A tainted victory for Bush

The guilty verdict against Jose Padilla showed the Bush administration could win a high-profile terrorism conviction despite questions over whether it acted legally in detaining the U.S. citizen for 3-1/2 years without charges.

But critics and law experts called Thursday’s verdict a messy win for the government, in which it was able to avoid answering for its long detention and interrogation of Padilla without the legal rights normally granted U.S. citizens, and, his lawyers said, for torturing him.

Some said it showed that the administration still lacks a workable system for trying terrorism suspects nearly six years after the September 11 attacks.

“The verdict is important because it provides cover. It validates the government’s tactics in a way that the jury may not have necessarily meant to,” said American University law professor Stephen Vladeck.

“Padilla has had his day in court, but only with respect to the charges, and not to his treatment and not the lawfulness of his detention for 3-1/2 years in a Navy brig,” Vladeck said.

Amnesty International said “President Bush should not take (the verdict) as permission to continue to hold Americans outside the law at his whim.”

The administration claimed victory in the verdict, in which a federal jury in Miami convicted Padilla and two co-defendants on charges of offering their services to terrorists.

Padilla, a U.S. convert to Islam, was arrested in 2002 and initially accused of plotting a radiological “dirty bomb” attack. President George W. Bush ordered him held in a military prison as an illegal “enemy combatant.”

“A DIRTY VICTORY”

But faced with legal challenges to Bush’ authority to jail a person without charge, prosecutors added Padilla to an existing terrorism support case in Miami and never charged him with any bomb plot.

“It’s kind of a dirty victory because of the way the case came about, but still it’s a victory nonetheless,” said Jeffrey Addicott, director of the Center for Terrorism Law at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas.

“I think it was the right verdict,” he said.

He said the administration is still trying to come up with an efficient system for trying terrorism suspects, after trying to rely on international “laws of war” to hold Padilla.

The Padilla case showed that U.S. terrorism suspects and foreigners such as those held at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba can be tried in civilian courts, said Michael Greenberger, law professor and director of the Center for Health and Homeland security at the University of Maryland.

“A lot of resources were wasted … by the attempt to expand executive power,” he said.

Furthermore, U.S. prestige abroad was eroded by the administration’s handling of the case, which was seen as an effort to circumvent constitutional protections, he said.

Bush has tried to implement a system of military commissions to try the Guantanamo suspects, but he has lost court challenges.

Acting Deputy U.S. Attorney General Craig Morford acknowledged after the verdict that civilian courts can handle some terrorism cases. But other cases involving national security, classified information or other complications may not be suited for civilian courts, he said.

White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe said: “Each case has to be looked on an individual basis … some might be an American citizen, but many are not, as are most held in Guantanamo Bay. And I think that’s an important distinction.”

22 Responses to "A tainted victory for Bush"

  1. Klaus Hergeschimmer  August 21, 2007 at 1:58 am

    Seal, great comments, YOU ROCK!!!

  2. bryan mcclellan  August 21, 2007 at 4:58 am

    I’m going to give everyone here a round of resounding applause,even whats his name, ah ,K abdul Y. Restraint has been demonstrated by all here with dignity in mind,I do not suffer fools,I forgive them…….To a point..

  3. Klaus Hergeschimmer  August 21, 2007 at 5:16 am

    Yeah, Abdul was definitely attempting to bait everyone into losing their cool.

    It didn’t work

  4. bryan mcclellan  August 19, 2007 at 8:30 pm

    Abdul, Fox news,Manchurian candidate,or whoever you are, you have just convinced me that you might be HIGH enough to hunt DUCKS with a garden rake…Your arguments are circular,left,left,left,left,left.Try thinking forward for a change.And by the way,nobody said they didn’t like you.

  5. SEAL  August 20, 2007 at 4:48 am

    Abdul of the KY, you make the most ridiculous assumptions. Everyone who doesn’t agree with you is a leftist. For your information, I am retired military (32 years). Do you think I could be “left?” But you must label everyone. That way you can divide us. That way we must be with you or against you. No in-between. Divisive politics. Right out of the administration’s playbook the past 7 years.

