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Re: So much for the Great Writ of Habeas Corpus (Again)

Posted: 05 Dec 2011 23:27
by Freakzilla
The teacher was from Pennsylvania and I don't think she appreciated my Southern Zealotry. I must say though, she was a damned fine teacher since I learned the subject matter well enough without a book to get a B two years later.

Re: So much for the Great Writ of Habeas Corpus (Again)

Posted: 06 Dec 2011 00:24
by Shepherd492
Nekhrun wrote:
Shepherd492 wrote:Shame the education system is so damn bad...the reason people don't know shit about government or history is because they aren't even taught it.

Not true. It works very well for people who are not in poverty. Why would a kid want to try in school if he/she is hungry, doesn't have stable housing or has to work to help support the family?

People make the mistake of looking at average standardized test scores (which are bullshit anyway http://theinnovativeeducator.blogspot.c ... ng-is.html ) when they should really be looking at the populations who score lower than others and why that is.

I understand that, and I agree about standarized testing. Standarized testing puts unneeded pressures on the school system, and the results are extremely inaccurate.

My statement refers more to my educational (mostly high school) experience. At my high school, you took a grand total of 60 classes over just four years. The years were divided into three trimesters of 9 weeks each. The result of this ridiculous system is two fold. Firstly, over HALF of my classes were complete nonsense, worthless classes. Classes like "World Percussion" "Beginner Guitar" "Word/Excel" and "Webpage Design" were not exactly critical classes, and furthermore were taught by teachers who just didn't care.
The result was socializing sessions and wasted time.

The second effect is that it gave us less time to study actual subjects. Because we were limited to 9 weeks per subject, classes moved at an extremely fast pace, skimming over key events and moving from subject to subject very quickly. As an example, our unit on World War II in an American History 1877-Present class was exactly one week long, and spent more time discussing the role of women than we did anything else (we also spent 1 day on the atomic bombs, and another day on Pearl Harbor.)

Re: So much for the Great Writ of Habeas Corpus (Again)

Posted: 06 Dec 2011 00:29
by Freakzilla
It also encourages teachers to cheat.

See Atlanta.

Re: So much for the Great Writ of Habeas Corpus (Again)

Posted: 08 Dec 2011 18:04
by Drunken Idaho
FEMA camps, anyone?

Digital Journal wrote:Op-Ed: American bill makes for a battlefield state

Are the pieces of the puzzle coming together? When FEMA started a program called REX 84 no one paid much attention. The program would run 800 detention camps in the United States. Is the current Defense-Authorization Act bill part of this plan?
The Defense-Authorization Act bill will allow the United States to lock up anyone they see fit as a terror suspect, including their own citizens. The military will be in charge and allowed to hold 'suspects' for any amount of time without the right to trial.
The government already has the means to lock up their citizens and hide them away with no one the wiser. FEMA has been stockpiling for years. I wrote about this in August 2007 at Digital Journal. At that time there were 600 camps in place, the largest in Alaska could house 2 million people. At that time the laws were not in place to detain the American people. The world is about to change.
We only have to look back within this century to see history about to repeat itself. An angry people, tired of the rich, ready to make changes. Nazi Germany. American and Canadian Japanese Concentration Camps.
But who is the threat in the United States? Could it be the youth involved in the Occupy Movement? Animal rights activists? Anyone who doesn't agree with the government? Journalists who are willing to tell the truth no matter what the cost? One has to question why this matter is not being raised in the mainstream news.
The CS Monitor quoted Christopher Anders, senior legislative counsel of the American Civil Liberties Union:
“This bill puts military detention authority on steroids and makes it permanent. If it becomes law, American citizens and others are at real risk of being locked away by the military without charge or trial.”
The ones that will decide the future of the Defense-Authorization Act bill, congress are split. Some like John McCain is all for locking folks away while others like Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) of California says that the U.S. is not a nation that "locks up its citizens without charge, prosecution, and conviction.”
Feinstein isn't exactly right. The United States has no qualms about locking away those that they feel is a threat, but it's generally citizens of other countries. Is Gitmo so far away that we've forgotten about detainees that didn't have a trial for years?
MTV is hosting a petition against the final bill that already passed 93-7 in the US Senate. It's up to President Obama to veto it now.
America the free may be on the way out. America, the prison state, could be what is about to begin.
As for those in Canada, don't feel so secure. The US wants to know who is traveling in and out of their northern neighbour's land. Prime Minister Stephen Harper is in Washington, D.C. this week discussing privacy issues. One of those concerns a 32-point border action plan system that will permit the US to track everyone coming and leaving Canada by air, land and sea. Security measure or making sure no one is really free anymore?
Why hasn't this issue been in the press? Do we really want to ignore the fact that freedom is a thing of the past and Big Brother, what used to be thought of as science fiction, is today's reality?

