Tuesday, January 16, 2007

No Lawyer for You!

I have a few words to say about the remarks from Charles "Cully" Stimson, the US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Detainee Affairs, who tried to bully lawyers into not providing legal assistance to Gitmo detainees. In an interview, Cully stated that CEOs should pull their work from law firms who provide pro bono assistance to detainees.

While the Pentagon has officially condemned Cully for his comments, the repugnant comment and blatant attempt to subvert the American judicial system shows the contempt this administration has for the Constitution and the Bill or Rights.

No matter how despicable a person is, no matter how disgusting society deems them to be, every person deserves the access to legal representation.

Karen Mathis, the President of the American Bar Association also issued this statement

Lawyers represent people in criminal cases to fulfill a core American value: the treatment of all people equally before the law. To impugn those who are doing this critical work -- and doing it on a volunteer basis -- is deeply offensive to members of the legal profession, and we hope to all Americans. The American Bar Association supports lawyers who give of their time and expertise defending those involved in legal actions. In fact it is one of the basic tenets of the Association's Second Season of Service, that lawyers should perform pro bono and volunteer work.

It is this lack of respect for our laws that has brought us illegal wire tapping, data mining, secret detention centers, torture, etc.

Here is a novel idea. If they are guilty of a crime - TRY THEM!

I am sure some of the people we have at Gitmo are terrorist - NOW, PROVE IT!

Show everyone in the world that the people we have locked away are locked away for a reason and not just because some nameless person says so. Or are they afraid that they can't actually prove a damn thing. If we cannot be a nation of laws, how can we expect anyone else to be.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Idiot In Chief

details about this are sketchy at this time, but it appears that the U.S. military has raided the Iranian consulate in Iraq, seized documents and computers, and arrested six Iranian diplomats.

With all the really, really stupid crap this president has pulled off over the years, I didn't think anything he did could surprise me any more... but, leave it to Dubya to pull a Gomer Pile and do something even dumber than before.

At this point, we have no idea how many international laws the Bush Administration has just violated. At the very least, we are in violation of Article 22 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. If we have violated more, I don't know right now. But, Article 22 expressly states that the embassy or consulates may not be entered under any circumstance without the express permission of the diplomatic mission. Additionally, no papers, materials or communications can be seized at any time.

We all know about diplomatic immunity. The amount of immunity that is granted to a person is dependant on his/her rank. An ambassador is untouchable. A custodian head is arrestable. A consulate staff employee is only arrestable for a felony and pursuant to a warrant. I am assuming that if we stormed the consulate, we are probably not paying to much attention to the diplomatic immunity of the people either.

So, basically, we have just done what Iran did to us 25 years ago. Not only have we given up the high hand in that relationship, we just opened up every U.S. embassy and consulate in the world to being stormed and having our diplomats arrested. But, we all know that Bush can't think past lunch time, so the fact that he is endangering our own citizens probably never even crossed his mind.

Like I said, details are sketchy. I will be looking to see if there was a good explanation to this.

U.S. Forces Raid Iranian Consulate in Iraq, Detain 5 (Update2)
By Marc Wolfensberger and Robin Stringer

Jan. 11 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. forces in Iraq raided Iran's consulate in the northern city of Arbil and detained five staff members, a state-run Iranian news service said.

The U.S. soldiers disarmed guards and broke open the consulate's gate before seizing documents and computers during the operation, which took place today at about 5 a.m. local time, the Islamic Republic News Agency said. There was no immediate information on whether any of those detained are diplomats.

The raid follows a warning yesterday to Iran and Syria from President George W. Bush in his address to the American people on a new strategy for Iraq. Bush accused Iran and Syria of aiding the movement of ``terrorists and insurgents'' in and out of Iraq and said the U.S. will ``seek out and destroy the networks providing advanced weaponry and training to our enemies.''

Coalition forces arrested six people during ``routine security operations'' in the Arbil area, the U.S. military said in an e-mailed statement. The military didn't confirm that the consulate was raided and didn't say whether any of those detained were Iranians.

The operation was ``part of an ongoing effort by coalition forces targeting individuals involved in activities aimed at the killing of Iraqi citizens and coalition forces,'' the military said.

(Full Story)

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Hostile Enemy - FOX News

Well, I am back from vacation. I will put up a report on it later. It was nice not having any contact with American politics for a little over two weeks. But, I am back and nothing has changed.

Fox "Faux" News has always been nothing more that a shill for the Republican party, but this goes way over the edge and shows outright how inept they are in understanding anything about the constitution.

This morning, FOX anchor, Gretchen "Constitution? What's that" Carlson blatantly accused Ted Kennedy an enemy of the state, and compared him to Iraqi insurgents because Senator Kennedy proposes not paying for additional troops to be sent to Iraq.

GRETCHEN CARLSON: You talk about the hostile enemy, obviously being Iraq, but hostile enemies right here on the home front. Yesterday Senator Ted Kennedy, proposing that any kind of a troop surge should mean there should be congressional approval of that. A lot of democrats not coming to his side on this. But obviously this is not going to be an easy sell on Capitol Hill, even if it’s not an easy sell to the American Public.

Well, duh Gretchen! Of course it should be approved by the congress. That is their job!

Gretchen wouldn't know the constitution if she were wiping her mouth with it.

Lets review

Article I, Sec 8
The Congress shall have Power...

To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

To provide and maintain a Navy;

To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

So, Gretchen is calling Senator Kennedy a traitor for doing his constitutional duty. The Congress is required to declair war. Congress is required to pay for it. So, yes, it has to be approved by the Congress, at least acording to the constitution. It is too bad that none of the Republicans thought well enough to read over the constitution and seeing what is in their job description over the past 4 years.

H/T Think progress - see the Faux News vidio clip there