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US arrests Dirty Bomb suspect.


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This is well within the law and has historical precedent. (See Civil War). While it is POSSIBLE to abuse this law and simply detain anyone for any reason, it's not likely. To allow this traitor a civil trial would allow him a soapbox to preach from. It would also make him a martyr and we would risk retaliation and/or attacks demanding his release.

I also dont agree with Moussaoui getting a civil trial rather than a military one, so I guess there would be an example of a conservative disagreeing with Bush.

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Kilmer, we have precidence for alot of stuff. If all you are looking for is did we do it before, why not lock up all Muslims? WE did it with the Japanese. Heck, the precident for that is a heck of a lot more recent.

I'd also argue there was a far more formal war in the Civil war than there is now. Atleast in that case we had two governments, adn an official declared war.

Here we have our own government and a guy who traveled to Afganistan, talked with people we don't like, and had money. Oh, and others said he was a terrorist. It sounds bad, but but he should get his day in court. LIke I said, there are plenty of things to charge him with.

The part of your post that really bothers me is your saying "but if we try him, he'll have a big soap box from which to speak." When did we ever fear words? This country was built apon the rights of stupid people to say whatever they want. The rights can be summed up by the famous quote (paraphrased) "I disagree with everything you just said, but I will defend unto death your right to say it." So what if he speaks out against our government. You think that's going to win him points with a jury? Let him talk and let him hang himself.

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geof, my fear is this scenario.

A homicide bomber blows himself (or her) up in a crowded NY subway. Some group of ISlamic fundamentalists take responsibilty and claim they will blow up one a day unless we release him. The next day a bomb goes off on the El in Chicago, same response. Then the MEtro in DC.

By keeping him off TV and a trial out of the media, we can temper the situation.

Freedom of speech is not absolute. Incindiary (sic?) speech can be limited and prohibited.

There was no legal declaration of war during the Civil war either. Congress could reach the required votes since the Confederate states werent in attendance.

And for the record, I will always stand up and support your right to disagree with the Govt and our laws. Why am I wrong to defend them?

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We don't have to broadcast his trial. IN fact, the court room can be a closed trial. He can say we he wants, and we, the country of the U.S., aren't forced to listen.

The unibomber had a much better arguement, and we didn't see people rushing t otake up his cause.

All I am saying is that theoretically, everybody is entitled to their day in court.

As for your terrorist senario, we've always said we will not be dictated to by terrorist. If we allow that, we encourage it. By not going about the running of our country (which includes the legal system), havent' we in effect caved in? What's more, we've caved without even a threat.

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Well the Unabomber didnt have 100s of thousands of Muslim extremists and governments backing him.

All I am saying is that theoretically, everybody is entitled to their day in court.

Thats the flaw, the Govt IS acting within the law by detaining him. Agree with it or not, it still is legal.

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I'm still not convinced it's legal. IN the cases mentioned earlier in this thread, the convicted was still tried, albeit in a military court. It would seem there are no plans to try him. That's just wrong. What's more, I think it's a rather large hole in the precident arguement.

In any event, if I were arguing in court, I'd much rather have the constitution quote on page 2 of this thread than a civil war case or the WWII case where the subjects were convicted in a military trial. The lack of ANY trial or plan for one is the issue.

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One guys opinion... :D


Thu Jun 13, 7:02 PM ET

By Ted Rall

Bush's Police State Kicks Into Gear

Knock knock at your front door."

-Dead Kennedys

NEW YORK-It can happen to you.

The jackbooted thugs can arrest you without bothering to accuse you of a crime. They can deprive you of the right to make a phone call, to receive a visit from your family, or even to see a lawyer. It doesn't matter if you're innocent or not; our state-sanctioned terrorists can keep you locked up in prison for the rest of your life without ever granting you your day in court.

But you're an American citizen, you protest. It makes no difference whatsoever-you have no rights.