    I’m not left and I’m not right, whatever those are. I’m me. An American. I believe I qualify as a patriot and that isn’t a label. That’s an honor one must earn and I’m damn proud of it. Pray tell us what act of patriotism you have demonstrated and don’t you dare say standing up for the abolition of a woman’s right to choose abortion. And you may not argue that it is saving lives because that fact has not been settled and is, therefore, argumentaive in medicine and law. Opposing the right of free choice based upon a personal conviction is not being patriotic. That is advocating a personal belief. Which, btw, is your right that I support. Supporting the rights of both sides to have free individual choice is patriotic. Trying to deny that right to either side is unpatriotic.

    Patriotism is at the root of all of the issues before us today. Patriots are what is needed at the polls to elect patriots to our government. What we don’t need are party loyalists (as you claim to be) which is what we presently have in our government. Especially when their loyalty is to a leader that has proven himself unpatriotic by the elimination of our civil rights, as is so clearly demonstrated in the Padilla case, by his elimination of the right of habeas corpus, by his admitted illegal wiretapping of citizens, by his proven lying to the country and the world to illicit permission from a stupid congress to violate international law and illegally invade a soverign nation that had never even threatened our country, and the list goes on. We must ask ourselves, “what is the motivation for a person’s actions?” The answer must be patriotism rather than the current self promotion and enrichment that is so obvious in all of our elected officials and their supporters. Certainly, the answer must not be the party loyalty you clearly advocate.

    I can only remember maybe a half dozen times I have seen anyone at CHB declare themselves as left. Not seriously, anyway. But I have seen posters who declare they are or were on the right favor a woman’s right to abortion. Self professed republicans who declare that they think Bush is an evil and dangerous president. Almost all of those posting here are neither left or right. Just Americans. Not everyone is going to fit neatly into your little label cubbyholes. No one should.

    As a Right wing party loyalist you blame all of the country’s ills on the left. You blame all of our social ills on abortion. You parrot the right wing neocon facist (there’s three labels for you since you like them so much) talking points in rapid fire order as if you have them posted on the wall in front of you. Talking points that have never been anything but unsubstanciated allegations. You have yet to offer anything to support one of your outlandish claims. Like the leaders of England, Germany, and France are pro Bush. How would you know that? Have you had private conversations with these people? By what actions have they demonstrated such an attitude? You claim it, now prove it. But you won’t because you can’t

    We should be pleased with ourselves. Your arrival announces that we are having an impact. Our reader base and rant list must have grown sufficiently to pose a threat for them to send in one of their quick typing shills to hammer the talking points, distract us from the important issues by constantly throwin up the emotional ones they want everyone to focus on, and instigate disruption of the group.

    Unfortunately all I am going to be able to do is ignore you due to the treatments for my health problem (incurable cancer) taking up too much time and affecting my ability to focus clearly. So, I leave you to the others to deal with as they will. I just wanted to make sure no one was fooled by you.

  6. Helen Rainier  August 20, 2007 at 6:59 am

    SEAL,

    JMHO — but I do not believe that your ability to focus clearly is compromised at all.

    Your thoughts, as expressed, sound pretty damned clear and cogent to me.

    One vet to another!

  7. bryan mcclellan  August 20, 2007 at 8:39 am

    Seal: If you were any more focused you’d be a Laser, one Vet to another..

  8. Jerry  August 20, 2007 at 10:24 am

    “All I have seen from the Left is name-calling and defensiveness. I have yet to see one of you step up to the plate and explain why your way is actually better.”

    First, there is the nonsense of “the Left” to deal with. There is no Left unless one is on the Far Right. A member of the Democratic Party is still way to the Right of any French or Italian ML politician, so America generally can rest easy. Worrying about “the Left” is a complete red herring (excuse the pun). (But perhaps we should worry about those who worry.)

    Let’s take the main thrust of the complaint. How is it that an Irishman gets to criticize America? How dare I?

    I get to jump up and down and tell you all how rotten some parts of the present American legal system is. But, criminal that I am, when I finally get arrested, I sure hope I get arrested in the United States. Because the alternative fun places — China, Serbia, Zimbabwe, Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan, Chile, Colombia, Syria — are places where I really don’t want to be imprisoned for a decade or two. Not even an hour or two, please. Gimme the good ol’ US of A any day.

    So what am I shouting about?

