Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Post Acknowledges The Obvious at Last

As I have written before here, the "controversy" about whether we can try terrorists or house them in U.S. prisons is absurd because we have already tried and imprisoned international terrorists in our criminal justice system.

The Post finally acknowledged this in a recent piece explaining that almost three dozen international terrorists are held in federal prison currently (although I wouldn't be surprised if the total number wound up being higher if you included narcoterrorists and persons affiliated with terrorist groups who did not personally engage in terrorist acts on U.S. soil).

The same congressional representatives (including Harry Reid) fretting about housing terrorists in U.S. prisons had no problem trying, convicting and incarcerating folks like the first World Trade Center bombers, Timothy McVeigh and (an in my opinion framed up) Jose Padilla (the cooked up charges of radioactive bomb conspiracy of which he was charged never seeing a day in court, after those charges were dropped).

Well, at least someone at the Post put their thinking cap on.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Democrats and Republicans Slowly Go Insane

The Post continues its discussion on how Democrats are incapable of maintaining any promises to their progressive base, in this case illustrating their inability to close Guantanamo Bay and actually try terrorism suspects (like we tried the first World Trade Center bombers). The Post naturally fails to interview any third party progressive voices that would illustrate the insanity of this discussion, instead letting the issue remain an echo chamber between the two corporatist "major" parties, the Democrats and Republicans, both of whom would rather trot out focus group tested cliches than actually attempt to make sense and honor the American jurisprudential tradition.

"We spent hundreds of millions of dollars building an appropriate facility with all security precautions on Guantanamo to try these cases," Sen. James Webb (D-Va.) said Sunday on ABC News's "This Week." Webb added, "I do not believe they should be tried in the United States."

Look at this logic: we spent so much money on incarcerating these people without providing them a proper trial, that we can't possibly provide them with a fair trial now. Yet, the Post prints such patently ludicrous nonsense without providing a platform for a contrarian voice that would point out the absurdity in the above comment.

Or how about this priceless attempt at "logic":

Reid said the Senate will make sure that any final plan includes a prohibition on the transfer of detainees to U.S. prisons. "Can't put them in prison unless you release them," he said.

How Orwellian: prison = release. Oh, I get it, if we give them a fair trial, since we can't prove the guilt of most of the detainees, we'd have to release them. What a tragedy for the bloodthirsty lench mob that wants to hold someone, anyone, in jail for something, regardless of guilt or innocence. We've got to be tough on someone, right?

Where is the sanity?

Friday, May 15, 2009

Indefinite Detention, No Trial

The corporatist Wall Street Journal often is given the scoop on police state expansions of power because they will report on such expansions uncritically. The trend continued recently when the Journal reported on rumblings that the Obama administration is considering indefinitely holding detainees (i.e. accused terrorists) without trial. This state of affairs is reported as if it is normal without quoting a civil liberties proponent who would frame such an action as lunacy (the ever-present, usually quoted "administration critic" that is quoted whenever such stories are reported in equally corporatist but more centrist publications like the New York Times or the Washington Post). No corporatist paper, of course, would print an alternative view pointing out prior successful federal court prosecutions of accused terrorists who actually committed violent acts on U.S. soil, such as Timothy McVeigh or the original World Trade Center bombers. If the FBI, federal law enforcement, and U.S. attorneys were able to build successful cases against those perpetrators, why has no one in the corporate press questioned why neither the Bush nor the Obama administration is capable of trying cases against the current crop of alleged terrorists?

Is it possible that the cases against the current crop of detainees is paper-thin and/or based on information gathered through torture (such information being inherently unreliable as people might say *anything* to get the torture to stop)? Since our military-intelligence infrastructure is an extension of global corporatist interest (the ultimate bargaining chip, if you will, to enforce multinational corporate will in any arena, globally), corporatist media is wary of presenting criticism of any utilization of force by the military/intelligence system that has intertwined closer than ever since the start of the Global War on Anyone Opposed to U.S. Expansionism (the new way to demonize anyone who opposes corporate interests anywhere, as past revelations of wiretapping of peace activists and other radicals seems to imply).

Since so many detainees committed no acts of violence against U.S. citizens (or anyone), how far are we away from the "thought crime" scenario in "1984"?