Solarbird (solarbird) wrote,
Solarbird
solarbird

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look at all the pieces

Not feeling well, I think I have a head cold. :p

The secret second facility at Bagram in Afghanistan - source of a large number of torture and other prisoner abuse allegations - is confirmed by the Red Cross, tho' the US military continues to deny it exists.

Joe Lieberman and a bunch of thundering dickheads in the Senate want to strip away citizenship and the right of trial to American citizens upon accusation of any charge terrorism-related. No trial, no evidence, just a declaration by the administration, and voop! You're not a citizen and you have no rights a'tall. The Federal justice system is specifically banned from spending money on trials for you! It's neat. Here's John McCain's bill removing all rights from anyone accused of a variety of crimes. I'm not sure, but I think that one's abandoned, they're working on this even better one, which they just rolled out today.

Basically, they've already done away with trial and due process rights for anyone not a US citizen, and are looking for something new. (Really, with the assassination policy of Mr. Obama, they've done it for US citizens as well - why bother with indefinite detention or trials or rights when you can just order an execution?) So now they're working on extending it, and making it more formal - and specifically including US citizens on US soil.

And, sure, go ahead, assume it'll just be the "bad guys," even with the 80% innocent rate the US Army admits to at Bagram. They'd never go after, I dunno, a 14-year-old autistic kid in Atlanta attending a special needs school for a drawing, would they? Oh wait:
"They've pressed felony charges for terroristic threats," said [14-year old autistic student Shane Finn's] mother, Karen Finn. ... [School authorities] did confirm that Shane will face a tribunal and is being charged with making terroristic threats.
Emphasis added. That's a felony! Is it terrorism? Depends upon the specific law being used. Federally, right now, under Title 22? No. (See 2656f(d).) Under state law? Depends upon the state; some say yes, some say no. Fun dice to roll, isn't it? Because under the bills being discussed above, an accusation of terrorism is all that's needed and he's done, if someone high enough up wants him to be.

Yeah, sure, this particular kid? He'll get let off the charges - he's a white Southerner, after all. His family will be put through the wringer, but he'll get off. And yeah, even if he's not let off the charges, he's certain to get a trial - even under the McCain/Lieberman rules, I'm pretty sure he'd get a trial. And it'll get laughed out of court, one desperately hopes. To fall under the proposed new regime, after all, he'd have to get Federal attention. Not just local.

But it's not like these things ever stop there, is it? There's always authorisation creep and there's always enforcement creep. Maybe some later kid will get the attention of somebody who will have a grudge against the family, or want something they have. That kind of sword over an individual's or a population's head is a great way to get what you want.

That's how we got a lot of Gitmo's population, after all. Including this no-longer-14-year-old kid.
Tags: politics
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