After cynically using the September 11th attacks as a pretext to eradicate one civil liberty after another, the Bush Administration has finally taken away the single most essential freedom of an American citizen: the right to due process before a jury of his peers. Classifying 31-year-old Chicagoan Jose Padilla as an Al Qaeda associate and enemy combatant, Attorney General John Ashcroft ( news - web sites) authorized his transfer from a federal courthouse in New York City, where he had been held as a "material witness" on a customs violation since May 8th, to indefinite military detention at the Charleston Naval Weapons Station in South Carolina.

Though not legally charged, Padilla, who changed his name to Abdullah al-Mujahir after converting to Islam, is accused of planning to build and detonate a non-nuclear "dirty" radioactive bomb, possibly in Washington, D.C. Government officials concede that they have no physical evidence against Padilla-bomb components, manuals, etc.-. Their case, they admit, relies primarily on information from star canary Abu Zubaydah, an unsavory Al Qaeda operative whose Guantánamo debriefing sparked last month's flurry of warnings from Tom Ridge. Justice Department ( news - web sites) officials, an anonymous official told The New York Times on June 12th, "concluded that they could not bring a winnable court prosecution, largely because the evidence against [Padilla] was derived from intelligence sources and other witnesses the government cannot or will not produce in court."

So much for the right to face your accuser.

Padilla theoretically faces prosecution under a military tribunal. (Back in November, Bush had promised that tribunals would only be used against foreigners.) But Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says that even such kangaroo court justice is probably a long way off: "We're not interested in trying him at this moment." Some officials say that detainees like Padilla and those being held in the Guantánamo dog pens need not be tried until the end of the "war on terror"-which could, according to Bush himself, go on forever.

America may well be a safer place because Jose Padilla has been "disappeared," in the lexicon of Latin American death squads. But the manner in which this American has been stripped of his citizenship rights-to a lawyer, to a speedy trial, to apply for bail-is reminiscent of such totalitarian states as Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. What the Bushies are doing to Padilla is an outrage-and it could happen to any of us.

The legal basis for this action is a twisted joke. "Citizens who associate themselves with the military arm of the enemy government, and with its aid, guidance and direction enter this country bent on hostile acts, are enemy belligerents," ruled the Supreme Court in a precedent-setting case in 1942. The United States, however, is not at war. Congress has not declared war against the Taliban or anyone else. And while Padilla may indeed have plotted hostile acts at the behest of Al Qaeda, no one accuses him of belonging to the Taliban army. How could they? The Bushies denied P.O.W. status under the Geneva conventions to Guantánamo inmates by arguing that the Taliban never had an army.

The war on terror, like the war on drugs, isn't a state of combat. It's an advertising slogan. The bombing campaign against Afghanistan ( news - web sites) is, at most, a police action. And while there are undoubtedly organizations like Al Qaeda that hate the U.S. and mean harm to Americans, there is no legal basis for denaturalizing Americans merely because they're accused of belonging to such groups.

Ironically, this vile assault on essential American rights comes on the heels of what seems to be a previous Bush Administration abuse of Padilla's rights-he was jailed in New York for a month without being charged with a crime. Ruling in a different case, New York federal judge Shira Scheindlin recently wrote that "Relying on the material witness statute to detain people who are presumed innocent under our Constitution in order to prevent potential crimes is an illegitimate use of the statute." That ruling may have inspired Padilla's transfer to the South Carolina military lock-up.

You're probably not all that troubled about what happened to Padilla. You haven't hung out with Islamic extremists, boned up on your bomb-making skills or fantasized about Chernobylizing the Washington Mall. But don't forget: a court of law hasn't proved that Jose Padilla did either. And if George W. Bush has his way, it never will.

(Ted Rall's new book, a graphic travelogue about his recent coverage of the Afghan war titled "To Afghanistan and Back," is out now. Ordering and review-copy information are available at nbmpub.com.)

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On the other hand...

