On Sat, Nov 23, 2013 at 7:23 PM, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net> wrote:
> On 11/23/2013 3:42 AM, Telmo Menezes wrote:
>> On Sat, Nov 23, 2013 at 5:00 AM, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net> wrote:
>>> On 11/22/2013 5:38 AM, Telmo Menezes wrote:
>>> On Thu, Nov 21, 2013 at 7:51 PM, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net> wrote:
>>> On 11/21/2013 1:50 AM, Bruno Marchal wrote:
>>> On 20 Nov 2013, at 22:20, Richard Ruquist wrote:
>>> Chief Supreme Court Justice Marshall usurped the Constitution
>>> when he maintained that the Supreme Court had the right to rule
>>> laws made by Congress and signed by the President unconstitutional.
>>> As a result the USA is essentially ruled by the Supreme Court
>>>   There is no provision in the US Constitution for this right.
>>> Congress instead has the right to regulate the Supreme Court,
>>> The supreme court has judged the NDAA 2012 anti-constitutional. But
>>> apparently this has changed nothing. I don't find information on this.
>>> Some
>>> sites on this  have just disappeared.
>>> It changed nothing because it didn't happen.  First, the NDAA authorizes
>>> the
>>> defense budget and other things.  The Supremes would not have found it
>>> "anti-constitutional".  The controversial provision you may be thinking
>>> of
>>> was clause that affirmed the Presidents power to detain people without
>>> trial
>>> as set out in the 2001 resolution following the 9/11 attack.  The ACLU
>>> has
>>> challenged this provision and a case was brought in 2012, Hedge v Obama.
>>> A
>>> district court ruled that the indefinite detention provision was
>>> unconstitutional and gave an injunction against its use.  This went up
>>> through the layers of appeals courts.  The Supreme Court threw out the
>>> injunction on the grounds that the plaintiffs lacked legal standing to
>>> bring
>>> the case - and so in effect upheld the law without actually ruling on
>>> whether or not it is constitutional.
>>> This is an aspect of U.S. law inherited from English law, that only
>>> persons
>>> who are actually harmed by a law can challenge it in court.  More modern
>>> democracies, seeing the importance of the U.S. Supreme Court in being
>>> able
>>> to nullify unconstitutional laws, have explicitly provided for court
>>> review
>>> of laws without there having to be a plaintiff and a case.
>>> Brent,
>>> I would say you're making an implicit extraordinary claim here. This
>>> claim being that the reason why certain fundamental rights (like the
>>> right to a trial) are not being is bureaucratic impediment, as opposed
>>> to these impediments being created for the purpose of preventing the
>>> application of said rights in practice.
>>> ?? Left out some words?
>> Only one, I think, but it ruined the paragraph. Sorry.
>> "...certain fundamental rights are not being upheld is bureaucratic
>> impediment,..."
>>> I argue that this claim is extraordinary for the following reasons:
>>> - The President signed the NDAA. He also swore to defend the
>>> constitution and he's supposed to be a constitutional expert, so it is
>>> not likely that he is not aware that citizens have a fundamental right
>>> to a trial.
>>> The controversial clause of the NDAA only applies to citizens who have
>>> taken
>>> up arms or aided organizations
>> Of course "aiding" said organizations can be defined as anything that
>> goes against the government's wishes. Especially when we have to take
>> the Government's word on even the existence of such organisations.
> You are assuming the government (prosecutors) get to redefine words so that
> "aiding" can mean anything.  But once you assume that, then no law has any
> meaning.

Yes, I can see you finally understand my point of view.

> Anyway you are wrong.  Judges and juries and even military
> tribunals are not all stupid or tools of despotic Presidents or lackeys of
> corporatism.

I don't think they are all stupid or corrupt, but I do think that the
system has a whole acts in a stupid and corrupt way. You yourself
think this because you claimed it to justify Obama.

> You so readily make those assumptions implicitly; but you
> don't see that if true then you are already living in 1984.

Well we already have big brother: the government is in fact listening
to everything we say, by its own admission looking for threats to the
common good. Words like "freedom" have been redefined... The slogan of
Guantanamo is "honour bound to defend freedom". Depressingly, this is
not the first concentration camp to use a slogan based on doublespeak
on the concept of freedom.

> Do you really
> think this is dystopia?

I think it's going in that direction.

> Are you afraid the CIA will have you assassinated
> for you opinions?

I am afraid that I will run into problems the next time I want to
visit the US, which is something I really like to do. I've been
several times to the US and I would like to visit many more, but it's
getting a but creepy.

I am also afraid that in a near future we will not be able to have
this conversation without breaking the law. We already have total
surveillance and the western powers are busy slow cooking the public
opinion into accepting net censorship.

>>> that have taken up arms against the U.S. and
>>> only for the duration of the war against Al Quida and the Taliban.
>> How can a war against an undefined enemy and with undefined goals ever
>> stop? Can you imagine a scenario where the government says: "ok guys,
>> we won the war on terror. Well done everyone, it's over". And the
>> sailors kiss their girlfriends in Times Square and everything goes
>> back to normal.
> No, and that is certainly a problem.  But it's not a problem of violating
> the Constitution or other laws - it's inherent in the form of conflict.

