Thursday February 21, 2013, 9:04 am
obama signed into law that you can be arrested and not have anybody know where you are and have no lawyer or trial. he "promised" not to use it. what a load of bull. we have no idea how many people are locked up. the law needs to be repealed and we need to know who and how many are locked away.
Thursday February 21, 2013, 2:28 pm
Arrested is one thing; detained & imprisoned, another.
The article does not mention the case of Syed Fahad Hashmi, who, since June, 2010, has been serving a 15-yr sentence in Guantanamo-like conditions in the supermax ADX [Administrative Maximum] facility in Florence, Colo. He is isolated in a small cell for 22 to 23 hours a day. He has only extremely limited contact with his mother, father and brother, often going weeks without any communication.
Hashmi, known as Fahad to friends, was born in Pakistan, and moved with his family to the United States when he was 3. He grew up in Queens before graduating from Brooklyn College in 2003. He moved to London to study for a master’s degree in international relations at the London Metropolitan University.
"Justice has become as unattainable for Muslim activists in the United States as it was for Kafka’s frustrated petitioner. The draconian legal mechanisms that condemn Muslim Americans who speak out publicly about the outrages we commit in the Middle East have left many, including Syed Fahad Hashmi, wasting away in supermax prisons. These citizens posed no security threat. But they dared to speak a truth about the sordid conduct of our nation that the state found unpalatable. And in the bipartisan war on terror, waged by Republicans and Democrats, this ugly truth in America is branded seditious.
The best the U.S. government could offer as evidence of Fahad’s crimes was that an acquaintance who stayed in his apartment with him while he was a graduate student in London had raincoats, ponchos and waterproof socks in luggage at the apartment and that the acquaintance eventually delivered these to al-Qaida. But I doubt the government is overly concerned with a suitcase full of waterproof socks taken to Pakistan. The reason Fahad Hashmi was targeted was because, like the Palestinian activist Dr. Sami Al-Arian, he was fearless and zealous in his defense of those being bombed, shot, terrorized and killed throughout the Muslim world while he was a student at Brooklyn College."
Worse, "The Brennan Center for Justice said it feared that extreme isolation being used intentionally or inadvertently might pressure Hashmi into accepting a plea bargain deal that he otherwise would reject. His lawyer Sean M. Maher said in a 2008 interview that he shares that fear, especially since his 28-year-old client, who has pleaded not guilty, could face up to 70 years in prison if convicted.
“Many times people charged with crimes that have serious potential sentences will cave in to that type of pressure,” he said."
And that is exactly what happened: he caved in; there was never a trial - Fahad accepted a plea bargain deal & he got 15 years!
His family expressed their shock on Democracy Now! at the time: since Fahad's detention conditions precluded his being in touch with his family, they had never been able to discuss this with him and they had not known that he suddenly decided to take the plea bargain.
Thursday February 21, 2013, 5:00 pm
This is horrifying. If not nearly as horrifying as the situation had the election gone the other way, I still consider this state of things unacceptable. Something must change--it's up to Congress now.
It's easy to blame Osama Bin Laden for all this, since he was the one who started the terror war against the West. But had GWB not capitalized on this to improve his image by use of the military (always dressing up in the uniform he didn't earn the right to wear, etc.), the US would be in a far less fragile state. Then Obama continued the same policies (presumably to appease the Republicans, but we don't really know for sure). I've heard that Dick Cheny has the person who really instigated the damage. (He avoided the draft too. Money talks.)
So who's to blame for this Orwellian situation? Lots of people, apparently.
Thursday February 21, 2013, 5:00 pm
Thanks Cal for providing the link to the excellent article by Charlotte Silver. This is an outrage! With the passage of the NDAA and the DOJs expanded reach, Americans not breaking a law but on suspicion that they might. Then they face the situation where the "prosecutors need not prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Rather, only the defendant's potential for committing a crime need be established in order to convict." Read and noted.
Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.--Frederick Douglass
“Justice and power must be brought together, so that whatever is just may be powerful, and whatever is powerful may be just.”--Blaise Pascal
“Justice denied anywhere diminishes justice everywhere.”--Martin Luther King, Jr.
