"The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse." -- James Madison - (1751-1836)

"We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission; which is the stage of the darkest periods of human history, the stage of rule by brute force. " :
Ayn Rand in "The Nature of Government"

"Throughout history there have been tyrants and murderers. And for a while they seem invincible, but always they fall. Always."-Mahatma Gandhi

Science may have found a cure for most evils; but it has found no remedy for the worst of them all -- the apathy of human beings: Helen Keller

The notion that a radical is one who hates his country is naive and usually idiotic. He is , more likely, one who likes his country more than the rest of us, and is thus more disturbed than the rest of us when he sees it debauched. He is not a bad citizen turning to crime ; he is a good citizen driven to despair.--H.L Mencken

"When even one American-who has done nothing wrong-is forced by fear to shut his mind and close his mouth-then all Americans are in peril" Harry S. Truman

"The power of the Executive to cast a man into prison without formulating any charge known to the law, and particularly to deny him the judgment of his peers, is in the highest degree odious and is the foundation of all totalitarian government whether Nazi or Communist."- Winston Churchill, Nov. 21, 1943

"When you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing - when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors - when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don't protect you against them, but protect them against you - when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice - you may know that your society is doomed: Ayn Rand - (1905-1982) Author - Source: Atlas Shrugged, Francisco's "Money Speech"

"Loss of freedom seldom happens overnight. Oppression doesn't stand on the doorstep with toothbrush moustache and swastika armband -- it creeps up insidiously...step by step, and all of a sudden the unfortunate citizen realizes that it is gone." ~ Baron Lane

U.S. Constitution - R.I.P.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Justice Denied

It was a case of mistaken identity. It could have happened to any one of us.

And yet, in 2007 it is hard for us to imagine the ongoing nightmare endured by Khaled El-Masri, the German citizen whose story helped to expose the ugly underbelly of the US-led global war on terror. On October 9th, Masri’s last hope at getting justice in the US was dashed when the Supreme Court declined to review the lower court rulings dismissing his case based on the government’s assertion that to give Masri his day in court would require the disclosure of state secrets and thus harm US national security.

His Kafkaesque plight brings to mind the inquisitorial “justice” meted out by totalitarian regimes. That the High Court refused to hear his case without comment is all too fitting for the silence and secrecy Masri encountered in his search for answers in the US. Now, Masri must turn to the European Court of Justice in the hopes that Europe will afford him the justice he was denied in America. Since the US is not a signatory to the European Convention on Human Rights, Masri should bring suit against Germany for its complicity in his mistreatment in order to obtain an adjudication affirming the mistreatment he received at the hands of US agents.

The Supreme Court decision, which the New York Times called a “Supreme Disgrace,” in essence accepted the Bush administration’s contention that the judiciary must ‘trust us’ that allowing Masri’s case to proceed would harm national security. But the constitutional rule of law is based on distrust, not trust. That is why, recognizing as axiomatic that ‘Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely,’ the Constitution established a system of checks and balances by means of a separation of powers aimed at accountability. By rubber-stamping claims of executive privilege, the judiciary shirks its constitutional duty, and thus fails us all.

Masri’s story has been one of the most widely reported cases of so-called ‘extraordinary rendition’, the practice of secretly abducting suspected terrorists and indefinitely detaining them, often in countries known to torture prisoners. On December 6, 2005 Masri filed a lawsuit in US federal court against former CIA director George Tenet, and others, alleging that the defendants, acting as agents of the US government, kidnapped, wrongfully imprisoned, abused and tortured him. The 44-year-old married father of five alleges that on December 31, 2003 he was forcibly abducted while on holiday in Macedonia, detained incommunicado, handed over to US agents, then beaten, drugged, and taken to a secret prison in Afghanistan, where he was interrogated in a cruel and inhuman manner. His allegations have been investigated and substantiated by the German state prosecutor and the Council of Europe, the continent’s human rights watchdog.

Let us hope that he has the strength to continue his search for truth and fairness with the European Court of Justice. For we all have a stake in his struggle for justice.

Unbelievable......insane....the fact that supposedly civilized human beings that we elected as leaders are capable of ordering and justifying this kind of behavior sickens me...and even worse is that American society tolerates these atrocities in its name...disgusting.

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