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Headlines Néo-Fascism?


Chaotic Neutral
Release Jose Padilla

by Mike Whitney

05/22/05 "ICH" - - May 8 marked the third anniversary of the illegal imprisonment of Jose Padilla. Padilla was apprehended at 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 to set off a "dirty bomb" (radioactive device) within the United Sates. To date, the government has never produced a scintilla of evidence to corroborate their spurious claims. Simply put, Padilla is innocent of all charges.

Jose Padilla represents the crowning achievement in the war on terror. As the situation in Haiti and Afghanistan steadily deteriorates, and as America's 8 divisions continue to bog-down in the Iraqi quagmire; the one unassailable accomplishment of the current conflict is the death-blow it has delivered to the Bill of Rights. American citizen, Padilla, now faces his 4th year of captivity without any formal charges filed against him and without any reasonable expectation of defending himself in a court of law.

Happy anniversary, Jose.

The government defends its detention of Padilla by labeling him an "enemy combatant"; a term that originated in a right-wing think-tank to dispatch potential enemies of the state. It has no legal meaning, but its application assumes that the president has the authority to conduct the war on terror however he sees fit; using "all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided terrorist attacks".or, in order, to "prevent future acts of international terrorism." (Congress; Joint Resolution Sept 18, 2001) The Bush administration believes that this empowers the president to strip citizens of their constitutional rights and detain them without charges. So far, the courts have failed to stop this clear overreach of executive power.

When Padilla's case appeared before the US District Court, Judge Henry Floyd disputed the administration's position saying, "If the law in its current state is found by the president to be insufficient to protect this country from terrorist plots, such as the one alleged here, then the president should prevail upon Congress to remedy the problem." Indeed, it's not the purview of the president to invent laws as he goes along, but to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States".

The moniker "enemy combatant" creates the greatest constitutional crisis the nation has ever faced. It is a flagrant denial of the fundamental principle of "inalienable rights" by giving the president the power to determine who is entitled to the benefits of citizenship. In Justice John Paul Stevens scathing dissent (to the Supreme Court's refusal to hear the Padilla case, which they decided was filed in the wrong court) Stevens articulates the gravity of Padilla vs. Rumsfeld. He said the Padilla case poses "a unique and unprecedented threat to the freedom of every American citizen.At stake is nothing less than the essence of a free society.For if this nation is to remain true to the ideals symbolized by its flag, it must not wield the tools of tyrants even to resist an assault by the forces of tyranny."

Stevens is not exaggerating; the threat posed by placing our freedom in the hands of the president is incalculable. The Supreme Court's refusal to hear Padilla's case demonstrates their tacit support for the unlimited power of the president and their unwillingness to address the fundamental question of whether Padilla is protected under the Constitution. Their abject performance condemns Padilla to indefinite detention and proves their inability to meet the minimum requirements of their profession.

A reasonable person might ask; what earthly purpose does the Supreme Court serve if not to clarify even the most basic points concerning constitutional protections and personal liberty? (The court stubbornly refused to even rule on Padilla's habeas corpus petition, that is, whether he can be kept in jail without being charged with a crime)

In his brilliant article "The Supreme Court and Enemy Combatants", Marc Norton notes a critical opinion written by Judges Rehnquist, Kennedy and O' Connor. (joined by Breyer) Norton says, "The key finding by this gang of four is to uphold the concept of enemy combatants, for citizens and non-citizens alike. 'There is no bar to this Nation's holding one of its own citizens as an enemy combatant,' they boldly declare."

No bar to holding a citizen as an enemy combatant? What is the Bill of Rights if it is not a bar to the arbitrary power of the state??? The court's finding is a clear vindication of Bush's power-grab.

Readers should carefully consider these words and judge for themselves whether or not they are consistent with any reasonable interpretation of the Bill of Rights. If the Court majority is willing to overturn the inalienable rights of its citizens and confer absolute power on the executive, the task before us is truly mountainous.