“Nothing is to be preferred before justice.”--Socrates
“Justice cannot be for one side alone, but must be for both.”--Eleanor Roosevelt
“Without justice, courage is weak.”--Benjamin Franklin
“Justice, sir, is the great interest of man on earth. It is the ligament which holds civilized beings and civilized nations together.”--Daniel Webster
Whenever a separation is made between liberty and justice, neither, in my opinion, is safe.”
Robert Browning Source: Ceuciaja
“Justice is itself the great standing policy of civil society; and any eminent departure from it, under any circumstances, lies under the suspicion of being no policy at all.”
Edmund Burke Source: Reflections on the Revolution in France
“If we do not maintain Justice, Justice will not maintain us.”--Francis Bacon
Friday February 22, 2013, 1:49 am
"... in cases where terrorism is charged, prosecutors need not prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Rather, only the defendant's potential for committing a crime need be established in order to convict."
"... from Dick Cheney's infamous "One Percent Doctrine". Ron Suskind explained Cheney's reasoning:
"Even if there's just a 1 percent chance of the unimaginable coming due, act as if it is a certainty…. Justified or not, fact-based or not, 'our response' is what matters." "
When will Cheney's influence, and that of the other neocons be exorcised from the American consciousness
so that it no longer has any influence and bearing?
The NDAA is the production of paranoid minds and is outrageous. To me, and I am not a lawyer, but the NDAA seems to conflict with the 5th, and 6th amendments.
The 5th amendment to the constitution:
"No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation."
The 6th amendment to the constitution:
"In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence."
Perhaps this is just semantics, but the 6th amendment says "...by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed,...". However these prosecutions can happen if the state thinks the person has the potential to commit, not has already committed.
When the rights granted by the constitution can be impaired by the state, twisted for the state's own reason, then something is definitely rotten in Denmark!
Friday February 22, 2013, 7:31 am
I'd be very interested to know who Salam is funded by.
The vast majority of these groups are unfortunately funded by groups with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, the Saudis, and Iran.
CAIR, and even Muslim-dominated ACLU uses Lawfare -- a waging of Jihad using our legal system to litigate people into compliance with their agenda and/or Sharia.
Cal, I would hope you have really researched this group before you put this story up to find out to whom it is connected. And if you have not, there is probably a very good chance that it is sponsored by one of these groups that ultimately has as its goal, the establishment of a global Caliphate, and you may be giving succor to this end.
Friday February 22, 2013, 7:47 am
The pretext of terrorism and civil unrest has always been employed by governments to declare martial law. It would not be feasible if so many people weren't complacent about their rights and the rights of others going down the drain.
Friday February 22, 2013, 8:21 am
I didn't know, Lynn S, about Dick Cheney's infamous "One Percent Doctrine" (shame on me!), but I do know that Bush doctrinemeasures & practices which I expected Obama to repeal & abolish, have been enshrined into official US policy by Obama's failure to repeal the Patriot Act, failure to remove exceptions to the rights US citizens supposedly enjoy in terms of legal proceedings, esp in criminal justice cases where 'terrorism' is suspected.
I mean, if I innocently put up a vague acquaintance or a friend of a friend -because I'm living abroad & Americans tend to help each other out away from home- & this person, unbeknowst to me, has non-military gear, like rain ponchos & waterproof socks, in his suitcase, which he asks me to keep at my house for two weeks and then later, unbeknowst to me, delivers the rain gear to al Qaeda in Pakistan, then I can be considered a terrorist myself!
"All one has to do to lose his freedom is to do nothing when someone else loses his," says Hartson Doak. Yes indeed! "...and when they came for me there was no one left to speak out."
Friday February 22, 2013, 12:06 pm
There is another wildcard in there too, pedophiles intended for internation trafficing. But for all of this there is the caveat of someone being reported for a suspicious act and perhaps suspicion of anything cna get lumped in so that warrentless actviity is allowed.
Once warrantless, activity that doesn't have to have a probable cause is triggered, then a witch hunt can begin for anything they happen to see. A witch hunt such as with Ward Churchill over a comment in an obscure article or publication about the people and companies they worked for in the WTC, for example. In his case he got to lose his job and any future prospects of one perhaps, but hey a jury awarded him $1 for his freedom of speech being usurped.
They may happen to see they do not like your attitude or your politics or your race or nationality or your type of job. They may hate janitors for example. Then they can use whatever they find to full advantage.
