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The Constitution Argument December 6, 2007

habeas corpus is dead

Who doesn’t love law makers that work for the people. The following argument was made by Justice Stephen Breyer against the illegal inability of people to challenge their imprisonment in Guantanamo:

JUSTICE STEPHEN BREYER: Suppose that you are from Bosnia, and you are held for six years in Guantanamo, and the charge is that you helped al-Qaeda, and you’ve had your hearing before the CSRT. And now you go to the D.C. circuit, and here’s what you say: “The CSRT is all wrong. Their procedures are terrible. But, Judge, for purposes of argument, I concede their procedures are wonderful, and I also can conclude it reached a perfectly good result.” OK? So you concede it, for argument’s sake. But what you want to say is: “Judge, I don’t care how good those procedures are. I’m from Bosnia. I’ve been here six years. The Constitution of the United States does not give anyone the right to hold me six years in Guantanamo without either charging me or releasing me, in the absence of some special procedure in Congress for preventive detention.” That’s the argument I want to make. I don’t see anything in this CSRT provision that permits me to make that argument. So I’m asking you: Where can you make that argument?

PAUL CLEMENT: I’m not sure that he can make that argument, Justice Breyer.
PAUL CLEMENT: I’m not sure he can make—
JUSTICE STEPHEN BREYER: If he cannot make that argument, how does this become an equivalent to habeas, since that happens to be the argument that a large number of these 305 people would like to make?

For the full discussion, go to the democracy now website.


If You Buy Starbucks Coffee… December 1, 2007

Filed under: middle-east,palestine,politics — javiguedes @ 6:48 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

starbucks logo upset

Don’t try to be my friend. And here is why:

One of the owners of Starbucks, Howard Schultz, is a renown Zionist with a reputation for supplying monetary funds to Israel and forging the connection between Israel and the U.S. In 1998, the Jerusalem Fund of Aish HaTorah gave Starbucks the “The Israel 50th Anniversary Tribute Award”, an honor that was mentioned at some point on the Starbucks awards website but was mysteriously removed after the uproar it caused among the supporters of Palestine. The original can still be seen in the archives.

Howard Schultz has also claimed publicly that Palestinians are to blame for the hostilities. As reported by Elisa Hahn for King 5 (Seattle), 04/04/2002:

What is going on in the Middle East is not an isolated part of the world. The rise of anti-Semitism is at an all time high since the 1930’s.

The Palestinians aren’t doing their job they’re not stopping terrorism.

Let me put it this way. If your home town (say, Quebec) was settled and occupied by another country (say, British Canada) and the US supported the occupiers with money, weapons, and media control, would you help the occupiers in any way? Would you help the occupiers spread the word that your people are terrorists and racists? Would you support those who bash your people as unable to comply with peace treaties that do not benefit them in the least?

It’s just a matter of perspective.


What They Call Peace November 28, 2007

Filed under: politics — javiguedes @ 3:57 am
Tags: , , , , , ,


Is a trap.

Under what circumstances do we want Israel and Palestine to sign a peace treaty? How can Mr. Bush say that it is terrorism what is stopping the peace process when it is precisely terrorists who are right now oppressing the Palestinian people? Today, there are 652 checkpoints in the occupied territories, embedded in a web of Israeli roads and settlements, making it virtually impossible to develop commerce. This generates fear, anguish, internal struggle, and above all, a burning desire for freedom that corrodes people. So let’s stop pretending that the Israelis are the good boys. As Desmon Tutu said in Democracy Now a few days ago, Israel’s God is always on the side of the ones who suffer. If not for your brothers, please stop this occupation in the name of your God!

And why are the people of Gaza so upset about the Israeli-Palestinian peace cheat-chat between Mr. Bush, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert? First off, Abbas was not even elected by the Palestinian people. They chose Hamas, so maybe we should include them in the “peace” talks? And what ever happened to the spread of democracy? Or is it not valid when the people vote for the “wrong” candidate like they did with Allende in Chile, or in Nicaragua or Congo? Second, a referee that has taken one of the parties’ side can’t be fair. The US is relentlessly in favor of Israel. A good referee is a neutral referee. As Tutu put it at the Annapolis summit:

The world needs the Jews, Jews who are faithful to their vocation that has meant so much for the world’s morality, for its sense of what is right and wrong, what is good and bad, what is just and unjust, what is oppressive and what sets people free. Jews are indispensable for a good compassionate, just and caring world.

And so are Palestinians.

And in Noam Chomsky’s words:

Bush no. 2 has gone to new extremes in rejectionism. He’s declared the illegal West Bank settlements must remain part of Israel. That’s in accord with the Clinton position, expressed by his negotiator Dennis Ross, who explained that what he called “Israel’s needs” take precedence over Palestinian wants. That’s Clinton. But the party line remains undisturbed. Facts don’t matter. Bush, Rice and the rest are yearning to realize Bush’s vision of a Palestinian state — somewhere, someplace — persisting in the noble endeavor of the longtime honest broker.

So let us be abide by the rule of decency and give the Palestinian what they deserve: a sovereign state. Let us not favor one or the other. I pay taxes and I choose not to give my money to Israel, unless the same amount is given to Palestine. Let us not accept a peace treaty that is unequal and gives Israel most of the resources.

The Palestinian Land was given to the Israelis as a compensation for their suffering, not by a Holy right. Now they need to respect the people to whom they took it from. Let us respect democracy and establish a link with Hamas. Let us invite them to the peace summits and hear their concerns, for they are the voice of the majority of the people.