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Terrorism

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On Friday, the Director of the CIA, Mike Pompeo, used his first trip abroad to present Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef with the CIA’s highest award for fighting terrorism, the George Tenet Medal. Although the ceremony wasn’t covered by any of the major media, it was picked up on various blogsites where the... Read More
Ninth Circuit Court: "Ashcroft is Not Above the Law"
In a critical case which could determine the future of "preventive detention" in the U.S., the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that ex-Attorney General John Ashcroft can be sued for ordering Muslims jailed as material witnesses as a pretext for investigating their possible links to terrorism. The 2 to 1 ruling (all three... Read More
Abducted, Tortured and Deprived of His Rights Should Khalid Sheikh Mohammed be Set Free?
  Should Khalid Sheikh Mohammed be set free? It's a difficult question, but it deserves a serious answer. Here's why. The only reason the Bush administration has decided to conduct a trial for Mohammed, the alleged terrorist mastermind of the attacks on September 11, is because they feel confident in the outcome. It's a slam... Read More
Where's the Beef?
The case against Jose Padilla would be funny if a man's life hadn't been ruined in the process---but it has. The government's charges are so weak and riddled with inconsistencies it's a wonder the case wasn't thrown out years ago. The only thing keeping Padilla in jail is the 9-11 hysteria which still lingers throughout... Read More
A Legal Bait-and-Switch
Jose Padilla was arrested in June of 2002 at Chicago's O' Hare Airport and taken into custody. The Attorney General John Ashcroft made a dramatic appearance on national TV to announce the arrest, claiming that Padilla was a terrorist and was plotting to detonate a "dirty bomb" within the country. The fanfare surrounding the incident... Read More
Krugel vs. Padilla
In the three years that Jose Padilla has been locked away in solitary confinement, the government has been unable to cobble together enough evidence to even charge him with a crime. They have nothing on him, just the ever-changing claims of a Justice Dept that shows less respect for justice than it does for personal... Read More
Let Them Die or Let Them Go
I have a word of advice I would like to offer Donald Rumsfeld and the Pentagon chieftains who currently preside over the 200 or more hunger-strikers at Guantanamo Bay, 20 of whom are near death. For God's sake, let them die. What more could you possibly want from them? They've already provided you with the... Read More
Shattering the Bill of Rights
I had to sit down when I heard the Padilla case had been settled. I literally felt sick to my stomach, like I was gasping for air. The case of Jose Padilla is quite simply the most important case in the history of the American judicial system. Hanging in the balance are all the fundamental... Read More
Tony Blair's First Trophy
Jean Charles de Menezes, a 27 year old Brazilian electrician, was apprehended by Scotland Yard's special Firearms Unit on July 22 in the London subway, and shot 7 times in the head at point-blank range. He becomes the first victim of Britain's new "shoot-to-kill" policy and the first trophy in Blair's war on civil liberties.... Read More
600 Arrests, But Only 76 Charged
Homeland Security's Michael Chertoff is a busy man. In the last month alone he's arrested more than 600 gang members. There's only one problem. None of them has been charged with a crime. No matter. In Chertoff's world that's only a minor glitch; after all, Chertoff engineered the infamous round up of 1,100 Muslims following... Read More
Consolidation of Powers
John Roberts should have no problem elucidating the "separation of powers", because according to him it doesn't exist. All power resides with the supreme executive; a supposition that Roberts has supported throughout his judicial career. Ah, yes, judges can still gad about in their black robes drawing the reverential praise of the American public, but... Read More
President Disconnect
Even by the abysmal standards of the Administration, Bush's Saturday Radio-address hit a new low in fear mongering and duplicity. Invoking the musty imagery of 9-11, the Prince of Mendacity once again articulated the worn vision of America at war with the world. Presumably, the President's antidote involves alienating allies, inflaming half the American electorate,... Read More
Warrants and Searches Without Judges
The Senate Intelligence Committee is working behind closed doors to expand the powers of the Patriot Act and deliver another withering blow to the 4th amendment. This time the constitutional broadside comes in the form of "administrative subpoenas"; an Orwellian expression which indicates that law enforcement agencies, like the FBI, will be able to circumvent... Read More
A Victim of Government Demagoguery and Public Hysteria
May 8 marked the third anniversary of the imprisonment of Jose Padilla. Padilla was apprehended at Chicago's O'Hare Airport in 2002 by Federal officers under the shaky "material witness" provision and trundled off to prison. In a conspicuous effort to poison public opinion, Attorney General John Ashcroft announced on national TV that Padilla was conspiring... Read More
Hard Right Rage Against the Truth
Seattle, Washington Looking back over the last 5 years we can see that the dismantling of the Constitution has been anything but haphazard. From the time the Bush administration began to illegally round up 1100 Moslems after 9-11 (incarcerating them for up to 6 months without charges) it was evident that they had a plan... Read More
Supreme Indifference
The Supreme Court this week refused to interfere with the prosecution of Zacarias Moussaoui, the only person charged in connection to the 9-11 attacks. The court's rebuff of Moussaoui's appeal remands his case to 4th Circuit Court of Appeals and deprives him of his 6th amendment rights. When Moussaoui's case resumes, he will be barred... Read More
The Tools of Tyrants
It shouldn't surprise us that the Supreme Court has decided to take a case about the public displaying of the 10 Commandments, but refused to hear the case of Jose Padilla, the alleged "dirty bomber". On the one hand we have a hot-button cultural issue that is bound to divide the country along ideological lines.... Read More
Failing Upwards
Michael Chertoff's record at the Justice Dept. has followed the same downward arc as a belly-flop. He's managed to botch every major case he's handled and elicit the well-deserved scorn of civil liberties groups. Only in the gravity-defying world of G.W. Bush, where reality is routinely run through a public relations shredder, would a bungler... Read More
Coronation in the Garrison State
The Bush inauguration is designed to shock the American public into noticing the fundamental changes within the government. Like Guantanamo, it is intended to be more symbolic than substantive. The event is a means of acclimating people to the seismic shift in the basic structure of the state. The administration has taken the country from... Read More
Injustice as State Policy
The prison facility at Guantanamo Bay is the brightest star in the Bush firmament. It towers over the political landscape like a monument to human cruelty. That's why the administration chose to slap it up in full view of the world. It's their way of announcing that the fundamental rules of the game have changed.... Read More
Meet Your New Attorney General...