Here's a link to the supposed PDF calling for contractors:

Re: So much for the Great Writ of Habeas Corpus (Again)

Posted: 08 Dec 2011 18:08
by Drunken Idaho
And if you were hoping for that veto (as if Obama would have had the spine), here's some bad news... Congress wants to be able to override president's veto powers:

The New American wrote:House Passes REINS Act to Rein In Federal Regulations

The House of Representatives on Tuesday passed a bill (H.R. 10) to prevent the President from imposing major regulations on the country without the approval of Congress . Entitled the REINS Act — Regulations From the Executive in Need of Scrutiny — the bill is intended to rein in the executive branch's usurpation of legislative power via issuing rules by executive fiat.

Sponsored by Rep. Geoff Davis (R-Ky.), the REINS Act passed in the House of Representatives by a 241 to 184 vote, with four Democrats joining Republicans to vote in favor of the legislation. Most believe the bill will not likely be taken up in the Senate, controlled by the Democrats, and even if it were to somehow be addressed and approved in the Senate, it would more than likely be vetoed by President Obama.

The Washington Post provides some background on the legislation:

Under the 1996 Congressional Review Act, Congress already has the power to override proposed regulations by passing a joint “resolution of disapproval.” But such a resolution faces the hurdle of having to be signed into law by the president, who would likely veto any move to do away with a regulation proposed by his or her own administration. The president’s veto can be overriden by Congress, but that, of course, takes a two-thirds vote in both chambers.

Congress has only successfully wielded its power under the Congressional Review Act once before, in 2001, when it voted to do away with a Department of Labor ergonomics regulation.

The REINS Act would be an improvement as it subjects all major regulations to congressional approval. If a majority of both the House and the Senate does not approve of the regulation, it cannot be put into effect.

Davis argued in favor of his bill on Wednesday, asserting it “has the potential to transform the way Washington does business, to restore us to economic dominance, and to make this an American century.”

“It’s very simple,” he said. “When a rule is scored as a major rule — $100 million or more in cumulative economic impact — instead of it being forced on the American people at the end of the 60-day comment period, it comes back up to Capitol Hill under joint resolution for a stand-alone vote in the House, a stand-alone vote in the Senate, and then must be signed by the president before it can be enforced on the American people.”

Similarly, Rep. Jeb Hansarling (R-Texas) called the bill a “common sense” piece of legislation. “It forces accountability,” he said. “It simply weighs the benefits of a regulation to be balanced with the cost to our own jobs. Jobs ought to be number one in this House, and the number one jobs bill we can pass is the REINS Act.”

Democrats, on the other hand, view the bill as a measure that would negatively impact the regulatory process and eliminate so-called necessary regulations. “I continue to be disappointed that House Republicans are wasting Congress’s time on ideologically-driven bills to erode federal protections for consumers and communities instead of working on a plan to create jobs,” House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said in a statement. “The REINS Act would undermine our ability to protect children from harmful toys, prevent asthma and lung ailments resulting from pollution, and ensure that our small businesses can compete fairly in the marketplace,” he added. “At the same time, it would force Congress to play a larger role in the regulatory process, leading to even more gridlock in Washington.”

The White House has already threatened to veto the measure if it were somehow passed by both chambers, arguing the measure is “a radical departure from the longstanding separation of powers [which would] delay, and, in many cases, thwart implementation of statutory mandates and execution of duly enacted laws, increase business uncertainty, undermine much-needed protections of the American public, and create unnecessary confusion.”

In actuality, the "radical departure from the longstanding separation of powers" between the legislative and executive branches is the executive-branch practice of legislating via executive decree, in contravention of Article I, Section 1, clause one of the U.S. Constitution, which states: "All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States." (Emphasis added.) Hoyer may not want Congress to "play a larger role" via the REINS Act, but when it comes to exercising legislative powers, the role played by the President is naked usurpation that the Act is intended to rein in. Mandatory "rules" issued by the executive branch may not be called "legislation," but those rules have the effect of laws and what they are called does not change the principle involved.

