Saturday, October 9, 2010


This is a short Post but the matter strikes me as worthwhile.

Glenn Greenwald, attorney who comments on national events in his column on the Salon site, discusses the rule of law as the government is trying to avoid it in trials of accused terrorists.*

On the 7t of October, Judge Lewis Kaplan of the Southern District of New York refused to permit government testimony against a defendant because the government obtained information by torture.

In doing so the Judge said “The Court has not reached this conclusion lightly. It is acutely aware of the perilous nature of the world in which we live. But the Constitution is the rock upon which our nation rests. We must follow it not only when it is convenient, but when fear and danger beckon in a different direction. To do less would diminish us and undermine the foundation upon which we stand”.

I can’t help but think of how this judicial stance would certainly apply to the SO Mania Regime as well. And how much wrack and frak would have been avoided had some jurist said this in the early days of the SO Mania Regime.

Because the SO Mania Regime predates the terrorism matter by a decade or more.

For many years – although they said it mostly among themselves and didn’t publicize it too much –the Beltway elites complimented themselves on their ‘cutting edge knowledge’ that the Constitution was “quaint” and outmoded and insufficient, upon which basis the Mania was itself considered ‘cutting edge’ and ‘progress’.

Far too many judges have agreed for far too long.

But then the whole approach – and its cavalier attitude toward the Constitution – migrated to foreign affairs.

I strongly support this Federal judge.

And I hope all of his colleagues take note of his remarks. Can you imagine if a Federal judge or the Supreme Court had written this when the SO Mania Regime was just getting started up and facing major review back there in the early 1990s?

But there’s no cause for popping any corks just yet.

As Judge Kaplan goes on to note, even if this defendant is acquitted, he can still be held indefinitely under the government’s asserted authority to exercise “post-acquittal detention”. That assertion may remind you of ‘civil confinement’ as deployed in the Mania Regime.

And you might think back to the Nacht und Nebel (Night and Fog) law of the Third Reich. When local courts were fussy enough about ‘law’ to release or acquit somebody the government wanted out of the way, this law made it legal to simply grab the person who would then disappear in the ‘night and fog’ of the nightmare that was Nazi Germany. This was considered ‘efficient’ and ‘necessary for the protection of the German State and People’.

You see where ‘progress’ can lead if it’s not honestly assessed and its tires robustly kicked.


*The link is here. This will lead you to his columns. The piece to which I am referring is dated “Friday, Oct. 8, 2010 11:09 ET” and is entitled “More Terrorism Fear-Mongering Exposed as Frivolous”.

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