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I just got out of the movie theatre after seeing "Rendition," a film which puts into light parallel aspects of the Maher Arar case. The United States is acting in a despicable fashion by picking up foreign nationals and shuffling them to countries where they can be tortured. Likewise, denying foreign nationals or even, which it will probably come to eventually, American nationals,is an absurd destruction of habeus corpus rights and the foundations of "freedom" provided by democracy in the "Western" world.

Maher Arar, a Canadian citizen, was picked up in New York by U.S. officials, deported to Syria (of which he was also a citizen), and then brutally tortured for 10 months. Where does the U.S. government get the right to act like a dictatorship? What does the freedom to live (ccording to the Bill of Rights/Constitution) even mean anymore? By destroying other's right to litigate for their innocence, we ensure our own destruction through causation of horrific foreign policy relations and slippery slope-like activities.  

Contact your congressmen! Speak out against the self-destructive foreign policy decisions caused by the PATRIOT Act and MCA. Safety is important- so make sure that we follow Geneva accords and help repair the U.S. reputation aboad.

This case was just now granted by the Supreme Court (U.S.) on June 29, 2007. A serious example of the "preventive paradigm," which incorporates illegal wire-tapping, extraordinary rendition, secret prisons, GITMO, "pre-emptive attacks" (i.e. IRAQ)...and other destructive policies that have caused more harm than benefits and have also caused a massive influx of jihads (and, by asociation, has caused many extremists to rise up, and for countries to be subjected to horrible situations, like the London bombings, Madrid bombings, Italian special forces deaths, kidnappings, contractor assasinations...etc.) to be called out against the U.S.  

"In 2002 Lakhdar Boumediene and five other Algerian natives were seized by Bosnian police when U.S. intelligence officers suspected their involvement in a plot to attack the U.S. embassy there. The U.S. government classified the men as enemy combatants in the war on terror and detained them at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, which is located on land that the U.S. leases from Cuba. Boumediene filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus, alleging violations of the Constitution's Due Process Clause, various statutes and treaties, the common law, and international law. The District Court judge granted the government's motion to have all of the claims dismissed on the ground that Boumediene, as an alien detained at an overseas military base, had no right to a habeas petition."

The questions at stake from this extremely important case are

  1. Should the Military Commissions Act of 2006 be interpreted to strip federal courts of jurisdiction over habeas petitions filed by foreign citizens detained at the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba?
  1. If so, is the Military Commissions Act of 2006 a violation of the Suspension Clause of the Constitution?
  1. Are the detainees at Guantanamo Bay entitled to the protection of the Fifth Amendment right not to be deprived of liberty without due process of law and of the Geneva Conventions?
  1. Can the detainees challenge the adequacy of judicial review provisions of the MCA before they have sought to invoke that review?

The MCA is a destructive law, for it denies petitioners the right to protect their rights, thus causing a dire blow to freedom everywhere. Without the right to know evidence presented against oneself, or the ability to even dispute charges, many innocents are bound to be caught up in mix.

A fantastic article on the "preventive paradigm" can be found here.

"Why would the United States government send a detained Canadian citizen who it believes may be a terrorist to Syria, a country which the State Department claims practices torture and is a State sponsor of terrorism, and not to Canada, our friend and ally? That's the question raised by the case of Maher Arar, a case that has become an international symbol of all that is wrong with the Bush Administration’s policy of extraordinary rendition."

JURIST Guest Columnist Jules Lobel, a lawyer for Maher Arar and a professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law

By the way, the Patriot act is the "Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001"- and also the act tocause Americans to lose some important domestic rights.

And here is a quote for pre-emptivity that should have been given just merits!

"Before the Patriot Act was passed, Anita Ramasastry, an associate professor of law and a director of the Shidler Center for Law, Commerce, & Technology at the University of Washington School of Law in Seattle, Washington, accused the Act of depriving basic rights for immigrants to America, including legal permanent residents. She warned that "Indefinite detention upon secret evidence — which the Patriot Act allows — sounds more like Taliban justice than ours. Our claim that we are attempting to build an international coalition against terrorism will be severely undermined if we pass legislation allowing even citizens of our allies to be incarcerated without basic U.S. guarantees of fairness and justice." Ramasastry, Anita (October 5, 2001), Indefinite detention based on suspicion: How The Patriot Act Will Disrupt Many Lawful Immigrants’ Lives, FindLaw, <>. Retrieved on 2007-10-15

Originally posted to TwinDebate Extemper on Fri Oct 19, 2007 at 09:09 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Kucinich on the 'Patriot' act (0+ / 0-)

    Dennis Kucinich voted against the 'Patriot' act the first time around, and he voted against re-authorizing it. Some quotes of his:

    "The Patriot Act has undermined civil rights in this country, and as the US president, one of my first acts in office would be to move forward to have the Justice Department overturn the Patriot Act as unconstitutional."

    "We cannot justify a government that takes from the people our right to privacy and then assumes for its own operations a right to total secrecy. We should not let the actions of terrorists cause us to reject our American system of justice. The ultimate terror in a democracy is the destruction of constitutional principles."

    So the question is, do you agree with these statements? Or do you think this is a critical piece of legislation in protecting our civil liberties? Or do you think that we should sacrifice our civil liberties, because it makes us safer?

    Edwards voted for the 'PATRIOT' act in 2001. Obama voted to make it permanent in 2006. Clinton did both.

    Food for thought.

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