View Full Version : "Dirty Bomber" Update

Greg H
12-11-2002, 12:32 PM
Further developments in the "Dirty bomber" case:

"Federal District Judge Michael B. Mukasey ruled last week in the case of Jose Padilla..........

Mr. Padilla, he ruled, must be able to meet with his lawyer for the narrow purpose of responding to the government's allegations.............

Deference to the president is appropriate, because the Constitution gives him, not the courts, the power to conduct wars, and the courts are badly positioned to micromanage this power. Yet deference cannot mean abdication of the responsibility, does belong to judges, to safeguard the rights the Constitution promises to Americans. For this reason, there must be some check on the executive branch's ability to lock people up. No judge can meaningfully perform that check without hearing from the accused to ascertain whether the facts are in dispute."
Full article:

It's good to see that not everyone is gripped by the fear of protecting the rights of citizens....

Jim H
12-11-2002, 12:44 PM
From: WSJ Interactive Edition

FROM THE ARCHIVES: December 10, 2002

An 'Enemy Combatant's' Rights

Remember "dirty bomber" Jose Padilla? He's the al Qaeda-trained American arrested last May at O'Hare Airport and accused of plotting to set off a radiological weapon in the U.S. President Bush declared him an unlawful "enemy combatant" and threw him in the Navy brig in South Carolina, where he has been held incommunicado ever since.

This upstanding citizen is now back in the news, the subject of a common-sense ruling by a federal judge in New York on the proper balance between civil rights and national security in wartime. Civil liberties groups have been quick to claim victory while deploring the Bush Administration's "unbridled power."

But now that we've had a few days to digest Judge Michael Mukasey's 102-page opinion, we'd like to offer an alternative view: This is another victory for Mr. Bush, whose legal tactics in the war on terror have largely stood up under judicial review. So much for those who think the Stasi has been reborn in the West Wing.

News reports have focused on Judge Mukasey's ruling giving Padilla the right to a lawyer. We'll return to that in a moment, but first want to point out the most important (and most underreported) aspect of his opinion. Judge Mukasey upheld the Administration's right to designate and detain enemy combatants -- including American citizens.

The President, he says, has the authority "to exercise the powers of Commander in Chief, including the power to detain unlawful combatants, and it matters not that Padilla is a United States citizen captured on United States soil." What's more, detention "for the duration of hostilities" is legal "on the same ground that the detention of prisoners of war is supportable to prevent them from rejoining the enemy."

Padilla's case stems from his petition for habeas corpus -- the right of a citizen to ask the court for release under a claim of illegal imprisonment. Judge Mukasey ruled that an enemy combatant has the right to talk to a lawyer in order to make his case that he is being wrongly held.

But it's an extremely limited right -- Padilla may talk to his lawyer only on the facts of his habeas petition -- and the judge goes out of his way to say explicitly that "of course" Padilla has "no Sixth Amendment right to counsel." Judge Mukasey also ruled that Padilla's conversations with his lawyers may be monitored by the government, which has an interest in making sure he doesn't use them to send a message to al Qaeda. In addition, he sets an extremely minimal standard of evidence for the government, which has to present only "some evidence" that Padilla is an enemy combatant.

Similar legal issues are currently under consideration in the Fourth Circuit, which is considering the case of Yaser Esan Hamdi, a Louisiana-born Saudi captured on the battlefield in Afghanistan and, like Padilla, being held as an enemy combatant.

Civil rights during this war on terror is a vital subject, precedents are now being set, and eventually the U.S. Supreme Court will weigh in. So far, as last week's ruling suggests, the Administration is striking the appropriate Constitutional balance.

URL for this article:

Ian McColgin
12-11-2002, 01:21 PM
We've slipped even lower than the Roman Empire. At least Paul could cry, "Civitas romanum sum."

12-11-2002, 01:46 PM
Journalists beware! Excessive criticism of the administration might get you enemy combatant status! I wonder what right wing wank the WSJ picked to write this piece - it's pretty biased for them. Is it a fact that the McBomber is al-Queida trained simply because the government says so? The courts have the obligation to protect a citizen's constitutional rights, but he has no 6th ammendment rights to counsel? Gee, make up your mind Mr. Judge!

12-11-2002, 03:44 PM
Yes, without reading the ruling, just the headlines, I was relieved the man was going to receive his right to counsel. Seems more complicated than that, but at least it's a start in the right direction.

I suppose some will argue that denial of counsel in this case is similar to Lincoln's suspension of habeus corpus during the Civil War. I don't know, and would be willing to be convinced by someone who did. Any lawyer philosophers who want to tackle it?

My strong reaction is that holding any U.S. citizen without right to counsel is a repugnant and dangerous precedent. Those who blithely trust the executive branch of government to make these judgements either are ignorant of history, of human nature, or both.

