FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Suddenly, Bush Embraces Right of Fair Trials

 

When President Bush was confronted by reporters as he left the White House for Camp David following the announcement of the five indictments of, and the resignation of Vice President Dick Cheney chief of state I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, he offered up a lame comment, which at the same time exposed him as a grotesque hypocrite.

“In our system,” he said, “each individual is presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial.”

Sure. That’s what will happen with Scooter, and with Karl Rove if he gets indicted when the other shoe drops.

But what about Jose Padilla? This U.S. citizen, picked up at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport back in 2001, has been held in a military brig without charge, without access to an attorney, and in solitary confinement without any contact with family members for four years because President Bush has claimed the right, on his sole authority, to declare any American citizen to be an “enemy combatant” and to revoke their Constitutional rights and rights of citizenship.

No formal charges have been filed against Padilla. Instead, the Justice Department has just made unsupported statements claiming first that he was planning to build and detonate a dirty-nuke bomb, then dropping that and claiming that he planned to blow up gas lines in apartment buildings. Since Padilla is unable to contest these charges-or really even to know what the charges are or who has been testifying against him-no one can know their veracity.

The same thing was been done to another American-born citizens, Yaser Esam Hamdi, who was ultimately stripped of his birthright and deported to his parent’s homeland, Saudi Arabia, after the government had to admit that it didn’t have the evidence to try him as a terrorist. (The weakness of the President’s case in revoking Hamdi’s citizenship rights and his right to the fair trial Bush so ardently insists on as Libby’s right, is that the government has said it’s willing to allow Hamdi to return to the U.S. with his family to visit Disneyworld.)

And what, for that matter, about the thousands of Muslim residents in America who have been rounded up and deported over the last few years without even a hearing, often on charges of minor traffic or visa violations which they were not given a chance to contest in court?

Clearly Bush does not really believe that everyone in America has a right to the presumption of innocence and to a fair trial-only people in his administration who are charged with serious crimes.

But as the noose starts to tighten on this administration for its lies in the run up to the invasion of Iraq, and for its many other crimes, from initiating a war on a country that posed no threat to the U.S. to subverting the electoral system and violating the Geneva Convention against torture, it is understandable that this President is suddenly invoking the very Constitution and Bill of Rights he has been trashing for the last five years.

DAVE LINDORFF is the author of Killing Time: an Investigation into the Death Row Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. His new book of CounterPunch columns titled “This Can’t be Happening!” is published by Common Courage Press. Information about both books and other work by Lindorff can be found at www.thiscantbehappening.net.

He can be reached at: dlindorff@yahoo.com

 

 

More articles by:

Dave Lindorff is a founding member of ThisCantBeHappening!, an online newspaper collective, and is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press).

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
September 16, 2019
Sam Husseini
Biden Taking Iraq Lies to the Max
Paul Street
Joe Biden’s Answer to Slavery’s Legacy: Phonographs for the Poor
Paul Atwood
Why Mattis is No Hero
Jonathan Cook
Brexit Reveals Jeremy Corbyn to be the True Moderate
Jeff Mackler
Trump, Trade and China
Robert Hunziker
Fukushima’s Radioactive Water Crisis
Evaggelos Vallianatos
The Democrats and the Climate Crisis
Michael Doliner
Hot Stuff on the Afghan Peace Deal Snafu
Nyla Ali Khan
Spectacles of the Demolition of the Babri Masjid in Uttar Pradesh and the Revocation of the Autonomous Status of Kashmir
Stansfield Smith
Celebrating 50 Years of Venceremos Brigade solidarity with the Cuban Revolution
Tim Butterworth
Socialism Made America Great
Nick Licata
Profiles in Courage: the Tories Have It, the Republicans Don’t
Abel Prieto
Cubanness and Cuban Identity: the Importance of Fernando Ortiz
Robert Koehler
Altruists of the World Unite!
Mel Gurtov
Farewell, John Bolton
Weekend Edition
September 13, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
The Age of Constitutional Coups
Rob Urie
Bernie Sanders and the Realignment of the American Left
Anthony DiMaggio
Teaching the “War on Terror”: Lessons for Contemporary Politics
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: They Are the Walrus
T.J. Coles
Jeremy Corbyn: Electoral “Chicken” or Political Mastermind?
Joseph Natoli
The Vox Populi
Sasan Fayazmanesh
The Pirates of Gibraltar
John Feffer
Hong Kong and the Future of China
David Rosen
The Likely End to Roe v. Wade?
Ishmael Reed
When You Mess With Creation Myths, the Knives Come Out
Michael Hudson
Break Up the Democratic Party?
Paul Tritschler
What If This is as Good as It Gets?
Jonah Raskin
Uncensored Tony Serra: Consummate Criminal Defense Lawyer
Ryan Gunderson
Here’s to the Last Philosophes, the Frankfurt School
Michael T. Klare
The Pompeo Doctrine: How to Seize the Arctic’s Resources, Now Accessible Due to Climate Change (Just Don’t Mention Those Words!)
Luke O'Neil
I Would Want To Drink Their Blood: God Will Punish Them
Louis Proyect
The Intellectual Development of Karl Marx
Tom Clifford
How China Sees the World
Kelsey Hawkins-Johnson – Negin Owliaei
Who’s Burning the Amazon?
Yasin Khan
Rideshare Drivers are Employees, Not Contractors
Ralph Nader
Big Business Lies Taught a Watchful Donald Trump
Binoy Kampmark
The Sacking of John Bolton
Andrea Maki
Wild Love Preserve Founder: Our Path Forward
Jeremy Kuzmarov
The War in Eastern Ukraine May be Coming to an End But Do Any Americans Care?
Tim Davis – Stan Grier
Protect the Sacred Grizzly Bear, Follow Those Who Know Grandmother Earth
Clark T. Scott
Super-Delegated and Relegated
Jim Britell
Lessons From America’s Greatest Grassroots Campaigns 
Howie Hawkins
Workers Need More Rights and Economic Democracy
Ramzy Baroud
‘Justice is Indivisible’: Screams of Israa Ghrayeb Should Be Our Wake-up Call
Jill Richardson
It’s Not About Your Straws and Your Light Bulbs
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail