Saturday, December 10, 2005

NYT: "Justice Department Asks Court to Release Case of Terrorism Suspect" (Neil A. Lewis)

In a brief filed with the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, based in Richmond, Va., the Justice Department sought to explain why the court should let go of the Padilla case. The administration had evidently aroused the ire of the appeals court when it announced last month that it was no longer seeking to hold Mr. Padilla as an enemy combatant in a Navy brig in South Carolina.

The above is from Neil A. Lewis' "Justice Department Asks Court to Release Case of Terrorism Suspect" in this morning's New York Times. It's our spotlight. It's a brief story (and one with problems) but it's our spotlight.

In the current charges (the new ones) against Padilla, there's no charge of dirty bomb. That's what's been the reasoning for holding him all these years. Now Bully Boy & co. want to change things. They're asking the court to switch venues.

They've held him all this time and the issue before the court is whether the administration has the right to make the decision of what venue (legal court or military tribunal) he can be tried in.
The court's reluctance to move on this may indicate a struggle between the two branches. The administration is asserting that Bully Boy (and only Bully Boy) has the right to designate which venue a citizen will be tried in.

Not surprisingly, this isn't something the court has been willing to get behind. Accepting that reasoning, as one person points out in the article, means accepting that if the administration isn't happy with a court finding on Padilla, they could again decide he's an enemy combantant who needs to go before a military tribunal.

Why a non military, American citizen ever needs to appear before an American military tribunal is a larger question that's been dismissed (including in this article) as we've rushed to "recognize" powers for the Bully Boy that he frankly doesn't have.

Padilla was taken into custody on American soil. He is an American. (He was originally held as a material witness -- another classification that's often abused.)

How our "I'm a wartime president" Bully Boy justifies this is unknown. (It appears that something's supposed to be true just because he says it's true.) But the logic, if the adminstration pushes on this, may get examined. It'll be interesting to see who blinks first -- the court or the administration.

The enemy combantant was supposed to apply (and I didn't support it then) to people captured on a battlefield. Apparently America, like love, is a battlefield. (Call Pat Benetar and tell her to update her song!)

Having given Bully Boy the benefit of the doubt on the premise of enemy combantant, the court's now showing reluctance to give him the benefit of doubt on the right to change designated status at will.

That's important because we're dealing with an American citizen.

Does someone occupying the oval office have the right to determine whether an American citizen, detained at a US airport as a material witness, is an enemy combantant or not?

That issue probably won't be addressed by the court. They'll probably address the issue of classifcation in terms of altering it. But it's an issue to think about.

Regardless of who occupies the oval office, are we really comfortable with him or her having the power to override a legal system and designate an American citizen as outside the US courts?

The power's been accepted by many but it's one that we should question. (And for right-wing visitors, just picture it's Bill Clinton that has that right and your blood should get boiling.)

There are serious, longterm issues in this case. I doubt the court will address them. (I could be wrong.) (That doubt's based upon the fact that they don't seem overly concerned with Bully Boy's flaunting of the Superme Court finding.)

But Bully Boy's squirming. You won't find that in the article.

You won't find, in the article, a discussion of how the British court's decision this week questions Bully Boy's assertions of power.

You won't find any issue of whether or not the Senate should probe Alito over his feelings regarding international law. If you've forgotten, the right-wing went into spasms over Kennedy's opinion, writing for the majority, in Lawrence v. Texas, because they felt it showed too much deference to international landscape. (Acknowledging that there is civil society outside of America was apparently too much for some.)

This development is news and the Times could have made it a much longer article (and may well cover it on Sunday in their "Week in Review" section). But due to it being so brief, it might be easy to miss noticing that something serious is going on.

That's in terms of the abstract.

In terms of reality, Padilla's never been convicted in any venue (other than Bully Boy's head which supplied the designation of enemy combantant). He's been detained for years and is still awaiting a trial on charges (charges that have now been changed).

If we believe in innocent until proven guilty (a notion this country is founded upon but one thrown into question when Bully Boy can designate anyone an enemy combatant), there are serious issues in the case (and treatment) of Padilla.

The dirty bomb charge, the one J-Ass felt the need to weigh in on from Russia, what some might call poisoning the jury pool (in this case American opinion), is no longer a charge against Padilla.
He's not legally charged with it. But that charge didn't go away when the government dropped it.

Having promoted it, it's still in the minds of many. Neil A. Lewis feels, for some reason, it's pertinent to avoid larger issues but to label Padilla a former gang member. Considering all that's pertinent to this case, his emphasis is a strange one.

Maybe Alberto Gonzales can take to the airwaves with that since "dirty bomber" is no longer available?