Nicholas Carey
12-11-2002, 04:39 PM
Originally posted by ishmael:
I suppose some will argue that denial of counsel in this case is similar to Lincoln's suspension of habeus corpus during the Civil War.Lincoln's suspension of habeas corpus was itself unlawful.

My strong reaction is that holding any U.S. citizen without right to counsel is a repugnant and dangerous precedent. Those who blithely trust the executive branch of government to make these judgements either are ignorant of history, of human nature, or both.Or ignorant of the Law:

Amendment V. No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury...nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.

Amendment VI. 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,...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 defense.

Article II, Section 3.[The President] shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.

I don't the this administration obeying any of these dictums.

12-12-2002, 03:36 AM
You'll excuse me if I @#%@! RANT!!!!!!!

This is NOT about parties or conservatives vs. liberals, it's about the people vs. the government. What we have in power now is a government that is riding rough shod over the constitution wherein WE told THEM what they where allowed to do and they are exceding the authority granted them. The constitution is the foundation of this country and when the foundation is rotted how long can the house stand? This is nothing to be in the least bit complaisant about!!!!

Let's not forget that ammendment IV is being ignored at every airport in the land and that habeus corpus has been modified - you can now be held for up to 72 hours before they must let you contact an attorney - unless of course, you're declared a combatant.


Art Read
12-12-2002, 03:42 AM
Some folks in this little country of ours seem terrified by the thought of that "other party" somehow gaining sway over their historically gauranteed expectation of civil rights, due process and equal opportunity as if they could REALLY ever be "taken" from us without our notice or recourse. And some are terrified of the other, "other" party somehow managing to gain control of, and dictating, their health care, child rearing options or fiscal security, as if THOSE could ever really change either. Haven't you figured out by now that nothing is as successful, or less likely to be disturbed as the "staus quo"? Take a pill, people. We'll be all up in arms about something entirely different before you know it! (Hah!) ;)

(As for the rest of you on this big, wide world... Relax. Regardless of how the media would like it to seem, we aren't all sitting here rubbing our hands together, wondering why and how we can take "advantage" of our new found status as the last standing "superpower"... We're just wondering if, (and sincerely hoping that) the rest of you will continue to want to what we want, (a safe place to raise our children) and if you'll still buy our McDonald's "Big Macs" and Hollywood movies once you finally start making them for yourselves...)

Art Read
12-12-2002, 03:59 AM
"Let's not forget that ammendment IV is being ignored at every airport in the land..."

Gee... You're right! They're trampling all over our second amendment rights in those airports too! :rolleyes:

Wild Dingo
12-12-2002, 04:42 AM
Well Art... I for one wouldnt feed a BigMac to a dog!... in fear of the RSPCA coming down on me for extreme cruelty to animals namely said dog who having gulped the said BigMac down his dumb throat would probably be curled up spewing his proveribal all over the place...

Big Mac Hungry Jacks Kentuky Chucked Chicken Red Rooter and whoever the heck else is in the fast food industry needs a kick right where the sun dont shine... crud cheep nasty crud unfit for human consumption...

what yer get is never whats advertised on the idiot box bill boards or anywhere else!!... I mean who else has seen those humungous burgers? lovely big buns have to hold these suckers with 2 hands right? big thick juicy peice of mince patty couple of nice thick slices of red marto bunged in and a big hunk of lovely green lettuce some pickles and smothered in just enough sauce and mayo?... and yer get??

a bun the size of a 3 month old childs fist tiny peice of cardboard pretending to be some sort of fermented meat no marto a thin sliver of something green that pretents to imagine it was once a part of a lettuce a minutely tiny peice of pickle... and sauce?? smothered all over the thing... rich red sauce poured over whatever this thing was meant to be... want mayo? theres more mayo than bread in this thing!!... I mean stuff that! and to fix yer right up the flamin things are ALWAYS cold! having sat in the baine marie for half the day...

and the pretty little dolly girl smiles and says "there yer go sir have a good meal" as she takes yer 5.90!!!

The day yer go into one of them places and actually get what they advertise will be the day snow falls right here in me living room!! {and considering its lovely and warm here... Im still in me shorts no shirt and hunting a breaze!! :D }

And as for Kentucky Chucked Chicken!! now how much greese does a person need??? HUH?? bite into a leg and whatcha get eh?? a huge slatherin slobber of greese all down yer front!! cant taste the chook for the flamin greese! and the taste?? I mean taste was boiled and greesed right out of what could have maybe passed for half decent chook once upon a time... greese everywhere!!

Buggar Big Mac!!! crud in a paperbag!! buggar Kentucky Chucked... greese in a box!!

Thank yer kindly for the opportunity to vent my spleen and have a nice polite rant...

ooohhhh what were we on about again??? did it again didnt I??... sigh.... :rolleyes:

Take it easy

[ 12-12-2002, 04:47 AM: Message edited by: Wild Dingo ]