No, it's inherent to a profoundly irrational approach to this type of
threat. The game of terrorisms is to force their target to change
their way of life. They had a massive victory so far. The correct way
to deal with it would be to refuse any changes. Refuse the TSA. Refuse
total surveillance. Refuse to propagate the violence. Then, for a
fraction of the price of the global war, the US could invest in the
middle east: create charities and trade routes and help spread
prosperity. People would quickly stop caring about the religious
lunatics. Fundamentalism festers in poverty.

>>> So you
>>> are confused on several counts.  This is what the 6th amendment actually
>>> says:
>>> "In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a
>>> speedy
>>> and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein
>>> the
>>> crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been
>>> previously
>>> ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the
>>> accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have
>>> compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the
>>> assistance of counsel for his defense."
>>> Note that it refers to a criminal trial.  An enemy soldier captured in
>>> wartime is not a criminal.
>> Yes, but they redefined what an "enemy soldier" is and also what "wartime"
>> is.
> No, they are following the international rules of war, which recognize that
> a person who openly carries a weapon and is part of a fighting organization
> should be regarded as a soldier.

Except there is no war. A war happens between two or more military
powers. This is policing. Also the provisions of the NDAA do not
require that you carry a weapon.

> This definition was included to cover the
> now common form of war in which an internal organization fights against the
> nominal state.

It's not a new form of war, it's organised crime. Redefining words is
a powerful trick.

>>> Second, it clearly refers to crimes committed in
>>> a state or district of the U.S. - not Afghanistan or Iraq.  So it is not
>>> at
>>> all unconstitutional to deny a trial to those captives in Guantanomo.
>> Right, this one is just a violation of the Universal Declaration of
>> Human Rights, namely article 5:
>> "No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or
>> degrading treatment or punishment."
>> I assume you don't need me to link photos?
> You are mixing the fact that people are held at Guantanomo with people being
> mistreated.  The two are not the same.  The latter is certainly wrong and
> illegal even under U.S. law - and Obama ordered it stopped.

No he didn't. He allows force feeding. These guys are so miserable
that they just want to die, but they won't even allow that. This is
what force feeding is:


> The former is
> only problematic because of the nature of a war by terrorist: it has no
> definite end and not definite nation of origin.

So this is the reasons that you have to keep people, who they now
believe are innocent, arrested in such horrible conditions that they
want to die? I don't see how it follows.

>>> I agree that they should be tried, but the use of a military tribunal is
>>> certainly not unconstitutional.
>>> He was not forced to sign the NDAA by bureaucracy (he
>>> might have been forced in other ways, but here we get into pure
>>> speculation). It was fully within his powers not to sign it or to
>>> demand changes;
>>> Demanding things of Congress doesn't necessarily get them (particularly
>>> when
>>> the House is controlled by the Republicans).
>> So what? He didn't even try.
> You don't know whether he tried or not.  You only know he didn't try to go
> over the heads of Congress and appeal to the electorate - which would not
> have worked.

This is like Sherlock Holmes' dictum but for politics -- once you
eliminate the dogmatically unacceptable, whatever remains, no matter
how improbable, must be the truth.

>>> - Harm is a very subjective word. If the Supreme Court was interested
>>> in upholding fundamental rights, it could easily interpret loss of
>>> fundamental human rights as harm;
>>> The point is that the people who were plaintiffs in the case weren't
>>> harmed.
>> According to some convenient definition of harm, where losing money is
>> harm but losing rights is not.
> The reporters who brought the case had not lost any rights.  And the
> prisoners in Guantanomo, as enemy soldiers, never had any right to a trial.

So what you're saying is that anyone can be declared an enemy soldier
and then lose the right to a trial, but unless you're declared an
enemy soldier it is logical to consider that you conserve the right to
a trial?

> Notice it cuts both ways. If they are soldiers who have been captured then
> the law says they can be held until the end of hostilities and must the then
> be released.

Yes, but they meant real wars in that law. The ones with actually more
than one army.

> If they are criminals then they can be tried for murder or
> accomplices to murder and possibly executed.  So, as their lawyer, do you
> really want to argue that they should be charged with a crime and tried?

So you're saying my clients would prefer to remain in indefinite
detention in a concentration camp where they just want to die but they
will force feed them daily to prevent it? Sure.

This is how it looks like to be one of their lawyers, by the way:


>>> - The bureaucratic impediments seem to work mostly in a direction of
>>> loss of freedom. Empirically, it does not look plausible that they are
>>> just neutral attrition -- they prevent Guantanamo from being closed,
>>> they allow for total surveillance, they allow the Federal Government
>>> to go after marijuana businesses that were authorised by their states,
>>> they allow for "free speech zones", they allow for random road check
>>> points and so on;
>>> - The constitution is the highest law. If people were serious about
>>> following it, they couldn't possible let some lower level law get in
>>> the way. It's a truism that anything that prevents the application of
>>> constitutional principles is unconstitutional, and a lot of people in
>>> the USA swore to defend the constitution.
>>> And they are.  You are just assuming that it says what you think it
>>> should
>>> say, instead of what it actually says.
>> If you redefine certain common words like "enemy" or "war" you can go
>> around any constitutional provision.
> So are proposing that we call people like the 9/11 attackers "friends" and
> their actions "peace"?
> Brent
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