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Politics and Economy:
Ron Daniels of the Center for Constitutional Rights
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David Brancaccio talks with Ron Daniels of the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) about a report released this week by the WALL STREET JOURNAL. The report, written by Bush administration lawyers, states that the President may not be bound by existing laws prohibiting torture. On June 9, 2004, in the Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing, Attorney General John Ashcroft refused to release this official memorandum as well as refusing to comment on the advice that he gave the President in regards to this memo. They also discuss the President's powers in times of war.

The Center for Constitutional Rights has made headlines twice in recent days. CCR has posted the controversial Pentagon "Working Group Report on Detainee Interrogations in the Global War on Terrorism: Assessment of Legal, Historical, Policy and Operational Considerations" from 2003 on its Web site.

On June 10, 2004 the CCR and the Philadelphia law firm of Montgomery, McCracken, Walker and Rhoads filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of detainees in Iraq in federal court in San Diego. The lawsuit alleges that two U.S. corporations conspired with U.S. officials to humiliate, torture and abuse persons detained by U.S. authorities in Iraq. The suit names as defendants the Titan Corporation of San Diego, California and CACI International of Arlington, Virginia and its subsidiaries, and three individuals who work for the companies. It charges them with violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) and alleges that the companies engaged in a wide range of heinous and illegal acts in order to demonstrate their abilities to obtain intelligence from detainees, and thereby obtain more contracts from the government.

Ron Daniels
Ron Daniels is Executive Director of the Center for Constitutional Rights. A scholar-activist who holds a Ph.D. from the Union Institute, Ron has taught History, Political Science and Pan African Studies/Black Studies at Youngstown University, Cornell University and Kent State University.

Daniels was Executive Director of the National Rainbow Coalition in 1987. In 1988, he became Deputy Campaign Manager for Jesse Jackson’s bid for President, and in 1992, he ran as an independent candidate for President of the United States.

Daniels was the Chairperson of the Coordinating Committee of the National State of the Race Conference, which was held in 1994. He played a leading role in the formation of the National African American Leadership Summit (NAALS), and was a member of the Executive Council of the National Organizing Committee of the historic Million Man March in 1995.

Daniels is on the Board of Directors of the Center for Democratic Renewal and the Nation Institute. He is the National Chairperson of the Campaign for a New Tomorrow (CNT), a people-of-color-led, multi-racial independent political organization.

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