Full advantage may just mean summary punishment by investigation insinuating to anyone they question that you may be of questionable character. You might get on the national database so anyone you come across who has access to it in evaluating you may also see something they do not like either, maybe your religion, or your porn collection, or your abortion. They may not even have to go to court to find ways to take a shot at you, literally or figuratively
That would be called a military police state, arbitrary powers given to lots of arbitrary people with an axe to grind in the culture wars.
Friday February 22, 2013, 12:09 pm
We could even come to suspect, gien that there was once similar plans in Operation Northwoods by the Joint Chiefs of Staff to stage an event to provoke an invasion of Cuba, that 9/11 was meant to create just such a state.
Friday February 22, 2013, 12:26 pm
Maybe the Kennedy assassination was one such plan? Maybe like Pearl Harbor, provoking and staging things to get wars etc is old hat.. like the USS Maine. Perhaps some of the things never even happened, like the Gulf of Tonken or others too. See Russ Bakers book on "The Family of Secrets" in which Zapruder, whose film figures so promi(nently, had connection to lot of figures related to the Kennedy assassination. What if it never happened?(my conjecture, not his?)
Friday February 22, 2013, 1:26 pm
Thanks Cal. Horrible indeed. The U.S. authorities of various departments in the alphabet, have become much "too big for their britches". Those authorities are very afraid they are now or will lose control over the "masses" (you and me). This has happened (and is happening) fairly often in our human social & civilization current, and historical. A warning sign that this country, as others who have followed this subject/article path, are due for some rather ugly revolutionary changes.
The right used to consider the ACLU to be communists or at least 'fellow travellers,' since their defense of civil rights, an the victims of injustices necessarily shed derogatory light on American government- federal, state, local, whatever- and THAT was definitely disloyal! It was also somehow tantamount to wanting or trying to overthrown our system. So the equation was: ACLU =Traitor = Commie
I hadn't realized how times had changed & right-wing propaganda'd evolved to keep pace, but thanks to Beth, I now know that the ACLU is 'dominated by Muslims' & carrying out Jihad via US courts to force Sharia down the throats of 'compliant' Americans!
Well, that's a big one to swallow!
So, what, may I ask, have they done with all the atheists from their 'commie' days?
Did they have to convert ?
Saturday February 23, 2013, 1:53 am
This is one of the seven steps toward fascism.
The fathers of my generation fought and died in Europe fighting against exactly this.
Create an enemy and slowly override the law in the name of national security. In Germany these agencies were: Geheime Staatspolizei(GESTAPO) secret state police; Sicherheitsdienst (SD) Security Service, intelligence department. Does Homeland Security seem to have a familiar ring?
Saturday February 23, 2013, 5:38 am
Lauren Graham very true my dear, I suggest that people read Naomi Wolf's book The End of America - Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot. Also the link below is her 10 Easy Steps to a Fascist America
Naomi Wolfs 10 Easy Steps to Fascist America
Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
This didn't just start with Obama's NDAA but with George Bush's Patriot Act. People must understand that it has been a series of events laid down by BOTH Parties that have us where we are today. By pointing fingers back and forth and not seeing what your own party is doing has allowed us to remain in this terrible state of affairs.
Diane P made two statements, the 2nd one holds a lot of truth to it, be it copied word for word and she would of done well to have left that as her only comment. However the comment before it attacking liberals (*see below), who are still Americans, is exactly what I do mean when we are pointing fingers, did you forget George Bush's and his Patriot Act?
Now I'm far from being a supporter of Obama, but I call out BOTH sides on policies. Obama could of let the Patriot Act expire, he didn't, and in fact went one step again with the NDAA, which still too few Americans realize how much they lost with that. We didn't get in these messes from only Obama this all started going back when we had our President Kennedy assassinated, his brother Bobby also killed, and another great leader Martin Luther King, Jr killed for his standing up, against the war machine, for the laborers of all colors, for a "just" system.
That when Americans don't see that Both Parties have been compromised, bought, sold out, and swayed by such entities as ALEC for one, that we've had a bloodless coup, then we are missing the boat, and pointing fingers at each other instead of working with each other serves none of us any good. So please drop the voting for the illegal alien line, that is so worn out, serves no purpose, is proven not to be so, negates what you said below that makes sense.