Bush intends to put an advocate of torture at the head the Justice Dept. Is this how he rewards the "moral values" crowd who shoehorned him into the Oval Office? Alberto Gonzales, name never should have been submitted as a candidate for Attorney General. His involvement in the Abu Ghraib scandal is widely known and... Read More
Exit Ashcroft
Now that John Ashcroft is packing it in and heading back to Missouri, will the drapes being coming off the bare-breasted statuary in the halls of Justice? Perhaps, they could be converted into sackcloth for the many Muslims he callously tossed in jail with no legal recourse. Or maybe they could be sewn into blinders... Read More
Forcing Exile; Revoking Citizenship
The Yasir Hamdi case has been resolved in favor of the Bush Administration, delivering a stinging blow to the Bill of Rights. For the first time in American history a citizen has been stripped of his citizenship and deported without ever having been charged with a crime. Hamdi's expulsion fulfills the long-sought objective of right... Read More
Deterring Empire
Conventional wisdom informs us that "weapons of mass murder" in the hands of terrorists is the greatest danger facing the world today. Regrettably, people from both sides of the political aisle accept this pronouncement as though it was a fundamental law of physics. Leftists are just as apt to advocate ratcheting up surveillance, increasing covert... Read More
The Guantanamo Mock Trials Rumsfeld and Scalia's Pre-emptive Strike on the Rule of Law
The basic purpose of the Law is to protect the individual from the violence of the state. Judges who refuse to defend this fundamental principle must be removed from the bench. Free societies simply cease to exist beneath the shadow of arbitrary imprisonment. When the Supreme Court finally ruled on the Yasir Hamdi case, America's... Read More
Padilla Redux Arbitrary Imprisonment: a Symbol of Tyranny
By refusing to hear the Padilla case the Supreme Court condemned an innocent man to continued incarceration without any opportunity to challenge the terms of his detention. Their refusal serves as a de facto guilty verdict and overturns the long held principle of "guilty until proven innocent." Additionally, their ruling reinforces the muddled position of... Read More
The 9/11 Commission & Civil Liberties
The ambition to curtail the civil liberties of Americans is not new, but it looks as though the Bush Administration has moved that goal within reach. Former National Security Advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski accurately reflects the sentiments of many elites who believe that freedom is basically a "nuisance" that disrupts the smooth functioning of empire. Politicians... Read More
The 9/11 Whitewash
It takes a lot of whitewash to cover over the murder of 3,000 Americans, but that’s what you get when you appoint a “hand-picked” panel to investigate a tragedy like 9-11. The great virtue of selecting each member on an investigative team, (like the Bush Administration did) is that the results are assured before the... Read More
Subverting Justice
Yesterday, the Ashcroft Dept of Justice made another contribution to its catalogue of government sanctioned demagoguery. An appearance by Deputy Attorney General James Comey at a press conference provided fresh allegations in the case of "dirty bomber" Jose Padilla. Ashcroft's assistant gave a lengthy dissertation on Padilla's criminal background and links with al Qaida, knowing... Read More
War or Shabby PR Ploy?
The War on Terror will persist until its flawed logic is challenged. As long as the root of the deception remains unexposed the global situation will continue to deteriorate. The driving force is ideas, not bombs. The Bush Administration has carefully disguised these ideas in the language of deception. Of the many misleading notions propagated... Read More
Here We Go Again
The 60 Minutes interview of the Bush Administration's top "terrorist advisor", Richard Clarke, and his damning testimony about President Bush, should be analyzed in a way that is consistent with what we already know about the media. We've been down this road before. Clarke just follows in a long line of insurgents who have broken... Read More
Guilty Until Proven Innocent
Guilty until proven innocent! That's the sorry state of the judicial system in America today. The story of James Yee is just the most recent perversion justice under the Bush Administration. Captain Yee, a proud West Point graduate, whose career has been distinguished by conscientiously applying himself to "playing by the rules" and a simple... Read More
Resistance
Governments do not confer legitimacy on themselves. Their legitimacy is dependent on the will of the people, elections being the accepted means for establishing the popular mandate. And, there are basic criteria for establishing whether or not an acting government is in compliance with the minimal standards of democracy. This means that the broader values... Read More
Justice Not Murder
You're not "safer" when you're dead. This inescapable bit of reasoning seems to elude the characters in the Bush White House. President Bush assured us that we would be safer if we toppled Saddam and removed the "Iraqi threat." He ignored the many warnings of people from every corner of the world that his illicit... Read More
Constitution in the Crosshairs The Padilla Case
The presumption of innocence is foundational to any democratic form of government. Without that presumption, the state is free to exert whatever control it arbitrarily chooses in the incarceration or punishment of its citizens. This effectively destroys the firewall that safeguards the individual from the vagaries of government power and intrusiveness. It is absurd to... Read More
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