Wednesday, October 31, 2007

You Might Think We Would Know...But We Don't

I'll try to keep this brief. This morning Ari Shapiro reports on the case against our Constitution, our liberties, and the rule of law Ali al-Marri. This piece really disturbed me and it took me awhile to figure out why. After all, Shapiro includes various viewpoints of the "enemy combatant" designation and its concurrent endless detention.

But as I listened to the report though I was struck by how it was framed and the utter lack of context regarding the case (e.g. the barbarous treatment meted out to al-Marri and what the loss of Habeas Corpus can mean for a democratic society). You might have thought Shapiro was reporting on the fees for a driver's license not on the gutting of the Constitution.

Here's how Shapiro opens his piece:
"You might think this long after 9/11 we would know whether the President can legally hold someone like Ali al-Marri indefinitely without charging him - but we don't. "
Well guess what Shapiro? I do know. I know it's blatantly illegal and always will be, because if someone is held indefinitely (i.e. forever) without charges it means there is NO FRICKING rule of law left - and the courts are then a travesty. See Ari, that's how police states work; they keep it all very "legal."

Notice how he could have said something like:
"You'd think more than four years after a legal resident of the United States was placed incommunicado under brutal confinement, the courts could decide on whether the 4th Amendment guarantee against unreasonable seizure will be upheld and the Writ of Habeas Corpus enshrined in Article 1, sec. 9 of the Constitution will be respected."
I have to scratch my head and wonder how far the arbitrary-imprisonment-and-torture advocates in the federal government would have to go, before an NPR report would offer a peep of informative dissent.

BTW, I notice that NPR has not given a lick of coverage to the horrid conditions of al-Marri's imprisonment.

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