But wait... Couldn't Obama just veto this no-veto bill? Oh, right... No spine.

Re: So much for the Great Writ of Habeas Corpus (Again)

Posted: 08 Dec 2011 18:14
by A Thing of Eternity
:lol: Yup, whacky stuff. I have no issue with them tracking who goes between the US and Canada, I'm pretty sure they've already been doing that anyways haven't they?

But yeah we don't exactly feel secure about all this, we've had some pretty public debates about some of our own citizens in gitmo.

Re: So much for the Great Writ of Habeas Corpus (Again)

Posted: 08 Dec 2011 22:15
by SandRider
I never did think giving the Federal President veto power over Federal Congressional legislation was a good idea;
as I recall, there was a reason for it during the 1789 Constitutional Convention, but then again, it may have
just been one of the innumerable things that were a "compromise" .... the Federal President is the head of the
Federal Executive, whose only Constitutional role is to enforce existing laws ... and FUCK ME BLIND if that ain't
one of them "issues" that piss me clean the fuck off ... (why in the Sacred Name of G-d does the Federal President
now present a Federal Budget for Congressional approval? &etc.) ..... it's like a beat cop not only refusing to
enforce laws he doesn't agree with, but actually legally nullifying those laws ... how does that make sense ?

I think it was that dickwad Andy Jackson that said something along the lines of "Congress has passed
their law; now let them enforce it."
... and that almost makes sense; and within the scope of
the Constitutional Powers of the Executive ... that right there should be enough for "Checks & Balances";
and anyway, the "Check" on bad law is the Court, right ?

of course, all of this is just playing with your pecker in public; the Federal Republic of the United States of America
has never really followed the "guidelines" of the 1789 Constitution as if they were actual law or anything;
certainly not at any time after January 1861, if even before then ....

Re: So much for the Great Writ of Habeas Corpus (Again)

Posted: 11 Dec 2011 01:10
by Drunken Idaho

So according to Carl Levin, co-sponsor of the bill with this insidious provision, the Obama administration requested specifically to remove language protecting US citizens from indefinite detention. Here's more, from the youtube description...

Section 1031 reads, "A covered person under this section" includes "any person who has committed a belligerent act".

- Confusingly, Obama previously threatened a veto for 1032, but NOT 1031. 1032 is UNRELATED to imprisoning citizens without a trial. He has never suggested using a veto to stop Section 1031 citizen imprisonment. In fact, it was requested by the Obama administration. Watch the video for proof.

- The Feinstein Amendment 1031(e) is dangerously misleading. Don't be fooled: In the text of 1031(e), "Nothing in this section shall be construed...", the only word that matters is "construed" because the Supreme Court are the only ones with the power to construe the law. The Feinstein Amendment 1031(e) permits citizens to be imprisoned without evidence or a trial forever, if the Supreme Court does not EXPLICITLY repeal 1031.

Would be nice to hear this info from a credible news source, but I challenge anyone to find a piece from a more mainstream news outlet that looks at the bill with this level of scrutiny.

This development actually doesn't surprise me at all, considering alleged whistleblower Bradley Manning has been detained without trial for like a year and a half. Only in the last couple weeks did he actually get a court date (Dec 17). Surely, the Obama administration will want to avoid taking the heat for that. Here's Obama playing the role of judge and jury on the issue already:

"He broke the law."

In addition, here's the US gov denying Bradley Manning all of his legal team's requested witnesses that weren't already witnesses for the prosecution.

Some ugly shit going on here.

Re: So much for the Great Writ of Habeas Corpus (Again)

Posted: 13 Dec 2011 12:56
by Drunken Idaho

32 Members of Congress wrote:32 Members of Congress say no to indefinite detention of Americans
December 12, 2011

Johnson-Heinrich letter urges changes to defense authorization bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson (GA-4), U.S. Rep. Martin Heinrich (NM-1), and 30 colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives tonight sent an urgent letter to House and Senate Armed Services Committee leaders and conferees opposing provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act that would authorize indefinite detention of Americans and tie the hands of domestic law enforcement in terrorism cases.

The letter opposed Sec. 1034 of the House-passed defense authorization and Secs. 1031 and 1032 of the Senate-passed bill.

