The Penalty for Kidnapping Is Death

Submitted by Bill St. Clair on Tue, 01 Mar 2005 13:00:00 GMT
# Aaron McGruder (Boondocks) via Marc Brands Liberty - Taking Off The Edge - cartoon commentary on Bushnev admitting to having smoked cannabis. Hehe.

# Dennis Roddy at The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Grounded: Millionaire John Gilmore stays close to home while making a point about privacy - good summary of Gilmore v. Ashcroft, which hasn't seen any action since November. The wheels of injustice grind slowly, but grind they do (I'll grind his bones to make my bread). [cafe]

John Gilmore's splendid isolation began July 4, 2002, when, with defiance aforethought, he strolled to the Southwest Airlines counter at Oakland Airport and presented his ticket.

The gate agent asked for his ID.

Gilmore asked her why.

It is the law, she said.

Gilmore asked to see the law.

Nobody could produce a copy. To date, nobody has. The regulation that mandates ID at airports is "Sensitive Security Information." The law, as it turns out, is unavailable for inspection.

What started out as a weekend trip to Washington became a crawl through the courts in search of an answer to Gilmore's question: Why?

In post 9/11 America, asking "Why?" when someone from an airline asks for identification can start some interesting arguments. Gilmore, who learned to argue on the debate team in his hometown of Bradford, McKean County, has started an argument that, should it reach its intended target, the U.S. Supreme Court, would turn the rules of national security on end, reach deep into the tug-of-war between private rights and public safety, and play havoc with the Department of Homeland Security.

At the heart of Gilmore's stubbornness is the worry about the thin line between safety and tyranny.

"Are they just basically saying we just can't travel without identity papers? If that's true, then I'd rather see us go through a real debate that says we want to introduce required identity papers in our society rather than trying to legislate it through the back door through regulations that say there's not any other way to get around," Gilmore said. "Basically what they want is a show of obedience."

# Chris Floyd at The Moscow Times - Core Values - how Amerika's gummint is rotten to the core. [grabbe]

The commission issued a slew of recommendations for upgrading national security, including the much-ballyhooed creation of a new "Director of National Intelligence" to oversee the ever-spreading octopus of U.S. "security organs" -- 15 separate spy agencies at last count (that we know about). The wisdom of this advice was borne out by George W. Bush's choice for the post: John Negroponte, the death-squad enabler and atrocity manager best known for burying evidence of CIA-sponsored murders, massacres and torture in Central America during the Reagan-Bush I years. Fresh from not-dissimilar duties in Baghdad, this distinguished civil servant is now bringing his dark arts to the Homeland -- to general approval from the stalwarts.

But the sages had another, lesser-known recommendation: consolidating "all secret U.S. paramilitary operations, whether clandestine or covert" within the Pentagon. This would make such operations "more robust," the worthies said. But the CIA objected to having its own secret armies taken away. After months of negotiation, it was decided last week that the Pentagon and CIA would keep their separate paramilitary capabilities.


Here we come to the crux of the rot. Not a single Establishment stalwart involved in the matter -- not Congress, nor the Commission, nor the President, nor the press -- objected in the least to this horrifying reality: that the U.S. government routinely violates "international law and the laws of war" in secret terrorist actions by "unconventional" forces, including CIA operatives, local proxies and hired killers. It's simply accepted, across the board, as standard practice. In fact, the only concern about these admittedly criminal actions -- directed by unrestricted presidential fiat, with their true ends (Counterterrorism? Personal enrichment? Political power games? Ideological zealotry?) forever hidden from public scrutiny -- is how to make them more "robust," more efficient and more deadly.

# Reuters - U.S. Court Orders 'Enemy Combatant' Freed - U.S. District Judge Henry Floyd ordered the Busheviks to release Jose Padilla in 45 days. The gummint will appeal the ruling. What should happen here is that the people responsible for holding him without charges should be tried for kidnapping. If convicted, they should be hanged. [denial]

# Andy Steadman at No Treason - I'm Difficult - Mr. Steadman was asked recently for his full name, phone number, and address when getting a haircut for his kids. They got the first names, but that's it. He doesn't give his phone number at Best Buy or Toy-R-Us either. But they still sell him what he wants. Unfortunately, the gummint isn't similarly motivated. [notreason]

# I finally finished building Open Office under Gentoo Linux. It was an adventure. It compiled all day on Saturday, but had eaten over a 1.4 gigs of disk on my root volume when I noticed that there were only 200 megs of free space left in that partition. So I suspended the compile (^Z), moved emerge's temporary area (/var/tmp/portage) to the large /home partition, symbolic linked (ln -s) the old location to the new, and resumed the compile (fg <job>). It failed quickly trying to unlink a file. And emerge was broken, failing with a link error early in the process. It didn't like having a symbolic link for its temp area. So I mounted the temp area instead (mount --bind <new location> /var/tmp/portage). This allowed me to do the compile over. It ran all day Sunday and part of the day yesterday (it's really nice to be able to save the state of the virtual machine, turn off the computer, and restore the state later). There were lots and lots of compile warnings, tsk, tsk, but it runs.

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