WASHINGTON (AP) - The government will hold suspected American terrorist Jose Padilla indefinitely and will not bring him before a military tribunal, according to congressional and U.S. officials.

Justice officials made their case in a closed meeting of the Senate Judiciary Committee ( news - web sites), arguing the United States has the legal power to hold Padilla until President Bush ( news - web sites) decides the war against terrorism is over.

"They say it's not punitive, it's just purely prevention to stop him from attacking us," said one congressional official, speaking on the condition of anonymity. "He's going to stay in the can until we're through with al-Qaida."

Government officials had said there were no plans to put Padilla before a tribunal; officials told the Judiciary Committee on Thursday that the decision is now final.

During the briefing, the Justice Department ( news - web sites) also sought to allay concerns about the legal implications of Padilla's citizenship.

Padilla, a Muslim convert and former Chicago gang member, is being held by the military. He's accused of being part of a plot to detonate a radiological weapon — or "dirty bomb" — in the United States.

He worked out of Lahore, Pakistan, and twice met with senior al-Qaida operatives in Karachi in March, government officials have said. During the meetings, Padilla and the others are alleged to have discussed the radiological weapon plot, as well as proposals to bomb gas stations and hotel rooms.

In the committee briefing Thursday, government officials said that previous court cases, including a 1942 Supreme Court case, show that even citizens can qualify as "enemy combatants" — the legal term the Justice Department argues allows a person to be held without trial. An American captured with German saboteurs in 1946 was executed under the ruling.

The government also told committee members that Padilla fits all of the criteria of an enemy combatant because he met with a senior al-Qaida official, learned how to blow up a dirty bomb, got training and financing and then came to the United States with the intent to do harm.

The Justice Department told the committee that the executive branch alone has the power to decide when a person qualifies as a combatant, the U.S. official said. Officials decided against holding a criminal trial for Padilla because it might reveal intelligence sources.

Other details about Padilla's background surfaced Thursday.

The Florida mosque where Padilla worshipped sometime between 1995 and 1997 was once linked to a group accused by the Bush administration of financing a terrorist organization, state records show.

Padilla, 31, attended prayer services and studied the Quran at Masjid Al-Iman in Fort Lauderdale in the months before his departure to study overseas in late 1998, former associates said.

According to state records, Raed Awad, the mosque's prayer leader, or imam, at the time served as the chief fund-raiser in Florida for The Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development.

The Texas-based Muslim charity's offices were raided and shuttered by the Treasury Department ( news - web sites) in December as part of a terrorism investigation. The Bush administration has linked the charity to the Islamic militant group Hamas.

Holy Land officials have denied supporting terrorism, saying it raises funds for humanitarian and disaster relief. The foundation has sued the government, contesting the Bush administration's decision to freeze its assets and claiming it has been falsely accused.


Associated Press writers Jesse Holland and Ken Thomas contributed to this report

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Hey Evil. I enjoy reading your posts, and I'm jealous you picked that screen name. :fro:

However, I would take anything that Ted Rall writes with two tablespoons of salt, at least.

I used to enjoy Rall's writing -- he's irreverant and often quite humorous.

However, Rall, like Michael Moore, is actually more of a liability than a blessing to the left because he routinely does shoddy research, quotes hearsay as truth, grossly overexaggerates, reaches for flimsy conclusions, and sometimes outright fabricates things.

These sorts of distortions would be fine in "Gonzo Journalism", but Hunter Thompson he is not.

In fact, I e-mailed him when he based an entire article on the "fact" that the majority of the September 11 terrorists were Egyptians. Here's the link, read the 8th paragraph:


As we all know, the majority were Saudis.

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Thanks...I know...I just thought I would put that article put cause it made me laugh a little. That's all..

As for the Evil Genius tag..I was just thinking this morning of changing it...I used to be Johnny Mavrik but changed to Evil Genius when I kept hearing it used as reference to Spurrier. Suprised when noone took it here.

Anyways...I will probably keep it as long as people know what I am referencing....


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