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Archive for Monday, November 28, 2005

Rights denied

November 28, 2005

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To the editor:

After being held in a military jail for three years, without legal representation for much of the time, and being accused of an extremely heinous act, that is, developing a "dirty bomb" designed to disperse radiation over several city blocks, Jose Padilla has finally been charged with (drum roll) traveling overseas to train as a terrorist with the intention of fighting a violent jihad. The indictment does not state that Padilla was involved with a "dirty bomb."

Why is this alarming? President Bush claimed that the threat posed by Padilla was so grave it merited designating Padilla an "enemy combatant."

The so-called "enemy combatant" status permits President Bush to deprive U.S. citizens of their rights as guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution. The Fifth Amendment states: "No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury." The Sixth Amendment states: "In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial : and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him : and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense."

President Bush created the enemy combatant designation to deny American citizens their rights without congressional authority. It is time now to pass laws so that if American citizens are denied their constitutional rights, those denying them can be charged with crimes and punished accordingly.

Don Phipps,

Lawrence

Comments

kansasboy 9 years ago

Blah, blah, I hate Bush, blah, blah.

Does his action fall under high treason?

Was he still a U.S. citizen when he went overseas or did he deny his citizenship?

Spoken1 9 years ago

kansasboy, NO WHERE in this letter did the writer state he hated Bush, that is your assumption. So, if you can porove it, do so, if not, shut up. Besides, he is my impersonation of you, " I love Bush, I love Bush, blah, blah, blah"

Arminius, YOU are the one with a mental disorder. Such labelling is idiotic.

Neither of you understand just how this could be abused. While Padilla may be guilty of the crime he is now charged with, YOU or a YOUR family members could have the SAME thing happen to them, guilty or not. Have you thought about that at all? Do you think that you or your family members should be able to be held for years without any charges? This IS NOT FREEDOM.

Spoken1 9 years ago

Arminius:

You're an idiot and a jerk. NO WHERE did I express support or sympathy for terrorists. How can you possibly think it is ok for a government to label someone a enemy and detain them indefinately without cause? Someone could report you for being a terrorist without ANY proof whatsoever, but it would be your word against their word. You could be detained indefinately, without any of the protections that real Americans expect. And this is okay with you? I just cannot believe how stupid you are and how much you hate freedom and hate America.

Frank Dorsey 9 years ago

Wow, I assumed this discussion was gonna devolve into vitriol and petty name calling, but that was FAST. Good work.

Spoken1 9 years ago

Frankdormat:

Sorry if you were offended, Arminius deserves no better from me since he tries to rearrange what I say and make assumptions about how I think.

Your idiotic 'little fella' bullcrap is the reason you get such from me. Once again you are a liar, and speak of what you do not know, twisting words as you have proven yourself capable of doing. "How can you possibly think it is ok for a government to label someone a enemy and detain them indefinately without cause?" I think it is wrong because the government did not charge him with ANYTHING for years. If you have evidence, then CHARGE the person. That I have no problem with. Padilla may very well be guilty, but you DO NOT know that with absolute certainty, and neither do I. That is for the courts to decide. If he is guilty, then I hope he gets what he deserves.

"I think it's odd that liberals such as you and Phipps are defending Padilla, who we know trained with al Qaeda, yet have already convicted Libby Scooter and Karl Rove of treason."

Once again little fella, just because I disagree with you does NOT make me a liberal. Actually, it makes me someone that doesn't buy into everything your hero feeds to the public. And as far as I know, Scooter and Rove have not been convicted of ANYTHING. I would have thought you knew that Arminius, since you speak as if you know everything. I haven't convicted them, have you? Do I put what they are accused past them? No, I don't. I find it perfectly reasonable to believe that they could be guilty, just as I do Padilla. But, once again, that is for the courts to decide. I find it funny that you do not believe in the way our forefathers designed this country. Our forefathers created this nation as a nation to be free from excessive governmental intervention into the lives of ordinary citizens. As a good American, I take offense to any law that allows the government to detain anyone they want without just cause or charges, for an indefinate period of time. Maybe you would like to live in the former USSR, but not I. Get off the crack pipe.