There are larger issues that need to be addressed because this isn't just about Jose Padilla. It's about the Bully Boy's "powers." The reality is that while these are addressed, Padilla waits longer without a trial. Having decided to address those issues, hopefully the court won't now dismiss them in the face of opposition from the administration.

New topic: In what's become a "here it is, no it isn't," yet another update. Danny Schechter's books are available at News Dissector by clicking here. This has been a back and forth issue among members and hopefully this note will settle the issue.

On Schechter, Doug wonders why we haven't reviewed his books at The Third Estate Sunday Review. I support the library systems and do try to use them but, confession, the majority of the books we've reviewed, I've owned a copy of. I have book cases all over and am constantly having to add more due to running out of space. So it's not a problem for me to weigh in on those. However, Betty is one who uses the library system religiously. (Betty also owns books, but she is a firm supporter of her library system.) They don't have Danny's new books. Santa's enroute with Danny's books to Betty but until that happens and there's time for her to read them, there's not going to be a discussion. And she's only one person that's had trouble locating them. So if you're someone who enjoys Danny's books (I do) something you might want to consider doing is gifting your library system with a copy so that others can enjoy them.

By the way, I don't think we're doing Mary Mapes' book this Sunday either. Betty had just received her copy from the library yesterday and I doubt she's had time to read it. When we spoke on the phone, she was just wanting to go to sleep (and hoping her kids would so she could).

And before anyone thinks I've spoiled Betty's gift for her, we drew names, all participating in putting out The Third Estate Sunday Review and I got Betty's. She had requested something by Danny so I grabbed the books because I hate shopping late. Late is anytime after Thanksgiving. I just wanted to get in, grab and go. Not to stand there and determine which book to get her. As Folding Star always pointed out at A Winding Road, books may great gifts.

Martha and Shirley are still working on their list. This has to do with the fact that they're offering opinions in it and don't want some uninformed male, you know who I mean, writing in and demanding a correction. Or possibly this time, he'll write in to decry the fact that's he's not mentioned. Actually, Shirley reports they're rewriting the introduction and when that's done, they'll be done. I'll be away from the computer for several hours today so I've told them to take their time and if it's not done by mid-day, we'll hold it until next weekend.

Ruth's posting on Sunday. She "swears" she'll have something ready for Sunday. (I suspect it will be late Sunday because Sundays at her house are a big family event.) She's going to be noting an event (members, you do know what I'm hinting at) and she'll also note one radio program. She says it will be a mini-report. And she's getting feedback from Treva on every draft which is why she's "late" this weekend. (She's not late. It's an honor to be able to post her reports.)

Maria? Did you see that last entry? Maria is upset that she was dismissed (not by me) and says she's in "a sour mood" but will have something today. I told Maria her mood is understandable (no one likes to be ignored especially by someone whose work you'd admired) and if she needs the week off, take it. Francisco's also offered to fill in this weekend and do the post but Maria says she'll do it "but I'll be dragging my feet due to what happened." (If you're a member who's been off the face of the earth, welcome back. A sentence Kat wrote at her site was distorted and posted at another site. Maria attempted to point that out and got what she felt was "cute little Latina pat on the head" and her comment that a quote was distorted was dismissed.)

Rebecca read the previous entry and phoned to say, "I'm glad we're not letting it drop." We're not. I'm not attempting to bring it up. But if arises, from members or my own thoughts, it will be noted. Kat's not going to be slammed in the face with a 2x4 by some man eager to turn a mob on her and Maria's not going to have a serious objection dismissed only to find me saying, "Hey everybody, let's just move on." (Rebecca thinks that would be the case if it involved only me. She's probably right.) Rebecca also said she was trying to figure out whether she could write about it or not. Of course she can. Don't censor yourselves for me. And I think what was done was not "feministic." When I did the long rambling post, I was stopping and starting and really exploring what happened. It hadn't even crossed my mind until then that with enraged people posting comments slamming a person, Bernie's attempt to introduce Kat into the conversation, with a distortion and a slam, could also be read as his attempt to sick the mob on her. "Few witches burning gets a little toasty . . ."

Not here, it doesn't. Burn one of us, burn us all. We'll stand together. (Quote from Tori Amo's "God" which appears on Under the Pink.)

Our concern is members.

We're not going to focus on this but we are going to address it when it arises.

I'm deleting a long section but thanks to ___ for calling and the support. The points we discussed will be addressed by Ava and I in our TV report for The Third Estate Sunday Review.

And, if anyone's wondering, these were ready but people keep calling and I keep getting involved in phone calls. (Kat's got a lot of support from people I know.) After this indexes and publishes, look for the second entry.

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