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I have nothing but disdain for most of what shows up on the Washington Post op-ed pages, but I do like Eugene Robinson:

It shouldn't be necessary for the Supreme Court to tell the president that he can't have people taken into custody, spirited to a remote prison camp and held indefinitely, with no legal right to argue that they've been unjustly imprisoned -- not even on grounds of mistaken identity. But the president in question is, sigh, George W. Bush, who has taken a chainsaw to the rule of law with the same manic gusto he displays while clearing brush at his Texas ranch.

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy's majority opinion seems broad and definitive enough to end the Kafkaesque farce at Guantanamo once and for all.

"The laws and Constitution are designed to survive, and remain in force, in extraordinary times," Kennedy wrote. Again, it's amazing that any president of the United States would need to have such a basic concept spelled out for him.

I say "amazingly" because it's still hard for me to believe that arbitrary arrest, indefinite detention and torture continue to be debated, as if there were pros and cons.

"The nation will live to regret what the court has done today," Justice Antonin Scalia wrote in a dissent, warning that the ruling "will almost certainly cause more Americans to be killed."

Everyone hopes he's wrong, of course. But if the only thing that mattered were security, why would we bother to have an independent judiciary? Why would there be any constitutional or legal guarantees of due process for anyone? We could just lock up anyone who fit the demographic profile of the average armed robber, say, or anyone with psychological traits often displayed by embezzlers.

by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Fri Jun 13th, 2008 at 06:47:40 AM EST
I note that Mr Robinson has a 25 year history with the WaPo. Given that his newspaper has been so craven in its attitude tothe activites of the White House, I am forced to ask which America he has been livng in for the last 7 years ?

Has he any trck record whatsoever in questioning what has been happening at Gitmo ?

Or has he bravely waited until it is obvious that his beloved repug party will not be there to succour him in 2009 before suddenly discovering the Constitution of the United States of America isn't an optional extra ?

I'm seeing this all over the media now. People suddenly finding their consciences under the chair where they left them 8 years ago and pretending this is what they thought all along.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Jun 13th, 2008 at 08:09:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Settle down, Helen.  WTF are you talking about?  Eugene Robinson is not a Republican.

Has he any trck record whatsoever in questioning what has been happening at Gitmo ?

Uh, yes. Consistently, for as long as he's been a columnist, which has only been since 2005.  He has been the paper's most reliable critic of the Bush administration since then.  A lonely voice.

by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Fri Jun 13th, 2008 at 08:37:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A writer for the WaPo who isn't a republican schill ? The "paper's most reliable critic of the Bush administration" !! You mean there are two ?? Ah, you say a lonely voice, so no.

Which is why I thought he was a republican, I simply could not imagine any other creature being tolerated there.

But it does not stop my wider critique. I imagine the media will finally wake up from their acquiescent torpor sometime in mid-January 2009 and immediately start asking awkward questions of the new administration like it has any right whatsoever to the role of holding the administration to account. And I find it a little sickening to see all those signs of awakening and trying to pretend they've been at it all along. They weren't, they collaborated. With McCarthy it was from fear and yet some still spoke out. But this time it was from commitment and all other voices were stilled.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Jun 13th, 2008 at 09:03:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think you might be confusing "Republican" with "conservative" and "Democrat" with "liberal" (American usage). The fact is that both of our parties are conservative, and our "liberal" columnists are, too. The voice of the left in the U.S. is hard to detect in the press...
by asdf on Fri Jun 13th, 2008 at 09:12:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The problem is that we have "conservatives" who don't "conserve" and liberals who don't liberate.

In what sense is the (radical right) ruling faction of the Republican party "conservative"? There is a case to be made for genuine conservatives as stabilizers of traditional social orders that have evolved features that no one fully understands. There is little that can be said for radicals who favor overturning law and a liberal social order in favor of greed, war, and authoritarian rule.

Today, Democrats are indeed conservative: The US tradition they are defending includes relatively strong support for rule of law, personal liberty, social welfare, and so on. Democrats are fighting to reverse recent erosion of these traditions. Surely this noble effort is conservative, perhaps even reactionary.

Words and ideas I offer here may be used freely and without attribution.

by technopolitical on Sun Jun 15th, 2008 at 02:20:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The editorial pages have been Bush shills, though actually  the torture issue has tended to be an exception for some reason. The op-ed pages (i.e. the columnists) tilt very heavily pro-Bush or concern trolly high centrism, but there are a couple liberal columnists there - Howard Meyerson, EJ Dionne, and Eugene Robinson. The news pages have produced some of the most important work on exposing the Bush administration abuses.
by MarekNYC on Fri Jun 13th, 2008 at 10:12:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think I posted it last year when it happened, but this was interesting.
by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Fri Jun 13th, 2008 at 10:29:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Forgot to mention King among the columnists since so much of his work deals with DC issues (in the literal, not metaphorical sense)
by MarekNYC on Fri Jun 13th, 2008 at 10:36:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
He's not a Republican.  There are no black Republicans beyond Clarence Thomas.  Most of the WaPo columnists are Beltway brownshirts.  David Broder is the perfect example.

