Watching the Shadows

White House seizes power from judiciary under Military Commissions Act

From the Washington Post, Oct. 20:

Court Told It Lacks Power in Detainee Cases
Moving quickly to implement the bill signed by President Bush this week that authorizes military trials of enemy combatants, the administration has formally notified the U.S. District Court here that it no longer has jurisdiction to consider hundreds of habeas corpus petitions filed by inmates at the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba.

Bush signs Military Commissions Act

From the Center for Constitutional Rights, Oct. 17:

Bush Signs the Military Commissions Act: CCR Calls it a Blow to Democracy and the Constitution
New York, NY - Today, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) denounced President Bush's signing into law of the Military Commissions Act (MCA). The final version of the bill emerged only four days before the Senate's 11th hour vote. Although President Bush declared that "time was of the essence" when he called for the legislation, he has waited nearly two weeks to sign it into law. Congress has once again been cowed into doing the President's bidding and abdicated their Constitutional powers in the process, say attorneys.

Lynne Stewart gets 28 months, remains free pending appeal

From the New York Law Journal, Oct. 17:

Veteran defense attorney Lynne Stewart cried tears of relief yesterday as a federal judge ordered her to serve a dramatically lower sentence than prosecutors had requested for her conviction on providing material support to a terrorist conspiracy.

Feds defend torture before 2nd Circuit

This man's treatment, and the defense's arguments, constitute another step in the legitimization of torture, and the dumbing-down of the word's definition. But at least the judiciary is showing a semblance of backbone here. From the New York Times, Oct. 5 (links, interjections and emphasis added):

Lynne Stewart denied "need to know" on warrantless surveillance

As Lynne Stewart awaits sentencing, the New York Times Sept. 29 portrayed her as uncharacteristically contrite...

Lawyer in Terror Case Apologizes for Violating Special Prison Rules
Lynne F. Stewart, the once brashly defiant radical defense lawyer who was convicted in a federal terrorism trial last year, has acknowledged in a personal letter to the court that she knowingly violated prison rules and was careless, overemotional and politically naïve in her representation of a terrorist client.

9-11 conspiracy theory: our readers write

Our September issue featured stories on the question of 9-11 "conspiracy theory," including a skeptical look at the conspiracy industry and the so-called "9-11 skeptics" by WW4 REPORT editor Bill Weinberg. The September Exit Poll was: "OK, did Bush do it?" We received the following responses (beginning with the most long-winded and predictable one, just to get it out of the way):

White House denies Iraq link to terror escalation

Don't you just love it when the government contradicts itself? The White House responds to the National Intelligence Estimate report finding the Iraq war is fueling global terrorism. From the LA Times, Sept. 25:

White House: Terrorism not linked to invasion
WASHINGTON - The White House yesterday sharply disagreed with a new U.S. intelligence assessment that the war in Iraq is encouraging global terrorism, as Bush administration officials stressed that anti-American fervor in the Muslim world began long before the Sept. 11 attacks.

Bush: ditch Geneva Conventions, habeas corpus

What's really terrifying about Bush's bid for Congress to address the controversy around torture and detainment is that, if lawmakers take the bait, there will cease to be a torture scandal and torture will be normalized. We are approaching a tipping point in the trajectory towards real fascism. From The Guardian, Sept. 15:

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