Sec. 1034 of the House bill would authorize the use of military force against broadly defined adversaries substantially exceeding the scope of such authorizations already in law. The expanded authority would have no geographical limits and provide authority for open-ended armed conflict.

Sec. 1031 of the Senate bill would authorize indefinite military detention of suspected terrorists without protecting U.S. citizens’ right to trial. Sec. 1032 of the Senate bill would require that suspected foreign terrorists be taken into custody by the military instead of civilian law enforcement authorities, denying civilian law enforcement authorities the flexibility necessary to conduct effective counterterrorism operations.

“These provisions have no place in our law,” said Johnson, who serves on the House Armed Services and Judiciary Committees. “If we include this language, we're on a slippery slope.”

“I strongly oppose mandating military custody and allowing for indefinite detention without due process or trial,” said Heinrich, who serves on the House Armed Services Committee. “These provisions are deeply concerning and would risk putting American citizens in military detention, indefinitely. In short, this authority is at complete odds with the United States Constitution.”

House and Senate conferees are meeting today to finalize the Defense authorization bill. It is anticipated that the conference report will be voted on by the House this coming Thursday, December 15.

To read the letter, click HERE.

The signed letter will be available at tomorrow. See below for a list of signatories thus far:

Rep. Hank Johnson
Rep. Martin Heinrich
Rep. Ben Ray Luján
Rep. John Conyers
Rep. Alcee Hastings
Rep. Jerrold Nadler
Rep. Judy Chu
Rep. Barbara Lee
Rep. Earl Blumenauer
Rep. Jim McDermott
Rep. John Garamendi
Rep. Raúl Grijalva
Rep. John Lewis
Rep. Charles Rangel
Rep. Ed Towns
Rep. Mike Honda
Rep. William Lacy Clay
Rep. Carolyn Maloney
Rep. Maurice Hinchey
Rep. Bobby Rush
Rep. Diana DeGette
Rep. Steve Cohen
Rep. Jose Serrano
Rep. Henry Waxman
Rep. James McGovern
Rep. Brad Sherman
Rep. Jesse Jackson
Rep. Nydia Velazquez
Rep. Donald Payne
Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton
Rep. Louise Slaughter
Rep. Gwen Moore

Re: So much for the Great Writ of Habeas Corpus (Again)

Posted: 13 Dec 2011 14:52
by SadisticCynic
I can understand starting with 'no indefinite detention of Americans', as this engenders emotional support among Americans, but surely at some point there will be arguments for 'no indefinite detention' full stop.

Re: So much for the Great Writ of Habeas Corpus (Again)

Posted: 13 Dec 2011 19:53
by SandRider
oh hell,no ... the Federal Government believes the Geneva Convention only applies to
the treatment of Federal Military by any one else, enemy or ally, and they're even kinda
soft on that ....

I like the bill ... I long for day all those rat bastards get tired of having to lie all the time
& produce cockamamie "legal footings" for their actions and just declare the Imperial Police State ...

that's been my real beef and belief all along .... I really don't give a fuck what a government does,
just don't piss on my boots & tell me it's raining ...

Re: So much for the Great Writ of Habeas Corpus (Again)

Posted: 05 Jan 2012 02:12
by Drunken Idaho
Got half an hour to listen to a whistleblower who knows intimately how fascist the US has become? Here's Thomas Drake...

In short, he says certain agencies within the gov act largely out of self-preservation (not only of those agencies but also preservation of who's-in-charge). If you go against their grain, and try to change things from within you are met with vague denials about "national security," then you get labelled an enemy of the state when you persist.

Plus it's very Dune when he talks about the attraction to power.

Re: So much for the Great Writ of Habeas Corpus (Again)

Posted: 09 Jan 2012 17:41
by Drunken Idaho
Sad & Scary. It would suck to have your daughters grow up without you because of some shitty intelligence from an over-paranoid foreign agency. Coming soon: similar stories featuring American Citizens!

New York Times wrote:My Guantánamo Nightmare
Published: January 7, 2012

On Wednesday, America’s detention camp at Guantánamo Bay will have been open for 10 years. For seven of them, I was held there without explanation or charge. During that time my daughters grew up without me. They were toddlers when I was imprisoned, and were never allowed to visit or speak to me by phone. Most of their letters were returned as “undeliverable,” and the few that I received were so thoroughly and thoughtlessly censored that their messages of love and support were lost.

