January 20, 2006

What do the WaPo and RedState.org have in common?

from - smijer

Answer: Thin skins......

The boys can enjoy their echo chamber... I'll post my final reply to Cadwalj in the extended entry, though I doubt he or she will ever notice it... Maybe Leon H. will be a dear and let him or her know about it.

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If a fair court finds the POTUS' actions legal, then I would like to see that loophole closed by congressional action. I remarked above about the consequences of an executive that can spy on Americans without court approval. If the same unit that orders the surveillance also approves it, there is no check on the power. The executive could unilaterally decide when there was probable cause, then proceed to use executive power to invade privacy. Without an outside check, that's almost guaranteed to lead to abuse.

Now, to answer your question more fully:
a) I believe the actions were not legal. However, if the issue is duely investigated and tried by in an impartial setting, then I would certainly not desire or expect any sort of criminal sanctions - including impeachment - against the President. I would still want to see legislative action to close the legal loophole that allowed a fair court to find no offense.

b) I would fear for court upon which Alito served to consider this matter without partiality... I feel he could reasonably be suspected of already being biased against finding the POTUS' actions illegal. This is among the reasons I oppose his nomination. If another conservative were nominated - one who like Roberts - had made no statements along the lines that Alito has on this issue, and unlike Myers, could not be suspected of being a crony appointment, and therefore personally biased (or unqualified to properly adjudicate this case or others)... then the armchair Senator in me would vote against confirmation, but wouldn't be working back-room deals with colleagues or considering the possibility of a filibuster.

"The police officer seized the records of and arrested the defendant without a warrant."

"The lieutenant seized the records of and arrested the enemy without a warrant."

Which sentence best applies to Jose Padilla?

I'm not sure whether it was actually a police officer or a military officer who arrested Padilla... if it was a police officer, then the first statement on that point... if it was an army officer, then the second.

On the point of "enemy" or "defendant", enemy is more correct - at least until recently. Since Padilla was not given a chance to defend himself before the courts, so it isn't accurate to say he was a "defendant".

Given the situation, a FISA warrant should have been sufficient... a regular criminal warrant should not have been necessary. Had he been outside the U.S. in a situation where he had to be captured as part of a military op rather than picked up from his home, work, or his bus trip between them, then no FISA would have been needed at all.

My point was much less about how he was originally detained and much more about how he was denied due process of law on a continuing basis, despite being a U.S. citizen. I'm assuming he was guilty -- at least guilty of something... however if it is legal and constitutional to arrest and hold a U.S. citizen, solely on the suspicions of the executive - indefinitely... then it's legal regardless of actual guilt - it would be just as legal if he were innocent... so long as the executive promises that they suspect him.

If Bush's actions wrt Padilla are legal, then they would have been just as legal if carried out against any suspected "enemy of the state"... If Nixon had "suspected" MLK of planning a pro-communist bombing, he could have done the same thing. Basically what I'm saying is that if it is legal, then there is something wrong with the law, and it needs fixed asap - not defended...

Posted by smijer at January 20, 2006 08:57 PM
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