or he […]
Read More

News and Analysis from the frontlines of the progressive movement Sartre, Existentialism and Marxism on the Question of Terror: Talking with Sartre

Michael Smith and I have been reading John Gerassi’s new book, Talking with Sartre, Conversations and Debates.[1] The book is a shortened form of three years of on and off conversations Gerassi had with Sartre in the early 1970’s.  The book is utterly remarkable. It is as if you are  seated at the table with […]
Read More

Finally Some Great News: 23 Americans (Mostly CIA agents) Convicted in Italian Court for Renditions.

You may recall the case. The CIA was accused of a 2003 kidnapping of an Egyptian cleric, Abu Omar, from the streets of Milan, Italy. He was rendered to Egypt where he was tortured. A courageous Italian prosecutor, Armando Spataro, had been pursuing the case since that time over the objections of the Italian government.
Read More

Congress Should Not Reject the Goldstone Report

On Tuesday, November 3, Congress is poised to vote on H.Res.867, which calls on the “President and the Secretary of State to oppose unequivocally any endorsement or further consideration of the `Report of the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict' in multilateral fora.’ ”
Read More