[FoRK] Above the law

Contempt for Meatheads jbone at place.org
Wed Apr 28 14:38:46 PDT 2004

Click through for the rest.



Above the law
The Bush administration is arguing that it has the right to lock up 
U.S. citizens forever -- without evidence, witnesses, lawyers or 
trials. If the Supreme Court agrees, will this still be America?

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By Tim Grieve

April 28, 2004  |  U.S. Supreme Court justices listened skeptically 
last week as Solicitor General Ted Olson argued that foreign detainees 
being held in U.S. military facilities in Guantanamo Bay have no right 
to seek relief from U.S. courts. Wednesday, Olson will be back before 
the court, this time arguing in two historic cases that the government 
has the authority to lock up U.S. citizens, too -- without charges, 
without a lawyer, without a trial, without any rights at all -- simply 
by declaring them "enemy combatants" in the administration's war on 

Having government agents sweep U.S. citizens off the streets and into 
prison cells, holding them incommunicado for as long as the government 
likes -- it sounds like a dark fantasy of life in a totalitarian state, 
the kind of thing we're supposed to be fighting against in Iraq. But 
this is no fantasy. In the cases of Jose Padilla and Yaser Hamdi, the 
Bush administration is advancing a vision of governmental power that is 
both far-reaching and unprecedented, at least in the United States of 
America. And it is a vision -- like the one the administration 
articulated Tuesday during Supreme Court arguments on the secrecy of 
Vice President Cheney's energy task force -- that leaves sole 
discretion, sole authority, and almost unfettered power in the hands of 
the executive branch.


I'm reminded of the scene in The Handmaid's Tale where Duvall 
reminisces about him and "some of the boys" talking about taking over, 
cleaning things up, etc.  Ugh.  Ugh.




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