When Justice O' Connor issued her fiery statement that, "A state of war is not a blank check for the President"; it was slapped on the front page of every newspaper across the nation. As it turns out, the high court has, in fact, issued just such a blank check (although beyond public view) challenging all of the due process rights of the citizen. By endorsing (in principle) the enemy combatant label, they have removed the guarantees of a speedy trial, the right to confront ones accusers, the right to produce witnesses for one's defense, the right to an attorney, the right to challenge the terms of one's incarceration, and the right to an impartial jury of one's peers. All of these protections are inserted into the Bill of Rights for one reason alone; to establish the procedures that make it impossible for the government to do what Bush has done to Padilla. That's it! That's the Bill of Rights in a nutshell; its provisions are expressed in clear, unambiguous language so the state cannot rob citizens of their freedom without just cause and hard evidence. "nor be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law." (5th amendment) ".without due process of law!"

Padilla is innocent; a blameless victim of government-demagoguery and public hysteria. Even if the allegations were true, it wouldn't make a bit of difference. The terms of his imprisonment have never been legally justifiable which ensures that his case would be dismissed. His continued incarceration (in a 5' by 7' windowless cell in Norfolk, VA.) is an affront to a nation that claims to be committed to human rights, civil liberties and the rule of law.

The Bush administration has no interest in Jose Padilla, a hapless gang-banger caught up in the 9-11, anti-terror dragnet. It's the precedent they're looking for; the go-ahead to toss citizens in jail at the whim of the president and to dispose of enemies without recourse to the law.

The path to tyranny is paved with the language of tyranny. The intrusion of "enemy combatant" into our jurisprudence will obliterate the ideals of constitutional protections and inalienable rights. Jose Padilla is just a minor player in this much grander scheme.

We value the law because it protects the very least among us by putting a wall between ourselves and the long-arm of the government. Bush's actions have removed that wall putting every one of us within the grasp of the all-powerful state.

Release Jose Padilla!
/end quote

Allright, usually, a democracy works this way : there's the legislative power, executive power and judicial power. It looks like the US federal executive powers are getting bigger and bigger with the "war on terrorism". I don't want to compare 2 evils here, but that's exactly what hitler did. He took control of all national powers. By doing that, he had total control over everything. Of course the situation now in the states is more "democratic" or so it seems. But I don't like where things are going right now.

Currently, with the patriot act, this whole "war", the insane military spendings, [/SIZE](and the growing debt to Asia and the rising of China), do you fear that there will be more authoritarian authority to rule the US some day?

did you see the simpsons where 2 aliens morph into Clinton and the republican candidate.. What if some day, the same group of "elites" takes control of the democrat and republican parties?? They'll automatically take over the country.



Was machen Sie?
RageAgainst said:
What if some day, the same group of "elites" takes control of the democrat and republican parties?? They'll automatically take over the country.

what makes you believe this hasn't already happened fool? LOL (fool, i say in jest.) long before the events of 9/11 and the war on terrorism have our rights been dictated to us. These elitists have for many years, if not since the beginning of time, consolidated their efforts to meet one end: reserve power for the select few (-and might I add, their success has been unprecedented in continuing the dynasty) where by the only demarcation occurs when one overthrows the other.

Witnessing this makes it all the more frustrating and seemingly less hopeful. history shows the nuevo-riche, still rich in their respective time and place, have held powerful positions w/in gov't-but only b/c they pander to the image of normalcy and equality while in reality they've sold out to the not-so-secret boys club. Examples of such can be found anywhere in the world.

in the beginning, few had the ability to offer stability and prosperity other than the elite. why is it then less novel to continue our views of such elite today? its not.


I sucked Bush's cock
I have to admit your post did make some valid points!!!! However i wonder why so many people look to the courts for answers or solutions??? i for one am tired of judges legislating from the bench!!!! And take comfort from some words from zack "Take the power back" ...... Remember this memorial day no matter what your personal beleifs are we are still the in the land of the free........freedom isnt free............ take a moment and remeber those that have given their lives for all our freedom thanks! :(

kidding. I hate neo-facists, but that's fucked up.