Michael Ratner  @  ChelseaGreen

View All of Michael Ratner's Posts

To Hell with the Constitution: Obama Goes To War

March 30th, 2011 by Michael Ratner

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: [...]

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

February 22nd, 2011 by Michael Ratner

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 [...]

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

January 7th, 2011 by Michael Ratner

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 [...]

A New Stage In The War On Dissent

October 20th, 2010 by Michael Ratner

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 [...]

On What Should Have Been John Lennon's 70th

October 11th, 2010 by Michael Ratner

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 [...]

Ma’ale Adummin: Annexation and the Architecture of Apartheid

January 3rd, 2010 by Michael Ratner

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; [...]

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

December 14th, 2009 by Michael Ratner

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 [...]

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

December 9th, 2009 by Michael Ratner

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 [...]

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

November 30th, 2009 by Michael Ratner

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 [...]

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

November 5th, 2009 by Michael Ratner

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.