Padilla Update

I wrote last week of the Bush administration’s attempts to further manipulate and even quash the Jose Padilla case to ensure that he would not receive a fair trial by any historic definition of democratic justice.

From a realistic point of view this seemed to be a case of BushCo toying with the judiciary to emphasize its unhindered/unchecked command, most especially in cases of unlawful mistakes.

Michael Luttig, who was shortlisted as Justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s replacement in the Supreme Court, heading a uninamous decision in 4th circuit appeals court, wrote a “scathing rebuke of the government’s manipulation of the court system suggesting that the administration might have unjustifiably held Padilla as an enemy combatant.” He previously awarded the president the authority to hold enemy combatants, as Padilla was originally held and suspected, without charge (whilst still under GW’s spell pre-Alito)?

The government’s careless and downright wrong handling of the Padilla case is a textbook example of the dictatorial tendencies of our lawless commandantes.

Seattle Times takes these words right out of my mouth:

Let’s not forget the whole thing. This question of whether any president can declare a citizen an unlawful combatant and imprison him on a military base will come up again. It will have to be decided. Let’s decide it now.

Dante Chinni is remarkably clear in his column in the Christian Science Monitor: “a lot of people in Congress and the courts aren’t exactly celebrating the White House’s prosecution of the “war on terror.”

The Trib’s Steve Chapman, who I often have trouble reading, is most eloquent in his analysis entitled:

Ed Brayton and stcynic take it from there.

Frist: Cut and Run to Iran

Either someone hacked into Latimes.com to propose World War 3, or the Doctor has fully lost it.

IRAN’S RULING mullahs have waged a 26-year campaign to suppress dissent, support terror and pursue a nuclear weapons program. In recent weeks, it has become clear that international efforts to stop Iran’s atomic program have failed to bear fruit. Unless we act quickly, the United States will have a nuclear crisis on its hands…. The U.S. needs to act before a regime that has denied the real Holocaust unleashes another.?

…. talk about enabling/manufacturing/encouraging the enemy….

I am sickened that our senate majority leader would be so undiplomatic as to state the last line above for publication.

tsunami: 26 Dec 2004

One year ago, a surprise tsunami crossed the Indian Ocean following a 9.2-richter Earthquake at day break.

An estimated 225,000 lost their lives.

The tragedy of the greatest natural disaster of my lifetime did change the world; or at least exposed how the world has shrunk.

The best is yet to come, no doubt — there will never be another 2005.

Stormtrack has an archive of the footage that changed our perception of the world and human vulnerability here.

The Malkin Cartel links to a Flickr gallery of the missing….

Appreciated in light of the disrespectful strategy of her hard-right-blogging comrades in trashing the UN for not saving the world according to this UPI release. All I can say is: ask John Bolton to name three catastrophic humanitarian disasters that have occurred in 2005.

Let us celebrate the end of another year…. and hold the faux glamorization.

Barron’s Bearish on Bush

“….Administration lawyers and the president himself have tortured the Constitution and extracted a suspension of the separation of powers,” writes Thomas Donlan in Barron’s Online.

Bush spying on Americans was no shocker, but to operate in suspicious cognito…

Dec. 26 Barron’s goes with it: “The administration is saying the president has unlimited authority to order wiretaps in the pursuit of foreign terrorists, and that the Congress has no power to overrule him.

As AG Ashcroft laid it down in 2002:

“The Constitution vests in the president inherent authority to conduct warrantless intelligence surveillance (electronic or otherwise) of foreign powers or their agents, and Congress cannot by statute extinguish that Constitutional authority.”

Gonzales last week declined to declassify relevant legal reviews made by the Department of Justice.

Get out the megaphone, and repeat with me:

Willful disregard of a law is potentially an impeachable offense. It is at least as impeachable as having a sexual escapade under the Oval Office desk and lying about it later.

Could it be… Merry Christmas and Impeach in the New Year???

[via Atrios as dug by Barry]

WaPo reports on November U.S. Airstrikes in Iraq

The RQ-1 Predator Drone drops Hellfire missilesThe Washington Post goes A-01 Saturday with details from the U.S. -Iraqi offensive in Iraq’s western Anbar province, which included significant airstrikes that went largely unreported in the mainstream U.S. media.

Following the AP report earlier this week that U.S. airstrikes increased almost fivefold in the past year, The Post’s Ellen Knickmeyer reports:

Just how many civilians have been killed is strongly disputed by the Marines, and, some critics say, too little investigated. But townspeople, tribal leaders, medical workers and accounts from witnesses at the sites of clashes, at hospitals and at graveyards indicated that scores of noncombatants were killed last month in fighting, including airstrikes, in the opening stages of a 17-day U.S.-Iraqi offensive in Anbar province.