    Consider me the swim coach. OK. Imagine it’s Olympics time and there’s a great race planned between the United States team and the Irish, me. I don’t think I can beat the American swimmers. Put them and me in a pool together, and I think the 19 year-old American will win. By a length or two. My beer gut provides considerable drag.

    Does that mean his coach is automatically happy with the American swimmer? No. He’s jumping up and down and shouting at the U.S. swimmer, not because he beat me — who cares if he beat me? — but because the swimmer didn’t do the best he possibly could. He’s not there to beat me. He’s there to beat the world record. And his coach will shout at him until he does.

    Me, too. I reckon the American system of justice is pretty good. Better than Zimbabwe’s. We’re in agreement so far. But is it as good as it can be? No. I’m gonna continue shouting at it until we live up to the standards we set ourselves, which may be higher than anyone else’s standards already, but perhaps not as good as we can be.

  9. Steve Horn  August 20, 2007 at 2:44 pm

    Abdul wrote:

    “I never see a Christian-hating liberal at Habitat for Humanity. Nor do I see them handing out food and clothing at the Salvation Army” –

    Well, I’m not a “Christian-hating liberal”, in fact I find American liberals to be one of the most dangerous, in consistent groups out there. Politically I would probably qualify as being a leftists, if a label is required, and it’s one that I’d wear with great pride. I’ve worked side by side with other members of Habitat for Humanity and I pledge time on a regular basis at a Christian facility that helps men, women and families who, for various reasons, have fallen on hard times. I don’t do this because I profess belief in a particular bit of fantasy (you may call it theology if you’re so inclined), but because I’m a human being and feel for other human beings who are suffering. Belief systems have nothing to do with an individuals view of humanity and giving, unless, of course, they narrow that view so that they can wear a particular label. From an historic perspective, relegions have been the fundamental reasons behind the majority of the wars that have been fought. Heck, during the cold war were not the Judeo-Christian nations of the world trying to thwart the spread of the evil athiestic communists?

    To get back on topic, the Padilla affair, in fact the entire behavioral pattern assumed by the Bush administration and many “Americans” in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, of all political persuasions, is a terrible chapter in American history. Our personal rights have been stripped from us, we’ve been fed a steady diet of fear and doom by our “leaders” and the truth has been obscured at best, totally absent at worst.

    You say that more Americans are working – you may be correct if you look at pure numbers – but losing a $30.00 / hour factory job with health insurance and replacing it with two $8.00/hour jobs at Walmart with no insurance really isn’t taking a step up.

    My mother had a favorite saying regarding statistics – “Figures don’t lie, but liars figure” – in the absence of raw data I view most, if not all, govnerment numbers as suspect (at best).

    Peace

    Steve

  10. surgethis  August 20, 2007 at 4:03 pm

    Tyranny and Propaganda … Padilla is being used as an example that the Bush administration is catching terrorists. But it’s a huge lie and cover for their real agenda to keep their war alive and to continue their assault on our constitution.

    They can’t get a conviction unless they detain and torture these guys for several years and cook the evidence. They go around charging these people with the biggest crimes so they get press on it and it looks like they are fighting terror. Later they have to reduce the charges because there was no evidence. So they torture and destroy these human beings until they get a confession.

    The real terrorists are operating out of the White House. They are the ones who hate our freedoms. That’s why they have been systematically destroying our rights from day one. Once they carried out the catalyzing event of bringing down the towers it was game on against the American people.

    Their agenda was set in motion and the myth about terrorism pounded through the echo chamber of main stream media until it became fact. Here’s a fact – there is zero direct evidence that Bin Laden had anything to do with 911. Fact – Saddam did not have WMDs as they claimed a over and over and over. They are liars.

    While terroristic acts may be something to fear it’s nothing compared to the threat this White House and the global elite are capable of. Beware the National ID card and the Globalist agenda for one world government and one world currency.

    They brought down the WTC to begin the push for this at the start of the new century. It’s all planned and carried out by them to bring about control over the resources and over our movements and freedoms.

    What this regime has done in the world are crimes against humanity. Crimes against us all.

  11. Klaus Hergeschimmer  August 20, 2007 at 7:37 pm

    I used to be much more ‘left’, but as the years passed by I have various political leanings depending what the issue is. I became an Indpendent because I don’t tow the Jack-Ass party agendas, line, sinker & hook.