Some American politicians say that people at Guantánamo are terrorists, but I have never been a terrorist. Had I been brought before a court when I was seized, my children’s lives would not have been torn apart, and my family would not have been thrown into poverty. It was only after the United States Supreme Court ordered the government to defend its actions before a federal judge that I was finally able to clear my name and be with them again.

I left Algeria in 1990 to work abroad. In 1997 my family and I moved to Bosnia and Herzegovina at the request of my employer, the Red Crescent Society of the United Arab Emirates. I served in the Sarajevo office as director of humanitarian aid for children who had lost relatives to violence during the Balkan conflicts. In 1998, I became a Bosnian citizen. We had a good life, but all of that changed after 9/11.

When I arrived at work on the morning of Oct. 19, 2001, an intelligence officer was waiting for me. He asked me to accompany him to answer questions. I did so, voluntarily — but afterward I was told that I could not go home. The United States had demanded that local authorities arrest me and five other men. News reports at the time said the United States believed that I was plotting to blow up its embassy in Sarajevo. I had never — for a second — considered this.

The fact that the United States had made a mistake was clear from the beginning. Bosnia’s highest court investigated the American claim, found that there was no evidence against me and ordered my release. But instead, the moment I was released American agents seized me and the five others. We were tied up like animals and flown to Guantánamo, the American naval base in Cuba. I arrived on Jan. 20, 2002.

I still had faith in American justice. I believed my captors would quickly realize their mistake and let me go. But when I would not give the interrogators the answers they wanted — how could I, when I had done nothing wrong? — they became more and more brutal. I was kept awake for many days straight. I was forced to remain in painful positions for hours at a time. These are things I do not want to write about; I want only to forget.

I went on a hunger strike for two years because no one would tell me why I was being imprisoned. Twice each day my captors would shove a tube up my nose, down my throat and into my stomach so they could pour food into me. It was excruciating, but I was innocent and so I kept up my protest.

In 2008, my demand for a fair legal process went all the way to America’s highest court. In a decision that bears my name, the Supreme Court declared that “the laws and Constitution are designed to survive, and remain in force, in extraordinary times.” It ruled that prisoners like me, no matter how serious the accusations, have a right to a day in court. The Supreme Court recognized a basic truth: the government makes mistakes. And the court said that because “the consequence of error may be detention of persons for the duration of hostilities that may last a generation or more, this is a risk too significant to ignore.”

Five months later, Judge Richard J. Leon, of the Federal District Court in Washington, reviewed all of the reasons offered to justify my imprisonment, including secret information I never saw or heard. The government abandoned its claim of an embassy bomb plot just before the judge could hear it. After the hearing, he ordered the government to free me and four other men who had been arrested in Bosnia.

I will never forget sitting with the four other men in a squalid room at Guantánamo, listening over a fuzzy speaker as Judge Leon read his decision in a Washington courtroom. He implored the government not to appeal his ruling, because “seven years of waiting for our legal system to give them an answer to a question so important is, in my judgment, more than plenty.” I was freed, at last, on May 15, 2009.

Today, I live in Provence with my wife and children. France has given us a home, and a new start. I have experienced the pleasure of reacquainting myself with my daughters and, in August 2010, the joy of welcoming a new son, Yousef. I am learning to drive, attending vocational training and rebuilding my life. I hope to work again serving others, but so far the fact that I spent seven and a half years as a Guantánamo prisoner has meant that only a few human rights organizations have seriously considered hiring me. I do not like to think of Guantánamo. The memories are filled with pain. But I share my story because 171 men remain there. Among them is Belkacem Bensayah, who was seized in Bosnia and sent to Guantánamo with me.

About 90 prisoners have been cleared for transfer out of Guantánamo. Some of them are from countries like Syria or China — where they would face torture if sent home — or Yemen, which the United States considers unstable. And so they sit as captives, with no end in sight — not because they are dangerous, not because they attacked America, but because the stigma of Guantánamo means they have no place to go, and America will not give a home to even one of them.

I’m told that my Supreme Court case is now read in law schools. Perhaps one day that will give me satisfaction, but so long as Guantánamo stays open and innocent men remain there, my thoughts will be with those left behind in that place of suffering and injustice.

Lakhdar Boumediene was the lead plaintiff in Boumediene v. Bush. He was in military custody at Guantánamo Bay from 2002 to 2009. This essay was translated by Felice Bezri from the Arabic.