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Creative Destruction


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Current Topic: Civil Liberties

FBI Visits Cryptome
Topic: Civil Liberties 5:13 pm EST, Nov  7, 2003

] Cryptome received a visit today from FBI Special Agents.
] SA Renner said that a person had reported Cryptome as a
] source of information that could be used to harm the United
] States. He said Cryptome website had been examined and
] nothing on the site was illegal but information there might be
] used for harmful purposes.

FBI Visits Cryptome

RE: Bush Administration policy directly connected to torture case?
Topic: Civil Liberties 2:07 pm EST, Nov  7, 2003

Someone wrote:
] Huh?

I promise I can build a comprehensive argument that a policy of sending trouble makers to people who engage in torture is a violation of several treaties on human rights, and if it involves American citizens is directly unconstitutional. Furthermore, there are few things which can be more offensive to our ideal of civil liberties then a policy such as this.

The thing that makes this case so stark is that we aren't even talking about a trouble maker. We're (as far as I've been able to tell) talking about a guy who once got someone that we suspect of being linked to troublemakers to cosign on a lease. Thats all that it seems like they had on him.

Should we investigate that? Yes. Should we have done it this way? No. This is not an investigation, this is sending someone to die a prolonged and horrible death at the hands of people who will not and cannot provide us with useful information (how do you trust the government of Syria to report clearly to you on their interrogation?) simply because it creates an atmosphere of fear.

In the United States we do not employ torture because it is cruel and unusual. Because it violates the very essence of our Constitution. In the United States we have due process because when we do punish people they ought to actually be guilty. This case is an absolutely perfect example of why you have due process. Because if you don't have due process you harm innocent people. When your system of justice meters out punishments arbitrarily upon the innocent it is no different in its effects then the criminals it intends to control!

Now it is not at all clear that such an executive order exists, and if it exists it is not at all clear that it applies to U.S. citizens. People, recently in particular, are fond of making the case that the constitution does not apply to citizens of other countries. There are obviously limits to that argument. How can you build a nation based on the ideas about rights, about equality, about the pursuit of happiness, while simultaneously engaging in, for example, the ethnic cleansing of a people? The fact is that you cannot. The fact is that it is possible to engage it activity which is so far beyond the pale, so completely malicious to the values that our system of government is supposed to uphold, that it is impossible for any thinking person, and indeed any court of law, to stomach the argument that one can engage in such an activity legally as long as the victims don't have green cards.

A formal administration policy which orders our border police to hand people, on the slightest suspicion, over to a government with which we do not maintain any kind of regular relations, such that they may be tortured to death, for no other reason then to spread fear, in particular when so many other options exist, is just such a policy.

I pray that when, and if, the truth comes to light here, that it does not remotely resemble the situation which I have just described.

RE: Bush Administration policy directly connected to torture case?

Patriot Act, Part II - Fucking Insane
Topic: Civil Liberties 10:09 am EDT, Sep 24, 2003

] Patriot Act II would give the government broad powers to
] seize documents and force testimony without a court
] order, expand use of the death penalty and make it harder
] to be released on bail. None of these tools are necessary
] to fight terrorism, and each threatens to infringe on the
] civil liberties of Americans.
] The most troubling part of the new plan is the call for
] expanding government access to private data, allowing
] federal agents to issue subpoenas for private medical,
] financial and other records, without a court order. The
] lack of judicial oversight removes an important check on
] government misconduct. Record holders would be required
] to comply, or face prison, and would be barred from
] telling anyone about the subpoena.

Patriot Act, Part II - Fucking Insane

American Civil Liberties Union : Secret Service Ordered Local Police to Restrict Anti-Bush Protesters at Rallies, ACLU Charges in Unprecedented Nationwide Lawsuit
Topic: Civil Liberties 9:50 am EDT, Sep 24, 2003

] According to ACLU legal papers, local police, acting at
] the direction of the Secret Service, violated the rights
] of protesters in two ways: people expressing views
] critical of the government were moved further away from
] public officials while those with pro-government views
] were allowed to remain closer; or everyone expressing a
] view was herded into what is commonly known as a
] protest zone, leaving those who merely
] observe, but express no view, to remain closer.

American Civil Liberties Union : Secret Service Ordered Local Police to Restrict Anti-Bush Protesters at Rallies, ACLU Charges in Unprecedented Nationwide Lawsuit

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