    There are Dems I think are doing a great job such as
    Henry Waxman, Dennis Kucinich, and Dems I despise like
    Diane Feinstein that is my Senator in California and she went along with Bush giving him wiretap without FISA oversight along with many other Dems.

    I have Democratic friends who will not agree with me that the Democratic party betrayed us on FISA and matters such as this, they keep clinging to the idea that, ‘next time will stand up to the Neo-Cons”. I also get angry at some of my Democratic friends that always blame Ralph Nader for Democratic party misfortunes.

    When it comes to freedom of the press and censorship I could be considered extremely ‘Lefty’, but These freedoms transcend political parties, they are not
    ‘lefty’.

    There was a great radio program on NPR that hosted
    Bruce Fein, chairman of the American Freedom Agenda, and former congressman, Bob Barr of Georgia.
    The American Freedom agenda, was formed by a leading group of conservatives that are challenging the Bush Adminstrations policies of usurping legislative and judical authority. They the discussed the first concerted effort by a faction of conservatives to openly and publicly repuditate and challenge the Bush Administration, and uphold the governments responsibility to uphold the Constitution and rule of law.

    The radio show: The American Freedom Agenda, The Nation’s Best Soft Diplomacy, can be heard on real player recording at link below:

    http://www.commonwealthclub.org/archive/index.php?

    Bob Barr was one of the leading congressmen who initiated impeachment proceedings against
    Bill Clinton, and at the time I was very angry at him for that. Bob Barr is advocating impeachment hearings of George W. Bush. Bill Clinton did things I did not like such as passing the telecommunications bill that made it easier for corparate media mergers which enabled the likes of Rupert Murdoch.

    I now realize, that Bob Barr, like Henry Waxman, is not on any politcal agenda, he is a strait shooter and I admire Bob Barr immensely for the same reason I admire Waxman and his uncompromising stand upholding
    Presidential adminstraions to the law, whether it be Donkey or Elephant.

  12. Klaus Hergeschimmer  August 20, 2007 at 4:04 am

    Abdul listed the same laundry list on the Tony Snow
    feature on CHB with a heading like…

    More Americans this…

    More Americans that…

    More Americans the other…

    Abdul talks a lot but dosen’t say anything.

    Abdul, I want you answer one question and reply only to this question without your endless smoke screens.

    Before Gulf War One, Dick Cheney said he did not support going into Baghdad to get Saddam because occupying a country with the disparate shites, Kurds, and Sunnis would end up with the U.S. being in the middle of a civil war.

    with the occupation of Iraq today Cheney has totally backtracked on his own rationale.

    THE QUESTION FOR ABDUL: How do you reconcile Cheneys rationale then, and his rationale now against his own logic to march into baghdad and occupy Iraq.

    Abdul, quit hiding behind your little laundry list of:

    More Americans this…

    More Americans that…

    More Americans the other…

    Just Answer the question Abdul, and only this question.

    That is if you will condescend to lower yourself to our levels…being the scholar you -you truly are.

  13. Abdul of the Kyber Pass  August 19, 2007 at 7:14 am

    I am beginning to understand more. This site is for members of the Democratic Underground who can write complete sentences.

    If I am banned, this will add just more proof that the Leftists and their fellow travelers, the Dems, are two-faced in their approach to Free Speech.

    You do not want discourse; you merely want agreement.

  14. Abdul of the Kyber Pass  August 19, 2007 at 6:55 pm

    If you all agree, then what is the point of this website? Is this a support group?

    Let’s talk about how bad things really are.

    More Americans, including minorities and women, are invested in the stock market than ever before.

    More Americans, including record-breaking levels of minorities, own their own homes.

    More Americans, including all minorities, are working now than ever before.

    The unemployment rate is lower now than in the Clinton years in spite of record numbers of undocumented workers.

    The new Brit Prime Minister is pro-Bush and pro-American, in spite of claims that the world hates us.

    The new French Prime Minister is pro-Bush and pro-American, in spite of claims that the world doesn’t respect us.

    The new German Prime Minister is pro-Bush and pro-American, in spite of claims that the US is the most dangerous force in the world.

    Who are our enemies? A totalitarian North Korea that starves its own people in order to pursue nuclear domination of the Korean Peninsula. An Iranian regime that oppresses its own people wanting to be free to speak, dance, and gather. A Russian strongman, a former KGB agent, who sells technology to Iran so that it can encourage terrorism all over the globe. A Cuban government that jails, tortures and kills journalists, dissidents, and anyone else who doesn’t toe that totalitarian line.

