Right Thinking From The Left Coast
Do, or do not. There is no 'try'. - Yoda

Law Is Not A Suicide Pact
by Lee

Here’s a study of liberal idiocy in action.

The sentence itself was fairly straightforward: An Algerian man received 22 years for plotting to bomb the Los Angeles airport on the eve of the millennium. It was what the judge said in imposing the term that raised eyebrows.

U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour said the successful prosecution of Ahmed Ressam should serve not only as a warning to terrorists, but as a statement to the Bush administration about its terrorism-fighting tactics.

“We did not need to use a secret military tribunal, detain the defendant indefinitely as an enemy combatant or deny the defendant the right to counsel,” he said Wednesday. “The message to the world from today’s sentencing is that our courts have not abandoned our commitment to the ideals that set our nation apart.”

He added that the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks have made Americans realize they are vulnerable to terrorism and that some believe “this threat renders our Constitution obsolete ... If that view is allowed to prevail, the terrorists will have won.”

It’s worth noting here that the ONLY reason this guy was caught was because a guard at the Canadian border had a hinky feeling about him and decided to search the man’s car.  This wasn’t a triumph for law enforcement, it was nothing but sheer luck and good old-fashioned police work (with a smattering of racial profiling thrown in). 

And now, the other side of the story.

A month before the London bombings, British authorities denied a request by their counterparts in the United States to apprehend a man now believed to have ties to the July 7 bombers, according to sources familiar with the investigation.

Haroon Rashid Aswat, 30, of Indian heritage, is currently in custody in Zambia, U.S. and Zambian officials told CNN.

U.S. authorities wanted to capture Aswat, who was then in South Africa, and question him about a 1999 plot to establish a “jihad training camp” in Bly, Oregon.

According to the sources, U.S. officials had Aswat under surveillance in South Africa weeks before the July 7 attacks that killed 52 commuters and the four bombers.

U.S. authorities had asked Britain if they could take Aswat into custody but they refused because he was a UK citizen, the sources said. Later British authorities said they suspected Aswat lent support to the July 7 bombers.

Here we see the end result of diplomacy and being beholden to the rule of law over any other concern.  People are dead, and the mass transit systems of every city in the civilized world are on high alert.  But hey, at least we followed the letter of the law, right?  Look, I’ve stated my position on this subject many times.  I’m not thrilled about the idea of holding these men indefinitely without trial or access to counsel, either.  But I’m also willing to give the government wide latitude to fight an unconventional war against an unconventional enemy.  If this Aswat character had been kidnapped months ago and was safely ensconced in a CIA safehouse somewhere, maybe those Londoners would have gotten to work alive that day.

Posted by Lee on 07/28/05 at 04:29 PM (Discuss this in the forums)

Comments


Posted by sneaky_pete on 07/28/05 at 06:02 PM from United States

(with a smattering of racial profiling thrown in).

Exactly!  Something this judge is almost certainly against, and yet he is happy with the outcome; he is proud of the system’s “apt” handling of the situation. 

Courts are not pre-emptive.  Detainment is.

Posted by on 07/28/05 at 06:04 PM from United States

some believe “this threat renders our Constitution obsolete

Um, who believes that??  Oh, wait, my translation software just gave me this output for that sentence: “The Patriot Act is unconstitutional and will destroy freedom”

U.S. officials had Aswat under surveillance in South Africa [...] U.S. authorities had asked Britain if they could take Aswat into custody

Did they ask to take him into custody while he was in South Africa?  Why would they have to ask Britain?  And didn’t they know they could just kidnap anybody they want and take them to Gitmo anyway?

Posted by Left Coast Aaron on 07/28/05 at 06:22 PM from United States

U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour said the successful prosecution of Ahmed Ressam should serve ... as a statement to the Bush administration about its terrorism-fighting tactics.

So much for the impartial judiciary.

If he wants to make political statements, he should move to Hollywood and get his own TV show.

Posted by on 07/28/05 at 06:27 PM from United States

RIght,judge head-in-your-ass, then in court we can divulge all of our surveilance techniques, our secret connections, the bad guys can get access to all of the things we want to keep under wraps,and you can bet that a judge like this would grant them that access.

Posted by LandoGriffin on 07/28/05 at 06:35 PM from United States

Hmmm when was the Millenium bomber detained? December ‘99 you say? So the detainment process started when now? Can someone remind the judge who was president at that time? Anyone? When was Bush sworn in again? What, you say none of these things we refer to as facts matter? Especially to a judge? “Bush source of all evil” (caveman voice) Fuck him, the bench is not a podium for his political views.

