U.S. Constitutional Law: October 2008 Archives

Quite clearly, lack of an intent to commit a crime would not obviate such forms of criminal responsibility and orders or authorizations will not lessen criminal responsibility for conduct that is manifestly unlawful.

However, the creation of National Security Courts--aka. special 'terrorists' courts--as distinct from federal district courts to try cases involving torture as a crime against humanity would actually create legal loopholes that would perpetuate the use and implementation of an unlawful torture and interrogation program and further violations of due process as a customary right, according to Jordan Paust's "The Case Against a National Security Court," pursuant to a report by The Constitution Project titled "A Critique of 'National Security Courts,"' "In Pursuit of Justice: Prosecuting Terrorism Cases in the Federal Courts," by Human Rights First and Ben Davis' "Against a US 'Terrorists' Court.'"

[I]n 2006, President Bush told the nation, "The United States does not torture. It's against our laws, and it's against our values. I have not authorized it -- and I will not authorize it."

Which was, of course, a lie. [...]

Then you look up one day and realize how profoundly that fear has changed your world. People are imprisoned without charges or access to attorneys, and it's routine. People are surveilled, their reading habits studied, their telephone usage logged, and it's commonplace. People, including children, end up on a secret list of those who are not allowed to fly, nobody will tell you why, there is no appeal, and it's ordinary. We swallow lies like candy, nod sagely at babblespeak, and it's unexceptional.

Torture is inflicted with White House approval, the president lies about it and it's just another Tuesday.

Once upon a time, Americans were fond of looking upon backward nations, upon places where law was whatever the king said it was, and noting with pride that we do things differently in our country. But that was a day long ago and a country long gone.

If we miss the one or mourn the other, you'd never know it to look at us. We live through what feels evermore like a Joe McCarthy fever dream. We feel without feeling, hear without hearing, see without seeing and do not protest what we have become.

Because this is normal now.

from Mourning A Country Long Ago

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Physicians for Human Rights
Broken Laws, Broken Lives

NLG White Paper

The President's Executioner

Detention and torture in Guantanamo

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the U.S. Constitutional Law category from October 2008.

U.S. Constitutional Law: August 2008 is the previous archive.

U.S. Constitutional Law: November 2008 is the next archive.

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