    The Left failed in the USSR. It failed in France, Germany, and Great Britain. Socialist government after socialist government is seeing that its high-tax, welfare-state, anything goes attitude has bankrupted their countries and their peoples.

    The two most populist countries in the world, Indian and China are becoming more market-oriented and democratically leaning year after year. The people are moving away from socialism toward freedom and capitalism.

    This summer I worked in New Jersey. I spent 7 days a week talking to immigrants from all over the globe. All of them moved from countries with very limited freedoms to America. Not a one of them said they wanted to go back. I heard time and time again that they came to America to have less government and more freedom. They came to work hard and enjoy the rewards.

    You folks keep talking about how bad America is. If it is so bad, why are millions dying to get here? I’m just the second generation born in this country. My son-in-law is a first generation American. My family and his came to America because our system is so much better.

    All I have seen from the Left is name-calling and defensiveness. I have yet to see one of you step up to the plate and explain why your way is actually better. You call our leaders insulting names and yet become incensed if someone dares to challenge your words or ideas.

    You are aware that FDR put tens of thousands of US citizens of Japanese, German, and Italian descent into concentration camps? You act as if you never heard of this.

    Abortion is a big business. Look at Planned Parenthood’s books. In my work I deal with troubled youth. They do not believe that life, even their lives, are precious. And why should they. The Left keeps telling them that life in the womb doesn’t matter unless someone wants it to survive. Most of my young people are unwanted by their fathers and society. They don’t value their own lives because they don’t see that anyone else values them. This is the gift that abortion keeps on giving. Unless you are wanted, you are disposable, unimportant, worthless.

    Read up on the history of abortion. The founders saw it as a good way to keep the populations of undesirables down. Or do you people read anything than your own group think?

    The big difference between me and you is this. When your side wins, someone dies. When my side wins, someone lives. Please, tell me, what is so bad about life that you work to snuff it out?

    I work with the shattered results of your beloved welfare state: fatherless families (because Uncle Sugar pays the bills), drug-addicted middle schoolers (because putting drug dealers in jail is just mean), gang violence (because I shouldn’t have to work for anything), and pregnant 12-year-old girls (because teaching moral values violates someone’s rights).

    I work every day to make these lives better. And no, I don’t work for a religious or faith-based group. Meanwhile, what have you done? I know, you’ve called the President insulting names. You’ve denigrated Christians who put more money and effort into helping people than secular people ever do. The vast majority of the people I know who work with suffering families, hurting kids, and broken lives are Christians. Do you know why? Because the Left is waiting for the Government to take someone else’s money and do something.

    I never see a Christian-hating liberal at Habitat for Humanity. Nor do I see them handing out food and clothing at the Salvation Army. When more than 30,000 evacuees moved through my little town two years ago to get out of the way of Hurricane Rita, it was the churches that opened their doors. It was the churches that fed and clothed people for weeks on end.

    You guys just don’t show up, unless its to get someone to the abortion clinic.

    You don’t like me. Fine. I’ll wear that as a badge of honor. I don’t like your politics. I don’t like your attitudes. I don’t like your shallowness. But that doesn’t mean I don’t like you. I don’t know you. I only know your words. That’s another huge difference between my side and yours. You hate us. But we don’t hate you. We don’t agree with you and will fight to stop you. But we would also welcome you into our homes, feed you, and clothe you if you were in need. You see, I value your life. Why can’t you value all of ours?

  15. surgethis  August 20, 2007 at 3:25 pm

    It’s nice that you spent the morning typing up a new version of “love America or leave it ” and told us a bunch of nonsensical stories about how the left hates America.

    Your post was so full of garbage which I have no doubt you believe fully that I won’t waste my time too long here responding. Let’s just say you are truly delusional and gullible. Without really thinking you manage to put together a list of absolutes based on zero facts.

    I’m curious when you were at the Salvation Army and Habitat for Humanity helping the homeless and all, did you get the chance to interview everyone and ask them if they were Christian Hating Liberals as you call them? Seriously. You can’t answer that Christian born again – can you? Because you weren’t there.

