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OfflineEllis Dee
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Camps for Citizens: Ashcroft's Hellish Vision
    #824454 - 08/17/02 08:26 PM (14 years, 10 months ago)

http://www.latimes.com/la-oe-turley14aug14.story

Camps for Citizens: Ashcroft's Hellish Vision

Attorney general shows himself as a menace to liberty.

By JONATHAN TURLEY, Jonathan Turley is a professor of constitutional law at George Washington University.

Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft's announced desire for camps for U.S. citizens he deems to be "enemy combatants" has moved him from merely being a political embarrassment to being a constitutional menace.

Ashcroft's plan, disclosed last week but little publicized, would allow him to order the indefinite incarceration of U.S. citizens and summarily strip them of their constitutional rights and access to the courts by declaring them enemy combatants.

The proposed camp plan should trigger immediate congressional hearings and reconsideration of Ashcroft's fitness for this important office. Whereas Al Qaeda is a threat to the lives of our citizens, Ashcroft has become a clear and present threat to our liberties.

The camp plan was forged at an optimistic time for Ashcroft's small inner circle, which has been carefully watching two test cases to see whether this vision could become a reality. The cases of Jose Padilla and Yaser Esam Hamdi will determine whether U.S. citizens can be held without charges and subject to the arbitrary and unchecked authority of the government.

Hamdi has been held without charge even though the facts of his case are virtually identical to those in the case of John Walker Lindh. Both Hamdi and Lindh were captured in Afghanistan as foot soldiers in Taliban units. Yet Lindh was given a lawyer and a trial, while Hamdi rots in a floating Navy brig in Norfolk, Va.

This week, the government refused to comply with a federal judge who ordered that he be given the underlying evidence justifying Hamdi's treatment. The Justice Department has insisted that the judge must simply accept its declaration and cannot interfere with the president's absolute authority in "a time of war."

In Padilla's case, Ashcroft initially claimed that the arrest stopped a plan to detonate a radioactive bomb in New York or Washington, D.C. The administration later issued an embarrassing correction that there was no evidence Padilla was on such a mission. What is clear is that Padilla is an American citizen and was arrested in the United States--two facts that should trigger the full application of constitutional rights.

Ashcroft hopes to use his self-made "enemy combatant" stamp for any citizen whom he deems to be part of a wider terrorist conspiracy.

Perhaps because of his discredited claims of preventing radiological terrorism, aides have indicated that a "high-level committee" will recommend which citizens are to be stripped of their constitutional rights and sent to Ashcroft's new camps.

Few would have imagined any attorney general seeking to reestablish such camps for citizens. Of course, Ashcroft is not considering camps on the order of the internment camps used to incarcerate Japanese American citizens in World War II. But he can be credited only with thinking smaller; we have learned from painful experience that unchecked authority, once tasted, easily becomes insatiable.

We are only now getting a full vision of Ashcroft's America. Some of his predecessors dreamed of creating a great society or a nation unfettered by racism. Ashcroft seems to dream of a country secured from itself, neatly contained and controlled by his judgment of loyalty.

For more than 200 years, security and liberty have been viewed as coexistent values. Ashcroft and his aides appear to view this relationship as lineal, where security must precede liberty.

Since the nation will never be entirely safe from terrorism, liberty has become a mere rhetorical justification for increased security.

Ashcroft is a catalyst for constitutional devolution, encouraging citizens to accept autocratic rule as their only way of avoiding massive terrorist attacks.

His greatest problem has been preserving a level of panic and fear that would induce a free people to surrender the rights so dearly won by their ancestors.

In "A Man for All Seasons," Sir Thomas More was confronted by a young lawyer, Will Roper, who sought his daughter's hand. Roper proclaimed that he would cut down every law in England to get after the devil.

More's response seems almost tailored for Ashcroft: "And when the last law was down and the devil turned round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? ... This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast ... and if you cut them down--and you are just the man to do it--do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then?"

Every generation has had Ropers and Ashcrofts who view our laws and traditions as mere obstructions rather than protections in times of peril. But before we allow Ashcroft to denude our own constitutional landscape, we must take a stand and have the courage to say, "Enough."

Every generation has its test of principle in which people of good faith can no longer remain silent in the face of authoritarian ambition. If we cannot join together to fight the abomination of American camps, we have already lost what we are defending.


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"If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do."-King Solomon

And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,


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OfflineRonoS
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Re: Camps for Citizens: Ashcroft's Hellish Vision [Re: Ellis Dee]
    #827282 - 08/19/02 05:42 AM (14 years, 10 months ago)

Excellent post..thanks.


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"Life has never been weird enough for my liking"


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OfflineRonoS
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Re: Camps for Citizens: Ashcroft's Hellish Vision [Re: Rono]
    #828150 - 08/19/02 02:11 PM (14 years, 10 months ago)



--------------------
"Life has never been weird enough for my liking"


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OfflinePotSmokinHippie
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Re: Camps for Citizens: Ashcroft's Hellish Vision [Re: Rono]
    #828684 - 08/19/02 06:28 PM (14 years, 10 months ago)



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"assumption is the mother of all fuckup" - me


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OfflineBaby_Hitler
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Re: Camps for Citizens: Ashcroft's Hellish Vision [Re: PotSmokinHippie]
    #832240 - 08/21/02 08:22 AM (14 years, 9 months ago)

I resent that.