Lets see the US tried to detain the London bombings mastermind. How can this be spun to make the US look bad? Perhaps “The US is not tough enough on the war on terror, we should’ve said fuck the Brits and detained anyway. Fuck asking we should’ve just detained. Bush knew, he let it happen, just like he knew about 9/11.”

Posted by Drumwaster on 07/28/05 at 06:49 PM from United States

I always thought the quote was “The Constitution is not a suicide pact”? (SCOTUS Justice Robert H. Jackson, to be precise.)

Interesting factoid about Jackson - he was the chief prosecutor at the Nuremburg trials…

Posted by Lee on 07/28/05 at 06:54 PM from United States

I always thought the quote was “The Constitution is not a suicide pact”?

It is.  But the point is that the law, whether here or in the UK, should not be so absolute that we stand by while people die.

Posted by on 07/28/05 at 11:31 PM from United States

U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour said the successful prosecution of Ahmed Ressam should serve not only as a warning to terrorists, but as a statement to the Bush administration about its terrorism-fighting tactics.

“We did not need to use a secret military tribunal, detain the defendant indefinitely as an enemy combatant or deny the defendant the right to counsel,” he said Wednesday. “The message to the world from today’s sentencing is that our courts have not abandoned our commitment to the ideals that set our nation apart.”

Listen judgey, the difference is, this cock, Ahmed Ressam, was NOT caught in a war zone. Because he was caught locally, he went through the local process. Which was then elevated to federal level. Just like the cocks caught after the first WTC bombing attempt. Just like Mcviegh. Etc. They get they trials. The plain fact that this prick can’t see the difference is beyond me.

Posted by on 07/28/05 at 11:34 PM from United States

That would be too obvious, Col.

Posted by Drumwaster on 07/28/05 at 11:38 PM from United States

I hate to be the one to point this out, but isn’t this judge being lambasted a Reagan appointee? Link

Posted by on 07/29/05 at 12:16 AM from United States

Most of the liberals on the Supreme Court are Republican nominees too, what’s your point? :x

Posted by Drumwaster on 07/29/05 at 12:18 AM from United States

Just makin’ sure we’re attacking him because he’s an idiot, rather than because of some mistaken assumptions about his politics.

Posted by on 07/29/05 at 12:21 AM from United States

I think he speaks for a lot of Americans, and ideally he has a point.  Ah for the days when we could have a tear in our eye as we look at Lady Liberty and wars were fought soldier to soldiers, country by country.  Those days don’t apply to this war, and this judge doesn’t see it.

That’s my POV anyway.

Posted by Manwhore on 07/29/05 at 12:25 AM from United States

He added that the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks have made Americans realize they are vulnerable to terrorism and that some believe “this threat renders our Constitution obsolete ... If that view is allowed to prevail, the terrorists will have won.”

A valid point.

Posted by Drumwaster on 07/29/05 at 12:25 AM from United States

Hey, you’ll get no argument from ME, it’s just that no one had brought it up yet, and I wanted to show that we were dogpiling on him for being an idiot, rather than being a liberal. The two are usually comingled, so the assumption is a not unresaonable one.

I was just forestalling some libtard - such as Cap’n Minus or puddles - coming in and trying to score points by mentioning this. (The irrelevancy is perhaps a bit too subtle for their minds.)

Posted by on 07/29/05 at 12:31 AM from United States

I was just forestalling some libtard

That is never a bad idea.

A valid point.

It is a valid point, however you can’t bury your head in the sand and let your ass get blown away either.  As Lee said, “But the point is that the law, whether here or in the UK, should not be so absolute that we stand by while people die.”

Posted by Drumwaster on 07/29/05 at 12:32 AM from United States

“If that view (of the terrorist threat being sufficient to render the Constitution obsolete) is allowed to prevail, the terrorists will have won.”

I’ve never heard of anyone claiming that the threat from the terrorists is sufficient to render the Constitution obsolete. There ARE claims that the Constitution is a “living document\”, subject to the whims of unelected individuals, and an argument could be made that more damage is done to our nation by those persons than by the terrorists, but not one that I’ll bother making at this time.

So does that mean that the terrorists have lost?

Posted by Manwhore on 07/29/05 at 12:38 AM from United States

It is a valid point, however you can’t bury your head in the sand and let your ass get blown away either.  As Lee said, “But the point is that the law, whether here or in the UK, should not be so absolute that we stand by while people die.”