    You are dishonest with yourself and others and your “list of gripes and statistics ” show a level of ignorance and compliance with the right wing taking points that boggles the mind.

  16. bryan mcclellan  August 18, 2007 at 8:40 pm

    Everything that smirko touches is rife with ineptitude and sleight of hand to cover what has become a mockery of U.S. and International law.What is the sense in changing or subverting a system that has been proven to serve us well in past wars?Who told these fools they were smarter than our founders,and when will Congress put a stop to these breaches of our basic tenants?Give these people they’re rightful day in court and lets redeem some of our dignity on the international stage…

  17. Abdul of the Kyber Pass  August 18, 2007 at 11:31 pm

    bm,

    I read your post. All I see is sophomoric name-calling and unimaginative diatribe. Please restate your parroted points in a manner that suggests clear thought.

  18. bryan mcclellan  August 19, 2007 at 2:13 am

    No Fowl imagination here. Methinks reading and comprehension are not your forte..

  19. Jerry  August 19, 2007 at 2:37 am

    “Padilla verdict raises serious legal questions.”

    Actually, as Mikkelsen suggests, the verdict manages to *cover up* as many serious legal questions as it has exposed.

    The Supreme Court last year agreed to hear Padilla’s appeal against illegal detention only if Bush decided to take Padilla back into military custody. If the Justice Dept. won the case, the Supreme Court would sit on its hands. If it lost, Bush would have had to either free Padilla, or put him back in the brig, and until that happened the Supreme Court argued that any appeal against being held in military detention was “hypothetical.”

    Of course it’s not hypothetical — Padilla did three and a half years in the brig, without charges or trial.

    But the conviction means the Supreme Court is just going to look the other way and pretend it never saw anything. The Bush Administration has gotten away with unconstitutionally detaining an American citizen arrested on American soil. No wonder the Administration is celebrating the conviction — it gets them off the hook.

  20. SEAL  August 19, 2007 at 12:24 pm

    Abdul: The reason I post here is because I have found more down to earth, frank, and intelligent discourse than any other forum I have seen. The main reason I’m here is that the posters are essentially apolitical; americans concerned about their country rather than political party supporters; people who base their views upon facts and evidence rather than feelings or beliefs; people with open minds. Patriots.

    Also, I am attracted by the fact that not everyone agrees about any given subject and the fact that we are allowed to disagree as long as we do it with respect for the individual, refraining from personal remarks or innuendo about the posters. There are always different perceptions about almost every subject. Otherwise, what would be the point of discussion?

    However, there is one thing they all agree upon. That our nation is in a hell of a lot of trouble due to the present administration and their supporters. That decision has been arrived at by weighing facts and evidence; by listening to both sides; by observing actions as opposed to simply accepting baseless rhetoric and repetitive talking points; and by not allowing ourselves to be sidetracked on to emotional issues deliberately concocted to divide and distract us from that which is actually important, even critical, to the wellbeing of our nation and the freedom of its people.

    When you present an argument with comments such as:

    “The Left loves abortion because they see it as a means of 1. keeping the numbers of the lower classes down because abortion has always been a racist policy, 2. it is the blood sacrifice on the Left’s altar of selfishness.”

    You inject emotion with the issue of racism where it has no bearing whatsoever and paint that, now, racist opposition with blood.

    And:

    “But the biggest draw that abortion has on the Left is nothing more complex than money. Abortion is a big business. And those businesses funnel money to the DNC.

    Here you attempt to color abortion supporters as completely heartless money mercenaries with no concern for life and provide no facts to support that. Anyone with half a brain can figure out that the income of the abortion “industry” (as you attempt to define it) is minute when compared to the other industries involved in supporting political causes or candidates. In the first place, to claim abortion an industry of serious note is to stretch credibility beyond possibility. Any amount of money they could provide pales in comparison to the evangelic religion industry and the fundamentalist fundraising contributions to the anti-abortion lobby, as has been documented in this forum long ago. If anyone has saved those figures, perhaps they would provide them for the product of the KY. Making claims you cannot support and are, in fact, false, destroys your credibility about everything you might say.

    And:

    “not personal responsibility or even human life itself will prevent them from their lives of narcissism.”