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InvisibleSoFarNorth
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Registered: 07/19/02
Posts: 175
Loc: Far away from here
Re: Camps for Citizens: Ashcroft's Hellish Vision [Re: Ellis Dee]
    #832246 - 08/21/02 08:25 AM (14 years, 9 months ago)

The following is a letter read by Claire Braz-Valentine, author at this year's In Celebration of the Muse, Cabrillo College. It is worth knowing that the author is a woman of 60+ years, conservatively dressed and obviously quite talented.

AN OPEN LETTER TO JOHN ASCROFT, ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES

On January 28, 2002, Attorney General John Ashcroft, announced that he spent $8000 of taxpayer's money for drapes to cover up the exposed breast of The Spirit of Justice, an 18-ft. aluminum statue of a woman that stands in the Hall of Justice.

John, John, John,
you've got your priorities all wrong.
While men fly airplanes into skyscrapers,
dive bomb the pentagon,
while they stick explosives into their shoes,
and then book a seat right next to us,
while they hide knives in their luggage,
steal kids on school buses,
take little girls from their beds at night
drive trucks into our state capital buildings,
while our president calls dangerous men all over the world
evildoers and devils,
while we live in the threat of biological warfare
nuclear destruction,
annihilation,
you are out buying yardage
to save Americans
from the appalling
alarming, abominable
aluminum alloy of evil,
that terrible ten foot tin tittie.
You might not be able to find Bin Laden
But you sure as hell found the hooter in the hall of justice.

It?s not that we aren't grateful
But while we were begging the women of Afghanistan
To not cover up their faces
You are begging your staff members to
Just cover up that nipple
To save the American people
From that monstrous metal mammary
How can we ever thank you?

So, in your office every morning
in your secret prayer meeting.
while an American woman is sexually assaulted every 6 seconds
while anthrax floats around the post office
and settles in the chest of senior citizens,
you've got another chest on your mind.
While American sons arrive home in body bags
and heat seeking missiles
fly around a foreign country
looking for any warm body
you think of another body.
And you pray for the biggest bra in the world John
because you see that breast on the spirit of justice
in the spirit of your
own inhibited sexuality.
And when we women see
our grandmothers, our mothers, our daughters, our granddaughters,
our sisters, ourselves,
when we women see that
statue the spirit of justice
we see the spirit of strength
the spirit of survival.
While every day
we view innocent bodies dragged out of rubble
and women and children laid out
like thin limp dolls
and baptized into death as collateral damage
and the hollow eyed Afghani mother?s milk has dried
up underneath her burka
in famine in shame
and her children are dead at her breast.

While you look at that breast John
that jug on the spirit of justice
and deal with your thoughts of lust
and sex and nakedness
we see it as a testimony motherhood
And you see it as a tit.

It's not the money it cost.
It's the message you send.
We've got the right to live in freedom.
We got the right to cheat Americans out
of millions of dollars and then
just not want to tell congress about it.
We've got the right
to drop bombs night and day
on a small country that has no army,
no navy, no military at all,
because we've got the right to bear arms
but we just better not even think
about not the right to bare breasts.
So now John you can be photographed
while you stand there and talk about
guns and bombs and poisons
without the breast appearing over your right shoulder
without that bodacious bosom bothering you
and we just wanted to tell you
in the spirit of justice
in the spirit of truth
John
there is still one very big boob left standing there in that picture.

Claire Braz-Valentine



--------------------
"Those that would sacrifice essential liberties for some temporary safety deserve neither."
Ben Franklin


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OfflineRonoS
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Re: Camps for Citizens: Ashcroft's Hellish Vision [Re: SoFarNorth]
    #832299 - 08/21/02 08:56 AM (14 years, 9 months ago)



--------------------
"Life has never been weird enough for my liking"


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Invisibledilatedcreature
veteran

Registered: 07/17/02
Posts: 1,450
Re: Camps for Citizens: Ashcroft's Hellish Vision [Re: PotSmokinHippie]
    #834562 - 08/21/02 10:13 PM (14 years, 9 months ago)

dude thats awesome........



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OfflineEllis Dee
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Registered: 06/30/01
Posts: 13,093
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Re: Camps for Citizens: Ashcroft's Hellish Vision [Re: Rono]
    #836716 - 08/22/02 07:26 PM (14 years, 9 months ago)

I really like all those drawings. Thanks.


--------------------
"If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do."-King Solomon

And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,


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Offlineatomikfunksoldier
T'was born oftrue in the yearof the cock!

Registered: 04/07/03
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Re: Camps for Citizens: Ashcroft's Hellish Vision [Re: Ellis Dee]
    #1663550 - 06/26/03 04:38 AM (14 years, 9 hours ago)

ahhh, cant wait till they are teaching this shit to 6th graders, talking about the evil american creepazoids.

in an ironic twist, (and if worst comes to worst) it would be sweet if japan destroyed the US military with secret outer-space laser beams!


--------------------
enjoy the entertaining indentity i have constructed for you while you can.


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OfflineLearyfan
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Re: Camps for Citizens: Ashcroft's Hellish Vision [Re: Ellis Dee]
    #1664127 - 06/26/03 11:51 AM (14 years, 2 hours ago)



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Mp3 of the month: Park Avenue Playground - The Trip



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