Robinson is not one of them.  He's one of the good guys and a damned good columnist.  The only one worth reading from the WaPo, actually, but I always found Dionne boring.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Jun 13th, 2008 at 01:11:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Condi Rice? Colin Powell?

When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. — John M. Keynes
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jun 13th, 2008 at 01:39:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]

There are no black Republicans beyond Clarence Thomas.

HYPERBOLE ALERT

Anyone who has done business in Los Angeles can tell you that there are lots of Black Conservatives.  A friend of mine is one.  His father is a Republican and I will guess that his grandfather was also. His father was instrumental in the land deal that enabled Pepperdine University to sell its South Central L.A. campus and move to Malibu.  I was a consultant to his son for a year.  We bantered back and forth about politics all of the time.

A company I worked for had four partners.  Two of them wanted to retire.  The other two brought in two new partners, a husband and wife team of Black lawyers, both Republicans.  The woman became the CEO.  Unfortunately she did not understand contracting and ran the business into the ground within five years.  Fortunately, I had an opportunity to begin consulting for LAUSD and doubled my income the year following my departure.  One of her abilities which she touted was "managing account receivables." This bought her a couple of months of cash flow, but then we were on credit hold by all of our vendors.  But these two were exceptionally inept.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Jun 13th, 2008 at 04:38:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We could just lock up anyone who fit the demographic profile of the average armed robber, say, or anyone with psychological traits often displayed by embezzlers

They'd never let him say it on the WaPo pages, but let's be honest: We do that any way, as anyone familiar with criminal justice in this country knows.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Jun 13th, 2008 at 01:14:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
20 yrs as a Public Defender and I either don't understand what you are saying, or if it is the plain meaning, I disagree completely

"I said, 'Wait a minute, Chester, You know I'm a peaceful man...'" Robbie Robertson
by NearlyNormal on Sat Jun 14th, 2008 at 10:44:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I either don't understand what you are saying, or if it is the plain meaning

The plain meaning of what I said was that people are wrongly tried and convicted in this country's criminal justice system, because they happened to fit a certain profile.  How many people have we had to take off death row after discovering through DNA research later that they didn't commit the murders they were tried for?

Others suffer harassment by the police because of their demographic profiles.  For example, you're familiar with the "crime" of DWB, I assume.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Jun 14th, 2008 at 11:00:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sure I'm familiar with it, I had a case thrown out of court earlier this year because the judge felt the cop had stopped the guy for exactly that, suppressed the evidence and the guilty-but not of what he was allegedly stopped for-client went free.  My point was the expansive nature of your statement is absolutely incorrect, while there certainly are terrible breakdowns and injustices, you do not get tossed into prison for fitting a demographic, at least here in N. California.  You may very well get heightened scrutiny and we can't always defeat that, but you don't head off to Soledad cause you are a 19 yr. old Hispanic with baggy pants.

"I said, 'Wait a minute, Chester, You know I'm a peaceful man...'" Robbie Robertson
by NearlyNormal on Sat Jun 14th, 2008 at 11:05:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Agreed.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Jun 14th, 2008 at 11:06:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And definitely not if you "display the psychological traits typical of embezzlers".

When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. — John M. Keynes
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Jun 14th, 2008 at 11:08:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If that was true Cheney would be in jail, n'est-ce pas?

"I said, 'Wait a minute, Chester, You know I'm a peaceful man...'" Robbie Robertson
by NearlyNormal on Sat Jun 14th, 2008 at 11:10:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Perhaps you get sucked up by a military contracting firm, or a hedge fund, --or by the CEO of some oil company, or a K street lobbyist.
That trait package might just be pretty profitable these days.

Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.
by geezer in Paris (risico at wanadoo(flypoop)fr) on Sat Jun 14th, 2008 at 02:53:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Most of the DAN evidence has exonerated people convicted on the basis of eyewitness testimony, often under circumstances where one would think it would be most reliable.  Eyewitness ty is the biggest convictor of innocent people of all forms of evidence-juries seem to place great faith in it, and cops know how to rig the system to give subtle hints leading towards those whom they believe to be guilty.

"I said, 'Wait a minute, Chester, You know I'm a peaceful man...'" Robbie Robertson
by NearlyNormal on Sat Jun 14th, 2008 at 11:08:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
DNA not DAN, its early here.

"I said, 'Wait a minute, Chester, You know I'm a peaceful man...'" Robbie Robertson
by NearlyNormal on Sat Jun 14th, 2008 at 11:09:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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