DuQuesne 9 years ago

All the information necessary to build not just a "dirty (radiologic) bomb", but an actual fission bomb, has been in the public domain since at least 1977. Does that then make liable for arrest all literate residents of North America? Do offhand remarks about the decreased trigger quantity of U235 endanger my own freedom? Should DHS slap a Top Secret status on the fact that uranium has two stable oxidation states in order to obscure the usefulness of stolen UF6 birdcages? Almost forgot Mr. Padilla is actually charged with training to be a terrorist what about newly-installed governments in certain Latin American countries possibly charging members of their own military with similar offenses for having attended our own training camp in Georgia? Hmm? Oh, well - - that's different.

kansasboy 9 years ago

"It is time now to pass laws so that if American citizens are denied their constitutional rights, those denying them can be charged with crimes and punished accordingly." Translation: I hate Bush. Yes I do respect and like Bush, he is our President. He is trying to fix a Democrat problem.

Padilla is a terrorist we should not coddle this person because he WAS a U.S. citizen. What we should do is take him out in the streets and shoot him for treason.

Anyone know the Author of the bokk " How to Talk to a Liberal"?

BunE 9 years ago

Kansas Boy and Arminus you guys a great! Such fuzzy right wing wackos!

Padilla is an alleged terrorist that the government is afraid to go after because his defense will cause far to much scrutiny to their own failures. If you believe that he is a terrorist because GW says so than I suggest you talk to the hundreds if not thousands of enemy combatants and terrorists detained and released by the US. Some for years. You can hitch your wagon to the Bush Pony as long as you know it just goes in circles

Here in the US, we have the Constitution, it affords citizens certain rights. You see he was arrested (OK, detained) in the US for attempting set off a "dirty bomb" in the US. instead, they can only tag him for training at a terrorist camp.

Your pitiful attempts to frame the argument are laughable. By invoking the name Mike Savage or belittling those who would enter the public marketplace of ideas, you have revealed yourself to be an unthinking puppet of the radical right wing. Now, I respect your right to be unthinking but know that comments like yours will not go unchallenged. Shooting someone on the street for treason? Why not just round up all of the Arab in the country and hold them until this whole thing blows over?

BunE 9 years ago

It took the Gov't a short 3 years to indict.

Taco stands are not real popular in Pakistan, but if you like, Jose was up to no good.

I seem to remember that our own country offered them fine training and we managed to ignore it despite the warnings of the FBI.

Thank you for the compliment I enjoy not being a puppet of Laura Ingrahm, Mike Reagan and Mike Savage.

I forgot about all the other muslims you are afraid of. Thanks for expanding the list.

BunE uses drumming to find a way to truth. I do it on breaks from my massive research efforts

Thanks for the fine use of (sic) I am very sorry to have not used the plural of Arab in that case.

I have the feeling that Mr. Padilla is guilty but we are supposed to be an example. If we don't play by the rules that we have in place that we don't deserve to think of ourselves as that example. Instead we are just another wannabe empire. Glory is for the Romans, Justice is American.

kansasboy 9 years ago

Preach on Arminius. We should take out terrorsist, foreign or demestic. I'm not talking about rounding up Middle Eastern people. Padilla went off to train as a terrorist to fight against the U.S. The Hadjis' that killed 343 of my brothers and all the others in the towers we're also "just training". So yeah I have a beef against terrorist and yeah they should be publicly killed in the streets and have there heads sent back to Osama bin fricken Laden!!!!

BunE 9 years ago

Them would be a number of the pilots who drove their planes into the WTC.

Your story about "jimmy" (did you bother to learn his real name) is eerily similar to stories that start out "I'm not racist, I have black friends." Now that is a sweeping statement and I am not suggesting that you are racist.

Tell me do you have a problem with Americans who train to kill Muslims?

BunE 9 years ago

Not the US government silly, the flight schools. Some may have had federal funding, they are after all regulated by the FAA... Than again, the Al Qaida Camps were private enterprise too. Yeah, some may have gotten some Taliban or Saudi Funds, but I doubt they had much regulation.

"BTW, everyone called Jimmy "Jimmy." That was his preference."

I doubt that Jimmy liked being called Jimmy, he most likely did not want to deal with some people butchering his name. It is certainly more respectful to take the time to learn one's name.

