This week on CounterSpin: Many people have probably never heard of Ali al-Marri. A search of major media turned up a scant handful of mentions. Arrested after September 11, 2001, al-Marri was declared an enemy combatant before his trial—and he has been in a legal black hole and solitary confinement ever since. A recent court ruling upheld George Bush’s ability to detain U.S. residents or lawful immigrants as “enemy combatants”—indefinitely—without trial. If it sounds nightmarish our guest says it is. So where is the reporting on what is being called a dangerous departure from fundamental rights—not of “terrorists” but of all of us? We’ll hear from Michael Ratner, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights.
Also on the show: The federal minimum wage for U.S. workers just rose to $6.55 an hour. But a person can work full time at that rate and still fall below the poverty line. What does that say about the way we measure wages in this country? And why, at this rate, do media still tell us the rise is “controversial”? We’ll talk with Jonathan Tasini, executive director of the Labor Research Association and editor of the blog Working Life.
— The Minimum Wage: a Disgrace and a Scandal, by Jonathan Tasini (Working Life, 7/24/08)