Well, then maybe partisan politics can linger on the side lines until we can get our own ducks in a row, and remember what this country stands for.

I don’t think people right or left are acting on terrorists behalf. It was Tom daschle who almost sniffed anthrax, and I am sure the dems are taking the threat just as seriously.

There are many factions of government hard at work stopping these people, and the Patriot Act hasn’t been abused thus far. On the other hand it is very discomforting to see civil liberties that apply to everyone so quickly stripped in knee jerk fashion.

I am sure as an ex military person you know that after an attack calm level heads are needed to discuss the retaliation. I don’t think an immediate inaction means nothing is being done.

Posted by Drumwaster on 07/29/05 at 12:41 AM from United States

On the other hand it is very discomforting to see civil liberties that apply to everyone so quickly stripped in knee jerk fashion.

Name ONE civil liberty that has been lost, please. With supporting links, of course.

Posted by on 07/29/05 at 12:46 AM from United States

Well, then maybe partisan politics can linger on the side lines until we can get our own ducks in a row, and remember what this country stands for.

I wish that were possible.  On Capitol Hill at least, that isn’t going to happen.  Each side has it’s own ideas of what should be and how to get there. 

My ideas of progress would be that this country stands as one during a time of war.  Doesn’t seem like that’s going to happen either.

Posted by on 07/29/05 at 01:01 AM from United States

Just makin’ sure we’re attacking him because he’s an idiot, rather than because of some mistaken assumptions about his politics.

Fuck his politics. He’s a judge. Standards and all, you know…

Posted by Drumwaster on 07/29/05 at 01:04 AM from United States

Fuck his politics. He’s a judge. Standards and all, you know…

Right arm.

{/hippie joke}

Posted by on 07/29/05 at 03:16 AM from United States

I am sure the dems are taking the threat just as seriously.

I’m sure they are…

At least once they have ensured that nobody is looking at gitmo prisoners the wrong way, and handling their Korans correctly. Once they have spent enough time criticizing the president for any and every issue. Once they have spent as much time as possible delaying votes on judges simply because they didn’t get to nominate them. Once they have spent as much time as possible smearing half the population of the country as never having worked a day in their lives, and just being a bunch of dumb rich white guys. Once they have ensured Rove is in prison because he might have mentioned something about Wilsons wife to someone who already knew about her.

Yep, sure they are right up there shoulder to shoulder with the republicans, all gung ho on defeating the terrorists. Of course, it might help if they stopped putting all those road blocks in the way. Let’s ignore the fact that half their supporters don’t even ‘get it’, and wouldn’t support it in a million years. Time and again, the terrorists have told us why they want to kill us, and yet the only guilty parties the left will consider have to be white, rich and republican.

Lets ignore the fact that they don’t even respect him as a president, never mind following him. They have spent more time and effort trying to get Rove than trying to get terrorists.

Picking at the opponent is all part of politics, obviously, so why haven’t we seen them picking on Bush for some of his failings that might make them look a little more anti-terrorist.

Why aren’t they asking for secure borders, what about demanding that Bush deport or arrest muslims with terrorist ties?

Why? Because at the end of the day, they have been castrated by decades of political correctness that they themselves have used against anyone opposing them.

Sure, there might be some small corner of their mind that opposes terrorism, but it’s too busy being squashed by self-guilt and charges of racism to have any effect. Unless of course, it’s election time coming up and they want to appear ‘moderate’.

Posted by Manwhore on 07/29/05 at 04:24 AM from United States

Why aren’t they asking for secure borders, what about demanding that Bush deport or arrest muslims with terrorist ties?

Maybe for the same reasons the Bush administration hasn’t?

The problem is here and living in SoCal not very hard to solve. Blaming the entirety of the problem on the democrats is about as insane as blaming it on the Bush administration. I personally believe the current administration has done the best they know how to solve the problem, but it still exists. On the left side the English have done the best they know how but it still exists. I feel after seeing the current events that neither is a success.

Terror (as with everyone who posts here) is out of our hands. The great minds of the western world will need to put thier collective heads together.

And before you can spew it, discrimination is not the answer. There will be whhite Muslim terrorists, it is only logical. Destroying Islamics is a fantasy held in the minds of fanatics in thier own right.

No one here has the answer or they would be the next president. I simply refuse to change my lifestyle on the happen stance that I might die on a train. There are many more real and dangerous threats in my life (namely a 4000lb car aimed at me walking on a sidewalk). I will do my best to survive in my environment as is, and we can let history ponder the shoulda, coulda, and wouldas.

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