    Now you claim to be clairvoyant. How could you possibly know the personal mind set of these individuals? I know many who support a person’s right to choose abortion but personally are opposed to aborting. What you fail to recognize is that the issue is “rights” not abortion. The anti-lobby does this deliberately to twist the issue into an emotional one about life and death with beating heart comments and ugly pictures to avoid recognizing the fact that the issue is civil rights. And you refuse to consider that both sides might be uncomfortable with or even appalled by the prospect of terminating a birth. I am one of those, but I still support a person’s right to choose. In fact, I was faced with the choice which we seriously considered when we found ourselves pregnant when I was 50 and my wife was 43 with 3 already grown children. Today we have a wonderful 19 year old. So, don’t judge a book by its cover. You lose all credibility when you claim to know the inner mind or feelings of the individual.

    And then you drag up something so totally disrealated, disassociated,and meaningless as:

    “Don’t forget that it was a Leftist, FDR, who put Americans in concentration camps in order to turn their property over to western agricultural interests as paybacks for their contributions.”

    and you throw in, as the blindly convicted and closed minded neocon right always does: that “Clinton” did this or didn’t do that about something that has nothing to do with the current subject matter. By doing that, you are not engaging in or seeking discourse, you are distracting and instigating for emotional responses. Apparently, they assume everyone not on the right loves all things Clinton and will fire back at them.

    And, again, you make a claim for which you provide no support. FDR and the rip-off you claim he perpetrated above has nothing to do with this issue but, if you are going to claim he did what you say, you must prove it. You must really be desperate to reach that far back in history to denigrate what you label as the despicable “left.” Everyone not in agreement with you, must be that awful left.

    Your labeling all things oppositon prone to your concepts as the “left” with comments like:

    “The Left abhors the concept of personal responsibility.” and: “The Left worships itself.” and: “Leftists see themselves as the center of the universe.”

    are not attempts to establish discourse but baseless accusations and deliberate instigation through name calling.

    My whole point is that you are seeking exactly the opposite of what you claim. You want a fight, not a disagreement. You want to reduce this site to unpleasant, irritating personal arguments about each other instead of topic discussions.

    If you wish to discuss this or any other issue on this site you will find many that will be more than willing to respectfully engage with you. But if you persist in your present course you will be ignored.

  21. SEAL  August 19, 2007 at 3:10 am

    It is obvious that “Abdul of the KY” has come to instigate and disrupt with personal comments about other posters. This has been the MO of the neocon right since day one. Using personal attacks to solicit personal name calling battles in these forums to destroy them. Posters will stop participating and leave the forums that desintegrate into personal battles with vicious remarks. Of course, it won’t work here. In the first place it is not allowed and if he continues the moderators will deal with him appropriately. But the people who post on CHB are not stupid or naive enough to fall for it.

    I won’t even offer to define what the KY in his screen name is intended to be.

    When is Doug due back from vacation?

  22. SEAL  August 19, 2007 at 3:49 am

    This has been the worst miscarriage of any sense of “justice” I have ever seen. It has occurred because of Bush’s mania for expanding his “executive power.” He wants to be able to be a dictator whenever it suits him.

    What I don’t understand is how gaining this conviction for some crime, any ‘ol crime, gets anyone off the hook for all the violations of Padilla’s constitutional rights. Convicting him of “something” does not erase what was done to him. That is history that cannot be changed. As an american citizen he is entitled to all the rights of any other citizen regardless of what label Bush applies to him. No law or executive order can be enacted that abolishes the rights guaranteed to all citizens by the constitution. The constitution makes that perfectly clear.

    I don’t know how Padilla could be tried for any crime considering the length of time he has been held in custody. His right to a speedy trial would surely prevent his being tried at this late date unless he waived it, which I doubt. My law is rusty but I seem to remember there is a time limit that is less than 3 1/2 years, regardless. And changing the charge does not invalidate that right.

    There is no question that Padilla has been tortured. Three years in a Gitmo Navy brig not knowing when or what will happen to him was “cruel and unusual” all by itself. I have no knowledge of whether Padilla is guilty of terrorist activity or intentions. If he really is a bad guy he should be appropriately punished. But he is still entitled to all the rights guaranteed him under the constitution.

    Guilty people walk away from conviction all the time due to law enforcement mistakes, however, in a blatant deliberate case like this, the person that knowingly violated Padilla’s rights has, also, committed a crime and should punished accordingly.

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