You don't like policies, I can go there, but please, drop the one liners that don't hold any truth to them and let us as Americans work to improve what and where we can. Otherwise I always enjoy reading others thoughts and offerings, but let us get beyond the name calling and things that are proven to be no true, there is too much that is going on, that we need to focus on that this birther crap is just that, so let us move beyond. Stick with your second comment it wears better upon you.
"If by a "Liberal" they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people-their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights and their civil liberties-someone who believes we can break through the stalemate and suspicions that grip us in our policies abroad, if that is what they mean by a "Liberal", then I'm proud to say I'm a "Liberal.”
― John F. Kennedy, Profiles in Courage
This had already come out 12 Feb, but I missed it, although it was initially on DN!
Truth-Out, By Amy Goodman, Democracy Now!: "The ability of the U.S. government to jail people without charge or trial is now back in court. A group of reporters, scholars and activists, including Noam Chomsky and Chris Hedges, are SUING the Obama administration over the controversial provision in the National Defense Authorization Act, saying it could allow for the INDEFINITE DETENTION of JOURNALISTS and others who INTERACT with certain groups. On Wednesday, the Justice Department asked an appeals court to REVERSE a judge's earlier decision blocking indefinite detention, saying the ruling would hamper its ability to fight terrorism.
The Obama administration has already won an emergency freeze of the ruling while the case is appealed.
On the same day, the Academy Award-winning filmmaker and activist Michael Moore and the case's lead plaintiff, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges, took part in a panel featuring some of those who were in the courtroom opposing the NDAA. We air excerpts of their remarks."
[VIDEO & Tapescript]
I would like people to read it, because you get a global view of the injustice committed here. Sure it's just one case, but the heartbreak, the tragedy! Imagine them multiplied by just how many I don't know! It is so wrong & Obama has let this happen! I thought he had a heart for justice, but I was wrong.
"Pale and gaunt, he stood there, having endured three years of pretrial solitary confinement."
"One day before his case was set to go to trial, nearly four years after he had been arrested, Syed Fahad Hashmi, a U.S. citizen, accepted a government plea bargain on one count of conspiracy to provide material support to terrorism.
Eight years earlier, Fahad and I had sat across from each other in my office. A student in my civil-rights seminar, he had come in to discuss his final research paper. Months after the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, he wanted to examine the denial of civil rights and constitutional protections that Muslim groups across the political spectrum were facing in the United States."
"His final paper contended that in contradiction to the Bill of Rights, the civil liberties of Muslim-American groups were being violated in the aftermath of September 11. It began with the American philosopher Randolph Bourne's claim that in times of war, dissent becomes seditious: "Minority opinion, which in times of peace, was only irritating and could not be dealt with by law unless it was conjoined with actual crime, becomes, with the outbreak of war, a case for outlawry." "
"Sean Maher (Fahad's lawyer) talked to me that afternoon about SAMs, CIPA, and "material support"—a hodgepodge of acronyms and confusing legal terms, even for a professor of political science who imagined herself well informed. Maher, a former public defender, had represented people accused of murder, rape, drug trafficking, and gang conspiracy. Never had he seen anything like the jail conditions and rights violations Fahad was being subjected to."
"Fahad's father called... was distraught. The family had left Pakistan when Fahad was 3. Mr. Hashmi had worked for the City of New York as an accountant for more than two decades. He did not understand how his son could be treated in this way in a country that he had sacrificed to come to and be part of. He started to cry. He believed in the law. But there were supposed to be fair trials, a set of rights, public evidence, and no torture. Where was the Constitution now?"
"The federal government established SAMs in 1996 for gang leaders and other crime bosses with demonstrated reach in cases of "substantial risk that an inmate's communication or contacts with persons could result in death or serious bodily injury to persons." After September 11, the Justice Department began using SAMs pretrial, with wide latitude to wall off terrorism suspects before they had been convicted of anything."
"The government cited Hashmi's "proclivity for violence" as the reason for such harsh measures—even though he had no criminal record and was not charged with committing an actual act of violence or having any demonstrated reach outside of prison. Given the number of people convicted of a violent crime behind bars in the United States, "proclivity for violence" seemed an implausible justification for the harsh measures."