You know what I like most Christians except the ones trained to kill Americans that they don't agree with.

Jamesaust 9 years ago

I find that I cannot agree entirely with the author's letter.

One implication here is that because Padilla is not indicted on charges of plotting a terroristic bombing, then he's innocent, or at least the government cannot prove this. Not true. There are many reasons why such an indictment might not be made. The author also overlooks the possibility that one may be simultaneously a military combatant and a garden-variety criminal. (I'm assuming that the Administration still designates Padilla as an "ememy combatant." Otherwise, this designation seems to be made or withdrawn on little more than a whim.)

One of the more intriguing potential reasons for not indicting - and most embarrassing to the Administration - is that a prosecution would involve revelation of how evidence against Padilla was obtained. Hint: from what "we do not do" or, apparently based on the facts known, "what we get others to (not) do for us."

Of course, such evidence is tainted and isn't ever going to be allowed into the court. What's more, as is a flaw with such methods, who would find it reliable?

Apparently, the indictment comes as an attempt to get the Supreme Court not to hear Padilla's lawsuit challenging his indefinate detention by making the issue moot. Perhaps. On one hand, the Supremes have not given much sign of accepting the contention that U.S. citizens operating within the U.S. magically lose their Constitutional rights - the author's point (outside the U.S., and for non-citizens are slightly different and more fuzzy issues). That said, the Court (properly) has sought to take the most deferential path possible on issues of national security and war. One potential controlling issue for the Supreme Court is whether the Circuit Court's ruling against Padilla's detention claim would stand absent being overruled (or as Karl Rove might put it, whether the Fourth Circuit becomes a "constitution-free zone" - a sort of black hole that detainees can disappear into).

Curtiss 9 years ago

Arminius loves to quote the screaming radio idiot Mike "savage" Weiner: "As Dr. Savage has noted, liberalism is a mental disorder."

Personally, I'd rather get my quotes from, oh, say, one of the most respected economists in the history of the country rather than a gay-hating gay fanatic who spews hate to damaged insomniacs, pointing to people he doesn't like as being the ones with mental disorders.

Here's one:

"The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."

...John Kenneth Galbraith

kansasboy 9 years ago

I personnaly like to lsten to Sean Hannity. He is a true American.

Randippidy 9 years ago

The concept of Habeas Corpus has been with European civilized society since before the Magna Carta. It is the basis of our legal system and the only thing that gives the system an amount of objective credibility. The author is not arguing the guilt or innocence of this American citizen, only his right to have due process of law. To allow those in power to bypass this right and imprison anyone without charge is to throw away a thousand years of human progress. Does anyone understand what was behind the French and American Revolutions? I suggest reading Dickens Tale of Two Cities for a description of life under a power structure without Habeas Corpus. It is by definition a dictator who has such powers.

I am appalled at the level of misunderstanding of basic civilized concepts displayed by these replies. Does this country teach civics anymore? How about reading? History? It is as if these people were educated by watching network television. It is a sad commentary the author had to quote two fundamental rights granted us as Americans just to get his point across. The author would also like to point out that he sees no disagreement with Jamesaust, only that J read a little more into his words than were there, Please re-read the third sentence of my reply if you do not understand.

Randippidy 9 years ago

To answer some questions which I hate to see folks ask and not get a reply, an American citizen retains the same rights and status if she leaves this country or not. However one must obide by the laws where one decides to travel.

Another point, Mr P. insists that there should be laws to punish those who in authority violate the constitution. Seems a reasonable desire, since they are sworn to uphold the constitution when they take their "elected" position. Instead they seem to hold the concepts and principles of this collective idea as their enemy, and a recent trend is that they don't even know the basics of the system they have become part of and administer.

I am often asked by friends and enemies what would be a better system? And I really cannot think of a basically better political system than what is spelled out in the American Constitution. But the framers themselves believed it disinginuous, placating enough differing views to get into law. The intellectual concepts are really awsome in my opinion - "One man, one vote". "All men are created equal under the eyes of the law". Justice is blind, and most inportantly - the concept of proving someones guilt if they are charged with a "state" crime, and ASSUMING them INNOCIENT until proven guilty in an inpartial court of law - Due process, Hebeas Corpus. It is a good thing, for all of us.

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