"Special Administrative Measures come directly from the attorney general. Used pretrial, they seem to be reserved for Muslim defendants. On May 31, 2009, as Hashmi sat in isolation, Scott Roeder, a Christian militant, walked into a Wichita church and shot and killed an abortion doctor—an act of premeditated murder. Some anti-abortion activists celebrated and wrote to Roeder in jail. Some even came to visit. Roeder was not put under SAMs. Meanwhile, Fahad received his first punishment, for "unauthorized gestures" and insubordination, after he practiced martial arts in his cell. He lost his limited family visits for three months.
On January 23, 2009, the day after President Obama signed an executive order prohibiting torture and ordering the prison at Guantánamo closed, Fahad's defense challenged his SAMs for the second time, citing extensive scholarly and medical evidence that long-term solitary confinement and sensory deprivation damage a person's mental and physical health. Citing the martial-arts incident and continuing threat to national security, the judge rejected the argument, and over the next three years, 30 more appeals. Attorney General Eric Holder renewed Fahad's SAMs in October 2009."
"The use of prolonged solitary confinement is increasingly out of step with world opinion and practice, and is deemed torture by international standards. On July 8, 2010, the European Court of Human Rights kept in place an injunction barring the extradition of four terrorism suspects to the United States, based on the inhumane conditions in so-called Supermax prisons, including the use of postconviction SAMs. Evidence of Hashmi's pretrial treatment formed part of the background for the decision.
Censure is more difficult within the United States. In a particularly troubling twist, detailed criticism of SAMs, in itself, becomes illegal. Everyone in direct contact with a person under SAMs is bound by the SAMs and not allowed to talk about any conversation with the detainee, thus making it illegal to speak out against the precise damage of these measures.
Fahad's treatment was not a historical aberration. State interests of national security have repeatedly trumped civil liberties. Shadowy "un-American" enemies have long borne the brunt of scrutiny and repression. And periods of public regret have often followed." (as when Japanese nationals & Japanese-Americans were incarcerated in US concentration camps during WWII)
"Over the past three years, I have done many interviews about Fahad's case. Journalists ask, How do you know he is innocent? Rights do not require known innocence, I point out. What do you say after the plea? To one who teaches about civil rights, I explain, it is humbling to see those rights shredded a few miles from my classroom. Among the hardest things to teach as a historian are the outsized fears, political motivations, and economic interests that rendered good people silent in the face of government repression, civil-rights violations, internment, and redbaiting."
" "If you see something, say something." Our duty, I believe, is different—to see in a terrorism suspect a person deserving of rights and humane treatment; to speak out against torture when it happens in a New York jail, not just when it occurs overseas; to insist that the Bill of Rights applies to all defendants all of the time. To take responsibility for the ways each of us has become complicit in the civil-rights violations of our era."
Saturday February 23, 2013, 8:59 am
As an American citizen, I am deeply saddened to read of the current miscarriages of justice that have become commonplace in the U.S. Once the poster child for freedom and liberty, the country is now oppressive, paranoid and about as far from the principals of the Constitution as can be imagined. Where will this end?
Saturday February 23, 2013, 9:35 am
I don't want to harp, BUT (lol) ...
Apparently some people still think there isn't any racial profiling or abrogation of rights going on concerning Muslims and/or Muslim Americans... or WORSE! that it's justified...
Well, Immigration & Customs officers at Los Angeles International Airport detained & questioned Oscar nominee Emad Burnat, the director of "5 Broken Cameras," when he tried to enter the country this past Wednesday. They couldn't understand how a Palestinian could be an Oscar nominee. And Burnat's showing them his official Oscar invitation "wasn't good enough," they threatened him & his family with immediate deportation anyway! Burnat had to text Michael Moore for help! Moore called Academy officials who called lawyers...
Sunday February 24, 2013, 10:32 am
It seems to me the more technological society gets, the farther back our intelligence goes. It feels like we are regressing ever so fast from being a "caring" society to becoming very bigoted. If my history serves me correctly, our forefathers came to this country to escape the very thing that is happening now. I often wonder why people can't just live and let live and stop putting restrictions on everything from how we pray to how we love.
I notice that my links from my [Thursday February 21, 2013, 2:28 pm] comment don't work anymore. Chris Hedges' article, "No Justice in Kafkaâ€™s America," is fortunately still online on other sites, among them TruthDig - No Justice in Kafkaâ€™s America By Chris Hedges, posted on Jun 12, 2011
The other link is gone forever because it came from the site 'Justice for Fahad,' that has apparently been abandoned, following his plea bargain deal to accept 15 yrs in prison.